Amazing Reclaimed Wood Table Runner

my reclaimed wood table runner is all about embracing the beauty of rusticity

My reclaimed wood table runner is so close to amazing in all it's imperfect glory.

I was out on an early summer morning run with my #1 son, just minding my business when-all-of-the-sudden I saw her.

She was dragging old fence panels out to her curb. I stopped in my tracks and casually asked if I might have one, and she replied sure!

You have no idea just how exciting it is to stumble into a situation like this.

No, really it’s quite amazing. No one around these parts puts things out by the curb anymore.

Oh, I’ve heard the stories of finding an entire house full of furniture just sitting by the side of the road begging to be picked up.

Not in my neighborhood. Nope, this just doesn’t happen.

I had to seize the moment.

Never mind the fact we were 2 miles from the house.

It was 80 degrees at 7 am.

Pfffft, these were small details to be worked out.

I thanked my benefactor profusely, and we began our trek home.

It is worth noting that my son never complained about carrying this panel. Not once.

After making it home with my major award, I realized I needed a place to hide I mean to store it.

We already had a garage full of proper wood for projects, and I knew my stray panel would stick out like a sore thumb.

I decided the best place would be at the west end of my front porch where the afternoon sun practically blinds you.

Best case scenario, SP (silent partner) wouldn’t notice it until around October. By that time, when asked where it came from I could say “oh that old thing, it’s been there for months.”

My plan worked like a charm.

That was a year ago.

I’ve come close to using this reclaimed wood for several different projects. Silent Partner took it all apart for me and clamped the boards together to smooth them out.

And they sat.

And sat some more.

A couple of months ago I started reading a book.

Not just any book, a book written by my all-time favorite blogger in the history of bloggy-blogging.

If you know me, then you already know who I am talking about.

Karianne Wood of Thistlewood Farms

What’s that? You say you didn’t know she wrote a book?


The title is So Close to Amazing: Stories of a DIY life gone wrong… and learning to find the beauty in every imperfection.

Raise your hand if you can relate to that title.

(we’ll chat more about the book a little later)

Back to the reclaimed wood table runner.

At the end of every chapter in her book, there is a step by step DIY project.  I finished chapter 4, and as I turned the page, I saw a project titled “Flip-the-Script Centerpiece,” which used a piece of plywood and mason jars.

It was at that very moment I saw with great clarity a vision for my fence panels.

These old fence panels have become a rustic reclaimed wood table runner.

They would become the most amazing reclaimed wood table runner anyone has ever seen.

Okay, maybe just the most amazing one I’ve ever seen.

I’ll let you be the judge.

Stay with me.

Sanding and soul work.

So on an unexpectedly cloudy and cool Texas morning, I grabbed my sander and got started.

Some people might judge this wood by the surface and wonder why anyone would bother with it.

I’ll be the first to admit, these boards were going to need a ton of work, but I love sanding.

I know it’s weird, but let me tell you why I love it.

Let’s face it; sanding is dusty, messy work.

It’s noisy.

By the time you’re finished, you’re covered in a fine layer of sanding dust.

The hope of what you might find underneath is what I love the most.

Sometimes it takes several sanding pads of different strengths to remove the layers of tired wood before the true beauty of what is hiding just beneath the surface is revealed.

Reclaimed wood sanded to create a rustic reclaimed wood table runner.

As you begin to sand, the glaring imperfections become less noticeable and sometimes disappear right before your eyes.

Isn’t that exactly the way soul work is?

We all have dents and dings and imperfections and crusty places that need to be “sanded smooth.”

I know I do.

It’s uncomfortable and messy work but in the end, so worth the effort.

After all, that sanding was finished…

You will notice a few things about this project.

There are exposed nail holes, one board is a little wonky, and they aren’t all the same length.

There’s no fancy joinery holding them together. I used two strips of wood and six nails to hold it all together.

Even with all these imperfections, I stood back to look at my work and saw only beauty in the rusticity of it all.

This reclaimed wood table runner is really just 3 old fence panels sanded down to reveal the perfectly imperfect wood beneath the surface.

I love every single imperfection.

It really is quite amazing.

This reclaimed wood table runner was inspired by a DIY project from KariAnne Wood's new book titled; So Close to Amazing. It's a must read.

Finally, let’s chat about the book!

I’m going to be completely honest with you right now, if KariAnne had written a book about how to sharpen pencils, I would have read it, then stood up and cheered about it.


I know you’re probably thinking if you loved this book so much why didn’t you just tell us all about the book, right?

I could have done that.

A couple of months ago, I seized the opportunity to join her book launch team, which meant I would be able to read her book before the release date.

The minute I finished reading the first chapter I knew I couldn’t just write a book review type of blog post.

I wanted to create something that would represent the essence of her book; learning to find beauty in every imperfection.

It’s not just a story about choosing paint colors or window treatments; it’s about jumping when you’re scared, leaving friends and family, making new friends, DIY projects that seemingly have no end, and learning to embrace the beautiful mess that each day brings.

This book will make you laugh, cry, and say amen. You will feel as if you just had an extended conversation with your new best friend.


So before I go…I need to take care of a couple of housekeeping items.

(The following is an Amazon affiliate link. This simply means if you use the link I have provided; I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

The book is not available until September 5th, but you can pre-order a copy using this link.

