Chicken Mailbox

The first time we walked out to get mail on the farm we were greeted by a disappointing sight. We discovered the door to the mailbox was figuratively hanging by a thread, literally one loose screw.

It dangled in the breeze that way for a few more days until it altogether detached; rather symbolic of this property as a whole.

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Unloved, neglected and let-go.

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That’s about to change.  This old farm will get whipped into shape, slowly but surely, inside and out.  On the exterior, the reform begins at the street with a new mailbox.  A mailbox befitting of the cute, charming farm I envision this place can potentially be.  A chicken mailbox.  Helga, to be specific.

I saw a picture of a mailbox available for purchase from Mailboxes and Stuff.

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It’s so cute, isn’t it?  The $160 price tag, however, was enough of a deterrent for simply purchasing the mailbox, so designing and constructing a chicken mailbox myself quickly landed on my to-do list.  I enjoy the occasional craft project when the mood strikes and this seemed like a fun way to express a little creativity.  Unfortunately, my artistic skills are nowhere near gifted, meaning this project had the potential to resemble a product of preschool art time.  Be that as it may, I decided to take a chance.  I’m very pleased to say Helga turned out adorably well.  Equally pleasing is the fact I paid nowhere in the vicinity of $160.

This is how I made Helga.

I free-handed a chicken head, wing, foot and tail on a few sheets of the kids’ construction paper.WP_20160305_13_06_02_Pro

I cut out the pieces and taped them to a white mailbox (bought on clearance for $10 from the local hardware store) to assess if each was the right size and shape. After a couple corrections, I was satisfied with each template.

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I traced my templates onto a 1×10 board, being sure to make two wings and two feet.

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Ryan bought a new jig saw and was happy to have an excuse to test it out. (He is putting together quite a useful workshop of tools!)  After satisfactorily taking a practice swing on some scrap wood, Ryan did an impressive job cutting out each chicken piece for me with his jig saw.WP_20160308_10_45_38_Pro

I sanded each piece with 100-grit sandpaper until the edges felt smooth. Then they got a couple coats of white paint.  When they were dry, I painted the legs and beak yellow, and gave Helga a red wattle and comb.  I used a black sharpie for the eye. WP_20160308_21_10_10_Pro

See the knot in the wood on Helga’s neck? I ended up filling that in with wood filler, sanding it smooth and repainting it, along with a few other spots that weren’t quite up to Helga’s standards.

We glued the chicken pieces onto the mailbox with heavy-duty construction adhesive and placed her in a safe somewhat less-dangerous spot to cure.

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She’s finally ready!

Ryan got home from work this evening and raced to get my mailbox installed before sundown.  After a few unexpected (not really, we know better by now) installation obstacles, we have a new mailbox.   WP_20160311_18_08_00_Pro

Now doesn’t that look better?

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It’s so satisfying to get a project completed, even a small one like a much-needed new mailbox.

Warmly,

Becca

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18 thoughts on “Chicken Mailbox

  1. Thank you! It was fun to come home today and be greeted at the driveway by Helga! 🙂 I was really excited for the mailperson to use our new mailbox today….but we had a package delivered so he/she put it and all our mail on our front step! Boo! 😉

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  2. I think for $160 a pop I’ll need to make some time! The farm needs a hand-made craft division! We could bring a couple mailboxes when we start selling some of our other stuff at the farmer’s market…whenever that happens. Although I can’t imagine selling them for that price! I’d probably sell a lot more if they were priced reasonably.

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