How to make a mail catcher
OK, so here's my problem. My mail is delivered right through my front door. That's fine, but it ends up all over the floor in a mess. On top of that I have a dog that likes to chew on it. Not good if I got bills or a check. So I decided to get a basket to catch the mail. It worked most of the time, but occasionally it would miss the basket and end up on the floor again. I didn't like the looks of the wire cages so started looking around for a better solution. While searching on the web for ideas, I saw a company that makes just what I was looking for. They were selling it for $27.96. Not a bad price until you add shipping. So I decided to make one myself.
All photos by author
Here is what were making. It's a very simple and easy to make design. It doesn't stick out and take up space. It lays flat against the door, yet the mail can be slipped in easily.
What you will need
1. Fabric of your choice. What type of fabric? Just about any fabric will do. You can even use the faux leathers out there. For that matter you could use real leather if your sewing machine can handle it. There are so many wonderful cotton fabrics out there for quilts. You will need to by two lengths, one for your outside fabric and one for your lining. You also need to stiffen the fabric a bit. Buy one length of stiff interfacing.
For my mail catcher, I chose a quilted fabric in a cream color . It already has the two layers and a bit of batting between. It's a nice weight and all the work is done for you.
2. Binding - I used blanket binding. It's nice and wide and is already double folded for you. One package will be just enough.
3. Velcro - They have a product called Décor. It's sticky on the hook side to stick to the door and a loop side that you sew on.
4. Thread of course
5. And the usual tools - scissors, pins and a sewing machine.
Measure the width of your mail slot and add 3" to each side - this will be the width of the mail catcher. Mine comes out to 16"
Measure the depth of your mail slot and add 28" (14" X 2) - This will be the length of your mail catcher before it's folded. Mine came to 32".
First cut your fabric to the required size. Again mine was 16" x 32". Bind all the edges.
Fold up one edge 14", match the edges but pin only 7" up. Pin on the loop half of the velcro close to the edge. Be careful to pin the velcro on the correct side of each edge. When you fold up the bottom edge, you will be applying the velcro to both sides facing you. Now sew on the velcro going all the way around. Sew up the sides just to your 7" pin.
Cut the hook half of the velcro to match the loop half and press together. Remove the clear tape on the hook half and carefully apply it to the door. Do this while it's still attached to the mail catcher. That way you are sure they match up. Repeat with the lower velcro.
That's it! Your' done.
Here is my mail catcher attached to the door. Looks pretty good. I tried it out by slipping some mail I had through the slot and it works beautifully. No more mail all over the floor and especially no more "my dog ate it".
To remove your mail simply reach in from either side and grab your mail. If you have a lot or a magazine, you can pull one of the top corners away and reach in from the top.
How about one for Christmas.
Use festive Christmas fabric of
reds and greens
Halloween would be a fun one too.
Black cats and pumpkins.
Make one for each season.
Make a quilt sampler into a mail catcher.
Embroider a welcome message or a good by message
The possibilities are endless. These are so easy and quick to make. What ever your taste or décor, you can make one that matches.
Did you find this helpful? Did you make one? How about sharing your mail catcher with us?
I'd love to hear from you
Amy on April 25, 2015:
The only photo that displays is the first one, with the dog eaten mail. I would love to see the finished product.