Best Trash to Treasure Project Ever

Best Trash to Treasure Project Ever



This is the story of the best trash to treasure project ever.

In the history of ever.

My brother came to visit and loved his chalkboard and made me laugh and roll my eyes and drank all my diet coke….

….and brought me a table.

If this is your first time visiting that might seem unusual.  If you have read this blog for more than five minutes you’re not in the least surprised.  That’s how my brother rolls.

This is the brother of the pallet wood letter and the pallet wood letter the second verse and the pallet wood clock and the pallet wood boxes that look like people.

He never met a piece of pallet wood he didn’t like.

Library Pallet Table

Here’s the table he brought me.

Looking all simple and plain and a little ordinary.

A trash to treasure project in disguise.

Simply look at the top.

Pieces of Wood Table

It’s completely made up of all the tiny scraps from all the letters and clocks and shelves and boxes that have gone before.

Each little scrap.

Each little piece of junk from the floor of a woodworker’s shop.

Each little piece destined for the trash.

All came together to form something wonderful.

Pallet Wood Pieces Table

He wanted a table top….but he created a piece of art.

Look at the patina and how the pieces fit together and the jagged and worn and weary edges of so many past projects.

No pattern.

No rhyme or reason or symmetry.

Simply joy.

Pallet Wood Table Library

He brought it in sheepishly and put it down and shrugged his shoulders and told me he made me something different than anything he’d ever made before.

And he wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

It was different.

And a little random.

And rough around the edges.

And I smiled and jumped up and down and awkwardly dolphin clapped and told him I loved it.

And I then I took another look and told him it reminded me of……


Pallet Wood Table  edge


If I’m keeping it real here….there are so many times when I doubt myself and my projects and my decorating and my questionable red velvet pant choice and I then I see someone newer and shinier with perfect teeth and perfect hair and the appearance of perfection and birds singing around their head and rose petals dropping when they walk.

And I try to tell myself I’m amazing.

I really, really try.

I remind myself of amazing things I’ve done and that really good hair day I had a week ago and the project I finished that at the time seemed worthy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But inside I shrink.

Self-doubt creeps in.

And amazing seems light years away.

Pallet Wood Table

Maybe that’s why I identified with the table.

It’s kind of like me without the red velvet pants.

Different.  Random.  A little rough around the edges.

But all those scraps and junk and random bits of absolute nonsense?  Together they create joy and uniqueness and imperfection and character and a one-of-a-kind personality.

And I realized that somewhere along the way….

….a little bit of amazing just showed up.

PS  This post is a little raw and tender….but written from this table’s heart. 🙂

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  1. Awwww… are so wonderful and honest and real and creative and…..
    Today’s post is why I love starting my day with a little Thistlewoodfarms. 🙂

  2. Such a talented brother and so creative. I would paint the legs and distress them to set the top off as the show piece.

  3. :

    I totally relate to every single thing you wrote today. However the table is amazing and beautiful and so are you. Hugs, Rachel

  4. Best table ever, I love it 🙂

  5. awwww.. so sweet! You share the creative gene! laura

  6. I love reading your blog. You write so beautifully and so honestly. You always touch our hearts with your honestly. You are a beautiful soul. And that table is awesome!

  7. You touched my heart with your raw and tender heart. Love the new table to grace your house and that table that was most certainly made with love.

  8. Oh, my goodness! Love! Love! Love! Your heart…and your honesty…and I’m crying because we all feel that way at times…but you ARE Amazing and fearfully and wonderfully made. Thanks you for reminding all of us.

  9. Who wants to be ordinary?? Not me! I’m the same “table” as you are, Karianne, and try to revel in it every day. Keep going in the right direction! Hugs from Michigan.

  10. That is great! I love the unevenness and texture and character in it. I love your life lesson to go with it!

  11. Debbie Blalock :

    You truly make my heart happy!!

  12. Not only have you created a beautiful house with beautiful objects made by your hand, you paint beautiful pictures with your words. You are one of my favorite bloggers for that reason.
    This project of your brother’s reminded me of the little pieces my father’s uncle made from (mostly) old cigar boxes and other scrap wood pieces, probably just after the turn of the 20th century: a jewelry chest, a child’s dish hutch (about 1 1/2 ft tall), dollhouse furniture (there’s a pair of matching inlaid top desks with old fashioned shoe button drawer pulls), and so on. These antiques have been treasured in our family for as long as I can remember.
    As they grow, I know your children will treasure their uncle’s creations as much as you do now.

