Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Cob Box Book Case {Revamped Family Heirloom}

This is the story of a cob box. Two months ago, I didn't know there was a special "cob box" in our family, let alone what one even was!

I happened upon this magnificent chippy old wood crate while digging through the treasures in my Aunt Linda's shed last time I was in Iowa.  I also got locked in panic mode when I climbed into their old trailer to get this baby out and awoke a large opossum.  I nearly wet myself being stuck in such close quarters with a giant rodent, with my arms full, and no way to jump out.  But we'll move on, because I really don't want to relive that moment.

Aunt Linda said this was one treasure that if I took, it must stay in the family.  No reselling this gem!
So what is the cob box?

My Dad said when they were kids, they had to keep it filled with corn cobs because Grandma used a cook stove and they burned the cobs to cook with and help heat the house.  Until the 70's!  Somewhere along the way, the hinged lid disappeared... but the stories this box could tell if it could talk.  Anyone who knows the Hayes boys would have stories to tell, I'm sure!

I found the perfect spot for it on my landing to keep the kids books in... but it was missing something.  Casters!  It  needed some big heavy duty caster wheels.  With some rust.  And I knew the perfect place to get them - off the old cart I found out in our barn when we moved into this gem of a treasure trove! 

Using the saw zall, all four wheels were cut off and screwed on to the bottom of the crate.  They were completely rusted on to the plywood they were attached to, which is why we just cut them off rather than attempting to unscrew them.

This is SO MUCH MORE IN KEEPING with my decor style than that ugly black press board book shelf that previously housed the books.  And the only reason I had the book shelf was because I mowed a client's lawn once who didn't have any money to pay me so she gave me a book shelf and some outdoor toys for the kids.  Yeah, sometimes I barter... not that I wanted to that day!  But...

An upclose look at this chippy distressed goodness....

And the peach crate on top (thanks, Mom!):

The crate on the inside acts as a second shelf for shorter books and is actually a vintage Vernors wood box that we found in the well when we moved here.  Score!  I told you this place was (is) a treasure trove!

Here's the well it came out of in case you're curious:

and here you can see the Vernor's crate on the bottom:

 Yes.  I think my  "library on the landing" is FINALLY HOW I WANT IT!!!! :)

And want to know one of the best parts?  
This whole room only cost me a few dollars.

  The chairs were free from an older lady in town who wanted to get rid of them, the wall decor is all repurposed cupboard doors and an old window I found, the pillows are made from old feed sacks that my buddies at the Parma mill gave me, the globe was something I picked up at a garage sale for a dollar, same with the lamp, round end table, and scale!  My friend Maran made me the gorgeous paper wreath, and after reading this post, you know all about the book case! :)

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TDC Before and After


  1. So you're not just a pretty face huh, industrious, smart,talented,Wife,Mom, friend.
    Am sure there are several more good descriptions to match you.
    Sorry getting tired. Been finessing my smaller picnic baskets today to display on living room shelves. Doing laundry which includes hanging out to dry in wild winds, changing sheets, clearing out too much stuff in our room and closet and vacuuming room after I play on here for little bit.
    Don't you love it when you need something and can go scrounge it out in shed or wherever?
    We don't have a barn but do have big old shed all kinds of "stuff" is jammed into. Usually can find something close enuf to what I need out in that shed, probably lot have forgotten is in there. Was going to clean shed out this Spring before it got too blasted hot here but have had mostly rainy, cold, bleary, nasty days. Will most likely take all week to go thru all of it so needs to be outside. Besides, mood to tackle all of it has pretty much dissipated.
    Maybe in the fall. It gets burning hot out in our back yard in summer, miserable. Can hardly stand to go out to hang laundry, phewy.
    We live few miles west of Grand Junction, CO, CO river is about 2 miles south as it runs along side I-70. We have mountains close by, love it out here. Am not a city dweller anymore after living in MT on Canyon Ferry Lake on 20 acres, then 1 1/2 acres in country north of Bowling Green, KY. Now we just have 1/2 acre as prices here are ridiculously high, especially after KY. We have 5 chickens, dog and cat.
    I'd go back to MT in heart beat if we could have what we did before. Hubs says too old to move anymore, fiddle sticks, I'll be 76 in July and Hubs 75 in Oct. Have awesome week

  2. Am so sorry, love your library shelves ,you made crates looks so perfect and your nice seating area with books
    Would love to have some great old crates, very expensive here even at thrift stores. Everything is expensive here. Imagine you can find old crates along the road.
    I love Iowa, used to go with hubs when he was trucker all over U.S. and parts of Canada. One time I got stomach flu over super bowl weekend, hubs had to go to Novia Scotia but I was too blasted sick so he left me in motel outside Davenport, came for me at end of week. Worked out ok, people are so nice in Iowa, love Des Moines and other parts also. Loved traveling and sure do miss it, just bit of a gypsy. Promise won't leave another comment today.

  3. I just learned something - I'd never heard of a cob box either until just now! Love the way your library landing looks. And so nice that you took a bookshelf you didn't even like as 'payment' for yard work.

  4. I loveeeeee crates, this is awesome! PINNED


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