How to Turn Vintage Chicken Feeders Into A Mail Organizer

8 Materials
2 Days

Okay guys! I did another DIY, but this one is my favorite so far. I tapped into my creativity more than any project I’ve done so far. For this DIY I took 2 vintage chicken feeders and turned them into a mail organizer!I don’t believe creativity is a gift for the select few. For a long time, I told myself, “Aliya, you are not creative.” Consequently, I would quit every creative endeavor I started when that little voice began talking. Guys! Creativity is so creative! How can we put it in a box and say its only for artists who sing, draw, paint, or dance? Creativity exists for the businessman creating new methods and processes. Creativity exists for the athlete creating new workout plans and workout moves. Lets not put a limit on creativity!

In this instance I had a problem that needed solved. The mail was stored in piles on the kitchen counter, and it was driving Justin and I bonkers. I had planned to purchase these awesome vintage watering buckets from Rustik Market for my birthday in May, but, those cuties sold and I was back at square one. I walked into the back storage room to look for something and I noticed these 2 chicken feeders sitting on my shelves. An idea hit me – I literally have 1,000 new ideas a day. I grabbed a feeder and a piece of mail. It fit perfectly! I decided I was going to DIY a mail organizer to hang in the kitchen. Problem solved!


2 old chicken feeders

Spray paint

Leather straps


Rivet Setter

Leather punch


Drill bit

Step 1

I began this DIY by choosing a color to spray them. I’ll be honest, this project took longer than I expected mostly because I changed my mind on what color to spray the chicken feeders. The first color I chose was rustoleum forged hammered burnished amber. But, after I painted the feeders, I realized the color I chose didn’t offer enough contrast with the leather straps. I only allowed myself to agonized over the color choice for one day, because the longer it took me to decided on a color – the more mail piled up on the counter. I landed on white because it would be a perfect color to contrast with the leather; besides white is one of my favorite colors!!

I lightly rubbed super fine steel wool on the feeders between coats of spray paint. Like I mentioned in my  DIY picture frame post, I highly recommend using tack clothe after you sand any project. I also want to encourage you to follow the directions on the can of spray paint.

Apparently, the directions are on the can for a reason, and I had to learn this the hard way on a different project. On that project, I decided to spray the second coat before the first coat had been given the suggested amount of dry time. My impatience turned my smooth spray-painted surface into a very bubbly surface. This led to the project actually taking longer to complete because I had to sand it down and start all over. Ugh! Learn from my mistakes and follow the directions.

Step 2

The leather was a little bit trickier for me. I hadn’t the slightest idea how to attach the leather to these chicken feeders, but my personality believes everything is possible. I knew it could be done, but I also knew I was going to need help to figure it out. Fortunately, this issue was simple for my husband. I told him my design idea and he knew exactly what to do to bring it to life. I’m beyond blessed by him. Now that we had a design and a plan, we ordered the leather and rivets off Amazon. (Since then, I’ve learned about a couple local tack shops that I will be trying for my future DIY projects that require leather.)

Step 3.

Next, my husband began drilling holes in the chicken feeders. He used a drill bit that was just large enough fit the rivets without allowing the rivet heads to fall through. After he drilled a hole in the chicken feeder, he measured the leather and punched a hole. Justin repeated this process for every place that needed a rivet. In total, he drilled and punched 12 holes. Each chicken feeder has 6 holes; 4 on the backside and 2 on the front. His experience from previous projects has turned him into a strong supporter of the motto “measure twice and cut once”. This helped us get it right the first time!

Step 4

I wanted the chicken feeders to be 12″ from the top of one feeder to the top of the other to provide ample space for large envelops and magazines. After we measured it, we discovered we needed a second strap of leather. Thanks to Amazon we were able to get that leather strap in 2 days!

Step 5.

Finally, Justin secured the feeders and leather with the rivets. He first did it in such a way that they could come apart again if I wasn’t happy with the way everything lined up. It’s like he’s done projects with me before or something? But the truth is, I was extremely happy with what he had helped me create. In order to permanently secure the rivets Justin used a rivet setter.

To hang our new mail organizer, we decided to simply screw the leather straps to the wall. We tried to find screws with screw heads that matched the rivets, but were unsuccessful. I was super upset about it, but decided to get over it. We used monkey hooks to temporarily hang it on the wall while we brainstormed. The monkey hooks didn’t look good, but they were doing the job, and with minimal wall damage.

Then I had another idea! These monkey hooks come in all kinds of options, one of which is low profile. If we switched out the standard hooks with the low profile hooks I could use a couple upholstery nails from some chairs I’ve started deconstructing. They are the exact same color AND I think prettier than a screw!

I hope this post encourages you to see creativity through a new lens. I want you to tap into the creativity living inside of you. Its there. I know it is. Once you start tapping into the creativity within yourself, you’ll begin to see what was once a secure dam, is now developing cracks. After enough time I believe you’ll have a flowing river of creativity. Practice makes perfect! As always, I hope that you are enjoying reading these posts as much as I enjoy CREATING them!

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram! Have a great week! XoXoOpen Your Doors,Aliya

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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Susan Litt Susan Litt on Dec 02, 2020

    What is a monkey hook? I don't see it on your resource list.

  • Linda Carrington Linda Carrington on Dec 04, 2020

    Love it!

    Maybe I'm being dense but why 4 holes in the backside of each feeder?

  • Cheryal Cheryal on Jan 07, 2021

    Our house shifted and a few tiles cracked. How can I fix without doing the entire floor?

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