Google implemented changes to their API ecosystem that impacted the Gmail applet on both IFTTT and Zapier This guide is no longer possible as a result of these changes and should not be followed.

Ahhh, the charms of suburbia, mowing the lawn, white picket fences, running barefoot to the mailbox to see if the postal worker already dropped by. Sometimes we wax nostalgic for our childhood. Maybe we’ve become de-sensitized to the constant work email notification pop-ups on our smartphones.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a friendlier heads up? Do you ever miss the old-school “You’ve got mail!” sound from your old AOL email client?

We're going to make a small mailbox to sit on your desk and notify you about incoming emails. When a new email is received, it raises a flag and gently lowers it back down.

It's a fun, easy, introductory project to the Internet-of-Things by making things move using Adafruit IO with IFTTT.


You'll need the following parts to complete this guide.

Angled shot of rectangular microcontroller.
Feather is the new development board from Adafruit, and like its namesake, it is thin, light, and lets you fly! We designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller...
In Stock
Sub-micro Servo with three pin cable
This is just about the cutest, tiniest little micro servo we could find, even smaller than the 9-gram micro servos we love so much.  It can rotate approximately 180 degrees (90 in...
In Stock


Wire and handy supplies for soldering.

1 x Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Wire
This wire is soft and flexible enough to go into the enclosure for your Gmailbox
1 x Solder Wire
Solder Spool - 1/4 lb SAC305 RoHS lead-free / 0.031" rosin-core - 0.25 lb / 100 g


To build your Gmailbox, you'll need access to the following tools. Don't have something listed? Pick it up from the Adafruit shop.

1 x Wire Strippers
Hakko Professional Quality 20-30 AWG Wire Strippers
1 x Soldering Iron
Adjustable 30W 110V soldering iron
1 x Panavise
Panavise Jr.
1 x 3D Printer
Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer


You'll need some screws and nuts to secure the parts together. We have them linked here but you can source them from your local hardware supplier. 

2 x M2 x 12mm Machine Screws
Micro Servo – M2x 12mm Flat Head Phillips
2 x M2 Hex Nuts
M2 Metric Hex Jam Nuts
4 x M2.5 x 6mm Machine Screws
Feather HUZZAH – M2.5 x 6mm Flat Head Phillips
2 x M3 x 8mm Machine Screws
Pole Bracket – M3 x 8mm Metric Pan Head Phillips
2 x M3 Hex Nuts
M3 Metric Hex Jam Nuts

This guide was first published on Aug 22, 2018. It was last updated on Jun 07, 2024.

This page (Introduction) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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