This is the story of the present that showed up under the Father’s Day tree.

It started out life as discarded pieces of wood from a woodpile where all the oak and pine and cedar goes to retire.

Little bits of molding.

Half of a wine barrel top.

Random pieces of wood that looked like they were never going to amount to much of anything.


Except they did.

All those little bits of imperfection turned into this.

It’s a tool box.

Or a storage caddy.

Or an office organizer.

The possibilities are endless.

My oldest son, Denton, made it for his Dad last week.  I heard rumblings in the wood shop.  He disappeared for two hours and when he came out, he was covered in dirt and sawdust and little bits of wood, proudly carrying this tool box.

His imagination made the wine barrel lid into a handle.

His creativity transformed the random wood pieces into the sides.

His vision took the molding and used it for the edges.

There are tiny compartments inside the box.

They are tucked into the side next to the wine barrel handle.

And the cutest part?  Each compartment has its own molding top.

But the amazing thing about the tool box isn’t the actual project itself.

It is so much more than just a present.

It’s about a son who loves his father.

It’s about believing you can create.

It’s about using your creativity and imagination and vision…

…to make something where there once was nothing.

Because that’s the thing about this tool box.

It isn’t perfect.  Not even close.  There are cracks and joints where the wood doesn’t match up exactly and it’s a little crooked on one side.

But perfection?


The joy and beauty and the wonder of this I-once-was-a-wood-pile-retiree-and-now-I’m-going-out-on-tour tool box is the imperfection found in every line.

I’m taking notes.  I know this wasn’t about me.  I’m a mom and this was for Father’s Day.  But I looked at that tool box and I IDENTIFIED.

But I looked at that tool box and I IDENTIFIED.

I’m taking the lesson of the tool box to heart.  I’m celebrating me and all of my yoga-pants-messy-bun-got-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed-and-its-Monday imperfect self today.

Won’t you join me? 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Terri Terri

    So thoughtful for your son to make this for his dad. Love the patina and creativity. Certainly a gift that will be used and appreciated for many years to come.

  2. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Me? I just go with the flow on a Monday morning! Wherever it happens to lead That is a gorgeous box. It has great character and oh so much love attached to it. Seriously, I think it's beautiful. No other wood has that much character and beauty that is naturally found in this piece. Good Job, young Denton!

  3. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    My eyes are leaking! Denton obviously caught the creative bug. Love the toolbox! If it were at my house, however, I'd keep it for myself! Lovely story, as usual. 💜

  4. Image for Anne-Marie Anne-Marie

    It's very touching. These days, you go out to the store and buy something and that's it. Where's the heart in that ? A handmade gift says so much more. Your son understood it all.

  5. Image for Ellen Ellen

    Denton has the vision to see the possibilities that remain impossibly hidden to others. This recycled wooden box is a treasure beyond measure. Thank-you for this inspiring post that reminds us to see the beauty in imperfection. Great work Denton!!

  6. Image for Peg Peg, your sister, and your brother are SO inspirational and now, you're passing on the family tradition of "creativity and imagination and vision" to Denton!!! You must be so very proud!! Yay Denton!!! : )

  7. Image for Rose Rose


  8. Image for Susie @ The Chelsea Project Susie @ The Chelsea Project

    Of course I just absolutely LOVE this post. Your son is a beautiful reflection of the father. What a wonderful legacy of love, grace, and creativity! The toolbox is perfect. So perfect. I'd love to receive such a fabulous gift. Thanks for sharing! Susie from The Chelsea Project

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Welcome to Denton and his creativity....and reminding us that the perfection in a gift is found in all the little tiny imperfections that add up to love, sweat, and creative memories. Thank you!!!

  10. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    Love the toolbox! I'll join you but so far I'm having an amazing day. A good hair day. An I've arrived on time for every appointment so far today kind of day. A my house is still clean from Saturday kind of day. Woot! Nancy

  11. Image for Willie Willie

    Awwww.....I have a "little Boy", too.......he's 25 now . Give that a boy a hug, momma.....I know you love him as I do mine ! SWEET !!!!

  12. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Wonderful post... and beautiful job, Denton! (And I actually have an aside!!! I miss the dates on your posts. Just sayin'. I like seeing the history of families, diys, and blogs. Actually, I just like history.. and what is history without dates? ;-) ) Hugs! Have a wonderful day!

  13. Image for Linda Linda

    I have a 32 year old perfect, imperfect bird house my son made for me when he was 10. It is a treasure I will keep forever. I know your husband will feel the same about his tool box.

  14. Image for Cindy Richter Cindy Richter

    How sweet and marvelous. A treasure for decades. And I woke up today with no internet! Having to use the Hotspot on my phone. Ugh, bleh, dang it, totally not happy and haven't even brushed my hair yet! :(

  15. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    That is going to be a treasured gift for the ages, I bet! There's beauty in all things if we only look and give it a chance! That is simply amazing and what a reminder of realizing perfection is overrated!

  16. Image for Pat Pat

    Awww, that is so sweet, and very practical with those little trim topped compartments. I think it is the perfect gift, imagination and creativity all put together with just beautiful wood. xo Pat

  17. Image for Sue Sue

    Just the same as taking the "retired" pieces of wood, putting them together to create a special gift, the same can be done for those retired people who feel they have nothing special to give to others anymore. Your stories always seem to have more than more meaning, which means a lot.

  18. Image for Robin Robin

    Great job Denton!! So cool you took the time and effort to make that for your dad. I'm sure he will treasure that forever. Great job to your parents to for raising awesome kids

  19. Image for Alice Alice

    Brought tears to my eyes! Karianne! That is simply the best gift ever! Such love is shining in your family! Blessings and smiles, Alice

  20. Image for Libbi Libbi

    "I-once-was-a-wood-pile-retiree-and-now-I’m-going-out-on-tour tool box" LOL I love this!!! Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

  21. Image for Mary Mary

    Just pure joy! Visually and emotionally. Such a lovely gift. About 40 years ago by father made me a wooden tool box and to this day it is one of the most cherished items I own. It sits upon my dining table and makes my heart smile daily xxoo.

  22. Image for Marie Marie

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to store tools in this. Of course, I'd totally have to figure out a way to display it too. Too pretty to hide away. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday this week!

  23. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love the story behind how this tool box was made as much as I love the box itself! Your family will treasure this little box for years to come! Thank you so much for sharing this at the Farmhouse Friday link party! Pinned and shared! :)

Comments are closed.