Mailbox Opener

Mailbox opener

The mailbox opener was designed for Christine. 10 years ago, she had a stroke on the left side of her brains so now she has a hemiplegia. Because of this, her right arm is paralyzed and she has an impaired function of the right leg what also includes a foot drop. Also she has a lower reasoning ability. Despite these limitations, she tries to live as independent as possible.

Every month, she delivers magazines to a neighborhood with here association. Before the mailbox opener, the monitor of the group helped her carry the magazines and open the mailboxes. Opening a mailbox and post a magazine is not an easy task. It gives her great satisfaction that she can do this independently from now on.

The mailbox opener is put in the mailbox and keeps it open; in the meantime Christine can mail the letter. This device is made using polystyrene, self-adhesive tape, EVA-foam. To make sure she won’t lose the device it’s attached to a hanger. Next to the mailbox opener we gave her a waterproof bag, this way she can carry the magazines herself.

In this instructable we show you how to make this device yourself.



- Wood

- Glue (wood)

- Polystyrene; other resilient plastics will do

- Self-adhesive tape; glue will do too

- EVA-foam; other thin foam is allowed

- Elastic

- Hanger

- Bag


- Saw

- Drill

- Stanley knife

- Lighter

- Sandpaper

Step 1: The Mold

Note: The mold is used for folding the polystyrene with one hand. But it is not necessary to make this mold.

Saw the wood in the right size. Glue the parts together. Draw the right angle on the wood and sandpaper until correct.

Step 2: Polystyrene

Cut the polystyrene in the right size. Sandpaper the edges and corners. Put it in the mold and start heating at the middle. Once flexible, fold over the mold and let it cool off in this position.

Step 3: EVA-foam

Once the polystyrene has cooled off; put the self-adhesive tape on. Now tape the EVA-foam onto the device.

Step 4: Assembly

Drill a hole at the side for the elastic. Connect the elastic with the device on one side and with the hanger on the other side. Burn the end of the elastic so they won’t ravel. Ready to use!

Step 5: How to Use



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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Ever thought of marketing this? I think a lot of people can be helped with this.


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Very nice to see a helpful device like this. Great job !


    pablo de paris

    4 years ago

    Wow. This is so clever. So nice to see that you are using your skills to help this girl.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Not only is this just a cool project on its own, but SO much cooler that it has given Christine added independence!! Well done!!


    4 years ago

    Great idea!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Could you add a couple of shots of it actually opening a mail box? It's not immediately obvious (to me) how it works.

    2 replies

    4 years ago

    this is awesome, great idea