Hey y’all! Either you are here because you too are in DESPERATE need of a mailbox makeover or you are just simply browsing! Either way, I’m glad you’re joining me. This makeover was a small task (that took us waaaaay to long to get around to doing) and it made a HUGE difference! After all, it is the first thing you see when you pull up to our home!
My husband and I bought this TINY lake house in August of 2016 with visions of fixing a few things up and spending our summers on gorgeous Table Rock Lake! I’m learning that my visions are sometimes
usually quite different from my husbands. I can’t imagine how people build houses together! Anyway, the very first thing on my “vision list” was this very creative mailbox left by the previous owners. In all fairness, the people who owned this before us, used it strictly as a vacation home. But this is the mailbox I see EVERY day when I come home and I dreaded trying to explain to our friends “go around the sharp curve and we’re the house on the left with the mailbox in the orange 5 gallon Home Depot bucket”.
I cheated a little bit and bought this pre-made cedar mailbox post at Home Depot (sorry HD for making fun of the bucket mailbox…nothing personal). It actually ended up being around the same price as doing it myself! A girls gotta cut corners for time’s sake occasionally! I had to cut it down a little bit to meet the USPS Mailbox Guidelines!
I searched WAY too long for the perfect grey mailbox and ended up finding this one at Wal-Mart for a really great price! I assumed it was just going to get bashed in by a bunch of kids or hit by a car anyway, so I definitely didn’t want to spend a ton of money on one. It did require some assembly and you can definitely tell it is a <$10 mailbox, but it seems to be doing the job just fine!
I was so excited about finding the perfect cedar wine barrel! There are a lot of projects that I go in to with absolutely NO idea of what I want exactly, but for this particular one I had a clear-cut image of the finished project! I wanted something pretty and eye-appealing, but still laid back and not too dressy for our casual little lake home! A cedar wine barrel seemed like the perfect base for this project AND it was a nice match to our cedar wrapped posts on the front porch (blog post coming soon!). I ended up stumbling across the perfect cedar barrel while flower shopping at our local Menard’s!
I picked up a bag this Fast-Setting Quikrete from our local Ace Hardware store! I was most intimidated by this step, yet it was the easiest part of the whole creation!!! You literally just add water and stir!
I had to use my husband’s man creativity to put the mailbox on the post. I thought it would just come right out of the box and sort of be ready to “snap” on the post. However, the bottom of the mailbox was probably 4 inches wider than the spot on the post that it was meant to go. This just threw me in to a real frenzy! That word might be a tad dramatic, but I was definitely stumped. My very crafty husband simply took a piece of plywood and attached it to the post to give me space to attach the mailbox. What’s great is the plywood was cut precisely to fit in the bottom of the mailbox so that you can’t see the extra piece…because that actually would have thrown me in to a frenzy! Whala!!! Problem solved…thanks babe! After I cut the post down to the right height, I had my husband help me set the post up on our fancy saw horse (his truck bed) so that we could screw it into the center of the barrel. This is a completely optional step, but I can assure you it will make your life so much easier when you go to mixing the Quikrete! We hauled the now almost complete mailbox up our hazardously steep driveway and put it in it’s forever home! I almost felt bad for the other mailbox because my new one was so beautiful…keep reading to the end to hear about the happy ending the Orange 5 Gallon Bucket Mailbox ended up with!
I poured the whole bag of Quikrete in the bottom of the wine barrel around the post and added a tad less water than the bag called for. I mixed it lightly with my multi-purpose garden trowel…making sure to flatten it out as I went (felt like I was icing a cake…mmmm cake!) so that I had plenty of room for soil and flowers after it was all dry! *One of the most important steps was making sure that our post was straight. No going back after that Quikrete sets!
I waited, not patiently, but I waited a full 24 hours for the Quikrete to dry before applying any of my final touches! I found the adorable address vinyl on Etsy, from a shop called back40life, months ago and knew it would be the perfect addition to my future mailbox! The rest was just playing in the dirt and planting some seasonal little flowers! I specifically wanted something that would fill the barrel and overflow over the sides. Mine have yet to “spill” over the sides, so if you have suggestions on good “spilling plants”, I’d love to hear them!
Cedar is one of those funny woods that doesn’t require treating, but it is highly suggested. It will protect it from rotting in weather and in my case I wanted to achieve that beautiful cedar color! Thompson’s Water Seal makes an awesome all-in-one product! It is more watery than I would have imagined, but it applied nicely with a regular paintbrush. We actually had this product on hand so we didn’t have to go buy any! If you don’t have this somewhat random product just lying around, you should be able to find it at your local hardware store, Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Wal-Mart!
Make sure to step back and admire your work! It’s amazing what one little project can do for your home! It cost around $112 to complete, but it looks like a million bucks compared to our makeshift orange bucket mailbox! Don’t think for a second that we didn’t find a new home for that handsome mailbox though! We had a flood come through the cute little town that our cabinet shop is in and it did a lot of damage! After all that water rushed through the streets, it just happened to take our neighbors mailbox with it! We HAPPILY offered up our old one and they are still getting good use out of it! Just proves, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure!