Just A Little Creativity: Confession Time- The Good, Bad, and Ugly Mail Holder Makeover

Confession Time- The Good, Bad, and Ugly Mail Holder Makeover

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So, all you crafty (and not so crafty) folks out there, raise your hand if you've ever had a great idea, and then totally bombed it your first try.

That's exactly what happened to me when I tried to makeover this grimy white mail holder.
I needed something to sort the mess of mail we get, and I found this at a thrift store for $1.99.
It's solid wood, so that was a plus. But it was dirty white, and had broken hooks on the bottom of it. I thought about how to make it over, and had the perfect idea (or so I thought).

First I painted it in a nice deep red, which took about a million coats and waaaay too much of my time. That should have been my clue to abandon ship, but no. 
I never did get an even coat of the red, so I decided to use my distressed paint rub technique to cover some of the craziness of the red. "Okay" I thought, I could work with the final results. It occurred to me that while this holder would function just fine, there was no real way to tell whose mail should go where.
My bright idea? Use a paint pen to write our initials on the side. M for Molly, D for Dave, and B for bills to be paid.
I'm going to show you this horrible, terrible, awful result knowing full well this may make you lose all respect for my skill. 
Here it is, I'm hanging my head in shame...
UGLY! Please don't hate me now.

I wanted to throw it away. Instead, I just tucked it away in my art room, perhaps to be resurrected one day, perhaps not.
A few weeks ago, I posted about a Pottery Barn Chalkboard Knock-off project for my office makeover. It was after that I had the idea to dust off my sad little mail holder and spray paint it black to match the chalkboard. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before, probably because I was too frustrated.
I still liked the idea of labeling where our mail should go, so being much more careful and creative, I wrote "his, hers, theirs" on the side.

Finally, a finished product I'm happy with. In the end, I'm glad I didn't quit, throw it away, and go buy something else. As often as I talk about creative ideas, I admit the lesson I learned is that sometimes a great idea just doesn't work on the first try, but it's often worth it to try, try again.


  1. That is SO CUTE!!! I'm glad that you didn't give up!!!

  2. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  3. LOVE it!! Glad you didn't give up either! :)

  4. I love the fact that you were honest enough to admit your goof, and brave enough to post evidence! And it turned out beautifully in the end! :) Hi! New follower from the Say Hi Sunday blog hop! I hope you'll stop by my blog and follow back! Thanks! :) Through the Eyes of a Tiger

  5. Coming over from Frugality is Free - love this! It's sooo pretty!

  6. So cute! Great Job!!

    Hi - Just hopping by from The Wednesday Window. I am your newest GFC follower. I hope you can follow me at www.indianacouponsavings. Also, Debs Dealz and I are hosting a month long Happy Halloween Boo Hop. Come on over and link up. Thanks, Erin

    Boo Hop - http://indianacouponsavings.blogspot.com/2011/10/happy-halloween-boo-hop.html

  7. did you do the letters yourself, or did you have a stencil? looks fab!

  8. where did you get the mail holder?
    It looks awesome ive been looking for something like this for at home!

  9. I love this! Do you make them to buy??


  10. This is amazing! Where do you get the alphabet labels from? -Jessica

  11. Yes, please share what products you used to create it! :)

  12. You could add some hooks on the bottom and it could double as a key holder. =) Love it and it looks great.

  13. Very creative and cute!

  14. I am with everyone else wanting to know about the letters!!! So cute! i have an old mail holder I was just going to throw away. Now I am going to do this! Thanks

  15. stealing this idea. it is soooo pretty. good job.

  16. This is a GREAT Christmas gift for mom :)I was looking around to see what I could make her and my eyes were set on this project. This could help reduce the stash of mail that is sitting on the kitchen table :)

  17. I found a mail holder as well at the thrift store and decided to do what you did! One thing that I changed was that I put chalkboard paint on one side so that I can write my name and my roommates names (which may change). Thanks for the idea!

  18. Yay! I've been searching for a mail holder for a wall in my kitchen. Everything that I like is way too expensive for something so simple. This is the perfect craft project to get what I want for a great price! Thanks for posting!

  19. Where did you get the mail holder?I can never find one :( It looks awesome I've been looking for something like this for my home office! Looks wonderful in black with white lettering.