Introduction: Mail Organizers

This is a tutorial for some mail organizing bins that can be hung on the wall. These instructions are assuming that you are using the Universal Lasers @ TechShop Chandler, and that you have taken the SBU and are familiar with how to operate the machine.

For more information on the TechShop or to schedule a class, visit

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project, you will need the Illustrator file provided, a sheet of 1/8" thick MDF, tacky glue, Command picture hangers, and some spray paint.  The 1/8" MDF is available at Home Depot as a 2' X 4' sheet.  It will need to be cut down into 1' X 2' sections so that the material will fit the laser bed.

Step 2: Customize File & Print

Open up the Illustrator file and change the text to whatever you would like. There are 3 bins and they are currently labeled as "Do", "File", and "Shred".  Feel free to change these to any categories that you would like.  Just make sure that the text is in black.

Next you will go ahead and print from Illustrator to the laser program. From the print screen in Illustrator, make sure to hit "Setup" and "Preferences" to access the laser settings. Set your material height (.125"), and choose General Medium Woods for the material. Make sure to hit apply, and once you are back in the print dialog, hit "Print"

Step 3: Setup Materials and Print to Laser

Place the first piece of MDF on the laser bed.

Once in the Laser Control Panel, use the "Focus View" option to move the laser head to the spot on the material that you want to start cutting at. Then use the "Relocate" option to move the image to where the pointer is positioned. To do this, select the grab point on the image that you want to line up with the start point, and then hit "To Pointer" in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

At this point, you are ready to start the file printing. Go ahead and press the big, green Play button.

When the first page is finished printing, go to the next page and place a new piece of MDF on the laser bed.  Relocate the objects again following the steps above and hit the Play button again to start the file.  Repeat these steps for the remaining pages until all of the parts have been printed.

Step 4: Glue the Pieces

In this step, you will start by gluing the side pieces to the back piece (the rectangular pieces without the writing on them.  Run a bead of tacky glue along the longer straight edge of the side piece, and attach it to the back piece at a right angle.  It might be helpful to have some right angle clamps for this step (mine are from Harbor Freight).

Repeat this process until all of the side pieces have been attached to the back pieces.  Once the glue is dried, stand the pieces up on the table (see picture), and run a bead of glue down the angled edge of the side pieces.  Then attache the front piece on, making sure that the text is upside down.  Let them sit while the glue dries.  

Step 5: Painting

When the glue dries, spray paint the bins whatever color you would like.

Step 6: Hang on the Wall

When the paint is dry, you can hang them on the wall with the Command brand picture holders.  

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Mail Organizers!

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