Can You Decorate Your Mailbox? (Is This Illegal?)

decorate your mailbox

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are decorating their houses to show their holiday spirit. You have probably driven past a couple of houses that even have their mailboxes decorated! But can you decorate your mailbox, and is this is even legal?

According to the USPS, you are legally allowed to attach decorative art and devices to the exterior of your mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard. 

Although this is very exciting for all the creatives out there, there are still some restrictions that apply to what you can and cannot put on your mailbox.

Thankfully, we have done some serious research for you so all your questions can be answered and you can decorate your mailbox without getting in trouble with the law.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Dressing up your mailbox is a creative way to add some extra charm and fun to your house. But, we don’t always have the time to DIY things. 

If this is your situation, you should definitely check out some of the already made and fun mailbox decorations on Amazon.

There is a huge selection for every occasion you’re wanting to celebrate.

Can You Decorate Your Mailbox?

As stated by the USPS, you are legally allowed to attach decorative pieces to the exterior of your mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard. 

The USPS outlines this directly in their “U.S. Postal Service Standard Mailboxes, Curbside” document. Good news for all! Decorating your mailbox can add a charming touch to your property.

You can decorate for Christmas, New Year, Martin Luther King Day, Halloween, and so many more holidays!

Are You Allowed To Decorate a Mailbox?

Legally, you are allowed to decorate a mailbox according to the United States Postal Service. The USPS states that anyone is allowed to add decorative art and devices to the exterior of approved mailbox designs as long as they do not interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard.

High-fives all around. Decorating your mailbox can be a unique experience that involves a lot of creativity and it is a fun activity for the whole family.

Additionally, most decorations you use for the rest of your house can also be used on your mailbox, such as garland, lights, bows, and flowers! 

However, before your creative juices flow all the way to the street, double-check with your HOA regulations to see if they have any special rules laid out regarding decorating your mailbox.

Some communities have strict guidelines and it’s best to not upset your neighbors by not following the rules. 

Is It Illegal To Decorate Your Mailbox?

Although your mailbox belongs to the United States Postal Service and there are strict laws regarding the mailboxes, thankfully, the USPS clearly states that homeowners are legally allowed to decorate their mailboxes. The only restrictions are that the decorations cannot interfere with mail delivery or present a safety hazard. 

This means any decorations that don’t allow the mail carrier to open and close your mailbox with ease or allow them to raise and lower the mailbox flag.

However, before you start brainstorming mailbox ideas, consult with your HOA bylaws that may have more specific regulations regarding decorated mailboxes. 

Can You Put Decorations on Your Mailbox?

You are legally allowed to put decorations on your mailbox, according to the USPS. Just make certain that your decorations don’t interfere with mail delivery; the mailbox door still needs to be able to open and close with ease, along with the flag.

You can make your mailbox the envy of the street with charming and creative decorations. Thankfully, there is something to celebrate all year long from New Year to Valentine’s Day to Fall to Winter.

And not to mention, you may add a little spring to your mail carrier’s step when they get to look forward to your new decorations. 

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if a Neighbor Hits Your Mailbox.

Can I Put Something on a Mailbox?

By law, you are legally allowed to attach decorative pieces to your mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery and present a safety hazard. However, you are not allowed to attach any advertisements such as flyers or missing person/animal posters.

So, a general rule of thumb to follow is that if what you are putting on your mailbox is purely decorative, then it is allowed and you can put it on your mailbox.

And don’t try to convince yourself that your neighbor’s son’s lawn mowing flyers are decorative. Because they’re not.

Anything that acts as an advertisement is prohibited by law to be attached to your mailbox. 

What Can I Not Put On My Mailbox?

The United States Postal Services restricts anyone from attaching flyers, posters, or advertisements to a mailbox. This includes missing items or animal flyers, business advertisements, and homemade signs. 

The USPS outlines this restriction in the FAQ section on the USPS website. You are also not allowed to put anything on your mailbox that includes profanity or offensive symbols.

Anything that goes on your mailbox can only be strictly decorational.

If you try to push these rules it’s likely your neighbors will report you and you may get paid a visit by the police. 

Can I Put a Sticker on My Mailbox?

Stickers are legally allowed to be placed on your mailbox as long as they do not advertise anything. For example, if the sticker has a name of a brand or company on it, then this is not allowed. Stickers are only allowed if they serve decorative purposes.

Stickers are an easy way to jazz up your mailbox, especially decals. Decals typically add a more classy look to your mailbox as opposed to a simple round or square sticker.

However, to each their own, just make sure that you are not advertising anything with your stickers and you should be safe from the law and angry neighbors. 

Can You Put Political Stickers on Your Mailbox?

Political stickers are not legally allowed on your mailbox since they are classified more as advertisements as opposed to decorative, and only decorative pieces are allowed on your mailbox. 

An easy way to determine what can and cannot go on your mailbox is to ask yourself if you were to decorate a stranger’s Christmas tree for them (because that happens all the time, right?), would whatever you are putting on your mailbox make sense on the tree?

For example, would you put a “Vote <insert-presidents-name>” ornament on their Christmas tree?