    • Carol–

      Isn’t that called Tramp Art? I’ve seen it before and it’s really neat. Made by “regular” people with an eye for beauty and with humble tools. Kinda like KariAnne’s table made by her brother. 🙂

  13. You are an amazing person and I love the way you express yourself… touched my heart with your words !♥
    What a wonderful, thoughtful brother you have and talented too! Love the table.

  14. Wow!…what an absolutely beautiful piece of art! If I found this in a shop it would be out the door with me in a heartbeat. I love how you describe your brother, I have one that “rolls” his own way…wish we lived closer. Enjoy your new memory…

  15. Beautiful table….really nice brother.

  16. ♥ the table. ♥ you.

  17. Your brother is very talented and innovative. But then so are you and your other siblings I’ve noticed! I wish I could use your brother’s talents around my house. Is he for rent? Just kidding. This week we had many bags of mulch put down and they left 3 wood pallets. I told my husband that my blogger friends would know what to do with them but unfortunately I do not.

  18. Love the table and what a sweet thing for your brother to do.

    Just PART of why I admire and enjoy you and wish I was your next door neighbor – aside from your incredible design skills, creativity, great stories, love of your family, etc. – is that you are REAL. You share the things we all have felt/feel and perhaps even hide in our hearts that tend to rob us of joy. The fact of the matter is that God created each of us with EVERY DETAIL in mind – unique and with a purpose. That’s enough for me now…regardless of the wrinkles or that my pants can feel to tight (shrunk AGAIN!) or that someone doesn’t care for my style. Thank you for always reminding us what is real, what is true and for reminding us the nature of pure joy, my friend. You are amazing!

  19. Love everything that you do. And say. And share. Thanks

  20. sniff, sniffle, thanks KariAnne, I am going to try and remember this during those silly self doubting terrible times~your brother is pretty amazing too 🙂

  21. Who could resist a LABOR OF LOVE?

  22. All of our weird little things are what make us US!
    The world would be pretty boring if we were all the same.
    You, your brother and sister are rock stars in my book!
    Love, love!
    : )

  23. Ya know, sometimes I smile and even giggle when I read your posts then sometimes I get a lump in my throat like today. Wow! I’ve been there too. I also think you have a pretty great brother! The table is beautiful, treasure it.

  24. KarieAnne,

    It amazes me that someone with so much talent and ability would ever have such self-doubt. However, that is probably the “thorn in your side” that keeps you grounded, real and approachable. You are indeed unique and special and God is using you in an amazing way! I’m glad that you recognize all of that.

  25. And today’s post is just another reason we love you. I always look for you first when I open email.

  26. Sherry Fisher :

    Karianne you are amazingly wonderful. I love the table and I love you. I also love your brother. What talented kids your folks raised 😉

  27. Thanks for sharing – love the table!

  28. It’s perfection! You’re family is so talented and YOU area complete joy!

  29. Such a perfect piece!! We are all bits ands bobs squished up together to make a perfect us, aren’t we? Luv it… what a sweet and creative brother you have!

  30. I always read but never write. It’s time I do just that. I really, really enjoy your blog. Thank you for letting your personality take shape on the page. It’s a pleasure.

  31. Is the table perfectly imperfect or imperfectly perfect?

  32. Beautiful!

  33. Beautiful! The table, your brother making a table for his sister, what you wrote, how you wrote it, and your talent.

  34. Please tell me your brother is available for marriage…

  35. What a beautiful table it is!! He is quite the artist!! It is very you!!!

  36. If he hadn’t attached legs to the top, you could have used it as wall art. The pattern, colors, texture are so pretty. What a nice (talented) brother!

  37. Amazing table! Amazing words!

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  38. I love the table! What a special gift.

    And yes, you are amazing. Have done amazing things. Never forget!!!

    Comparison is the thief of joy.
    ~Theodore Roosevelt

    Why fit in when you were born to stand out
    ~ Dr. Seuss

  39. Posts like these and blogs like yours are what inspired me to start a blog at this late date. You have a gift–thank you for sharing it.

  40. I feel exactly the same way sometimes KariAnne! Truly. I think we all do at one time or another, it’s human nature. Just remember, we can only be the best version of ourselves and nobody else 🙂 I’ve struggled with this in regard to my blog and artistic talents for a few years now. In the real world I’m super confident, go figure. I have turned a corner this past year and grown a great deal so I’m well on my way to not really caring what other people think, haha. I blog even though nobody comments on my posts, I blog because I love to share and be creative. I keep doing it and try not to be discourage…because some day, someone will read a post and have something to say back 🙂 The table is fabulous!!

