It rained a little last week.

Just enough for my husband to turn on the windshield wipers as we drove down a winding country road.

And when the sun came out….and the rain stopped….the windshield wipers stayed on.

And on.

And on.


And I as I sang “Rhinestone Cowboy” to myself to the swish and creek of those wipers….I thought of a post I wrote a year ago about fun table top ideas and cork-topped desks and windshield wipers that went on forever.

Just in case you were wondering…..

…..not a lot has changed. ūüôā

Hope you enjoy it as much the second time around.

Cork on Desktop

I have been on a journey of self-discovery this weekend.


And in the process, I have learned three very important things about myself.

(1)¬† I discovered that when I¬†drive in the car with my husband and he leaves the windshield wipers on for 37 minutes after it has stopped raining and they are scraping against the window even though there is not a drop of rain in the sky and the wipers are making a sound that resembles nails on a chalkboard and no one else but me even notices…..

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†…..if I just think about¬†this…..I will forget all about the wipers.

Cork top

(2)  I discovered (again) that I really like the Olympics.

I really liked them last time I watched them in 2010, too.

But they are only broadcast every two years.

So I forget.

(3)  I also discovered a simple solution to a damaged top on a yard sale desk.

Add a cork top.



That’s it.


It was so easy.

I purchased two packages of stick-on tiles at Wal-mart.

I laid the cork tiles in a diagonal pattern on the top of the desk.

Then, I hot-glued them down and cut the excess cork off the edges of the desk with an exacto knife.

Wooden DeskHere’s the before.

This is what I started with.

When I bought it at the yard sale I can remember thinking to myself…..I might need to do a little sanding on that top.


I can hear you laughing¬†ūüôā

This is what it looks like now….

…..after a¬†little paint and hot glue and¬†two packages of stick-on cork tiles from Wal-mart.


And a little journey of self-discovery ūüôā


PS¬† If you have been reading this blog for any length of time… know by now that I am not the best at the step-by-step directions.¬† Therefore, if you have¬†any¬†questions at all…¬†¬†“Why did you use hot glue instead of using the stickers that came with the cork package?”¬†or¬†“How did you¬†cut such a clean edge with the cork?”¬†or¬†“Why does that number pillow that you made from a tote bag keep showing up in all the pictures?”¬†please feel free to e-mail me¬†anytime.

After all, we have an unlimited cork top desk question policy here at Thistlewood ūüôā

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  1. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Okay. It's late. 2:03 AM Its been a hard week of hospital stay and I don't feel good. So I turn on my iPad. And here's this fun desk that's not really a desk anymore but its RED and quite classy. (I saw her before mugshot) and I'm glad for an escape. I even re-read the LeePressOn nails. I think those nails had a mind of their own for my cousin's flew across the reception room at my brother's very nice wedding. I mean at least thirty feet!!! And red for it was 1982. I thought Smart girl to glue gun the cork on the desktop for better security than the presson seals...and how smart to use a utility knife for the edges when it hit me...wait a minute!!! The tiles are at an angle. Why??? And if all this stuff is pinned to the cork then HOW can one write any letters to put a stamp on and the mailman takes them from your box and delivers them to your friend's house?? And I realized. What's to understand. It's now 2:12. I've giggled. Admired. And well, if you want your bulletin board down on your desk then who am I to judge?? I'm going to sleep now and dream of LPONs flying across rooms and pretty red desks that aren't really desks....;-0

  2. Image for Brenda Rhodes Brenda Rhodes made me ask! Why did you glue down self stick cork? And how did you cut such a straight line with cork? Honestly, I never thought about the 2nd question til ya brought it it's on you now to explain it to little ole me. Thank you and love the red desk!!

    1. Image for amy watson amy watson

      Brenda, you gotta read about the Lee Press On Nails....It iwll all make sense to you then :) Well, Maybe :)

  3. Image for melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    LOVE the desk! But, love even more that I am not the only one that has a husband who never turns the windshield wipers off after it stops raining. You are better than me. I don't just hum tunes in my head to the beat of the wipers. I am more of a windshield wiper natzi. Letting him know exactly when he needs to turn the speed up. . . or down. . . or back up again. . . or off. He loves this about me :) Life to the full! Melissa

  4. Image for Jill Jill

    Well, since there is an unlimited question on earth did you find baskets narrow enough to fit in those cubby spaces, and why DO you keep showing that pillow, LOL! This is a great idea, and I love the red desk.

  5. Image for Christine Christine

    Such a cute post....Gotta love hubbies. Mine doesn't leave the wipers on thank god, but he does drive in the slow lane and groan when he can't do the speed limit that's in HIS HEAD...Thanks for sharing the cork top, such a great idea for a neglected desk...and quick!

  6. Image for dawn@joyfulscribblings dawn@joyfulscribblings

    Great idea! I've never thought of adding a cork top. I've used photos with a piece of glass over the top. My son's dresser could use a new top. I may have to give this a try. Although I think a desk is probably the perfect match for cork.

