Check out this awesome yard sale find

I love a yard sale story with a happy ending.

Especially when there’s more to the story.

You know.

Like the one where the guy buys a painting and he takes it home and he takes it out to throw it away because he’s just going to use the frame and then he notices a small crack at the corner of the artwork and he peels it back and reveals a masterpiece painted by someone in the 16th century?  Or the show where the lady buys an old box of buttons and she’s sorting through and finds a diamond engagement ring?  Or the one where the yard sale shopper buys a poster from the 1970’s and they take it home and hang it up on the wall and it falls down and an original copy of the Declaration of Independence falls out from behind it.


Those stories.

This story I’m about to tell is just like that.

Except maybe even better.

I've been hunting for a pine dresser for a bedroom makeover

I’ve been on the lookout for a pine dresser for the upstairs bedroom makeover I’m in the middle of.

I wanted it a little unfinished.  A dresser that was a little rough around the edges with curvy legs and a worn patina and original knobs and I wanted to pay almost nothing for it.

Well, my friends.

This is yard sale season in Texas.

Ask and ye shall find.

This pine dresser was exactly what I needed for the project

This Saturday morning bright and early after the royal wedding was finished, I was driving down the street when I saw this.

This pine dresser waving at me from a yard sale by the side of the road.

I walked up to the sale and asked how much the dresser was.

Twenty five dollars.


Yes, please.

Especially since I had been looking at dressers that were way more expensive than that and not even as cute.

Here's a detail of the drawers and pulls

I paid my money and we were about to load it into the car when I opened the top drawer.

Wait a minute.

That sounded a little lame.

It wasn’t dramatic enough.

Take a look at the inside of the top drawer

Let me recreate it for you.

Here’s the drawer.

Picture me slowly opening it to lift it into the car.

And then?


I found this treasure inside the top drawer


Can you even?

It’s a copy of the original 1896 plats of my street where I live.


What are the chances that I would buy a dresser at a yard sale with a plat in the drawer that was MY STREET FROM THE 1800’s?

A plat of my street was in the top drawer

It’s called Waddill’s Addition.

I live on Waddill Street.

It was drawn in December 1896.

Close up of the plats from the 1800s

It shows all the plats marked off and even shows some of the people’s names who had bought the plats.

The entire road is there north to south.

Drawn painstakingly by hand.  Back before shopping malls and fast food restaurants and drive-through sweet teas and the internet and Targets that are five miles away.

Someone had made a copy of it and tucked it away in the drawer for me to find.

All those years.

All that time.

All that waiting.

And now?

That plat?

It’s finally coming home.

PS  I could NOT make up my life if I tried.

PPS  Don’t worry.  I’m not painting it.

Here's a look at this beautiful bookshelf painted

Take a look at this detail of this painting

I'm so happy with how this painting turned out

PPPS  So many of you asked to see the finished artwork after I wrote the how to’s on this post.

I changed my mind about the barn doors and went a little brighter with the flowers.

And here it is.

To Reader’s Digest it.  I took a photo of the flowers, uploaded it to Waterlogue, downloaded it to my computer and wrote the post and sent it off to Canvas Pop.

(total disclosure:  Canvas Pop contacted me after the post and offered to send me the canvas for a review).



It’s my own photo, but SO MUCH CUTER.

My very own piece of art that I created hanging right by my front door.

I can’t wait for it to meet my new plat. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Betty in (dry and hot) Arlington Betty in (dry and hot) Arlington

    I bet you're going to find a unique way to display that neighborhood blueprint! Love finding old things in an attic or yard sale! You really honor the person whose item was left behind for your family to enjoy! I'd get a glam frame and frame the heirloom! And the bureau, what a find, too!

  2. Image for Carrie Carrie

    There are times when that gentle tap on the shoulder reveals who is the real messenger....we know who turned your head at the right moment to see that dresser 'waving' at you. May blessings continue to abound this yard sale season!!! :) And, isn't Waterlogue the BEST??? Now I'll add Canvas Pop to that favorites list! Happy day to you, my Rockstar friend!!!

