Sunday, February 9, 2014

3d Large Mailbox Project Tutorial

This large 3d mailbox design
is now available from the creative minds of SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store.

With dimensional front and back rims and center support,
this mailbox is very sturdy.
It's large interior space and door opening will easily accept
large card envelopes up to 5x7 inch size.
Include this project as a focal point for your seasonal cards
including Valentine cards, Christmas card, wedding guest gift envelopes,

1. Identify and cut the shapes, using all the shapes in the cut file download. The optional shape included in the download is the "rim reinforcement/decor" shape near the bottom right of the screen when the file opens.

(Not shown here is the circle cover for the brad prongs of the front door backside. Also NOTE that the "stop piece" has been modified slightly from this image to have an arched lower edge.)

2. Fold side panels inward on perforations, outward at top long tab perforation.

3. Fold 4 bands on perforations in similar fashion, then position and glue in place at approximately one-third positions, so that top holes align, as well as bottom middle holes. Also note that one band includes the flag hole punch that should align at the position of one side panel as shown in this image. 

NOTE that the band perforation positions are designed to allow for the curve of the side, so they CANNOT be glued when pieces are flat.

4. Fold sides of base upward.

5. Fold center support in half, lower tabs outward. Glue the support edges together above the tabs.

6. Insert the support end through the center slot of the reinforcement shape.Glue tabs to underside.

7. Position and glue the reinforcement shape to the inside portion of the base shape.

8. Attach left and right side panels to the base shape. Make sure the side lower edges are aligned snugly into the perforation corner of base, with holes aligning.

9. Position and attach the center support top tab to the first side panel top tab, taking care that holes align. In this image, a piercing tool is being inserted through holes of layers to make sure they align properly.

10. Position and align second side panel top tab to join along previous side top tab, sandwiching the support top tab between. Glue in place.

11. Fold rim shape front edge tabs and sections inward at perforations, back edge tabs outward.

12. Work along the widest section ONLY of the rim, to align a segment straight side edge over the perf line of the adjoining tiny triangle tab, and glue in place, working one segment at a time until each is section is secure. This process will begin to give the rim its arched shape.

Complete both the front and the back rims.

13. Insert the back tabs into the side panel slots. Carefully work inward until fully extended. Fold toward mailbox center and glue each in place to panel underside.

14. Arrange the front tabs over the opening edges, then glue each in place, taking care to work the panel edge fully into the angle of the rim corner at perforation. It may be helpful to begin at the top center two tabs then work along each side.

Inserting a long, narrow tool such as a knitting needle into the long side sections will help to provide a leveraged surface to press against to help join the seam.

15. Fold tabs of door stop piece back, and fold and glue the lower edge shape back (keep in mind that the "new" stop piece has a cutout at the bottom edge to facilitate taller cards into the finished mailbox.)

16. Fold the lower handle as shown, with larger backside square window "cut out" free to show thru large hole punch in front shape. Glue small hole punch hole end tab layers, and center section layers together. Center and glue in place at top of door panel so that small holes in each layer line up. (See handle in place in image with step 22.)

17. Prepare upper handle shape by folding in half, with tabs folded outward. Glue top sections together. Insert handle through the slot on the stop (from Step 15 above). Glue tabs to stop backside or upper tab.

18. Position and glue stop into the top arch of front opening as shown.

19. Glue the decorative echo shapes to front door and back panels. Echo shapes are sized specifically for door or back panel, so take care that they are paired correctly.

20. Position the lower tab of back panel so that it "slots in" to the notch area of base . . .

then glue to the underside of the base.

21. Slide panel fully into opening, adjusting so that the panel is recessed approx. 1/8" back from front of rim, and glue tabs in place.

22. Position and attach the lower tab of door panel in similar manner to back panel.

23. Assemble the flag by layering and gluing left and right flag staff shapes, then layering and gluing front and back flag shapes, with base shape (slightly larger than staff base) on top.

24.  Attach flag to box with medium brad through designated hole as shown.

25. Attach small brads through all side panel and lower door handle holes.

26. Fold and attach optional name marquee at top. Glue in place if desired, then insert brads through holes.

Name marquee offers a place to add a name or other identifying text or shapes to truly personalize this box.

27. Glue the circle over the backside of the door to cover the brad prongs.

Now have fun filling your 3d mailbox
with valentines, birthday cards, Christmas cards,
or wedding guest cards.


  1. This mailbox is stunning. You did a great job.

  2. I am working on this mailbox right a Christmas mailbox! Love it!

  3. Can you resize this on through the design store? I am a new user :)

    1. If you are using Silhouette Studio software, you can resize any file that you purchase and open. Just make sure you use the percentage tool, or if you are using the "sizing" tool that has a window for inputting a width or length tool that you make sure the MAINTAIN ASPECT RATIO box/button activated, so there is no distortion. Of course, you will want to make sure that you don't enlarge too big to fit onto the 12x12 mat size, or reduce so small that you can't fit fingers into required spaces or have tabs be too small to hold during construction.