  41. Beautiful, Karianne!!! You make me smile. 🙂

  42. Your brother is very talented! I love the table! And you, your brother and the table are wonderfully amazing! Which is why I come here to read this blog full of joy and heart.

  43. What a lovely gift from a very talented brother. I love the detail on the pallet table. Truly a work of art. Lucky you!

  44. What a creative gift of LOVE. Beautiful and beautiful words and a whole lot of wisdom too!

  45. Amen. Deep inside we all have those feelings, but many of us cannot express them as masterfully as you do. thanks for always being real. When reading your posts, sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile, sometimes I laugh out loud, but always I feel! thank you…

  46. Love every blog you do……but especially this one!

  47. Beautiful table…you and your brother are both very humble. I like your analogy of the tabletop and your personality…both sincerely amazing!!!

    Jane x

  48. I love your decorating style and I love your personality…I guess your “writing personality” is what I like….and secretly I hope that you are just as wonderful in your daily life as you are when you write!

  49. YOU are the Rock Star…….wonderful blog, amazing with words, and own a beautiful table. Thanks for sharing all of it with us, Elaine

  50. KariAnne–
    You are blessed to have such a loving and caring and creative brother! What a beautiful table! A treasure for years to come. Every time you look at it, you’ll be reminded of that wonderful, spontaneous gift. Those are the absolute best!

  51. Another sweet post! My daddy does this kind of thing for me and how special. I have a butcher block table he made using the legs from my grandmother’s kitchen table. The top is special because of all of the pieces glued together to make it. The legs are special because I used to play under the table and loved the massiveness of those table legs. You have a beautiful home and I love your taste … and your writing style. (I do like the comment above from Terry. Would you paint the legs? The legs on my butcher block table are white and distressed. I think painting the legs of your table would make the top shine.)

  52. Of all the pallet projects your brother showed us last weekend your table was my favorite. I can’t wait to have enough pallet scraps to do one for myself. You need to kick doubt to the curb because for me you’re the one with birds around you and rose petals falling as you walk!

  53. As soon as I started reading the “Detailed Description” of this table/tabletop…. I just knew where you were going … and yes… I started getting alll teary eyed…. because there is such truth in what you said!!!! The table is beautiful and so are you!!! Thank you so much for sharing …….

  54. That table is fabulous just as it is, and so are you!

  55. Love every last thing about this. Your brother’s love for you. His talents. The table. How that table is a lot of us.

  56. Love it ! And LOVE reading your posts! Pure joy…

  57. I love it!…and I love you!! I have a little brother who is equally as thoughtful. He would bring me some amazing piece of origami he’s made or something wonderful and unique that he’s grown… Brothers are wonderful!

  58. Bonnie Schulte :

    I find it hard to even find the words to write here..The one that fits, and puts it all together is “LOVE”

  59. Do. Not. Doubt. Yourself!! You are an amazing person and what makes something unique is not in the perfection it’s in the little crazy difference that there isn’t another one like it. Your table is like that AND so are you. Not that I’m saying your a table but no matter what your brother would do he more than likely he couldn’t duplicate what he did out of love for you. Your giggle, your ideas, your red lipstick — they are all you. I wish I could meet your brother — and of course you but I really feel like I already know you — you’re the rock star!! Big Hugs!!

  60. DearOne,
    You come from a place that understands the Master Carpentter’s workmanship in earthly form. We are indeed a thing of beauty, the allegory between your table, and our walk is spot on. Beautiful. Just like Him, just like you.

  61. Rebecca Turner :

    Your brother is so sweet and thoughtful to bring you a gift, especially one that took his time and effort…and I love your description of how he presented it. A little sheepish and uncertain, as though he didn’t know if it was good enough to be a gift…but it’s PERFECT for you! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  62. Karianne, both you and the table are perfect. I wonder where some of us would be today if we had your wisdom when we were your age. You are remarkable and a joy. Blessings

  63. Beautiful table!!! You do know, right, that you really ARE amazing??!

  64. Your brother once again has shown has colors as a truly gifted artist and craftsman. And you, my dear, are a gifted writer and artisan. And then you show the gifts from your sister. Most of all you all are lucky in love for each other and your families. Thank you for being so honest in personal doubt. We all live there but love helps us rise as you did for your brother. Thank you for sharing your life with us! You are truly a rock star!

  65. Wonderful post! You are amazing and such a beautiful person. Thank you for the reminder that our beauty lies in our uniqueness. I needed that reminder today, and well, most days really :). Thank you for sharing your heart, you continue to inspire!

  66. Dianne Bell in Michigan :

    KariAnne, you are so blessed and lucky to have a brother who loves you so much that he’d make such a lovely table for you built with his heart.
    Enjoy the day and give him an extra BIG hug. Peace.

