Sure, you could replace your mailbox from the ground up. But why not beautify the one you already have in place instead? Here are three adorable ways to dress up your mailbox for spring, or any season.
Before You Begin, Know Your Mailbox Rules!
You can do whatever you want when decorating the inside of your home. But when it comes to curbside mailboxes, there are rules. Before you invest in paints, plants, and decor, review the rules for mailbox design and decoration. Firstly, the U.S. Postal Service has a lengthy (but easy to parse through) list of rules for the service standards of curbside mailboxes. It covers the USPS regulations for general design, mailbox accessories, coatings and finishings, colors, and more. In addition, if your home is governed by a homeowners association, your HOA may have rules regulating mailboxes. Be sure to review those, as well. You don’t want to get on Cynthia’s bad side.
Now that you’re aware of any limitations to your creativity, let’s get started!
Start with Spring Cleaning
Chances are, your mailbox could use a little TLC. Along with your other spring cleaning tasks, put a little elbow grease into making your mailbox look nice. Start by giving it a deep clean with a sponge and warm, soapy water. If your mailbox is in the shade or surrounded by shrubbery, it may have formed its own ecosystem. In that case, follow up with a vinegar scrub to kill off any mold or algae.
After your box is nice and clean, follow up with any physical repairs that need made. Replace or remount wobbly posts. Tighten any loose bolts or screws, and make sure your latch closes snuggly but opens easily for your mail carrier. If your door or flag squeaks, white lithium grease is a good option for metal-on-metal contacts in outdoor conditions.
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
For some mailboxes, the step above may be all you need to do to dress up your mailbox for the season. But if your box is still looking a little shabby, even after a deep clean, a fresh coat of paint should do the trick! You don’t need many supplies for this, just some painters tape and a can of spray paint. With the tape, mask off the flag and the area under the box (if you want to keep your post a different color). Then, grab a can of outdoor-use spray paint that matches the material of your box (e.g., metal or plastic), and do a couple light coats! If your box has a lot of rust, you may want to sand down and re-prime those areas first.
If you enjoy a more maximalist design, consider a mailbox wrap. These outdoor-appropriate magnetic wraps add an instant design to your box at a pretty affordable price.
Add Spring Flowers
It always pays to enhance your home’s curb appeal with some spring flowers! You can add flowers around your home or in a pot on the porch. But don’t forget your mailbox, too. A few landscaping touches will make your box beautiful this spring and year round.
To install a flower box around your mailbox, all you need to do is clear the grass around the box, build a ring or square with landscaping bricks, fill the area with potting soil and mulch, and plant the flowers of your choice! Petunias and purple verbena are great options for spring. Or you could consult your local gardening center for native plants that will return perennially. Other options for adding live plants include building a lattice behind your existing post for climbing plants, using a hollow barrel to create a raised look, or building your post higher and hanging baskets of plants above and behind the mailbox.
Add Additional Creative Decor
According to USPS rule 3.2.4:
Decorative art and devices can be attached to the exterior of approved mailbox designs provided they do not interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard. Devices can also be mounted in the interior of approved mailboxes provided they do not cause the intended mailbox to fail capacity test … and do not interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard.
That offers a lot of latitude for decor to dress up your mailbox! We mentioned mailbox wraps above, but there are other ways to decorate your mailbox and post. Create an ombre finish to your box, wrap faux flowers or a wreath around the post, or even decorate your mailbox as a mini version of your house itself! And did you see the second part of that rule above? Surprise your mail carrier with a decorative wrap on the inside of your mailbox, instead of the outside. With so many options, the only limit is your imagination!