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. Image for

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

  2. Image for Judy Judy

    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!

  3. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    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.

  4. Image for Leslie Leslie

    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.

  5. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    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.

  6. Image for Carol W. Carol W.

    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.

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      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. :)

  7. Image for Pat Pat

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

  8. Image for Debbee Debbee

    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...

  9. Image for Nancy Sharp Nancy Sharp

    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.

  10. Image for Zolane Zolane

    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!

  11. Image for Jenna Jenna

    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 :)

  12. Image for Peg Peg

    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! : )

  13. Image for Becky Becky

    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.

  14. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    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.

  15. Image for Sherry Fisher 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 ;)

  16. Image for Gee Gee

    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!

  17. Image for Trudi Trudi

    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.

  18. Image for Lisa Lisa

    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!

  19. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    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

  20. Image for texasaggiemom texasaggiemom

    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.

  21. Image for Colleen Colleen

    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!!

  22. Image for Peggy Peggy

    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.

  23. Image for Donnie Donnie

    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...

  24. Image for Jane Jane

    Beautiful and your brother are both very humble. I like your analogy of the tabletop and your personality...both sincerely amazing!!! Jane x

  25. Image for Laura Laura

    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!

  26. Image for Elaine Elaine

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

  27. Image for Mercy Mercy

    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! Mercy

  28. Image for kathy kathy

    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.)

  29. Image for Mary Mary

    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!

  30. Image for Terri Terri

    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 .......

  31. Image for Bethanie Bethanie

    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!

  32. Image for Bonnie Schulte 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"

  33. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    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!!

  34. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    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.

  35. Image for Rebecca Turner 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!

  36. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    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

  37. Image for Jill Jill

    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!

  38. Image for Sara Sara

    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!

  39. Image for Dianne Bell in Michigan 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.

  40. Image for Amy Amy

    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. =)

  41. Image for Carol P-K Carol P-K

    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!

  42. Image for Debra W Debra W

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

  43. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    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

  44. Image for Susan Susan

    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.

  45. Image for mamie mamie

    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!

  46. Image for Pam Egbert Pam Egbert

    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.

  47. Image for Megan W. Megan W.

    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!

  48. Image for Lisa Lisa

    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. Lisa

  49. Image for Velia Velia

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

  50. Image for Julie Julie

    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!!

  51. Image for Leah Leah

    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!

  52. Image for Maria Maria

    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!

  53. Image for Leslie W Leslie W

    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!

  54. Image for jessica jessica

    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!! Jess LiveRandomlySimple

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