Thursday, April 8, 2010

How I Curbshopped My Own Curb

Edited to add;  I'm resurrecting this old post for Gail's Catch as Catch Can linky party.  Be sure to check out all the other entries.  It's a fun party with NO RULES! 

Last fall I found this trunk at the curb and snatched it up, thinking that it would make a great coffee table.

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As you can see, the top was splitting, so I first tried to glue it back down, but no go on that attempt.

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Then I decided to pull off the loose veneer and patch the top somehow. Meanwhile, I cleaned it up, sealed the inside and brought it in to try it out for size. We tend to eat most all of our dinners in the living room, using the coffee table as our dining table. What I found with this trunk is that it wasn’t very friendly to eat at. It was too hard to get close enough to the plate to eat!

Very disappointing!

Meanwhile, I had cleaned out the garage and the storage space ----yes, I actually have to pay for overflow junk storage, it kills me to do it but helps to keep peace in our household-----readying the garage for winter. And I actually threw a bunch of stuff out that I wasn’t using! A very rare occasion around here, let me tell you.
Well, I put these things out to the curb well before trash day (always want to give fellow Junkers a chance to find my treasures before garbage day to give maximum opportunity)

One of the items in the toss pile was this piece: I know I know, this is the worst picture ever!
I took it 2 summers ago when I only had a cell phone camera to use.


It was something I, of course, picked up at the curb and loved. Hard to tell, but it had a red cross stenciled on the front along with a Capt. Van somebody’s name and address. So I decided back then to use it as a deck box for our furniture cushions out in the gazebo. It worked pretty well after adding a piece of plexi-glass to the top to keep rain out. Only problem, it was way too big for the small space we had in the gazebo. So it remained in storage last summer. Hence the decision to throw it away.

Well that baby sat out at our curb for 5 whole days and NOBODY picked it up! Finally on the 5th day it was going to rain and I could not stand it a moment longer. I grabbed that baby off my curb and brought it inside, to an already cramped breezeway…..

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Now what?

Well……I still needed a coffee table…….

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So I brought the top in and set it on the trunk to see how I liked it. hmmmmm, not bad. Kinda rustic, but I like rustic just fine.

A good scrubbing down, some poly to bring out the wood tone,



some old hinges to make it easier to open (great storage for my fleece blankets I love so much)


Here you can see traces of the original stenciled letters. How cool is that?


One problem, it was still hard to eat at this table, mostly because you couldn’t put a drink down on it.


My solution to the uneven surface was to insert some plexi-glass into 2 empty frames, hot glue it in and add rope edging to hide the glue.

Attached some handles to pick up the trays…..



Voila! Coffee table and removable trays to eat off! Problems all solved.
(Forgot to put my fleece blankie away in the trunk before taking this pic.)


Oh, and whatever did I do with the black trunk?
Why I put it out to the curb, of course! Would you believe it was gone by morning?
When I was telling Gail about this makeover, her response was….”so let me get this straight, you curbshopped your own curb?” I hadn’t once thought of it that way at the time, but yeah, I guess that’s exactly what I did!

Gotta go now, it’s trash day somewhere!



  1. I love this curb find! It was even better the second time around! (curbwise I mean)
    I'm really going to love the fact that you now have a blog!

  2. Sometimes we have to walk away from our own trash to be able to see it with a new eye, lol! This piece is glad you snatched it back, whew!

  3. Thank you for visiting me at my blog. I don't get many visitors yet and I too have and still do find it a little scary to blog because there are so many new things to learn. I am also still trying to just find my niche.
    You say you wish you lived closer to IKEA. I used to live a 12 hour drive from IKEA and made the drive once, not fun, but I got a beautiful kithcen.
    I say I wish I could do like you, but when I see "junk" I don't get any visions of what it can become. Keep up the good work. I am now going to follow you and maybe I too will see treasures at the curb.

  4. Oh...Oh I am hyperventilating!~ I can't believe you put that trunk at the curb. It is so British Colonial. It is awesome. The other one was gone the first day that is so funny. This one was probably way more valuable..original stenciled name??? WOW!~ Looks great, glad you curbshopped your curb.;)

  5. This story got me laughing so hard!! Thanks!

    (still giggling)

  6. Great post! I love the piece, and what you did with it - it fits the room perfectly! But, I have to say... that post title is the BOMB! Hilarious!

  7. That piece is so cool and I'm glad you picked it back up off the curb. You are so funny and it paid off.

  8. Love this story... hahahahaha...I can't believe you put that to the curb and it wasn't scooped up... I would have thought I died and went to heaven if I found that... I love wood and wicker together... it looks awesome in your room... it was absolutely meant to be.
    Hugs, Deb

  9. I remember seeing this post before. I thought I had commented already but I guess I didn't. I just loved that trunk and so glad you picked it back up from the curb!! I am glad I found your blog (well, you found me :) and now I am your new follower! I'm kinda looking like a stalker, sorry, I'm not!

  10. Hi, Rose
    I love the way you did that trunk,, very creative with the frames and plexiglass. It looks great.

  11. Well, that just shows that your neighbors do NOT have an eye for the GORGEOUS!!!
    My tires would have squeeled as I slammed on my brakes to get that one....

  12. A woman after my own heart. I have a full storage unit and a garage with a path wide enough for my husband to walk through. Earlier this week, I passed up an ottoman because I already had a king size headboard in the car and I am afraid my husband will explode soon. He got the storage unit to clean up the garage which I immediately filled. Love your blog.


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