Bills, notices, invitations, announcements, offers, deals, news, magazines….we receive so many important things through the mail every day and, if you are like me, you toss them on the counter in a disheveled pile for a few days before getting up the gumption to sort through them and attend to the matters that needed attention. This wasn’t working for me for several reasons: I was losing things and the messy pile looked terrible. The solution I came up with was homemade, of course: a DIY Chalkboard mail sorter.
This project is an easy 1-2 hour project and requires very few tools or technique. My inspiration came from Candace at Vintage News Junkie, although, I did not follow her plans exactly. There is also a tutorial on Ana White for the same project. I just wanted to let you know that if you use Candace’s plans there is a small typo in the materials list telling you to purchase a 1x8x10 which should be a 1x10x8. I did not catch that until after I started building mine. The plans I’ve given are for a 1×10 because I feel that would have been better.
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The materials you need are:
- A 1x10x8’ board
- 1 Sawtooth Picture Hanger*
- Measuring Tape
- Circular Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Random Orbit Sander
Check out my Beginner DIY Tool Shopping List for help buying tools.
Ok, let’s start measuring and making cuts. Begin with a 36” cut for the backboard of the sorter.
Next cut out the wedge pieces for the slots. The picture below is a guide for a pattern that will prevent waste. They will be 6 ½” tall with a 22 ½ degree angle off square.
Now measure and cut three 7” boards from whats left of your 1×10. These will be the faces of your mail slots. Attach those with wood glue and brad nails. Looking pretty good so far!
Now would be the best time to stain. Those little corners can be tricky to reach when it’s all assembled.
Attach the slots to the backboard every 4 ½” from the top using wood glue and the brad nailer.
Make sure you position the angle of the wedges so that the top is parallel with the ground. I messed up on the bottom slot for mine (but that’s what makes it charming, right?).
Finally, add the sawtooth picture hanger. At this point I had actually hung it up and started using it, but didn’t like how plain it looked and how hard it was to remember what type of mail went where. So, I decided to add some chalkboard to the faces.
To do that I printed out a stencil for which you can download using this link or by clicking the picture. I actually cut out the shape and traced it with a pencil. Then I free handed the painting part. I felt that would lead to less bleeding through.
I’m very pleased with how it turned out besides the fact that it is a little narrow.
Now all my fun, boring, exciting, and scary mail have a lovely place to sit rather than being dumped in a pile.
I hope you find this project to be useful and easy to follow. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
How are you getting organized this summer? I’d love to hear about it!