Most letterboxes are built for a lifetime, especially those manufactured by companies that only use the best materials. But, while letterboxes can last for decades upon decades, people’s style preferences rarely stay the same. Therefore, it is not uncommon for certain households to change their letterboxes along with other home improvements.
If you are thinking of changing your home’s fence-mounted letterbox into, say a simple brick-in design for a more minimalist look, do not be too quick to throw it away. Given its material and sturdy construction, this property accessory can still serve you in a number of different ways. Here are eight recycling or repurposing ideas for any letterbox.
1. Tissue holder
If you have a small home and your bathroom cabinets are already full of personal hygiene products, you can create a nifty storage solution for tissues using an old letterbox, particularly one designed to be mounted on a post. It is bulky enough to store a few rolls of tissue paper, and you can easily stand it on one end right beside the toilet or sink cabinet.
Do you have children who still like to play with dolls that do not have a house? You can easily make a dollhouse using various types of letterbox design. Some designs already look like a house, so all you have to do is either give it a paint job or cover it with decorative paper and place in choice accessories. This mailbox dollhouse will outlast your kids’ childhood years, and your kids can pass it on to their own children.
There are so many ways that you can turn a letterbox into a whimsical planter in your garden. You can plant flowers in it or make it look like small flowers are flowing out of it. Mailboxes with an envelope design also make lovely planters to install inside the kitchen and grow herbs and other small edibles from.
Most post-mounted letterboxes make ideal toolboxes. They are big enough for chunky hammers and drills. Plus, you can attach holders on top of them to make them completely handy. You can even turn the smaller versions of such letterbox design into vintage style lunchboxes for kids that can hold a canteen, tumbler, and utensils.
5. Garbage bin
This is another recycling idea that you can accomplish with a post-mounted letterbox. You can add a few mechanical components to transform it into a garbage bin whose lid opens upon a step of a pedal. Or you can unscrew the letterbox door completely to create an open bin (ideal to use in craft rooms, offices, and study rooms) for paper rubbish.
Create a charming little retreat for the birds that like to visit your garden using an old mailbox. It does not matter what kind of mailbox you have, make sure that it’s not only easy to enter for the birds, but it’s also supplied with a little drinker and container for seeds. You can further deck out this letterbox birdhouse by gluing a large deep plate on top to serve as a bird bath.
7. Toy pull wagon
Here’s another toy idea for the kids – add wheels to an arch-shaped mailbox and paint it to look like a wagon or a caravan. Add a string to it and voila! A toy and mobile storage solution for your little one. It is almost as good as those vintage Radio Flyers, which remain popular gifts for young children.
8. Mini library
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that encourages people to read by making all kinds of books accessible. You can join the movement the organization has begun by housing books you have no issue exchanging with others or even giving away in an old letterbox. Paint the letterbox in a beautiful hue and add a sign to indicate that it is a mini library that everybody can get a book from.
Recycling and repurposing are activities that everybody should take part in. They are fantastic ways to exercise creativity and find joy in simple things. But most importantly, they will allow you to contribute in a small but impactful way to reduce waste, which is an important global issue.
Jay Flavell is the General Manager at Sandleford Holdings. He has been working in the DIY & Home Improvement industry since 2007 and has vast experience sourcing and developing products from overseas suppliers in the Far East. Jay has also been successfully dealing with a number of major DIY & Home Improvement retailers throughout his career.