Probably not. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can I Put My Neighbor’s Mail in Their Mailbox Legally?

How Do You Decorate a Mailbox?

To decorate your mailbox, decide specifically what you want to decorate for. This can be a holiday such as Christmas or a season, such as Fall. You can then use decorations that you already have around your house or buy new ones. 

Place the decorations on top of your mailbox in an attractive way and down the post, if you like. When it comes to decorating your mailbox, you can really let your creative juices take control since there are no limits! 

You can use almost anything: garland, twigs, antlers, stick-on eyes, bows, lights, flowers, pumpkins- the possibilities are endless!

Mailbox Decorating Ideas

Having a decorated mailbox is a great way to add some joy to your neighbor’s life and to show off your creative skills at the same time! Thankfully, the possibilities are endless and you can decorate for any season or holiday.

Some fun ideas include:

  • Garland wrapped around your mailbox or on top
  • Wrapping bows on top of your mailbox
  • Turning your mailbox into a reindeer
  • A snowman on top of your mailbox
  • Turning the mailbox post into a candy cane
  • Putting a bouquet of flowers on top of your mailbox
  • Gluing shells on your mailbox
  • Planting flowers around your mailbox post

How Can I Decorate My Mailbox?

You can decorate your mailbox by using flowers, garland, lights, stickers, or even paint! The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to decorating your mailbox. Turn your mailbox into a gingerbread house or a scary monster for Halloween. 

Finding inspiration for your mailbox is the first step to creating a jaw-dropping mailbox design. Think about the season or holiday you are decorating for and how you would decorate your house for that season.

You can then take those decorations and arrange them in your mailbox in a way that is inviting and attractive. 

If you want to give your mail carrier an extra surprise, you can even decorate the inside of your mailbox. Just ensure that it doesn’t take up too much room in your mailbox. 

DIY Mailbox Decorations

DIY mailbox decorations are a creative and affordable way to bring your mailbox to life. You can use almost anything such as fresh garland, ribbons and bows, wreaths, scarves, lights, mini pumpkins, rope, hats, and so much more!

Wrapping decorative paper around your mailbox is also a super fast and easy way to accessorize your mailbox.

You can also use felt or burlap. Or, for another quick and easy option, you can buy seasonal decals and simply stick them onto your mailbox.

You might also enjoy our post on Should You Decorate for Memorial Day?

How Do You Make a Mailbox Topper?

To make a mailbox topper, gather the decorations you want to use, usually ones that are in season are the most appropriate. Create the topper beforehand, placing the decorations in a size that will fit on top of your mailbox. 

Once you have the decorations arranged in a way that you like, you can do the following:

  1. Take the topper and a piece of wire out to your mailbox.
  2. Place the topper where you would like it on your mailbox and then wrap the wire around the topper.
  3. Make sure you place the wire in a spot that is discrete.
  4. Wrap the wire around the mailbox as many times as you need to ensure it’s secure.

Can You Decorate Your Mailbox for Christmas?

You are legally allowed to decorate your mailbox for Christmas- and all other holidays for that matter! According to the USPS, everyone is allowed to add decorative pieces to their mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery.

However, double-check with your HOA, if you have one, to ensure that you are allowed to decorate your mailbox in your specific neighborhood.

Usually, people are very open to decorating mailboxes since it adds a special cheer to the area but check just in case.

How To Decorate Your Mailbox for Christmas?

Decorating your mailbox can be as easy as using leftover decorations from your house. You can arrange garland, ribbons, bows, and even ornaments to create a festive addition to your yard. 

You can even use Christmas lights and wrap them around the mailbox post to add an extra twinkle to your mailman’s eyes. Another fun idea is to buy letter decals and spell out “LETTERS TO SANTA” on your mailbox. 

If you’re planning to decorate your mailbox for Christmas, you might also want to check out the blog post we did on deciding on when is the best time to start decorating for Christmas.

How Do You Make a Christmas Mailbox?

You can make a Christmas mailbox by gathering your favorite Christmas decorations and arranging them in a way where they would look good on top of your mailbox. You can also use Christmas decals, or wrap your mailbox post with ribbon.

There is no limit to what you can do with your mailbox during Christmas time.

Some people enjoy turning their mailbox into a reindeer and Santa Clause or go the more easy route and drape garland on top of the mailbox or wrap ribbon around the post. Any touch of Christmas counts!

DIY Christmas Mailbox Ideas

Some fun DIY Christmas mailbox ideas include turning your mailbox into a reindeer by putting antlers on top of the mailbox and two eyes and a red nose on the door, placing a Santa decoration on top of the mailbox, and many more ideas!

Easy DIY ideas include hanging a wreath off the back of your mailbox post, wrapping ribbon around your mailbox and post, simply placing a large bow on the top, using Christmas decals, or even as simple as putting a Santa hat on the post.

How Do You Attach Garland to a Mailbox?

Attaching garland to your mailbox is as easy as attaching a wire to one side of the garland, wrapping it under your mailbox, and then attaching the other end of the wire to the other end of the garland. 

It is best to use green wire if you can find it, so it blends in more with your decoration. If you can’t find green, go for black, or whatever color your mailbox is.

