From Old Boxes

The Little Chippy Shelf

When Steve rolled in from Texas, I couldn’t wait for him to open the door of the box truck and let me feast my eyes on the treasures he brought back. It’s always exciting because his descriptions and lousy road photos betray the incredible beauty of the pieces he has found.

This time, an unexpected shelf caught my eye. At first glance, it’s a pleasant primitive, painted in rich greens often seen gracing old furniture. It is a simple piece that you can easily imagine hidden in the corner of a country farmhouse. As I got closer to this little gem, it’s story began to reveal itself and I quickly realized how wonderful it was.


The lower shelf has advertising from the old wood crates that had been salvaged to create this piece. The entire piece has been made from pieces of wooden 1930’s KC Baking powder crates cleverly repurposed. The back of the Texas cabinet showcases the advertising from the crates in bold, black letters.

After the stock market crash of 1929, America experienced The Great Depression and the southern and southwestern states were the hardest hit. Imagine the moment this piece was made. I can imagine a husband lovingly using discarded crates from the town mercantile, saving every board to make this shelf for his bride. It may have been all he had, a gift, a much needed utilitarian piece that would sit in their house until they could afford more.

Check out the back!

KC Baking Powder was well known in the South. Today, it’s known as the Clabber girl brand but until the 1950’s, KC Baking powder’s bright red and yellow tins could be found in southern homes and on shelves like this.

The sturdy wooden boxes that were used to ship the product to mercantile and general stores proclaimed “Same price today as forty two years ago” and “25 ounces for 25 cents”.


From June 20-24, The Picker’s Palace opens it doors for our 2nd Anniversary event. Please join us and see this wonderful Texas treasure and many of the others that will be showcased in our store through the summer.