Paint

Airbrushed Reindeer Mailbox

By  Gloria Uhler  for  Testors Corp.

size: 18-1/4"x28-1/2" (to fit standard mailbox)

Materials

  • Dark blue marine vinyl, 19”x29”
  • White garland, 10”

Tools

  • Testors Aztek Airbrush System and Airbrushable Acrylic Paints: Pearl Copper (9743), Opaque White (9440), Pearl Gold (9472)
  • Star stencil
  • Red fine-tip permanent marker
  • Adhesives: 3M Scotch Spray Mount Repositionable Adhesive, Velcro hook and loop fastener strip, 22”

Basic Supplies

  • computer with printer, scissors, craft knife, old toothbrush, painter’s tape, disposable gloves, pencil, paper towels or scrap paper, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface), cardstock
  • Note
  • 1. Sleeve is designed for a standard-size mailbox measuring 6-3/4"x 8-3/4"x20". For this project, the "front" of mailbox refers to side with flag.
  • Mailbox
  • 1. Visit activityvillage.co.uk to print full-size stencil. Search for "Santa's Sleigh with Reindeer" template. Print template on cardstock and cut out using craft knife. Lightly apply spray adhesive to back side.
  • 2. Create cardstock stencil for trees. Start with simple tree outline. Draw identical outline inside or outside original outline approximately 1/4" away to create three different-sized trees. Tallest tree should be no larger than 3-1/2". Cut out stencils with craft knife. Lightly apply spray adhesive on back side.
  • 3. Cut vinyl to 18-1/4"x28-1/2". (Note: A slight overlap is figured in for connecting edges to each other under mailbox using Velcro.) On wrong side of vinyl, place marks on both edges of longer side at 13-1/4" from top edge. This mark is top center of box. Mark again 2-1/2" and 10-1/2" past first mark. Space between last marks is live area.
  • 4. Turn vinyl right side up. Place tape across width of vinyl at 8" mark to use as guide for positioning trees in straight line. Place first tree stencil on right end of vinyl. See Photo 1. Protecting areas not to be painted, airbrush stencil with white. Allowing paint to dry between applications, continue adding trees of alternating sizes until there are five.

    Photo 1
  • 5. Position sleigh stencil with reindeer leaping up and over trees. See Photo 2. Protecting areas not to be painted, airbrush stencil with white. Remove stencil and reposition to add two additional reindeer to group. Protecting areas not to be painted, airbrush reindeer only with white. Remove stencil and tape.

    Photo 2
  • 6. Dip toothbrush into white paint; tap off excess onto paper towel. Run gloved finger across bristles to splatter snow across background. See Photo 3. Repeat until desired effect is achieved. Splatter extra heavy at base of trees to represent snowy ground. See Photo 4.

    Photo 3


    Photo 4
  • 7. Airbrush stars in sky using gold paint. See Photo 5.

    Photo 5
  • 8. Draw collars on reindeer using red marker. See Photo 6.

    Photo 6
  • 9. Hand-paint reindeer antlers with mix copper + white. See Photo 7. Let dry completely.

    Photo 7
  • 10. Hold painted vinyl against mailbox with top center mark in position on mailbox. Mark placement hole for flag arm. (Note: Some boxes have disconnectable flags, which makes this easier.) Cut out marked shape with craft knife, leaving enough room to accommodate flag base and allow free arm movement. Cut slit from center of hole to edge of vinyl using knife.
  • 11. Cut two 2" lengths of Velcro. Peel backing off one strip and stick on wrong side of vinyl, straddling across flag arm slit. Divide positioned strip in half by cutting along flag arm slit. Press second strip onto positioned strip to connect underside invisibly and hold vinyl together.
  • 12. Wrap vinyl around box and make marks in long edge for mailbox post; cut out with knife. Apply Velcro strips along short edges, one on right side and mate on wrong side of vinyl. Press together to secure to mailbox.
  • 13. Adhere garland around flag hole using hot glue.