Mass-produced mailboxes are not visually pretty, particularly interesting, or unique. But every now and then, you may spot a DIY mailbox that is a design innovation and could be labeled “roadside art.” Such rare visual treats delight the passersby.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend to decorate and beautify the old, mundane mailbox, especially in coastal areas.
After all, the mailbox is your property, it identifies your house, and is the first visual impression of your home, which you create for guests, visitors, and passersby. When the mailbox design is beautiful, it can add curb appeal to your home.
A mailbox is more than a vessel for the bills or junk mail you would rather not receive, and the letters and packages you can’t wait to open. Checking the mail, even if the box holds nothing more than an echo, is a ritual we perform every day.
So why not make this experience special every day by transforming your mailbox into an object of beauty, whimsy, or interest?
No matter what design or colors you decide to give your box, make sure it conveys your home’s personality to the mail carrier and everyone who sees it.
Read through this article for some great ideas on how to turn a typical mailbox into something special.
How To Transform Your Plain Mailbox Into A Nautical Mailbox?
In theory, the mailbox can be constructed of just about any material imaginable, as long as it is stable, durable, conforms to postal service standards, and can withstand rain, shine, wind, snow, or hooligans who may want to challenge it.
The tried and tested materials are not so without a reason, though. So while a box made from some unconventional, interesting material may look great, it’s best to go with durable material to ensure that your mail always stays dry, clean, and safe, and the post office doesn’t come calling with a reprimand.
A mailbox adds grace and personality to your landscape, thus, it is worth having one that is unique.
A Customized Mailbox
A customized mailbox is more than a container for mail – it’s an artistic statement. For many people, mailboxes not only hold their letters but also serve as a canvas for the creativity of the homeowners. So create a great-looking mailbox as it will give you satisfaction for years to come!
Whether you choose to build a one-of-a-kind box from scratch or turn a plain store-bought mailbox into a neighborhood conversation piece, a trip to your local arts and crafts store or home improvement center will provide all the necessary supplies to create your dream mailbox.
You may use a ready-to-assemble product from the store. Ready-made, standard-sized mailboxes, designed for both wall and post mounting, are available in wood, metal, and plastic.
Purchasing a pre-painted mailbox can often eliminate additional painting and simplifies the process. Most manufacturers provide them in a variety of colors. Pick one that suits your project design, for example, the duck requires a white box. Some projects, however, such as the fish, start with a white box but need additional painting.
Acrylic artist paint is required for most metal mailbox painting projects. For wooden mailboxes that you both build and paint, exterior-grade latex or oil paints are best, although acrylic paints and interior paints can be sprayed with polyurethane or clear varnish to finish and seal them.
Some projects that involve painting manufactured metal boxes also require a coat of spray varnish or a different sealer. Every time you are painting a wooden box, it’s recommended to first apply a coat of primer before the painting process itself.
Make The Mailbox Bright
Old and plain mailboxes might make your house look dull. Thus, it would be better to paint them bright as the bright color will play off the home exterior, making the mailbox a focal point in your front yard.
However, you should choose such a color that blends well with the color of the house exterior. For example, you can paint the mailbox maroon when the house exterior is teal.
You can use rainbow colors to create an outstanding design that shows your imagination. Painted or drawn marine creatures, such as the seahorse, will enhance the look of your mailbox.
You may draw colorful flowers and plant the real ones underneath the mailbox. Once the flowers in the mini garden bloom, they will look beautiful as they will match the colorful decorations of the box.
Similarly, you may transform your old plain mailbox by painting an octopus image. If the mailbox is white, you may incorporate a brightly colored octopus image with a blue or brown color to give it a coastal vibe.
You may also add other beach components like seashells, which make the mailbox even more beautiful.
Match The Mailbox With The House Exterior
You can opt for a mailbox design that blends in and matches the look of your house. Often times, creating a mailbox that matches all the house features can be a challenge.
Thus, it would be safe to pick just one feature you love and go with it. For example, your box may match the horizontal wood panels on the exterior walls of your house. The matching mailbox will look appealing when its colors blend well with this house feature.
Additionally, you should paint or stain the wooden post to suit the trim and woodwork of the house. Or, go beyond the basics and get a little more creative.
Go For A Traditional Mailbox (With A Twist)
Although the traditional mailbox might look plain and straightforward, it will never go out of style. However, you can upgrade it to meet your needs and taste.
For example, you can attach a porch light above it, add a sleek house number set, or place it in a flower bed or green grass.
The traditional mailbox should flow with the landscape design, but you need to be careful with the modernization as too much can make the box look out of style and tacky. A traditional mailbox with just a few extras will definitely transform your front yard.
Are You Allowed To Decorate And Paint Your Mailbox?
You can decorate and paint your mailbox as no USPS regulations prevent homeowners from doing so. It can be painted any color provided that it is clearly visible in its surrounding environment.
Thus, you’ll be able to choose most of the colors and patterns that you like. For instance, when bored with the old and plain paint, you can make the mailbox look bright and colorful by using nautical shades or rainbow colors.
Don’t worry, it is not illegal to decorate or paint your mailbox. Postal regulations do not restrict the decoration of mailboxes as long as the decorations do not interfere with normal guidelines, such as the height the box is mounted, or the location of the route or house number.
The mailbox flag must be easy to see and reach by the mail carrier, and it must be on the right side of the box as you face the box from the road.
However, you should remember that postal regulations are subject to interpretation. Thus, it’s in your best interest to talk to your mail carrier about any mailbox designs or modifications you are planning to make. The mail carrier will have the final say.
When you bring to his attention the state of disrepair most mailboxes are in and your desire to take pride in your box and keep it well-maintained, it’s quite likely he will be happy to give you a “thumbs up” on the project.
