Sending mail is a wonderful way to show people that you are thinking of them—if they are having a bad day, it can cheer them up, and if they receive letters often, it gives people something to look forward to. Postal workers use special sacks, called mailbags, to carry letters as they walk from house to house delivering the mail. Using every day household items you probably have lying around the house, follow these directions to make your very own mailbag as you deliver letters of love and kindness to the people around you!
- 4 or 5 pieces of blank 8.5” x 11” (21.5 x 28 cm) paper
- Stapler and staples
Prepare Your Pieces
- Using the ruler and pencil, draw straight lines about 1” (2.5 cm) apart, from long side to long side on one of the blank pieces of paper. Cut along each line, making strips, with each strip being 8.5” (21.5 cm) long.
- With one strip, bring the short ends together, making a circle. Use the stapler to staple it in place. Feed one end of another strip through the first loop, make a circle out of it, and staple. Repeat with all of the strips until you have one long paper chain. This will become your mailbag’s strap. If you want your strap to be long enough to lay across your body, you will need to repeat Steps 1 and 2 with a second piece of paper.
Take one of the remaining pieces of paper and fold it once, about 2” (5 cm) from a short side, like you see in the picture.
On the same piece of paper, draw a large V with your ruler and pencil. Make sure the bottom of the V reaches to the unfolded short side of the paper, and the tops of the V go almost to the fold. Carefully cut the paper on the two lines of the V. This will become your mailbag’s cover, or flap.
- Using the paper just removed from the flap, cut two small strips. Each strip should be about 0.5” (1 cm) wide, and 5” (12.5 cm) long. Set aside.
Assemble Your Mailbag
- Place one of the unused pieces of paper on the table with the long edge facing you. This will become the back of your mailbag.
- Unfold the one side of your mailbag flap. Overlap the mailbag flap with the mailbag back, keeping the flap as centered as possible. The fold should be in line with the edge of the mailbag back. Staple into place.
- Take one of the two narrow strips, curve it into a U shape and loop it through one end of the mailbag strap. Staple the tops of the U to the mailbag back, next to the edge of the mailbag flap.
- Repeat the above step with the second narrow strip, attaching it to the other side of the mailbag back.
- Layer the last piece of paper on top of the mailbag back, sandwiching the strap inside. Staple along the sides and bottom. Enjoy your new mailbag!
- A video tutorial for this activity can be found below.
- Adults may need to do the stapling, depending on the age and ability of the children.
Variations & Extension Ideas:
- Staple the paper strips to one another, end-to-end, to make a longer mailbag strap while using less paper!
- Use dark blue paper for your mailbag to make it look really official.
- Decorate the front of your mailbag to let everyone know that you’ll be delivering their mail.