  3. Image for Carol Roper Carol Roper

    Oh my gosh!! That is so exciting!! I love finding things like this... a bit of history in unexpected places 😀 My daughter and I have been renovating a 133 yr old home for the last 9 mos and I did some digging on its history. Finding a photo of the man who built the house on was such a thrill for me along with finding some details about his children who grew up in the house. Bringing this old beauty back to life has been such an adventure! I love reading your blog ❤️ (And my kids gave me your book for Christmas and I devoured it!) I look forward to reading each time I see your post 😀

  4. Image for Mary S Mary S

    What LUCK!!! Guess it was meant for you to have it... You'll do it justice I'm sure. I can see it in an old frame and hanging in a a prominent place in your house. You have such luck at at yard sales!! We don't have good sales here in the St. Louis area. I'm envouis of your shopping opportunities :) You go girl!

  5. Image for Sheila Montgomery Sheila Montgomery

    The thrill of the hunt! It's what drives me to drag myself out on Saturday mornings! Your find is amazing-just like you!

  6. Image for Danielle Danielle That is yard sale Heaven!!! My dream come true!!! It almost came true. Once. I found a drop leaf wooden tea cart at a yard sale that had been on my list of treasures for a long time. I was able to talk the lady down to $25 (a steal since they’re usually around $100!) I was almost giddy with excitement, and as I was loading it into my car, I heard a rattling in the drawer. Could it be that all my yard sale dreams had come true??? Well, she saw me open the drawer and ran over and proceeded to empty it before I could squeal away. There were tiny antique trinkets and old coins and who know what else because she whisked it away from me before I could see it all. But she did let me keep a little pineapple encrusted matchbox case. So I guess I can’t complain too much.

  7. Image for Dauphine Bonham Dauphine Bonham

    Some things are just meant to be and this was one of them. I hope you frame it and hang it in the house.

  8. Image for Terri Terri

    I Can't Even........................... My mouth is hanging open.............. don't try to explain it... JUST ROLL WITH IT??? lolololol !!!! Chest is amazing .. canvas is amazing ... so r you !!

  9. Image for Katie Heidinger Katie Heidinger

    Love me a good yard sale treasure!! Are you working on the guest bedroom? Can't wait for the reveal!! P.S. I wish I had a bigger car to haul yard sale furniture in. My husband loves that my car is to small to bring to many large treasures (junk) home. haha

  10. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    Oh my word, you really do lead a charmed life. I am thrilled for you with such a great find, both the dresser and the plat.

  11. Image for Cristie A Morton Cristie A Morton

    That is just the Coolest thing ever!! I don't usually share my Blog obsession with my sweet husband But this one I did! He was impressed to.. Go figure.

  12. Image for Shannon Shannon

    Love the dresser!!!! And the artwork!!! I just went back to your post about how you created the canvas- not sure how I missed that post- although I was away on a dream vacation with my cousin to Ireland to meet family!!! :) I took some photos of an old abbey from the 1100's where my mom used to play when she was little-that I am definitely going to turn into artwork!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the information!!!

  13. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Well, this be a little opposite story. Twenty-five years ago I purchased a little organ which was carried in covered wagons. The William Henry Harrison home in Vincennes, Indiana was having a sale and getting rid of some things. I so loved this little organ and used it in my living room since then. We are downsizing and decided to let it go. A wonderful lady who loves vintage and old things purchased it. Well, she gets to examining this sweet little organ and finds someones name with the date of 1825. Would I have kept it if I had seen this date? Probably not, but I so wish I had seen this. She is over the moon with her purchase and I am so glad she is the new owner!!

  14. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    That plat was most definitely waiting for you. For it knew that only you would know how to honor and cherish it. It hid quietly in a dresser. A dresser that the plat knew you were searching for. The plat knows and thanks you. :)

  15. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    No you really couldn't make it up, I mean what are the chances...simply meant to be, well the picture too, beautiful..x

    1. Image for Suzanne Oberstadt Suzanne Oberstadt

      I was a garage sale once and happened to pick up a plat map of proposed electricity and it was for my grandfather and his entire family. I was about 200 miles from were my grandfather had lived. Paid .10, had all there names in German. The lady had no idea where it came from. Dated late 1800's, best find ever.

