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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Glitter, Glue & Paint

Country Door Knockoff Sign – Part 1

I found this sign in my recent Country Door catalog.
original sign
I LOVED the message and I thought the sign was really cute. It wasn’t expensive at all (on sale for $19.79), but I thought it would be fun to re-create. Believe it or not I had never done a pallet project. I’m always late for the party. Why is that? My hubby works at Home Depot and I couldn’t get him to bring me a pallet. So, when I saw this sign, I priced out the wood and told him he could pay that price, or bring me a pallet for free. Guess what I got? It was a pretty good pallet – beat up, but not too beat up. It had two kinds of wood on it. A really dark oak and pine. I used both. First I made a frame out of a 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ piece of pine. I wanted the finished sign to be close to the original, but I tweaked it a bit. Their sign was 31 1/4″ x 11 3/4″. Weird. I made mine 31″ x 12″. I cut my 31″ pieces, then to make the 12″ I cut the side pieces 9″. 9″ + 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ = 12″ I cut my frame using my handy dandy miter saw.
I love power tools, and this is one of my favorites. It’s an important tool to have if you plan on doing any woodworking projects. My 2nd favorite tool has to be the kreg jig. It’s an amazing piece of equipment. This is how I assembled my frame.
Add a little glue and use your face clamp.
To find out more about the Kreg Jig click here. Viola` you end up with a frame. This is what you attach your pallet boards to.
Next I used my circular saw to cut the boards off the frame of the pallet. I didn’t need the entire length of the board, so it was easier to cut than it was to pry. Hubs helped here a little. I have short arms so I couldn’t reach the entire thing. Then what happens is I stand back and end up watching him finish cutting. I hate when I do that.
Once I got the boards cut off, I cleaned up one edge on the miter saw and then cut off the end with the nails to the length I needed.
I think I needed 9 boards. Once I got them all cut, it was time to attach them to the frame. The fun part.
Holy gobs of glue! I know, I know, a bit much on the glue? The bottle was almost empty, so everytime I shook it, gobs came out. Anyway, I lined them all up and then one at a time I glued and nailed.
Here it is all assembled. Next, I sanded it down – I did not get a picture of this, but I used my random orbital sander that I got for Christmas. I can’t believe it, I don’t even have pics of the sign after I sanded it. Man, I must have been hungry or something to have forgotten that. Anyway, my next step was to paint it. I used the same Behr paint that I used on my craft room cabinets. It’s got primer in the paint. The name is Popped Corn.
Have you ever used these triangle thingys? They are very handy for keeping your project up off your work table. I used to put paper down and then paint and of course my project would stick to the paper. These things used to be yellow and I can’t remember the brand name, but they are very inexpensive and very hand to have. I put two coats of paint on the sign because the yellow of the pine was showing through. Once it was dry, I sanded it down in spots and I went over the entire thing to take the shine off.
I think I’ll end Part 1 here. The next step is to figure out the fonts to use, get them to the correct size and use the freezer paper to transfer the text to my sign. I’ve never used freezer paper before, so I better go practice.


Well, I started that post on April 14th. Today it’s June 23rd and I’ve finally finished this project. This has been the longest project in the history of diy and blogging. Seriously. Things did not always go according to plan. I’ll touch on that in part 2 of this project. I’m just glad it’s done and I really like it. I think my next sign will be smaller and simpler and I need to find a way to do the lettering. I was not successful in 2 different processes before I finally figured out the final process. Jeesh.