Sunday, March 24, 2013

Before and After: Vintage Mail Cubby

I've had some requests for more DIY's, which I take as a great compliment. Unfortunately, with three children at home and a life that feels out of control far too often, I don't have as much time as I'd like to devote to my stack of projects. But in my spare time, I'm chipping away at my to-do list and I'm happy to say that I completed another small project this weekend.

A few weeks ago, I picked up this vintage mail cubby. I actually wasn't sure what it was when I bought it but thought I could figure out some way to bring it back to a useful life. As you can readily see, it was dirty and missing what I have come to learn was a drawer.

After some thought, I decided that I would use it to display some old family photographs. I have a stash of vintage black and white portraits that I've always wanted to have out, I just hate that right now I keep them tucked away out of sight. Family history should not be kept on a shelf, too precious to interact with on an everyday basis. (Of course, since my children are still young, I will be making copies of all of these prints before leaving them out. No need to tempt fate!)

Transforming this box was really easy. I mixed up some homemade chalk paint using a 2 ounce sample of Benjamin Moore's Light Blue paint and some calcium carbonate (found the recipe here), and carefully applied two coats. Then a light distressing just around the corners and edges of the piece, a coating of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural and I was all done.

The great thing is I can change out the photographs anytime I want, or add other little family artifacts. I could also drop in some of my postcard collection, or use it to store my vintage greeting card collection. My daughter wants to use it for her stationery collection, and someday I may give it to her. I do love pieces that are versatile!

I'm linking up with Elizabeth & Co. and Saturday Nite Special. SO much inspiration out there!


  1. What a great piece to have! And I love the softness of the blue with the black and white photos - pretty!