A wood mail holder is great for people who are tired of mail clutter! If you are like me, you are tired of not having a good place to put your mail. So I thought that purchasing a wood mail sorter wood be a good idea.
After searching online, I decided the type that I liked would probably be easy to build with the materials that I had lying around. Plus, I only wanted two mail slots and most mail sorters come with one or three. During my search, I found a plan on Ana White (link is at the bottom) that I knew would work with some tweaking. Fortunately, if you want more or less slots, the following plan should be easy to adjust.
Materials Needed to Build a Wood Mail Holder
- 1 – 1” x 2” x 4” whitewood board
- 2 or 3 coat hooks
- 2 D-ring hangers or 1 heavy-duty sawtooth hanger
- Brad nails (1-1/4″)
- Wood glue
- Paint or stain
- Fine sandpaper (200-240 grit)
- Paintbrush for applying paint or clear coat
- Lint-free rags for applying stain
- Clear polycrylic or polyurethane
- Gloves, dust mask and safety goggles are always a great idea 🙂
Tools Needed to Build a Wood Mail Holder
- Skill or table saw
- Power sander
- Tape measure
- Brad nailer
- Phillips screwdriver (for attaching D-rings)
- Miter saw or speed square for angled cuts
Let’s get started! Time to get your safety gear on.
Wood Mail Holder Instructions
These instructions make a 31″ high x 10″ wide mail holder.
1. Make cut lines.
Measure out your cut list, leaving ~1/8-1/4” extra room to adjust for the saw blade width. Otherwise, your cuts will end up being miscalculated.
Measure twice, cut once, sand to fit.
- 1 – 30” x 10” – back piece
- 2 – 7” x 10” – front of slots
- 6 – 1.5” x 10” – trim
- 4 – 1.5” x 4” – short trim
- 4 – 4” x 6.5” cut @ 22.5 degrees off square* – side angle braces
*Details on how to do this follow
2. Cut and sand.
I used a table saw to make all of the cuts except the side angle braces*, but a skill saw would work great.
Then, I used a power sander and fine sandpaper to smooth everything.
Wipe with damp cloth to remove sawdust and allow to dry before moving on to the next step.
*Details on how to make a 22.5° off square cut:
You want to make sure you do not cut on the 6.5” side, this needs to remain 6.5”.
- If using a speed square, see below.
Using a speed square can be more confusing that using a miter saw. With a 4″ x 6.5″ piece, line your speed square on the 4″ side. There will be a place on the square that says “Pivot” – keep that part against the wood and swing the opposite side (see photo above) out to 22.5°. Then, mark the 22.5° angle as seen in the above photo.
The first three minutes of this video helped me understand this further.
- If using a miter saw, see below.
When using a miter saw, move the angle adjustment handle to the 22.5° line and place the 4″ x 6.5″ piece on the table. Line the 4″ side against the back (fence) and make the cut when everything is lined up. My photo is after I made the cut.
3. Apply stain and clear coat. Allow to dry.
I used Minwax Jacobean because I wanted a darker piece and I had it in the garage. I applied the stain with a lint-free cloth and immediately wiped it off with another lint-free cloth because I didn’t want it to be super dark.
4. When dry, glue and nail the triangle braces to the front of the mail slot.
First, find one 7” x 10” piece (front of the mail slot) and two triangle braces.
Second, make sure the 6.5″ side of each triangle brace is facing down.
Third, lightly apply wood glue to one triangle brace where it will attach to the front mail slot. The other triangle brace will serve to help hold up the other side while you are gluing/nailing. Wipe glue before it dries with damp cloth.
Fourth, with your nail gun ready, attach the front mail slot to the triangle brace, line up and nail from the front.
Note: See below photo. I made chalk marks where I would be nailing the trim on. I nailed the front of the mail slot between these chalk marks to avoid nailing into the same place later.
Fifth, repeat third and fourth steps with the other triangle piece.
Next, repeat first through fifth steps to make the second mail slot.
5. After making two mail slots, attach the trim.
Grab four 1.5” x 10” pieces and four 1.5” x 4” pieces to use for the trim on the mail slots.
You could use thinner pieces for the trim than I did, but that would require purchasing wood strips in addition to the whitewood board. Since my 1” x 2” x 4” board had plenty of extra wood, I used those and ended up with 3/4″ thick trim.
It is a good idea to always test the pieces for fit prior to gluing and nailing. In this instance, I laid the trim pieces on the mail slots before I glued and nailed them on to make sure I didn’t need to sand down the smaller pieces to ensure a good fit.
Use clamps if you need to keep the trim steady after gluing and before nailing. The glue makes the trim slide around.
Wipe excess glue immediately with damp cloth.
First, lightly apply glue to the bottom side of one 1.5” x 10” trim piece and line up with the top of the mail slot. Nail on each end (see chalk lines on my photos – that is where I nailed the trim).
Second, lightly apply glue to the bottom side of one 1.5” x 4” trim piece and line up with one side of the mail slot. Nail in the middle (see chalk lines on my photos). Repeat on other side.
Third, lightly apply glue to the bottom side of one 1.5” x 10” trim piece and line up with the bottom of the mail slot. Nail on each end (see chalk lines on my photos).
Last, repeat the first through third steps on the second mail slot.
6. Attach trim to the top and bottom of the mail holder.
Lightly apply glue to the bottom side of one 1.5” x 10” trim piece and line up with the top of the mail holder back piece. Nail on each end. Repeat at the bottom of the mail holder back piece.
7. Attach mail slots to the back piece of the mail holder.
Determine where each mail slot will be placed (measure and mark with chalk).
Then, place the back piece of the mail holder on its side. Lightly apply wood glue to one of the mail slots.
Next, line that mail slot against the back of the mail holder and nail from the back to the front. Flip over and nail the other side. Wipe off any excess glue.
Repeat with second mail slot.
If your mail slots have a small gap at the bottom and your mail falls through, a simple solution is to fill the gap with caulk or line it with a piece of felt.
8. Attach hooks to the bottom of the mail holder and d-rings to back of mail holder.
9. Admire finished product!
Check out one of our other DIY ideas here.
If you want more space at the top to add a design, add approximately 6-10″ depending on the size of your design.
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