Monday, January 25, 2010

Clean Surfaces. Step One.

Mail and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to receive it. Looking out my door and seeing a mailbox full of letter goodness is sometimes more exciting than a plate full of peanut butter cookies (unless they're Sarah's). I hate dealing with it beyond that. Bills, junk, and sorting. Our mail ends up on the dresser, the coffee table, the dining room table, sometimes the kitchen counter, and when I'm on top of things, there's some on the desk.

The words "mail sorter" have found their way onto my shopping list a zillion times, but never get crossed off. I never want to spend the money for something that's just, eh, okay.

So when I saw this mail sorter tutorial over at bright and blithe, there was no question that it was meant to be my next project. If I ever want clean surfaces in my house, I need to take control of my mail.

I committed to this project, decided I was not going to spend any money on it, and purposed that it would not take me longer than one of Rosemary's naps.

While I really liked the plain canvas fabric that was used in the tutorial, I decided to use fabric that I already had. I thought I'd be a little disappointed in the busyness of it, but I found this floral fabric that Summer brought to me from Korea turned out quite nice.

I also decided to add ribbons instead of elastic to hang on a door. I think this was a good touch. While hanging it on a door is a good use of space if you need it, I think the elastic hanging on the back of a door would have bothered me.

My biggest mistake was winging it and not paying attention to the measurements. I got the width right and the pockets are wide enough; but they are definitely too deep. So far I haven't committed to reworking the depth, but I am a little nervous I'm going to lose some mail or forget something is hiding inside. I've thought about working out a paper clip system ... but I'm thinking I should I just commit to one more of Rosemary's naps to shorten the pockets. However, I bet it would take more than a nap to do all that seem ripping, etc. ...

Also, if any of you decide to do this and print out paper labels, I highly suggest you tape them before sewing them on. Remove the tape after you sew them, but my labels are all wonky. I'm okay with it, though. It makes it look more homemade.

I saw this tutorial linked on another website (can't remember which one) and they suggested embroidering the labels on each pocket. A nice idea, I say, but it wouldn't have worked with my fabric.

I'm curious, how do all of you out in the internet world keep your mail under control?


  1. That is great! I might have to make one for us - we have mail EVERYWHERE.

  2. This is so great! So cute and useful! As an organizational freak, I'm in love! I have a "box" shelf as part of my desk and all of Nathan's mail just disappears there. Ugh. Now, if you can figure out a magical devise that will make him actually go through it!? -Cristi

  3. Why not do it the easy way and just sew two seams along the bottom to match the two seams you have on top. Then the mail wouldn't sink down so far.

    Your mom

  4. I love this idea. We too have mail in several different locations and I'm surprised we haven't had more late bills. Very crafty Kate!


  5. This is a great idea! Too bad I don't sew. I really need to learn how. I have had my grandma's sewing machine sitting in my basement for years! I used to have a basket to store our mail in by the door, but that never really helped. Now it is all over the place. Mostly this is because Trev pays the bills so he is in charge of sorting the mail!

  6. Very cute idea! I limit the amount of mail I get in the first place by signing up for "paperless" billing.

  7. I wish I could sew! I LOVE this. You should make another one. And sell it. I'd be first in line (:

  8. If you are thinking of Birthday/christmas ideas for the Krebs family... This would be PERFECT!! I LOVE IT!! teach me your skills!!

    Your SIL