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Wednesday Works: DIY Painted UP Mailbox

For the first time since the 1990's, we have an individual mailbox, as opposed to a community box. The mailbox that came with this house is small and missing its handle. That was just enough reason for me to decide to replace it with a personalized box that would make me smile every time I saw it.

Do you remember the Pixar movie, UP? I love that movie: it has a cute married couple, an adorable dog, and a lot of heart. During one scene early in the show, Carl and Ellie paint a mailbox that look like this one:

Photo: Mailbox with the names Carl & Ellie and two handprints. (Photo taken years ago when I toured a house that was designed to look like the house from UP.)
The movie mailbox was my inspiration. John purchased a big white box, we visited a craft store for some outdoor paint, and we figured out how to make a John & Kristi mailbox.

We started by trying to find a font similar to the one used. "Learning Curve" on PicMonkey seemed close to the one used for the names, and I used "Alter Ego" for the "and" sign. I did need to edit it a bit in the PicMonkey program. The "and" sign was bolder than the names, but that didn't matter. Once I found the fonts I needed, I made a 8.5 x 11 sign that said "John & Kristi" and printed it up in landscape orientation.

Photo: A printed paper that reads "John & Kristi"

Now for the tricky part: how to get the words onto the mailbox. I flipped the printed paper over, so the names were backwards, put a piece of waxed paper over the printed page, and carefully traced "John & Kristi" onto the waxed paper with a pencil. I didn't want the "and" sign so thick, so I didn't trace it completely. 

Once the design was on the waxed paper, I taped the waxed paper to the mailbox, then rubbed the words with a plastic card (I used my AAA card). The pressure transferred "John & Kristi" to the mailbox.

Photo: Waxed paper is taped to the mailbox 
Photo: After rubbing, the image has transferred to the mailbox
Once the words were on the mailbox, it was time to break out the paint. I must admit, putting the paint on was the most nerve-wracking part. In retrospect, we should have practiced with the brushes before attempting the project, but we got more comfortable as we went along. Long, smooth strokes seemed to work best. We followed up with a thinner brush to touch-up places that needed more smoothing or filling in. John started with his name, then I added mine.

Photo: John paints the "J" of his name in green paint on the white mailbox
After that, it was time for the hand prints. John added his first, then I put mine on. We learned it was important to make sure to get plenty of paint on our hands, and to put the mailbox on its side before I added my hand print. (I could apply more pressure that way.)

Photo: John applies red paint to my hand. The table in the background is covered with project supplies. Crafting is messy!
I love the way the project turned out! After the paint dries for a day or two, we will spray a protective clear coat over the whole thing, so it will stay bright for a very long time. 

Photo: The finished project. A white mailbox with "John" painted in sweet pea green, "&" painted in wisteria vine purple, "Kristi" painted in Tuscan red, and with John's hand print in the purple and mine in the red.
I'm thankful for fun projects we can do together. 

Have you ever gotten inspiration for projects from a movie? 

Comments

  1. Oooh, I love this! Thanks for explaining the process.m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was helpful. I had read online about transferring images with waxed paper, but not necessarily onto metal, so I was glad it worked.

      Delete
  2. Did that paint wash off easily? I love your new mailbox!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It cleans up with water, even though it is for outdoor use. We sprayed a protective clear coat over the project once the paint was dry.

      Delete

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