Hey y’all! It’s Lauren from Bless’er House, and I’m always thrilled to be back here with more DIY adventures.
Lately, we’ve had an epidemic in our house in the form of mail taking over our countertops. It was out of control how much paper we had piled up in our butler’s pantry. Sounds fancy, but it’s our coffee station/command center/drop zone really. I snort at the use of the word “butler” in our house. Ha! A girl can wish.
Every morning when I had to look at our cluttered countertops, I was instantly stressed. Decluttering always cheers me up, and this project was an instant mood brightener.
Rustic Industrial Locker Basket Mail Organizer
- 1/4″ thick plywood cut @ 24″x26″
- 1″x2″ board cut into 2- 24″ and 2- 17″ lengths
- 2 over the cabinet medium baskets
- Painters Tape
- Chalkboard paint
- Brad nails
- Paint brush
- Sponge brush
- Medium sized craft brush
- Rustoleum Aluminum spray paint
- Oval wood craft labels
- Dark gray craft paint
DIY Wood Stain
- Black tea
- 0000 grade steel wool soaked in apple cider vinegar for 24 hours
I came across a couple of over the cabinet baskets in Walmart one day for $7 each and the solution hit me. Most wood mail organizers I had seen in stores were more than I was willing to pay. So with the help of some scrap wood, I managed to make my own for about $25.
I sanded down the plywood to make it as smooth as possible.
I use a DIY stain on almost everything these days because I can make it with just a few materials from my kitchen for cheap, and clean up is much easier than store-bought stain.
I stained my plywood piece first by brushing brewed black tea all over the wood. The tea pulls the tannins out of the wood. After an hour of applying the tea, I brushed on the steel wool and apple cider vinegar solution.
Once the plywood was dry, I taped off the area I wanted for my chalkboard.
I like to use a sponge brush to apply chalkboard paint to make as smooth a surface as possible.
I used the area of my chalkboard to figure out the measurements for my frame using the 1×2 board.
And my handy hubby cut my pieces for me.
I used my DIY stain on those pieces too.
For the baskets, I wanted to age them a little, so I gave them a light brushing of dark gray craft paint. I just dabbed off any excess paint and applied it to the basket in random places to make it look like it had an aged patina.
It made them look a bit more old and rugged.
I had some wooden chalkboard ovals leftover from a previous project that I decided to change with some Rustoleum Aluminum spray paint.
I used the same effect as I did on the wire baskets with the dark gray paint to age them.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to handwrite perfect labels, so I used this transfer method instead. I printed my wording on regular computer paper in black ink to the size I needed. I made sure to flip the words to be mirrored in my print setup to act like a stamp.
I positioned my mirrored word on top of my oval and used a craft brush to swipe on a little water, not enough to soak the paper; just enough to wet it.
Then, I rubbed the letters to transfer them onto the oval. I just used my Sharpie cap but anything will do really. Just don’t rub too hard or you could rip the paper.
This is how the letters looked after they transfered.
I used my Sharpie to fill in and darken the letters.
Using the brad nails, we attached the 1×2 pieces around the chalkboard part of the plywood to make a frame. And we used a couple more nails to hang the baskets. My husband did this step so fast, I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture. (Bad blogger, I know. But you can see the nails enough to tell where he placed them.)
I just used some hot glue to attach my labels to the baskets, and that was it!
We added a couple of heavy duty picture hangers on the back, and it was ready to go.
This was definitely the perfect spot for it. I’m able to write all kinds of reminders for myself because goodness knows, I’m the most scatterbrained person on the planet.
And now, our mail is much easier to sort and is finally not on the counter sitting in piles.
And I love that it has that rustic, industrial vibe I’m always drawn to.
My morning coffee is somehow much easier to enjoy without those paper cluttered countertops now. Makes me wonder why I didn’t make this project sooner.
Lauren from Bless’er House
Ready for more industrial style?
or get a similar look using PVC pipe!