I'm beginning my 5th year of teaching, and for the first four years I've had the same red paper sorters. Last year, when I found out I was teaching 3rd grade I decided to order an identical additional paper sorter so that I would have enough to use them as student mailboxes. They're certainly not cheap, but they are pretty sturdy. They're a cardboard-type material, and fairly easy to put together (if I could put it together, I consider it amazingly easy). You can find them here.
Anyway, I was silly and taped things to the sides of my sorters, and because it is a paper product, when I removed the tape I removed a little bit of the color also. They ended up looking like a hot mess...
You can see the tape marks, which really looked terrible...
Because my room is a "jungle" theme and zebra print seems to be EVERYWHERE now (I love when shopping is easy) I decided to spray paint the organizers black. I got the cheapest spray paint from Wal-Mart and two cans covered all three mailboxes.
If I were going to do this again I might invest in a slightly higher quality spray paint...
As you can see the coverage wasn't the best, but it looks better in person than it does in the photo.
Anyway, I decided to get a little funky with duct tape and bought zebra duct tape. It has now become my new favorite decorating tool.
I ended up using almost one roll per set of mailboxes. The rolls were a little around $3.50 each, but they add a lot of fun :)
Total Cost: $12.46
Did these come out 100% as I planned? No. I'll be honest, after seeing the spray paint I was really discouraged, but after I dressed it up with some zebra duct tape I was a happy camper.
Happy school year!