When you pre-order, (I hope you will) Kari-Anne is offering some pretty amazing little bonuses to say “thank you.”

You can find a sample of the first chapter and check out the bonuses by clicking the following link.

My Books- Thistlewood Farms

And… I just happen to have a copy signed by KariAnne that I will be giving away next week.

THE GIVEAWAY IS LIVE NOW—>>> click here to enter

If you want to be the first to know when the giveaway goes live, just sign up to join my email list.




Oops, I almost forgot, you may want to read about my pillow project that features a misspelled word written in Sharpie. #soclosetoamazing


Your sister in paint,


This reclaimed wood table runner was inspired by KariAnne Wood's new book title So Close to Amazing.









  1. Susanne says:

    Your table runner is amazing, imperfections and all! I love leaving the knotty holes and all the character of a piece of wood, that is what tells it’s story <3 You are such a wonderful story teller my friend, because it comes from your heart! I can't wait to read this book you keep talking about, have a wonderful rest of your week!

    • Lisa says:

      Dear Susanne, I briefly contemplated brushing on a coat of white paint, but I just fell in love the raw beauty of the wood.

      You will love this book. I promise.

  2. Tonya says:

    I love hearing about your adventures in DIY Lisa! I loved how you turned something destined for the landfill into something amazing. Karrianne would be proud:)

  3. Sarah says:

    Oh, I love this story of your wood runner and how it ties in so perfectly with KariAnne’s book!! Her book really is amazing- here’s to finding the beauty in the imperfections!❤️❤️

  4. nikki frank-hamilton says:

    Perfect story. For the reclaimed wood runner, which turned out so pretty, and for the book. Life is pretty amazing, even in the mess, when we look beneath the surface it’s even more special. Thanks for sharing, sometimes I forget to look deeper to find the best stuff.

  5. FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Cute post! You’ve almost convinced me to sign up for the book. I used to like to read, but I don’t have time anymore since I started blogging. I’m sure you can relate. I’m thinking it over.
    Love your wood table runner!! What an idea! I never thought of that. Your wood looks beautiful, but I can’t get over that you love sanding! I hate sanding, but you’ve given me a new perspective on it. I see old wood like that out on the street all the time. I should stop.

    • Lisa says:

      Florence, I know plenty of people who dislike sanding. I find it somewhat therapeutic. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time as I would like to spend reading. #becauseblogging

  6. Toni |Small Home Soul says:

    Hey girl I love how that turned out, it’s fabulous. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets things and holds on to them for a while. Sometimes you just have to wait for the right inspiration. And it seems like you found it 🙂

  7. Mary says:

    We always have to look for the amazing underneath the rubble. That is what KariAnne has taught us with her warmth and humor. What a perfectly amazing wood table runner you have Lisa.

  8. Deborah says:

    I love your story and your project! It turned out amazing! The jars of flower are amazing. And combined with the runner, it is all over-the-top-amazing!!!

    I loved your comment about reading about people finding whole housefuls of furniture by the curb. Haha! Yeah ~ that’s never happened for me either!

    And I LOVE the book! It’s been so fun to be on the launch team.

  9. Melissa~Brown Dog Vintage says:

    I love your post and so true! I also hear fabulous stories of curbside finds, but I just haven’t been that lucky yet! Your table runner turned out absolutely perfect and clearly worth the wait. This book launch journey has been so much fun and I’m glad to have met such fabulous people!

  10. Katrin says:

    I can so relate! I never find stuff on the curb here and when I do it might be stored for just that amount of time, lol! I love your table runner, it´s gorgeous!

  11. Barbara Chapman ~ French Ethereal says:

    Oh, Lisa!
    How fun that you found those fence boards!!! I’m glad your son was able to help bring them home. The runner turned out beautifully. <3 I love reclaimed wood projects! We usually have some lying around {well, when we have a house! ;0)}.

    Will be by next week to try for Kari-Ann's book ~ would love to win,
    Barb 🙂

  12. Meegan Fast says:

    Lisa! Absolutely stunning. Fence boards are amazing to work with and I just love your idea. It adds lots of personality. Your photos are beautiful. Happily pinning for inspiration. Have a gorgeous week.

  13. Angie ~ Ambient Wares says:

    Yay! It’s a beaut! I’m glad you were there at the right moment. I got goosebumps reading this post because perfection is a hard one for me to let go of. It doesn’t have to be perfect in anyone else’s eyes, just mine 😉 As I’ve been blogging, I’ve slowly realized it isn’t something I want. I want to have fun and be proud that I accomplished something…anything 😉

    • Lisa says:

      Angie, I know exactly what you mean. I’m working on the “it doesn’t have to be perfect in anyone else’s eyes” part. We are all just a work of some sort in progress.

      I’m so glad you were “able” to visit my blog today. 😉 wink, wink.

  14. Leanna says:

    Love how you rolled out the history of how you found and created your gorgeous table center. They are really beautiful and also practical adding a build in place to set food along the table. Love it.

  15. Kim says:

    Beautiful!! I have seen your runner go by on Facebook, but I had to come over and peek at it. It’s stunning and the way you have set the table with those outstanding flowers is just breathtaking!

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