Does anyone know an easy way to make an alert flag for the mailbox?

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It drops down when the mailbox is opened and lets you know at a glance that the mailman has run. Help!!

  11 answers
  • Hug27653843 Hug27653843 on Sep 22, 2017


  • Pat Pat on Sep 22, 2017
    When we put letters in our mailbox, we put our flag up on the mailbox to alert the mail carrier there are letters in it.....then our mail carrier puts it down to show that he has been there....it isn't automatic.
    • Sapa Sapa on May 15, 2020

      What about the days you don't have mail going out, our mail carriers will not put the flag down if you have no out going mail.

  • My box is several houses down and is like Pat's. Like your idea though.
  • Cyn Brown Cyn Brown on Sep 22, 2017
    Thanks for your answers but what I'm trying to find is a simple way to put some type of something that drops down when the box door has been opened. I've seen some that are spring loaded that sit on top of the box. When the carrier opens the door the character "stands" up. Then when you look out your window and see the box from fifty yards away you can easily tell if the mail has run yet!
    • See 1 previous
    • Sandra L Warren Sandra L Warren on May 24, 2020

      We used a scrap piece of flex steel banding (the banding that is wrapped around bulk palleted items) attached it to the side of the mail box post, bend a crook in the end to hold it inside the door of the mail box and gorilla glued a bright yellow kids rubber ball (cut half way through) about 4" from the end. When the mail box door is opened it releases the end of the flex steel and it pops out to the side, sticking out about 2 feet or so. We asked a worker at our local Lowes if they had any that they removed from pallets in their garbage or recycle bins and they gave it to us for free. Also If you know anyone who works in a factory they can get scrap pieces from garbage.

  • KattywhampusLOL KattywhampusLOL on Sep 22, 2017
    Good Afternoon Cyn Brown, This is what I have found on Google:
    This one has TWO drop flag points but there are no instructions on how to make it except that you have to have a fast finger to pause the video at different points to study how this person put this contraption together (it IS cool though .. there's no doubting whether or not the box has been open) >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA2qRVwTWIs
    With this one perhaps someone (or you) can make a longer metallic flag like signal rather than a small white arrow, and attach it the same way this guy attached his arrow, and using a magnet glued (gorilla glue or E6000 glue) to the side of the door to hold the flag upright until the box is opened (you'll better better when you see the video):
    OR maybe there is some way you can attach the tennis ball line to the red flag so when the mailman opens the box the red flad raises up (again, you will see what I mean when you watch the video): >>>
    Perhaps someone else has a better idea, an easier way, to do this, but I can't seem to find one and my brain isn't coming up with anything better.
    Good Luck :) and thanks for using HOMETALK for ideas. :)

  • Amanda Amanda on Sep 22, 2017
    They sell one on Amazon!!!
  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Sep 22, 2017
    What is your question?
  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Jan 01, 2018
    Have the mail man leave the flag in an upright position, as if you had outgoing mail.
    • Cyn Brown Cyn Brown on Jan 12, 2018
      Thanks for your idea! Our mail carrier isn’t able to take the time to remember ” oh yeah, this is the Brown’s mailbox I need to raise the flag” lol. But I appreciate your time anyway!
  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 12, 2018
    We bought a black plastic mailbox that has a bright yellow flag on it that raises whenever someone opens the mailbox. Got it at Lowe's and it was around $25. This way we can tell when the mailman has been here since we live across the street from our box. The mailbox has lasted over 15 years.
  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Jan 17, 2018
    Our new mailman is an idiot. He goes back and forth, up and down the street several times, because he misses some of the mail, of the boxes he missed. He never comes at the same time every day. If I get a neighbors mail that's close by, I walk it over, or I put it in my box with the flag up, so even though I might not have mail, he stops to pick up the wrong mail.
  • Pen Pen on Apr 19, 2021

    Hey Cyn,

    I felt compelled to let you know what we did because everyone seem to be missing what you were asking. I believe what you are asking for is one of the first projects my husband and I did once we moved to a new place. I call it a reverse mailbox flag. :)

    We cut down a bicycle flag from one of the grandkids bike they no longer wanted. We took a small conduit strap and screwed it to the side if the mailbox lid for a resting place for the flag. Pivotal point for flag was on the same side as the conduit strap at the bottom near the back of mailbox. We used the adapter the bicycle flag came with (metal that attached flag to bicycle) as weight. Trial and error is how we determined where exactly it needed to be. Also, we later attached a string to the bottom of flag to the conduit strap, so the flag could easily be replaced once mail is retrieved.

    Note: A driveway reflector will not work because it requires too much weight to make it stand up. Or if using it as the weight the reflector part is too bulky at the lid and will catch on the strap not allowing lid to open properly.

    Hopeyou already have it figured out!

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