By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | November 13, 2007
I am incredibly skilled at making paper piles. They spring up in my footsteps, trailing me everywhere I go, threatening to topple over and erase any order I’ve created in other areas of my life. While organizing the papers on/around/below my desk might be a distant dream, I realized that it was most definitely possible to reign in the limited chaos of my mail pile.
Inspired by Pink of Perfection I created these two small mail organizers, made from old 45s, for my and my roommate’s mail. They fit perfectly into the nook by my front door and have a small capacity, thereby forcing me to deal with my mail on a regular basis. And I love projects which give a new use to a pre-existing item (hello, Reuse!), just as the Record Bowl gave us a use for, and holiday gift from, the LP. They’re a supercute, superfunctional, and superfree solution to my mail chaos, and I love them so much that I pet them every time I pass by.
Make Yer Own Mail Organizer:
- Locate an old 45. Colored ones would be great for this project. Just be sure you’re not using a valuable collector’s item, because you are about to render it unplayable. Also locate two small screws and corresponding/appropriate wall anchors.
- Mark a spot each on the right and left side of the record label, and drill a hole on each side, just slightly bigger than the diameter of the screw.
- Directly below that hole, drill a larger hole which the head of the screw will fit through. If you don’t have a drill bit that large, just wriggle the bit around while drilling, to make the hole bigger.
- Using the first (smaller) drill-bit again, insert the it into the top (smaller) hole, and use pressure to move the bit down through the thin bit of material separating the small and large holes, thereby connecting them. Test the size to make sure that the screw body can move between the top and bottom holes, which are now connected (as in photo above).
- Fire up the toaster oven to about 200 degrees F, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil (these records are made of vinyl, or a vinyl-like material, so you don’t want to cook it directly on the baking sheet), and stick that 45 into the fire.
- Watch it closely– once the record begins to get wavy and warpey (from 20 seconds to a minute or two), take it out of the oven. Depending on the material it was made with, the record will be somewhere between warm and hot, so be careful while handling it (you might like to use oven mitts, but I find that they make it hard to work).
- Bend the bottom of the record
up towards the top. Be sure to
create enough of a lip to hold
the mail in place. You only have
a short time to work with the
heated record before it cools, but
if you don’t like the way it’s
turning out you can just stick it
back into the oven to
heat up, and start again.
- Once you’re happy with the shape of the folded record, place it on your wall in the spot where you want to hang it, and use a pencil to mark the location of the top (smaller) holes. Drill holes in the wall, insert the anchors, and then screw the screws in not-quite all the way. Insert the screws into the lower (bigger) holes which you drilled in the 45, then slide the record down so the screws slip into the notch made by the top (smaller) holes.
- Et voila! Organization and order will now shine upon you.
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