  7. Image for Angela Angela

    Love your desk and the color is fabulous!! My hubby does the same thing with the windshield wipers and I must give you "kuddos" for listening to them screech for 30 minutes!!! It drives me nuts after 30 seconds!! How can they not notice that!!!! It must be a guy thing! LOL!! Have a wonderful week, dear friend! xoxo~~Ang

    1. Image for Mike (CraftyDad) Mike (CraftyDad)

      Angela: I'm not so sure the windshield wiper issue is a 'guy thing'. My guess is that Karianne's husband was just SO lost in thought about all the wonderful projects that just seem to pop out of Karianne's head. He was "lost in love" as they say. I'm sure of it. 110% sure of it. : - )

  8. Image for Gretchen Gretchen

    Your wicker desk is beautiful but I would have never painted it red because I'm not as clever and smart as you Karianne. It's terrific and I adore the way you finished the top.

  9. Image for Liz Thomas Liz Thomas

    You are just too funny, and what a great way to start my day and I probably just typed what every reader is saying to themselves, So thanks from all of us and I love the red desk, it's perfect!

  10. Image for Trina @ afewmineradjustments Trina @ afewmineradjustments

    I am always turning the windshield wipers off for my husband when he is driving. Even if the rain drops have 5 minutes between them the wipers are still going on almost full speed. Drives my bananas, it does! And it must be our way now, because he never says anything about me reaching over and turning them off. We just continue driving down the road like it never rained, and the wipers were never on and the sun was shining the whole time.

  11. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Haha, I do adore the way your desk turned out and the brave color you chose! (And like the others who commented, I admire your ability to escape to a happy place and ignore those blasted wipers....I thought my husband had something wrong with him, it is the whole male species...I do feel better!!) What I want to know is how you cut the cork cleanly and straightly (not sure that's a word?) without damaging the edge of the desk. Also, and I feel very clever b/c no one else has mentioned it so far....WHERE did the drawer come from??? Was it original and just didn't make it in the original before pic? If not, how oh how did you find one that fit the bill so perfectly?? I am having serious yard sale envy right now...we just moved north of Nashville, but there are no cute treasures to be had...everyone has already snatched them up and chalk-painted them to death - large sigh. Maybe I need to move to the country ;) Blessings on your day, Cindy

  12. Image for iva iva

    Great Idea!!! As an added suggestion....Lowe's sells the rolls of self-adhesive cork that would also work wonderfully! I lined my silverware/utensil drawer with it. It cuts down on the clatter!!!

  13. Image for Mike (CraftyDad) Mike (CraftyDad)

    Hey there! Love the color of the desk. Just not sure about the practicality of cork on the top surface. It's clever, don't get me wrong. And looks great too! Please don't judge. P.S. I turn off the windshield wipers when the rain stops. Scout's honor!

  14. Image for Claire @ The Rustic Pig Claire @ The Rustic Pig

    Oh. My. Goodness! I thought my husband was the only one who did the whole leave-the-windshield-wipers-on-for-an-eternity!! I can totally feel your pain and you describing it like nails on a chalkboard! Absolutely!! Right there with you sister!! I have to bite my tongue the whole time and just pray that he'll eventually realize that the rain has stopped... minutes and minutes ago! :) Love this table too! I seriously would have passed it up had I seen it in it's "before" state. You definitely have an eye!! Hugs!! Claire

  15. Image for amy watson amy watson

    With my hubby, It is the blinkers!!!!!! Bless his heart, his hearing just ain't what it used to be...and you know how sometimes you turn a corner but it isn't a sharp eneough corner for the blinker to go off? Well it has become my job in the last 8 to 10 years to say" Love, the blinker is on" I have actually timed him and as of today his top time is 2 lefts with one right and 45 minutes later...YEP...I had to tell him " Love, turn off the blinker" sigh..I knew when we married 33 years ago that we would be able to look across a room full of people and know what each other is thinking, and we CAN....So why can't he "feel" me looking at him in the passenger seat and KNOW that the blame blinker is still on? LoVe the red desk with the cork top...and your photography ROCKS!!!!!! amy watson

  16. Image for Zolane Zolane

    Even better the second time around! You're a genius!!! I love that you sang Rhinestone Cowboy to the sound of creeking windshield wipers instead of wanting to bang your head against the window :) One of the things I most admire about you, KariAnne, is that you're always looking for the good, always putting things in right perspective with a positive attitude. You are a breath of fresh air to me :)

  17. Image for traci traci

    You are such a clever gal! Of course I love the red!!! I'm a huge fan of red on anything! You always put a smile on my face! So why did you hot glue it? Just to make it more durable? Traci

  18. Image for Lesley Lesley

    My pet peeve are wipers going with no rain ! I'm sure London Olympics were 2012.. Unless this is an old post and I missed that part .. Loved the transformation of the desk .. Wow

  19. Image for Lois Lois

    Love the desk! great idea with the cork....So windshield wipers on and no rain? mine is just the opposite...Its hurricane conditions and I hear self say " Don't you think we need the wipers now, look at the rain!" and the husband says "What rain"? .... love the red!

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