Should Your Nautical Mailbox Match The Exterior Of Your House?
Choosing the correct mailbox for your home might be overwhelming as many designs, colors, themes, and styles are on the market.
Fortunately, the USPS does not regulate the colors or styles you can use for your mailbox. You are also not required to use a design similar to your home exterior.
Thus, you have the freedom to create a mailbox that looks like your house exterior and suits your design needs. As such, you may create a nautical themed mailbox with a modern twist, even if you live in a mid-century house. You may also opt for a traditional mailbox when living in a modern home.
However, most people would go for a mailbox with neutral, conventional colors, such as gray, cream, beige, brown, white, or black. These colors work well with any color scheme and home style.
Colors like blue and white would work best for a nautical mailbox as they bring coastal vibes and remind you of the sea.
For this reason, you may mix blue and white colors on your mailbox design, you may also paint various nautical patterns or designs on the box to create a truly marine feel.
But if you like the idea of a mailbox matching your house exterior, you may use the color scheme, patterns, and design to create a beach themed mailbox that looks similar to your house exterior features.
For instance, if you’d like to house your mail in a structure that complements your house and its setting, try creating a mailbox that looks like a miniature beach house.
Use a pattern to match the mini windows, roof, and doors on the mailbox to the actual house. Then, create a garden around the mailbox that resembles your home’s garden.
The mailbox posts should also use shades that match the house exterior colors, which will add aesthetic value to your box and create an additional impression.
It is crucial to play with the colors or use hues similar to those found on the exterior house features.
Nautical Mailbox Design Ideas
When it comes to nautical mailbox designs, some of the projects can be really simple while some are sophisticated.
The range of designs caters to just about every taste. Whether the look you’re after is toned-down and dignified, bright and whimsical, rustic, fresh and contemporary, plain old pretty, or truly unique, you’ll be sure to find a mailbox to make that suits your needs.
Each of these mailbox projects featured below aims to get you started in the pursuit of your own creativity, so read on!
Nautical Mailbox With Seashells
You can customize your traditional box by decorating it with seashells to create a nautical mailbox. Buy collectible seashells in the store or use the ones you found on the beach.
To fix the seashells to the mailbox, you may use caulk and glue. Sometimes you get seashells that are dull and dirty, but you may soak them for a few minutes in a muriatic acid solution to remove any barnacles, algae, or calcium deposits, and revive their natural color.
To make your seashells shiny, polish them with baby oil or mineral oil and let them dry for 24 hours.
Pour sand underneath the mailbox. Then paint the wooden post white or any nautical shade.
You may decorate the inside part of the mailbox with images of sea creatures like lobsters and other coastal elements that come to your mind.
You can create a nautical mailbox in a shape of a lighthouse, which is perfect for a seashore setting. For this, use synthetic stucco to create a structure that withstands all weather conditions. You can paint the lighthouse and finish it with windows and doors.
You may add class to the lighthouse mailbox by illuminating it with solar-powered lights and incorporating light-sensing technology. The solar light might stay on for up to 12 hours, and you can choose a lighting system that goes off automatically in the morning.
The mailbox will transform the look of your house exterior at night and make it more beautiful during the day.
Seashore Bird-Shaped Mailbox
You can create patterns to replicate any shore bird with a head and tail for your mailbox. Why not try your hand at a pelican or pink flamingo? The pelican or flamingo-shaped mailbox will stand out in your front yard.
You can carve a bird shape from the wood to create a mailbox and incorporate all the bird’s features such as the long beak, wings, and feathers. Achieve a beautiful finish with paint coats that give the mailbox a realistic appearance. The post may resemble the bird’s legs and feet for a perfect finish.
You can sculpt a dolphin-shaped mailbox out of wood or create it with concrete. The dolphin should look as if it is jumping out of the water, giving it an upright pose.
This way its tail rests on the ground, and the mailbox will be on the fins. Incorporate details like the blue dolphin eyes to create a realistic sculpture. You may paint the dolphin white or gray, and break the color pattern with a blue mailbox, which illustrates the marine environment.
Traditional Mailbox With Shiplap
Shiplap type of wood is always associated with seaside cottages and beach cabins. Thus, it would be a great idea to create a shiplap style mailbox that gives the coastal vibes to your landscape. You can finish it with a dark stain on the shiplap wood to give the box a stylish and elegant look.
You can take the shiplap style mailbox a step further by creating a sailboat-like mailbox complete with the decks and other shiplap wood features. This will bring the nautical environment to your home.
Also, the blue color would do justice to the sailboat. Paint the mailbox with marine colors and add small windows and seats to it. You may separate the waterline, which indicates the part of the sailboat under the water. You can paint the part below the water blue and paint the upper part white.
Display A Mailbox With A Surfboard
An old surfboard can act as the perfect nautical mailbox design, however, the surfboards tend to have a dull and worn color. You may incorporate the colors you like into your surfboard by painting it blue or even multiple colors to bring attention to the mailbox.
Then draw your favorite marine creatures like the octopus or seahorses. A plain surfboard might be just too plain, thus, you need to find ways to adorn it.
Fishing Boy Mailbox
A nostalgic fishing boy mailbox is a symbol of the carefree days of childhood. Bring back those lazy days of summer in the countryside thanks to the fishing boy. Your mailbox with the boy holding a fishing rod in his hand will be a great conversation piece. It is a must for every angler.
Finding the right nautical mailbox design might be challenging but it can do wonders for the curb appeal of your home.
You can opt for color schemes that match your house exterior and choose similar patterns and decorations. However, bright colors and sophisticated designs will make the mailbox stand out in the neighborhood.
You may also opt for traditional designs that do not go out of style and suit both modern and traditional homes.
Remember that this is more than just a box for storing your mail. It is your personal greeting to every passerby. Express yourself!