What’s That on Your Bench?

What’s That on Your Bench?


Farmhouse Mantel

Did anyone else watch the National Championship last night?

I wasn’t going to.

I mean….I didn’t really know either of the teams and I had projects to work on and after all….I had Downton Abbey taped.

And then my husband was watching the game and cheering for Ohio State and he told me the amazing story of the Ohio State third-string quarterback and how he had been the starting quarterback for only two games this year after the first and second string quarterbacks got hurt…..

….and now he was playing in the national championship.

burlap banner

I was hooked.

It was like a movie straight off the Hallmark channel.

Would he overcome the almost insurmountable obstacles and the challenge of being the focus of the national spotlight and Oregon’s mighty defensive line….

….to lead his team to victory.

I sat spell-bound for the next two hours.  He threw a touchdown.  Then there was a fumble.

Another touchdown.  

Another fumble.

And then under the stadium lights with the eyes of the nation upon him…”the little engine that could” put the exclamation point to the end of a three game season with his team’s decisive victory.

Never underestimate an underdog.

farmhouse bench

Kind of like the wood bench in the kitchen.

Long ago in a land far away I found it in the trash bin.  You might have seen benches like this before.  They are at every yard sale and thrift store across the nation.

Except usually they aren’t painted white.

Instead they are some sort of strange wood color and covered with cut-outs that resemble something like this.

DIY Farmhouse Bench


That’s right.


You might want to turn away and cover your eyes and say a prayer of thankfulness that 1990 has left the building.

Good thing it left plenty of heart benches to go around.

kitchen bench

Here’s an easy fix for the next time you need a bench and you find one at a yard sale of people who haven’t figured out you can cover the heart.

So the bench will be a bargain.

Start with balsa wood and a piece of molding (both can be found at any craft store), scissors and glue.

Farmhouse Kitchen Bench

Cut a piece of balsa wood with scissors into a square big enough to cover the heart.

Glue the balsa wood over the heart.

Then glue a piece of molding on top.

Farmhouse Bench Kitchen

Scissors, wood, glue and imagination.

That’s all you need to transform trash to treasure…..

….and celebrate your own “little engine that could.”

PS  If you are an Oregon fan, your team did an amazing job as well.  We are equal opportunity cheerers around here. 🙂

easy heart bench upcycle

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  1. Love the fact that you, too, still “tape” programs to watch later, even tho we haven’t recorded on tape in decades! Go Buckeyes and Mississippi State! Hail State!

  2. I swear you are so smart and creative I am a fan I love your style you go girl! Just have really enjoyed your blog for awhile! Everything God bless you! And Thanks!!!!!

  3. Love your heart “fix”! I have two small heart tables I picked up at a yard sale for $5. Just turned them around so the hearts face the wall, but was locked into using them like that . Now I know how to fix them!

  4. KariAnne — you scare me!!! Before I opened the whole post I read through the into and the first thing I said was, that sounds like a Hallmark movie or it could be in the same league as Rudy. Or how about the understudy who has practiced and practiced and suddenly the star can’t go on and there she is — on stage!! Sigh! don’t you just love a happy ending. All that work payed off – oh! and for your bench too. 🙂

  5. I have a similar bench but I haven’t painted it yet. I had a small wreath hanging over the heart cutout so you couldn’t see it. I took the wreath off in honor of Valentine’s day LOL! Boy, they were serious about them hearts weren’t they! I wonder what we have going on now that’s going to fill the thrift stores and people will roll their eyes. Have a great day friend!


    • Tina Matteson :

      Hahaha, good question… probably all the chevron stuff we are so crazy about right now! But… I still love it!

  6. MOST definitely watched THE GAME for National Champions. Way to go Ohio State Buckeyes and Coach Urban Meyer…Urban is from my home town Ashtabula, Ohio and he is the most awesome individual as well as being the greatest coach. It was amazing to watch The third string quarterback, Ezekial and all of those other awesome kids. O-H-I-O…

  7. Your “third string” bench is a keeper!

  8. Tina Matteson :

    Oh my goodness, KariAnne, now I’m obsessed with finding a wooden bench with a heart cutout! You are so inspiring.

  9. I love to come here for my LOL of the morning! That heart just had to GO! Love you KariAnne!

  10. KariAnne, you are so right, Hallmark should begin choosing the actors for “Third String Quarterback.” We are so proud of The Ohio State football team’s season. And as always, You Rock with never ending inspirations.

