We moved not long afterward, and soon the collection began...
My devoted husband - when I first asked him to pick up a mailbox for me at the store - replied,
"Don't we already have one?"
I smiled. He brought one home.
Over the years, I've decorated dozens of mailboxes. We change them out with the seasons, holidays, and important family milestones. Our neighbors have come to anticipate a new box and will remind us if we haven't switched one out for some time.
My Halloween mailbox, after a twenty year run, is just too rusty to use again this year. My inspiration for painting a new one came from watching Suzanne McNeill's video on tangling pumpkins and the back cover of Sandy Bartholomew's Totally Tangled. Instead of tangling a real pumpkin, I thought to paint one instead and to incorporate Sandy's web and spider idea.
Here is a photo diary of how I painted the mailbox, just in case you get the bug to do one yourself!
First I tape two pieces of copy paper together to fit the length of the mailbox. The 8.5" height is perfect for the space.
Then I sketch my design out in pencil like so:
Once I am satisfied with the design, I outline the drawing in a Sharpie marker.
Next, I flip the paper over and scribble with a soft pencil over the lines of my art work - it's homemade carbon paper :)
When that is finished, I position the paper on the mailbox and use a few pieces of tape to secure it.
I use a mechanical pencil and trace the design on each side of the box. The goal is to get a nice, single lined pattern on the mailbox like this:
And then the fun begins! I use acrylic paint and apply thin coats. The first thin coat is important, because the next one will grab onto it and begin a nice build up. Since the mailbox is glossy, the acrylic paint does scrape off easily. I use my fingernail to make any corrections on edges. Here is the box with one coat of paint:
And here it is with three coats of paint:
Once the painting is complete, I use a medium Sharpie PAINT marker to outline the images and add the thicker lines. Once that is finished I use a fine Sharpie PAINT marker to add details and begin tangling. Ohhh! So much fun!
But alas, I have a confession to make. Once I started to tangle the pumpkins, I didn't look up until they were complete. I was in that 'zen mode' and didn't take pictures of the progress!
With apologies for missing in-between steps - here is our new mailbox, tangled and ready for Halloween:
Last weekend, my husband announced that he was going to Home Depot.
I asked him to pick up a mailbox.
His reply: "How many?"