DIY vintage post office box door picture frame make a picture frame out of an old PO Box door
Crafts,  DIY

Vintage Post Office Box Door Photo Frame

What do you do when you find a door to an old post office box at the thrift store? Turn it into a Post Office Box Door Photo Frame, of course!

That was my immediate thought when I saw a basket of these vintage post office box doors at my favorite thrift store. The little window on the door would be the perfect spot for a small photo.

Post Office Box Door Photo Frame DIY vintage post office box door picture frame make a picture frame out of an old PO Box door

I believe this door dates back to the early 1900s. From what I can ascertain, the U.S. Post Office used combination locks from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

The door is made from brass. Of course, I could clean up the brass but I really liked the patina for photo frame purposes, so it stays for now. I can always change my mind later.


Materials To Make A Post Office Box Door Photo Frame:

*measurements and materials are specific to our exact door

old post office box door (Etsy is a great place to find these doors.)
2 wood strips measuring 6 3/16 inch long x 1 1/4 inch wide x 5/8 inch thick
2 wood strips measuring 4 16/16 inch long x 1 1/4 inch wide x 5/8 inch thick
1 wood base measuring 7.5 inch long x 3 inch wide x 1/2 inch thick
nail gun or small nails and hammer
wood putty to fill nail holes
sandpaper
4 small screws
stain and polyurethane or finish material of choice
small piece of glass (I used one saved from an old picture frame)
glass cutter  (Should cost between $2 Р$3. Great for cutting single pane glass.)
picture
cardboard/card stock to cover back of frame


Here’s how I made the Post Office Box Door Photo Frame:

Step 1: Frame Out The Door.

If you want the door to be a tabletop frame, it needs a way to stand upright. You could always put this door on an easel and call it good.

I considered that but decided to go a different direction.

There are spots for screws on the inside of the door, so I decided to frame out the door with small strips of wood. To make it easy, we butted the joints together and secured them with small nails. It would probably look better if you mitered the pieces together on a 45 degree angle.

The frame has a wood base because it was too top heavy the way we originally constructed it and would not reliably stand up. The wood base is also nailed to the frame.

There may be a better way to construct a frame (like make it deeper) that doesn’t need a wood base but we were already down this creative highway, so that’s the solution we ended up with.

Post Office Box Door Photo Frame DIY vintage post office box door picture frame make a picture frame out of an old PO Box door

Step 2: Stain or Paint Your Frame.

Fill any nail holes with wood putty and then sand smooth. If any of the rest of the wood frame needs to be sanded, now is your last chance.

I applied two coats of Minwax stain in the honey color to my frame and sealed it with two coats of polyurethane in a satin finish.

You could also paint your frame. There are no rules here. It all depends on how you want your frame to look.

Step 3: Cut Glass For The Frame.

I used a $2.29 glass cutter and a piece of single pane glass from an old picture frame to cut new glass for my Post Office Box Door Photo Frame.

I won’t tell you how to use the glass cutter because I’m not an expert. It’s not hard though. I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to cut glass and they were really helpful. It took me two tries to get a piece of glass that fit nicely. That first try was a bust, literally.

Definitely take safety precautions and wear gloves and safety glasses when cutting glass.

Post Office Box Door Photo Frame DIY vintage post office box door picture frame make a picture frame out of an old PO Box door

Step 4: Create A Back For The Frame.

This step is optional, but I was already so far down this creative journey that I decided to create a back for the frame to hide the back of it.

I used a piece of cardboard (thanks, Amazon box!) cut to size and fitted tightly into the back of the frame. I did cut out a finger hole so that I can remove the cardboard to change out the picture.


Post Office Box Door Photo Frame DIY vintage post office box door picture frame make a picture frame out of an old PO Box door

It took a bit of trial and error but I am so happy with how my Vintage Post Office Box Door Photo Frame turned out! It is definitely unique.

The frame has a rustic meets industrial meets steampunk vibe to it and I’m here for it!

I love repurposing items that no longer serve their original purpose. It’s incredibly satisfying for the creative part of my brain.

What do you think of my frame? I’d love to know. Please leave a comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.


P.S. Most people repurpose old post office box doors into coin banks or mini safes. Great idea, right? The combination locks can be reset. It wasn’t important for my project, so I didn’t try to figure out the combination or how to reset it.

If you want to see an example of how this works, check out a company in Pennsylvania called Wood-N-You Like It. They don’t know who I am. I found them online and loved the variety of banks they make.


Thanks for being here today! Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.

Repurposed Light Shade Planter

8 Fresh Ways To Repurpose a Piano

Wine Rack Upcycled Into a Display Shelf

 

*Affiliate links in this blog post. If you purchase something using one of my affiliate links, I receive a small commission. I don’t know who purchases what. You stay anonymous and I get to keep the lights on around here. It’s a great way to support the blogs you read. Everyone wins!¬†

Share this:

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.