Before & After – Old School Mailbox into Scrapbook Paper Tower

I finally finished it!  I know I’ve teased you a couple of times.  First time here and second time here.  I am so excited to show you how this turned out.  Most of you know I love going to our local Habitat ReStore.  It’s usually an every Saturday morning trip.  There have probably only been one or two times I haven’t found something I wanted.  Lucky for my bank account, not so lucky for me.  When I saw this really long kinda ugly mailbox that was probably mounted on a wall in a school or in an office, I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first.

Mailbox edit
See what I mean? Kinda ugly. But, the price was great and I loved the little tarnished brass label holders.
tarnished brass label holder
So, now the wheels were turning. One didn’t have any of the brass tags so I knew I didn’t want that one. Once I measured the size of the boxes, I knew what I would turn it into. On the truck it went. Now came the fun part. Turning it into something.
Habitat ReStore Scrapbook paper tower
Habitat ReStore Scrapbook Paper Tower
Here they are side by side.  I had to modify the bottom shelf on the left side tower to match the one on the right.  I knew I wanted to add a base molding and I would need something to nail into, so one of the boards we cut off, was put back on using the Kreg Jig.  Nice and sturdy.  See that piece of molding the brass tags are attached to?  It was a funky shaped piece of molding.  I knew the cabinets would never go together with that there, so we had to run the saw down it to take that off.  This did some damage that I had to repair later in the process.   Next step was kind of tedious, but necessary.

Habitat ReStore Mailbox Brass Tag Removal
This didn’t take that long…no really.   Ok it did, and it was like 100 in the garage. These little beauties came back to haunt me later on in the project. You’ll see… So, now it was time to put them together. I used the same principal as when you screw kitchen cabinets together. Pre-drill and screw. With the damage that was done cutting that funny piece of molding off, I had to use wood filler to fill in the crack. No pic on that. Sorry.
Screw cabinets together
Once I got them screwed together and the space between them filled in with wood filler, I did a light sanding. I couldn’t get a sander in the actual paper slots, so I used some liquid sandpaper. This was not fun. At all. Next step was to prime and paint.
This is what I used to prime. I did the tops of all the boxes and then flipped it over and did the bottoms. I wish I had covered it a little more with primer before I started painting. I used the same Behr Popped Corn paint that I used on my craft room cabinets. Painting was not a fun project. I usually enjoy painting. I tried a roller, long handled brush and finally a flat painting pad on the inside of the mail slots. I got more paint on my hands I think, than on the paper tower. Jeez. What a pain. But it was really starting to take shape. I knew I wanted to use bead board, like I did on the craft room cabinets. I love bead board. I put on a piece of pretty trim molding on the front edge to butt the bead board up to. Kinda hard to see in this picture, but you’ll see when it’s finished.
trim molding
See that side? That’s why I needed the bead board. I wanted to put a base molding around the bottom to make it look more like a piece of furniture. We were having trouble evening up the bottom to make it sit level. I was afraid that if we kept cutting we would end up ruining the entire thing. So I used a board off an old pallet, extended it over the edge to create a new bottom. Worked like a charm.
pallet base board
I put felt pads on the bottom to protect the bamboo floors. I love how this turned out.
Here you can see the base, bead board and the trim molding. It’s really starting to look like something. I’m getting excited.
Next step, crown molding. Oh boy. Crown molding can bring down the best diy’ers. I’m definitely not doing a tutorial on crown molding, but I don’t understand why the lumber mills don’t make it easier for the consumer. It all starts with the spring angle, I don’t know why they don’t put that right on the crown. Anyway, I have an awesome little tool called the Cut-N-Crown. It has saved my life many times. We met the designer/founder of this awesome product at our local home show. I will never do crown without this product. Ever. Here’s how that turned out.
almost done
I am so loving this piece. Painted it all up nice.  Now it was time to move it in and start finishing it up. Remember those tarnished brass tags? Oh yeah. Now I had to put them back on.
tarnished Brass tags
They have the TINIEST nails ever! I had to use my needle nose pliers to hold the nail. I ran a level across both boxes drew a line, held up the tag and marked the holes. Using the pliers I used a nail to start a hole.
Tarnished Brass Name Tag
I did this 32 times, X 4 screws each = 128 teeny, tiny nails. I did the lower half sitting on the floor. I didn’t think I would ever get back up. I thought I was paralyzed. What was I thinking? Note to self, next time, put this up on saw horses and work standing up. Phew, I’m getting old. Anyway, here it is, in all it’s glory.
Habitat ReStore before and after
Love, Love, Love.
Habitat ReStore Paper Tower finished
I’ll use this for more than just paper. I can put scrapbook embellishments or my Cricut vinyl, things like that.
Here’s the before and after.
Habitat ReStore paper tower before and after
Well, there ya have it. I hope you love it as much as I do. This is my favorite project so far. Leave me a comment, let me know what you think. Until next time.


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