Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hanging Mail Sorter Project

Recently, I decided I needed a hanging mail sorter to help reduce the clutter on our kitchen table, but when I priced them I found that they were really expensive ( $99.00 $119.00). Then I was in a craft store and they were having a sale on photo storage boxes, which gave me an idea...
Choose three photo storage boxes (dimensions roughly 11 1/2" l x 8" w x 4"h).  The project will look best with three boxes of the same pattern.  I really liked the Paris, France pattern, but they only had two boxes with that pattern, so I chose a third in a coordinating solid color. 
Turn the box upside-down, with a short end facing you.  Using the measurements in the photo above, make cut and fold lines for the mail pockets. Repeat the measurements on the opposite short side and then connect the lines across the long bottom of the box.
Cutting on the inner line, as indicated in the photo above, cut off the right-hand, long side of the box. 
Repeat the measurements and cuts on the left-hand, long side of the box.  The above photo shows the box after both sides have been cut off.  This will give you two mail pockets.  Discard (recycle) the center section of the box.
Using your pencil lines as a guide, fold in the edges of each mail pocket.  Trim the upper back corners of each pocket, as shown above, so that the corner won't stick up above the pocket when you join the pockets to the backing.
Repeat the measuring, folding, and trimming process on the second box and you will have four mail pockets.
On the lower back corners of each pocket, trim as shown above, so the pockets will lie flat on the backing.
Lay the three box tops flat on a surface, with the long sides together, and glue with a hot glue gun.  Apply hot glue to the folded edges of each pocket and press onto box covers.  I aligned the bottom pocket with the bottom edge.  I hid the seam of the bottom two boxes by placing a pocket on top of them.  I aligned the bottom of the top pocket with the seam of the top and middle box cover and spaced the second pocket slightly below that.  I used strips of the leftover Paris, France patterned cardboard to cover the exposed edges of the top box (the tan box), so the pattern would be the same on the sides, from top to bottom.  
I thought the top panel looked plain so I printed a "MAIL" sign on my computer.  I pasted it on with a glue stick and then covered the entire mail sorter with two coats of clear polyurethane (Plaid-FolkArt brand indoor/outdoor sealer in satin finish) to protect the cardboard and make it easier to dust and wipe clean. 
I hung the completed mail sorter in my kitchen.  Total cost for the project....$2.00 each, for three boxes, for a total of $6.00.  I already had the glue gun, glue sticks, and polyurethane, but if you had to buy them they wouldn't cost more than $20.00 altogether.  I hope this inspires you to make your own hanging mail sorter.  Happy creating!