  11. I hope they make a Hallmark movie about the quarterbacks life.
    And your bench…..already a Rockstar. 🙂

  12. You are brilliant. Balsa wood? I would never have thought to use that. Or to cover the heart. And I am a life long Oregon fan, but I couldn’t help switching allegiances for that game. That really was a pretty exciting story.
    The Other Marian

  13. Diana Walters :

    Love the bench and the way you styled it. Does not love nor watch football…even Hallmark movie of the week type football. I will watch actual movies about football though. Does that count as watching football?

  14. You are a genius!!! My dad built one of those benches for me in the 90’s and I just cant get rid of it. Now I don’t have to. Thank you for the great idea. I cant wait to get to work on it!

  15. What a cute project. Speaking of what’s on that bench…could you share where you got the pillow that says Flour 40 lbs….on it? Thanks and have a great day.

  16. Oh the memory of the heart furniture …. I had a house full back in the early days of my marriage. It went wonderfully with my Teddy Bear dishes. Yep, I had teddy bear dishes; 8 place settings from Service Merchandise.

    Thankfully I outgrew it.

    I do love the way you transformed the bench. An awesome idea making something so “ehh” into something that blends nicely with your decor. And I love the pillows as well!

    Hope your new year has been off to a wonderful start!

  17. Great bench update!! Also, one of the pillows on your bench caught my eye! Did you happen to make them? I have been looking for a stencil or transfer of a nautical compass to use either on my ceiling (around a fixture) or on a large piece of furniture. Would love any sources if at all possible! Thanks!!!

  18. as a guy originally from Columbus Ohio I couldn’t be happier!
    Good Game! Good Bench! Good Post!

  19. What a great update on that bench!! I can’t wait to copy it. I have one that came from the Amish country and the only thing I don’t like about it is that heart cut-out. Now I know how to fix it!!!

  20. What a great idea to cover up the heart! So simple! And congrats to Ohio State…even though it’s “On Wisconsin” around here…it’s good for the Big 10 conference! 😉

  21. Karianne – Just this morning, I was thinking how the 3rd string quarterback was ready to play just in case he got called to play in the National Championship game.

    So love your heart bench!

  22. I like the heart. (She says in a very small voice.) But I love the diy option as well. And I really love the shelf above, so I’m pinning.

  23. But….but….I love hearts….can we please bring back hearts????? Said the old lady of almost 60 years young….

  24. We are definitely on the same wavelength. I watched the game for very similar reasons. As a Mich. State Spartan, I have no great love for Ohio State but, that story was just too good to be true. I applaud Cardale Jones and the entire team, and your bench. I can just see me looking for benches so that I can use your idea!!

    • No, Tina, say it ain’t so … a fellow Spartan cheered on a Buckeye? (Shakes head in shame). 😉

      I love your heart-deco fix. I’ve gotten to the point in decorating where I try to avoid trends and fads because I have learned that today’s trend is tomorrow’s garage sale item.

  25. OK, so HOW MANY things that have been discarded could be enhanced to live again?!!!!! beautiful!!

  26. Just beautiful! Can you please write a book of all your lovely stories??

  27. How I wish I had that bench now, I sold one like it many years ago at my garage sale (in it’s original color), I wish I had the vision for it that you did. Ohio resident and Buckeye fan here, I love the story as well of third string quarterback Cardale Jones, especially since he was playing against the much deserving Heisman Trophy winning quarterback. So glad that he believed in himself, as Jeanne Oliver’s series, Unfolding, the Becoming of You, blesses us to accept and believe in ourselves as the Lord has created us. I have enjoyed every video so far in this series and can’t wait for yours!

  28. OMG!!!!! I cannot believe I never thought of glueing something over those d… hearts!! I can’t tell you how many great pieces I’ve passed up due to the stupid heart! But I still have a great bench that is really a “trunk” with a back on it so I am going to get some balsa wood and use one of the many wood trip pieces I have to cover up the heart!
    T H A N K Y O U!!!!

    • I literally just passed out after reading how she did it.

      For real.

      I never would have thought of it either and have passed up some pretty good stuff ALL because of that nauseating heart. Huzzah!

  29. If I ever need a smile… Thanks for the joy you bring to ordinary days.

  30. UGH! I got rid of my heart bench in a yard sale I hosted a few summers ago. Drat! Being from Ohio, we say way to go Bucks! O-H-I-O!!

  31. It was a great game and story!! Better yet end of football season for college! Like round ball better!! What about those Kentucky Wildcats?? Woohoooo!!