  67. your brother is just amazing! this truly is the best trash to treasure!

    ps… I believe we all doubt and question ourselves… it’s part of the creative process… it’s what makes our next project better than the last. =)

  68. I agree with Terry. Paint the legs of the table and it will showcase the top which is a labor of love. Thank heaven for brothers–they grow up in the most delightful way!

  69. Ummmmm, is your brother single? Just wondering!…

  70. so much talent in your family, coupled with great love

  71. Love the table. It is a beautiful piece of art. Your brother is very talented. Love the love your family shares.

  72. Simply beautiful! And why I love reading your blog:) Have a wonderful day!

  73. I almost snorted at the idea of you “awkwardly dolphin clapping”. I know exactly what that means.

    And you know we wouldn’t like you nearly as much if you were That Girl, with the sunshine and tweeting birds and perfect thighs and all.

    But I have to say, I do like your brother. What a gem, even if he does drink all your Diet Coke. Besides, it really is more fun to buy more when you spent all night laughing and telling outrageous stories.

    Have a jolly day…and maybe a tea party on your table,
    The Other Marian

  74. I had a deep purple velvet dress but I can’t say I’ve ever seen red velvet pants. But I hear tell they match lipstick pretty darn nice.

  75. Thanks for being transparent. It was such a good reminder that we are all beautiful even with a few scars and rough edges!! By the way, the table is beautiful and your brother sure does love you.

  76. How beautiful and inspiring! So happy I just found your blog. 🙂

  77. beautiful post, beautiful table.
    i was in a lo-o-ong line at the post office when i read your post, and managed to keep the sniffles under control 🙂 your post really resonated w/me. your blog, and by extension you, are “…a little bit of amazing…” thanks!

  78. What a wonderful gift your brother gave you. And what a wonderful post. You are a beautiful talented lady. That table will be a wonderful heirloom piece for one of your children. How you chose which one gets the table is a choice I would not want to have to make. But which ever one gets the table will be a very lucky person. The table to be passed down to their children and their children and so on. It is a work of art not just a table. You are blessed to come from a very talented family. PS Just so you know I’m Bob & Nancy Reynolds daughter. I met you at their church one night. I was their for a Mother’s day event.

  79. Your brother needs to show his beautiful face on your blog! We would all love to see the man behind the creations. Sounds like a humble artist! I would make him pose with his pieces. Devine works of art!

  80. That table is gorgeous!

  81. I can identify in so many ways! Thank you dear Karianne!

  82. The doubt creeps in when we compare ourselves to others. Especially in blog land where everyone else looks perfect. But we are all special and you contribute so much beauty to the world. Don’t doubt yourself.


  83. Love all the creative work!!!

  84. What a thoughtful brother; the table will look so nice in your home. KariAnne your lovely writing touches my heart once again…you are just as lovely.

  85. A. that is a *gorgeous* table.
    and 2. you are a *gorgeous* person, inside and out.

  86. KariAnne,
    Thank you for this post and this blog. I read it every day and it always brings a smile…and sometimes a tear. Thank you for your creative vision and voice and for sharing yourself!!

  87. I am always so amazed by your writing talents. What a lovely story, what love between a brother and sister. Don’t doubt yourself, you are amazing!

  88. Your brother is amazingly talented and I bet he could sell those little tables by the truck load! I think many of us out here can identify with it, and you!

  89. Beautiful story again. A lot of people think you are extra special, me included!

  90. I love the table! The rough with the polished. Exactly how we each are.

  91. How absolutely gorgeous! This has to be the most beautiful table I’ve ever seen, so much character, and so beautifully built! A work of art!

  92. I love,love,love this table! He could easily sell these at the art fairs here in the QuadCities. I’d be his first customer. How sweet that he made that for you! As for comparing yourself to the seemingly perfect people you see don’t. I have learned you never know what battles they are fighting on the inside. I consider being unique and different a plus. BTW I founder you thru Findings HA!

  93. *founder(!?!) – found

  94. That is a beautiful gift from your brother. Love the intricate top. Your words always make even something as simple as a humble table outstanding.

  95. Don’t doubt yourself – you are an amazing creation!

  96. Thank you so much for linking up with us… Featuring you tomorrow! xo

  97. OMG can I join in on the dolphin clapping lol. This is beautiful and amazing and I finally know why I keep all of those tiny pieces in a bin now! What a great job he did! I love his pallet letters too!! He has a brilliant mind!
    So excited to be featured with you on The36thAvenue Farmhouse foundup!
    Have a great Easter!!