  16. Image for Sandy Sandy

    A couple of years ago I was looking for a smallish dresser to fit in an alcove at the top of our stairs - I found one in an antique shop - I did pay more for it than $25, but it was a perfect fit . When we got it home, inside one of the drawers was a handwritten note from the 1800's by the father that made the dresser for his daughter's wedding gift. How awesome. It made this piece even more beautiful.

  17. Image for Mary Mary

    Followed you for years Karianne and have never commented once (wanted to many times!). Today's the day. Great story. Happy you were the recipient of that, it's in good hands. Have to say though I thought you had a wee typo there, as "plat" is not a term we use in Canada. I thought-- plan? Plot?! But looking it up I realized I had jumped to conclusions. In the same vein, my daughter's lovely MIL-to-be was at our home for a champagne breakfast for that little Royal Wedding thing 😉 (wasn't it amazing?) and upon returning from the WC said, "I had the exact same mirror as you!" (We have a wall in our hall full of vintage and "crafted" mirrors). Long story short, she had taken her English grandmother's mirror to a charity thrift shop not long ago as glueing it had not worked out well--and my husband and me bought it and then fixed it (after a fashion, WE had to paint part of it.) She was thrilled and it just served to entwine our two families further. All the very best on our Victoria Day to the only blogger I follow.

  18. Image for Deb Deb

    Karianne~ Don't you just love the "God hugs" in life? Think about it. Finding THAT dresser at THAT yard sale, at THAT exact moment I am sure our sweet Heavenly Father was watching it all and smiling really big Love it! ((Hugs)) Deb :-).

  19. Image for Jane Jane

    Serendipity? No...freaking amazing!! Could someone ha e possibly thought it was just some sort of reproduction drawer liner? Gulp! You always make me wish I wasn't so lazy and would just go out and score some of the treasures you do!!! Jane x

  20. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Lovely story! Thanks for sharing your amazing find!!! The flip side story: my mother had a garage sale while my sister and I were away at summer camp. Sold an old mirror not realizing my sister had hidden her silver dollars in the back brown paper lining. Who knows if the new owner found them or not! :-)

  21. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I have sold yard sale items always thinking, "Is that an heirloom or priceless antique that I am getting a quarter for?" Lol I do sometimes wonder if my purchase has a priceless masterpiece underneath that photo or picture in the frame, but alas, nothing to date! We all keep hunting, but you, you have made us hope!!!

  22. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, my goodness!!! That plat is the BEST yard sale find ever!! My heart leapt and I may have squealed and sighed just a bit when I got to the photo!! Can’t wait to see where it will live in your home!!


    KariAnne, that Yard Sale was just waiting for you to arrive! That pine dresser is so cute -- and then to open the drawer and find that plat! This is just so amazing! I, too, believe this was a God send especially for you! I know that plat will find a very special place in your home -- maybe framed in an antique frame in your office where you are enjoying your Dad's lovely desk! Whatever you do with it will be absolutely amazing -- just like the special gal that you are! Bless you, KariAnne! So happy for you and your great finds!

  24. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    That plat is serendipity. It's good kharma coming back to a very awesome loving lady. I think this is the best thing I have heard in a very very VERY long time. Congrats, KA - that is a truly miraculous find. NO ONE ELSE could appreciate it more than you. Going to frame it?

  25. Image for Ditto Terri Ditto Terri

    Karianne, Not to be all strange and stuff, but sometimes, things are just meant to be. It seems you're on a very special journey. Enjoy the ride! Thank you for sharing!

  26. Image for Joanne Joanne

    I love that pine dresser. When my daughter was starting her first home we were always seeking old pine or pale oak dressers. She still uses them in her condo living room to carry the tv on top etc. and linens, candles etc. in the drawers. Three lined up---two that match. Smashing!!!


    Karie, Love this. Aren't garage sales wonderful? Also, All of a sudden, I'm not getting any new posts. I signed up again for the newsletter but I don't' think that;s the same as following your blog. I've checked my spam folder but there's nothing. What should I do?

  28. Image for Suzi Suzi

    Hey KariAnne, I just came back to your blog and some of the shots looked familiar...then I read this and realized you live in my city! My husband and I love to ride our bikes down your now when you see a couple slowly peddling down looking at might be us...we aren't stalkers or anything, just lovers of homes with character. Not sure how long you've been here, but welcome! Suzi

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