Thursday, July 22, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered... Handstitched Mailbox Set

I have been lucky enough to have a few weeks off this summer to spoil, snuggle, and just enjoy my little one. This extra mommy/daughter time has given me many insights into what my babe is really into, and inspired me to make her this felt mailbox set.

I realized just how appropriate this toy would be for her at this age when I noticed her infatuation with the mailman and the envelopes he brings. She loves to check our mailbox on the way in the door to see if any treasures are there. Once I thought of this idea, I decided I would put my novice sewing skills to work to make something we could enjoy for a long while to come.
(And I warn you, my skills are EMBARRASSINGLY novice when it comes to handstitching. Just remember when you look at the pictures that these are all handmade, by MY hand, and are a bit more filled with love than skill!)

First things first, I went crazy at a craft store buying more felt than I could possibly require for a lifetime of projects.

Then, I cut each color I wanted to use to an appropriate envelope size (which was completely eyeballed and never measured, oops!), stitched the sides, and sewed on velcro circles to fasten the envelope together.

Arguably my favorite part of each envelope is the little felt stamp I sewed to the fronts of each!

Next to create the actual mail I printed, that's right, PRINTED! each personalized message directly onto the felt. (Thanks Erin for your printing on fabric inspiration!)

The personalization of this project is really where I had the most fun. Each envelope is addressed to our daughter via a different knickname we all have fun her. The letters inside the envelope each match who is addressed on the outside. In addition, each letter is actually written by either her daddy or I, as something we hope she can someday read and hang onto for a long time to come.

Each envelope is a different shape and size and holds a special letter inside of it.

With all this cute mail, now all we needed was somewhere to deliver it!

To construct the mailbox I used two stiff pieces of 11x14 black felt. I kept one piece its original size and used the other for the base and end pieces.

I used a button hole stitch to connect the large piece to the base, and continued the stitch to attach the end pieces as well. It went very quickly and created a tight and secure stitch at the same time. Plus, it give the mailbox a certain homemade feel.

To close the mailbox door, I sewed on a double layer of buttons to the top of the mailbox and used elastic string to fasten the door.

For the mailbox flag, I again sewed on a button and then simply cut a slit into the stiff red felt with an exacto knife. This way we have a functioning mailbox flag that my daughter can move up and down.

I would say that I certainly am a rookie with a needle and thread. It's not like I haven't been using them forever, just that I never worked much on perfecting my skill. That being said, the mailbox and mail was put to the final test and approval, and passed with flying colors.

In the end, I didn't really care how straight my stitches were once I saw my little one playing with her new toy. And she could certainly care less too!

While this toy came in cheap, costing less that $10.00 to create, it was a labor of love and something I hope we can enjoy while playing together for years to come. And, with the personal letters, we have a keepsake I plan to hold onto long after my daughter's desire to "play" with it had passed.

I'll being sharing my excitement over my recent sewing success at these great parties this week. I hope you'll stop by and celebrate with us!

Happy Thursday!


Brianna! July 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM  

this is SOOOO beyond adorable!


Tiffany July 22, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this, Patrice! Amazing toy for your sweet little girl! It turned out absolutely adorable and I love the personalized letters.

I am a sucker for those cute felt stamps in the corner too! So perfect.

I would be so proud of this project! : )

Alyssa July 22, 2010 at 7:56 AM  

This is too cute. She will have these to cherish for a very long time. I love that you personalized the letters!

Erin A July 22, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

Ooooo, it's SO cute! You did such a great job, it's adorable! And the letters are so sweet!!

What did you stitch with, yarn? It looks great? I love how chunky and fun it all is, the stamps and names outside are perfect!

Monica July 22, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

Seriously, the cutest thing ever...makes me want to hit Hobby Lobby or JoAnn and choose my felt, even though I promised my husband no more purchases until I finished the plethora of projects I have already begun. I will be saving this project for a future date, a very soon, future date!

janimal July 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

Absolutely fabulous! You did an amazing job and it looks like a great toy to play with. I love it!

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} July 22, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

This is just darling!! So cute!

Proper Prim July 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

What a sweet gift to your daughter... I can see these passed down through many generations... you did a great job on everything. Such a wonderful, creative idea.

I am sure the little one is thrilled with her Mommy's talents.

Hugs, Deb

Amber Noella July 22, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

I LOVE THIS! What an amazing idea :)

Unknown July 22, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

How. stinkin. cute.
The houndstooth adds a fun punch of print. And I did not know you could print on felt!

Sassy Sites! July 22, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

TOO CUTE!! This would be an adorable baby shower gift! I love your blog, so adorable! I'm a follower now! Stop by Sassy Sites and say hi! ;)

Mary Ann July 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

I love the medallions and also the damask pattern, so lovely.

Maria July 22, 2010 at 11:57 PM  

Great idea and so much fun. I love homemade toys.

Jessica July 23, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

Patrice! This is beyond adorable. So stinkin' cute and I'm sure L is enjoying every minute of it! Genius idea.

Cecily July 23, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

Love it! Not only did the whole thing turn out super cute, but I love the pic of her with her whole face in the mailbox. Awesome.

Lauren July 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM  

this is absolutely beyond adorable! you all always have the BEST ideas!

MJ @ 517 Creations July 24, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

I'd LOVE to know more about printing on felt!!

Jami July 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

That is the sweetest toy I've ever seen. She will LOVE reading that mail over and over as she gets older! I hope you'll stop by my First Pretty Packages Party and share some of your fabulous talent!
Just pick up a button for an easy reminder!

Dannyelle July 26, 2010 at 2:19 PM  

I love your work, it's so beautiful. I was just surfing around getting ready to write my own post on felt food and came upon your great craft. What a great idea!

thanks for the inspiration,

Unknown July 26, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

i love these!! come on over and link up to MMM :)

Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple July 26, 2010 at 8:01 PM  

That are ADORABLE!!!!

Mad in Crafts July 26, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Mad in Crafts July 26, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Amy July 27, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

Patrice-LOVE this!!!! How clever and personal!!!

Kara @ Mine for the Making July 27, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

So adorable!!! Love how you personalized the envelopes and wrote your baby girl such sweet notes to put in them. Very cute!

Visiting from Sugar Bee!

Kara @

HILLARY July 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

What a great idea! I truly LOVE it!
PS I'm now following you!

Aimee August 5, 2010 at 12:02 AM  

My son would love to play with this mailbox set! I featured you here! So clever!

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