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Friday, 21 September 2012

D.I.Y: Post Box Recycling!

Last month when I was in Amman, one of our house's old mail boxes got replaced by a new fancy one. The people who replaced it wanted to take the old one and throw it away, but my mother was smart enough to ask them to keep it, cause she knew I'd want to change it up and reuse it somehow. So I did! I thought why not recycle it myself, paint it and give it some character to reuse it as a multi-functional d├ęcor item! Of course I had to get the help of my cousin Basma and her artistic skills. So here's a step-by-step guide through pictures on how to do it and what items you will need:

Items needed:

1. Old/unused mail box
2. Rough grit sandpaper
3. Blade
4. Spray paint (in whichever colour you would like the base of the mail box to be)
5. Paint and brushes or colouring pens 
6. Pencil and eraser for sketching

The mail box before. As you can see it's pretty worn out and rusty.

This is the sandpaper that we used to get rid of the rust and smooth the surface out. You can find sandpaper in any building materials supply store.

Cut a square portion of the sandpaper and scrape down the rusty parts and edges till the surface become smooth.

After lots of scraping, the rust starts to disappear. 

Go over the edges of the rust till you no longer feel a difference in surface and the entire edge smooths out. 

For large rust flakes, carefully use a blade to scrape the diminishing paint off.

The final result: rust is gone and you are left with the bare material of the mail box.

Use a can of spray paint to establish a new base coating for the mail box. I used white, but you can use whichever colour you want!

Begin spray painting the base colour on.

Basma decided that it would be nicer to hint at the mail box's vintage nature by giving the front surface a rough finish. We did this by using a plastic bag to continuously dab and repaint the surface to achieve a rough texture.

We also decided to not paint the lid and keep it looking rusty, to add an edge to the mail box and keep it looking vintage.

Also gave the paint a faded look and left the sides not completely painted again to give it a vintage look.

Start thinking of what designs you want to paint on the box. Get on Google and start searching for inspiration!

Grab a pencil and eraser and start sketching.

I decided I wanted the main design to be a Hand of Fatima with the Green Eve heart in the centre.

Painting on the rough texture proved to be difficult and needed a few layers over a couple of days till the pigmented colour appeared clearly. It is much easier to use coloured pens, but we realised that a little too late. Oops!

I went with a very random design; mainly inspired by nature and the outdoors, while keeping the main focus on the Hand of Fatima.

I then went ahead and added starts, just to keep it looking busy, as I was going for that look.

My favourite part of the design: some little paws!

The different uses of the mail box once it's done: a flower vase!

Or even to hold some newspapers/magazines/books.

The finished product. What I love about this is that you can always paint over it and redesign it to suit whatever mood you're in! For winter, I'll probably paint the base a deep purple and add some silver or gold baroque design.

Let me know if you decide to try this out yourself. Trust me it's fun!

Anoud xx


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