How to make a standing mailbox out of a large cardboard box

Written by camela bryan
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How to make a standing mailbox out of a large cardboard box
You can make a cardboard copy of this mailbox. (American Letter box and freeway sign image by Ashle Whittle from

This large mailbox will hold lots of valentines for a class Valentine's Day party. It could also be used as a prop when a class is learning to write letters. The rounded top mimics the classic outdoor mailbox shape. Make it from a tall box. The only tool required is a utility knife. Paint the box navy blue with a red top. This design could easily be adapted to make a small tabletop mailbox.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Corrugated cardboard box, 18-by-18-by-36 inches
  • Yardstick
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Navy paint
  • Brush
  • Red paint
  • White adhesive letters, 2 inch

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  1. 1

    Fold in the flaps on one 18-by-18 inch end of the box, but do not tape them closed. Stand the box on this end. Cut a 2-inch slit straight down in each of the top corners of the box, along the fold. If the flaps are standing up, this cut will begin at the bottom of the flaps. This makes the flaps at the top 2 inches longer than the flaps at the bottom.

  2. 2

    Flatten the box and cut through the top layer of cardboard on one of the longer flaps. Make this cut parallel to the top edge and 1 inch below the top edge. Use a yardstick to make sure the line is straight. Make another cut through the top layer 1 inch below this cut. Cut through the top layer every inch along the whole flap.

  3. 3

    Fold the other side of the cardboard along these lines to form the rounded top of the box. It will look like the top of a roll-top desk. Do the same with the flap on the other side. There will be a gap at the top where the rounded sides do not quite meet. This is the slot for the cards to go through.

  4. 4

    Stand the flaps on the other two sides straight up. These will be the sides of the box. Lean them against the curved top and trace the curve onto the side flaps. Cut along these lines making a half circle. Stand the side flaps straight up and lay the top of the front and back over them. Tape the edges together. The box should look like a traditional round-top mailbox.

  5. 5

    Paint the bottom of the box navy and the top of the box red. Use white stick-on letters to spell out "U.S. MAIL" on each side.

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