Vintage-Inspired Mail Organizer Tutorial

Alright folks, just one more tutorial from the Family Room Reveal for you! Remember that black Vintage-Inspired Mail Organizer off to the corner? Well, I have a Mail Organizer Tutorial for you in one little post so you can make one too! Pretty exciting huh?

I originally wanted a vintage card catalog for this space, but I couldn’t find one I liked and I wasn’t sure about building all of those drawers myself so I kept looking. Then I came across a desk organizer at World Market and thought it was beautiful. But since I wanted something a little larger and in black with gold accents I decided to just go ahead and build one myself. Why not, right?


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– 2 pieces of 4′ X 2′ X 1/2″ plywood

– 1 1/2″ X 1/2″ pieces of wood, need about 50″ worth to be safe

Gorilla Glue

– Finishing Nails

– Black Spray Paint

Martha Stewart Metal Bookplates


Cut the base to 24″ X 18″ tall. Then cut the two outside pieces, these will measure 18″ tall by 7 1/2″ deep.

Apply a think layer of Gorilla Glue to hold the the pieces together.

Next, cut your three remaining inside panels, these will measure 18″ X 7″ deep (they are 1/2 less than the outside pieces because the outside ones are mounted on the edges of the base board so they need to be deeper to be the same measurements as the ones being mounted directly onto the base, make sense?)

Then, using your Gorilla Glue, secure them to the base board at 5 3/4″ a part.

Finish off this part of the box with the top and the bottom, these will measure 25″ long, 7 1/2″ deep.

Cut 4 pieces of plywood at 5 3/4″ wide by 7″ deep to create the shelves. Note: I would measure each cubby individually and then cut the wood accordingly. A few of my spaces were slightly off the projected 5 3/4″ so it was helpful to do these one at a time to make sure they were exact. They should be snug enough to stay in on their own, although we will secure them properly in a few steps. I had to use a hammer to get a few of them in.

Place a leveler on each shelf to make sure it is level. I had to adjust mine using the hammer because they were so snug. Now you are ready to secure these bad boys.

At this point, I put finishing nails in all the corners of the organizer to make sure was secure. I also nailed in all of the shelves from the back.

Give the organizer 2 coats of black spray paint. After the base is painted, cut your 1 1/2″ X 1/2″ thick boards to fit each cubby. Like the shelves, I would do each cubby individually to make sure each piece fits securely. I spray painted the back side of the label pieces first (not pictured) and then placed the painted side toward the back of the cubby. Even though no one will ever see it, it makes me feel better that they are painted and finished off nicely.

Once the glue is dry, give the remaining pieces two coats of black spray paint.

I was originally going to distress the black paint by gently sanding it or going over it with crackle paint, but I decided I liked the finished look as is and decided not to do anything else.

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I finished it off with Martha Stewart Metal Bookplates in gold. I had seriously searched everywhere online for metal labels but wasn’t finding what I wanted. And in the end, all it took was a trip to my local Staples. And Martha saves the day…. again.

While it serves as more of a decor piece than a true organizer in our home, you could easily use this for mail, kid’s shoes, craft supplies, etc.

Don’t forget to be back here at 4:00 pm for HAPPY HOUR! Can’t wait to see what you all have been working on :)

Linking to some of the parties here along with Today’s Creative BlogTipJunkieHome Stories A 2 Z, Funky Junk Interiors, The Shabby NestMy Repurposed LifeThe Shabby Creek CottageThrifty Decor Chick,


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    This is awesome! I have an antique secretary that already has mail slots and I too was looking everywhere for gold bookplates, I will have to go pick up the Martha ones, thanks :-) Before I had my secretary, all my mail just sat in piles, this idea is so perfect for people looking to get organized!


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