DIY midcentury modern mailbox post and address sign — Gabe explains how

midcentury house sign and custom mailboxThe crowning glories of Gabe and Amanda’s 1954 midcentury marvelous house may well be those groovalicious mid mod mailbox, mailbox post and address name sign. Gabe did most of the work on these pieces himself, so I asked him if he could tell us how he made it and he quickly responded:
Sure! The lamp post was here already but.. 7 years ago I worked at a sign shop and learned how to make sandblasted 3- dimentional signs out of high density urethane… “Sign Foam” …
DIY address signI still have access to the materials a couple friends with the software set up. essentially you design your sign on the computer then your design is computer cut (or hand cut) onto a thin adhesive backed rubber…you stick it to the piece of H.D.U. you have already cut to the desired shape and primed.. you peel away the part of the design that you want the sand to blast away. Then carefully sandblast , peel away the rubber, sand, primer again then paint to match your house or whatever your design dictates…

make your own midcentury modern mailbox and postI found the mailbox at its original location, one county over… I asked the owner, “If I buy you a new mailbox and put it up for you, can I have your old one?” He said, “Sure.” So I went to Lowes, bought him a box, went back and finished the job. I sent the old box to a friend’s auto body shop to smooth it out and patch the rust… so after much delliberation about the design of the mailbox stand… I drew it out ‘to scale’ on a huge piece of paper. Next I found the right size square steel tubing to match the design. Then, with some help from my Dad, who is a retired welder and metal fabricator… We got it all welded together and the rest was just my priming painting, installing my little cut out, brushed gold diamonds. Then putting it in the ground and attaching the completed mailbox. I can make these signs for others, privately out of my home.. It’s another one of my art interests lol.. sign posts too.. but mine is the only diamond one I’ll ever do! The angles were such a pain!!!

midcentury modern house…big diamond accents I made out of cypress then painted and added to the exterior with the brushed gold center pieces… just like the mailbox stand…
Thank you, Gabe — your attention to detail is amazing. And, I always love doing post posts tee hee. Yes, readers: Repeat your principal (principle?) shapes throughout your house. The Retro Decorating Gods will be pleased. xoxo


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  1. says

    It’s so funny that you posted this because I too have been trying to find a way to reproduce the shapes in my porch posts to make a mailbox post. Maybe I should learn how to weld. And, yes, I have been repeating the shape in other places in the house. I actually picked up a super cool vintage nesting dish set that when put together creates the same shape.

    • gabriel nicholson says

      He was kinda taken aback with the whole situation.. I think he was really happy to get the new mailbox.. this one looked pretty bad.. dented up and rusty when I rescued it..

  2. says

    I love that, too, Laura! In fact, this idea has me thinking about a few to-die-for things I’ve seen over the years (porch lights, mainly) on homes where it doesn’t appear that the owner values them for their midcentury look. I wonder if someone would take a swap — I might get the porch light of my dreams!

    • gabriel nicholson says

      It has sure worked for me!!! Don’t be afraid to ask… as long as you don’t mind the crazy looks and questions!! lol!!! the worst that can happen is that they might say no, but they might say YES!!!!

  3. Trip H says

    WOW! What an incredible job you have done with your home. I live in North Carolina as well and know that there are alot of beautiful older homes in the area. I also know first hand the trials and tribulations that one can go thru just to make it like they want. If you ever put your house on tour please let us know, I for one will camp out to be first in line to see it!

    • gabriel nicholson says

      Sure, We might possibly do a Christmas tour but you are welcome to my contact info on FB, call and plan a day to come visit with us!

    • gabriel nicholson says

      Hi There! on fb i live in Mt.Gilead although it may say Charlotte, N.C. and my profile pic is a black and white of my wife and i all done up in 50’s lookin’ clothes.. look forward hearing from you!

  4. David says

    I recently went to an estate sale near me and when I pulled up to the house the mail box was one that I had always loved when I went running in that neighborhood. After purchasing some furniture there I asked the daughter of the homeowner if they had ever thought of selling the mailbox. She said in jest, for $250,000 I could get the box and house. Well I went back the last day to pick up the furniture and thinking of what Gabriel had done to get his mailbox I said if I replaced the mailbox w/a new one could I have the old one. She thought it very odd that I would want the mailbox so badly but said fine. So the next day I installed a new mailbox and am restoring the vintage one which by the way is identical to the one Gabriel got. So in short, it does pay off just to ask.

  5. Kim says

    I love love love the mailbox and light…are you still making them for people? I am very interested. VERY VERY interested!!

  6. Alex says

    I’m looking to replace the traditional mailbox in front of my 1962 split-level with something more ‘period.’ While I could probably build something out of wood in my woodshop, I have exactly nine concrete screen blocks that someone gave me recently, and I’d like to put those to use for this project. Just stacking three or four of these blocks on top of each other and bolting a mailbox to the top would look pretty horrible – does anyone have any ideas on how to work my blocks into a new mailbox post? Thanks!

  7. Nicole Oliveira says

    Hi Gabriel! I want a mailbox too!! My current one was destroyed by bad weather the other night. The mailman has not been able to deliver mail in two days now. I have been eyeballing your mailbox for a while now so what better time!! I am going to shoot you an email if that’s okay. Thanks!

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