  32. I have a heart shelf that my grandfather made me that I cannot get rid of but don’t want hanging in our house either (hanging head in shame). I knew there HAD to be some way to cover the hearts but just couldn’t think of anything. (Try as I might, I’m just not a creative, out-of-the-box thinker.) So, it’s been sitting in my attic waiting for someone brilliant like you to come along, lead me by the hand and show me what to do. Thank you!!

  33. Yeah I still “tape” programs too I don’t know why we say “tape” over “record” but we do

  34. When hitting the “Pin it” icon, up jumps a light bulb advertisement. Discusting!

  35. Yes we were cheering for Oregon, where we live, but Ohio deserved to win. They played the best game and congrats to that awesome Ohio quarterback!

  36. I caught the tail end of the game…meaning I finished puttering about the house and sat beside my husband who is a total sports fanatic. It was exciting…good on Ohio but I do love Oregon. Love the bench idea-so simple and creative. Thanks for the idea!

  37. Karianne,

    You are adorable. Not only do your posts make me smile but to include the Oregon team cheering section at the end of this one? A sweet thing to do. You have the kindest heart. Just thought someone needed to remind you.

    Thanks for the smiles!


  38. First I want to say that I just love you! And I’m sure if you live in my town we would be best of friends! Or even if you live the town over, we could have day trips! I love your creativity and your kind heart. I have been a fan for only six months or so now but I’m just so glad I found you. I’ve never left a comment but every day and my heart I so enjoy everything you write. But knowing that you were cheering for The Buckeyes I just had to say something. I grew up in what is known as Buckeye village as my parents were in college. I graduated from there, along with my sister and two brothers, my daughter who is a program coordinator at the Universities hospital. My son, who was an athlete there, just graduated in the summer. So of course I was watching the game too and tears came to my eyes watching them do what they did knowing what they overcame this year. They also lost a teammate a couple months ago due to a tragic event so yes, they Overcame and beat all odds to become National Champions. So now you are part Buckeye! You know Kentucky’s not that far anyway!!!!

  39. why, yes, how adorable and how simple, in a “smacks-head-and-says-why-didn’t-i-think-of-that” kind of way! THANK YOU for saving all the heart cut-out furniture in the world with this little tip. 🙂

  40. Never more proud to be a Buckeye!! Much more than just a football game at times— a story of teamwork, faith, hard work and never say die. Can you tell we are a bit scarlet and gray here?
    Love your blog and your stories… you have a gift.

  41. What a cleaver idea! Love it! This is a “Why didn’t I think of That?” moment.

  42. Hi Karianne!
    I have been a reader of your blog for over a year and decided it was past time to let you know that:
    1. I look forward to your posts every day and read them all snuggled in bed on my Ipad
    2. I LOVE your style, the design of your blog itself and your writing. Thank you for sharing your talents!
    3. I now live in Northern CA but lived in Columbus OH for years and was so excited to watch the Buckeyes play. I couldn’t believe my fave design blogger actually posted about the Playoff! I got teary eyed at the end of the game…like a Hallmark movie, because the establishing shots of the game are of “home” and I love feeling connected to the other fans. (I don’t really even understand all the rules of football! What is offsides anyway?)
    4. Our kitchen is currently under a remodel. Because we have friends and family all over I’ve been thinking of a little blog just so people can see the progress. Your site inspires me!!
    4. I registered for the Unfolding Series JUST so I could read your story. You are an inspiration in so many ways!
    5. I love the pictures of your family. I loved the post you did about your twins and boys and being strong and again…love your style as a parent!
    I will leave it at 5 things I wanted you to know! Thank you!

  43. So you are 1 of only 2 blogs that I have sent to my email and I love you even more now that you told an Ohio State story. Even if you aren’t a fan it made me smile. We attend all the home games and are glued to the tv for the rest. This year’s story has been a truely amazing one! Love the blog!!!

  44. Maybe it’s just my monitor, but I really can’t see good details in the picture since the majority of your pictures are of light colored items…and the white background of your website make it hard to distinguish between the two. It washes out the details and is distracting.

  45. YOU, my sweet friend, are a GENIUS. I would have passed by the bench. OH me of small mind and little faith.
    AND, as an alumni of THE Ohio State University, the fact that you were cheering on my Buckeyes during the GREATEST GAME EVER, makes me love you even more.
    Geez, I didn’t think that was possible. 🙂