Well, we can’t win ’em all, right?
This month has been a flurry of, “You can’t win ’em all” types of projects. Frankly, I’m ready for February to end (good thing it’s about to!). Actually, I feel the same way about March. Let’s just skip to April and pretend none of this ever happened.
OK, so this didn’t turn out as badly as it was going to. But then Zach intervened and made it slightly better.
Mail is such a pain. It’s either all junk (holy crap, people, stop wasting paper just to send me advertisements. I’m not interested! I have no money and I don’t like leaving the house because I don’t like wearing pants. Therefore, no, I will not come to your crappy restaurant) or it’s all important. We do electronic bills where we can (one less thing to have cluttering my counters? Yes, please. Though some of the companies I do electronic bills with still send me physical copies. Are you kidding me?), but there’s still a ton of mail that needs our attention.
Of course, as people who presumably own mail boxes, I’m sure you all understand this dilemma without having me explain it to you.
For a long time, I’ve been trying to find a mail organizer that fit my needs, wasn’t too expensive, and fit our style. Then a few weeks ago, I found this awesome tutorial on how to make a mail organizer our of old books. This was it, the organizer I needed. And it looked simple enough.
But it wasn’t.
(Bibliophiles, don’t worry. No useful books were harmed in the making of this mail organizer. I found some old Readers’ Digests with missing pages at a local thrift store. I also saved the remaining pages for any potential future projects.)
For the tutorial, I recommend viewing her page. But here’s how mine turned out:
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Old Book Mail Organizer
- 3 books of a similar size
- 1 piece of lumber, a couple inches wider than the books (or multiple pieces of lumber put together)
- 3 metal label holders
- a power drill
- drill bits (the size you use will depend on the size of the holes in your label holders)
- Elmer’s Craft Bond Tacky Glue or a hot glue gun
- 1/4 to 1/2 yard of fabric
- stain or paint
- paint brush
You actually don’t need THAT much fabric. I screwed up enough, though, that I was glad to have a full yard at my disposal. Ugh.
Here are some close-ups:
There’s a huge hole at the bottom. Why!?
I used the same template for all of the fabric pieces, but these ones came out from somehow. So one is pulling the book closed and the other just hangs there.
And you can see the fabric on the inside. Ugh. -_-
The stain I used is Espresso, by the way.
Things that would have helped:
- Thicker, STURDY fabric. Mine was thin, like one of those cotton squares you can buy at Jo-Ann’s. If you have any old denim lying around, that would work wonderfully. Though doubling my fabric like she did would have helped.
- A basic understanding of geometry. It’s a good thing I married a math wiz because I sucked at geometry in high school. Though I actually greatly enjoyed the class. I aced all of the homework–that I actually did–as well the in-class assignments, but I was perfectly terrible at applying what I learned to real situations. And tests. I didn’t test well at all. (Also, yes, this post is what inspired this Facebook status. 😛 )
- Knowing how long to make it. The width I can deal with, sure. But the length really killed me. There are places where the fabric sticks out at the bottom because it’s not long enough to get tucked in. I have no idea how to fix this.
- I can’t figure out if I should have switched to a hot glue gun. It CERTAINLY would have been faster! Waiting on that Craft Bond to dry took FOREVER. But the reason I stuck with it was because the slow drying time let me adjust the fabric if I needed to.
Honestly, I think I can fix it and if I ever do, I’ll let you know. But right now, thinking about doing this all over again makes me want to beat my head against a wall. So this is it for now.
Full disclosure: one of the reasons I decided to do this project when I did was because I’m guest posting for Live Randomly Simple. Because of the problems I had with it, though, we decided to go with something different. You can check it out when it goes live on Monday!
What do you think? Can you think of anything that would help me fix this? I could definitely use some suggestions!