Make sure to wrap the wire tightly around both ends of your garland so it doesn’t fall off if you have any extreme weather.

How Do You Decorate a Mailbox With Greenery?

Decorating your mailbox with greenery is a beautiful and natural way to add a Christmas touch to your property, and it is very easy! Take your piece of greenery and place it on top of your mailbox, attaching it with wire.

The wire should be attached to one side of the greenery, wrapped under the mailbox, and then attached to the other side of the greenery. Make sure it is nice and tight so it doesn’t fall off.

You can also wrap greenery around the post of your mailbox.

You might also enjoy our post on Can My Neighbor Move My Mailbox?

How Do You Make a Christmas Mailbox Bow?

To make a Christmas mailbox bow choose four colors of ribbon and cut them into three strips of 40-46 inches each. Form a 9-inch long loop with each strip of ribbon. Once you have all the loops created, wrap either a wire, zip tie, or ribbon to tie all of the loops together.

Attach it to the top of your mailbox by wrapping wire around the area that you tied and then extending that wire around the bottom of your mailbox and wrapping the wire around the tie area again. 

Drape the ends of the ribbon on both sides of your mailbox. You nice have a super festive mailbox!

Mailbox Christmas Lights

If you have an outlet near your mailbox, you can buy normal Christmas lights to wrap around your mailbox. But, not many people do. So, you can buy mailbox Christmas lights that are battery-powered. 

These Christmas lights are great to add a special twinkle to your mailbox for the holiday season. Simply wrap them around your mailbox or add them to some greenery.

Since they are battery-powered, you have to go out and turn them on at night. 

Can Mailboxes Be Any Color?

Mailboxes are legally allowed to be any color. When it comes to your mailbox you have complete creative freedom. The USPS states that you are allowed to do anything decorative to your mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery.

Although your mailbox can be any color, the USPS does state that the carrier signal flag can be any color except green, brown, white, yellow, or blue.

So, you can go wild with your mailbox while following just one rule for the flag.

Can You Paint Your Mailbox?

You are absolutely allowed to paint your mailbox any color you like. However, when it comes to the signal flag, you are not allowed to paint it any shade of green, brown, white, yellow, or blue. 

But, you can go crazy with your mailbox. You can paint it a solid color or paint designs on it. Whatever your heart desires. 

However, be sure to check with your HOA bylaws, if you have one, to see if they have any specific regulations regarding your mailbox. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can I Have Two Mailboxes at My House?

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Mailbox?

The best paint to use on a metal mailbox is either acrylic or enamel spray paint. Spray paint is the fastest and easiest way to paint a mailbox and is available in an assortment of colors. 

Before you start spray painting your mailbox, check for any rust. If there is rust, sandpaper it down to ensure a smooth coat of paint will go on your mailbox.

Once the spray paint dries completely, apply a rust-resistant spray to the entire mailbox to prevent future rusting. 

How Do You Paint Decorative Mailboxes?

To paint a decorative mailbox, first, remove any rust or debris with sandpaper. Apply a coat of primer to your mailbox to ensure the paint goes on smoothly. You can then paint the mailbox your base color.

Once your base color dries, choose a paintbrush that will be suitable for your designs and start painting. If you don’t want to paint free-hand, you can buy stencils.

Tape the stencil to your mailbox tightly, and paint within the stencil. After all the paint dries, apply a finishing spray to lock in the color. 

Related Questions

How Do I Landscape My Mailbox?

Landscaping your mailbox is a creative way to add some extra charm to your yard. The most effective way to landscape your mailbox is to create a garden around the post of your mailbox. Plant your favorite flowers and plants and watch them bring your mailbox to life.

Having flowers and plants surround your mailbox is an adorable way to make your mailbox stand out. (Just make sure that your mail carrier can still access your mailbox easily.)

You can also add a garden fence around your mailbox for an extra special touch. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can You Decorate Your Car With Christmas Lights?

How Do You Put Swag on a Mailbox?

Mailbox swag typically has two hooks on each side of the swag. The hooks are meant to wrap around the mailbox and hook together at the bottom. This ensures that the swag won’t fall off your mailbox.

However, not all mailbox swag has this feature. If yours doesn’t, you can wrap the wire around one end of your swag, wrap it under your mailbox, and then attach the other end of the wire to the other end of the swag.

This is essentially the same technique the built-in hook uses. 

Is My Neighbor Allowed To Decorate Their Mailbox?

Your neighbor is absolutely allowed to decorate their mailbox. The United States Postal Service states that you are allowed to add any decorative pieces to your mailbox as long as it does not interfere with mail delivery.

Along with decorations, your neighbor is also allowed to paint their mailbox any color. However, if your neighbor is hanging flyers of any sort to their mailbox then this is not allowed.

Only decorative items are legally allowed on mailboxes.

Final Thoughts

Decorating your mailbox for any season is such a fun and charming way to add some extra character to your property while adding joy to your neighbors as well.

And, thankfully, in the eyes of the law, it is completely allowed. Next time a special season or holiday comes around, be sure to include your mailbox in the decoration process.

And have fun with it. Anything is possible!

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