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Step 1: Start by lightly penciling your house design onto the mailbox to determine placement and size of windows, doors and trim. Cut pieces of craft wood to create each component. (It's soft and easy to cut: Using a straightedge and utility knife, score repeatedly until the wood snaps. Wire cutters will easily cut thicker dowels and sticks.) Sand rough edges. Glue pieces together with weatherproof adhesive and paint them after glue dries.
Step 2: To create the roof, measure the length of the mailbox. Cut four 4-inch-wide pieces of 3/8-inch-thick craft wood to the measured length. Using the corner of a cardboard box as a guide, glue two of the lengths to form a right angle. Clamp the wood to the box corner with binder clips (see photo, left). When dry, adhere a second length of wood to each side, overlapping the pieces by 11/2 inches. Clamp together until the glue dries, then paint.
Step 3: If the roof obstructs the flag, you'll need to add a spacer to the flag. A 2-inch-thick wooden block should do the trick -- but test the spacing before securing it to the maibox. Drill holes in the wooden block that match the holes on the flag?s hardware and attach the flag and block to the mailbox with stove bolts.
Step 4: Last, glue windows, doors, roof and trim to mailbox and let dry.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, September 2006.