Monday, May 16, 2011

DIY Tree Stump Table

After  dropping all our money on getting married, a trans-Atlantic move, a green card and all that unexpected stuff that you need for a new apartment, we are pretty much done spending for a while. 

Low on cash, we have been thrifty finding a cool dinner table behind the chicken coop, we revamped a kitchen cart for pots and pans from a surplus store, and I designed my own Pendleton pillow with the help of my friend Gale and her sewing machine. 
I really like how these little bursts of inspiration have personalized the look of our apartment, and in order to keep going in that direction I have decided to take our creativity into the bedroom and make tree stump bedside tables. After all, in the city of lumber, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a stump or two. After looking around for some advice on how to go about this, I found that the lovely miss Karen of The Art Of Doing Stuff has a full stump table tutorial on her blog, which I am reposting in my own words (a bit shorter) below for your convenience.

Will let you know how my stumps come out when they are done!

  • Tree stump
  • Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Polyurethane (high gloss, semi-gloss, satin … whichever you want)  
  • Paint brush
  • 1 package of 4 Capita Legs, (I want my stump legless, so I'm skipping this).
  • Drill and appropriate bits
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar or wood chisel
1. Get stump in size and wood you like. Drag it home and let it dry for about a month (or longer, if you're lazy) for the bark to loosen, which will make step 2 easier.
Step 2. Remove the bark.
This part sucks as, depending on the wood, it can be quite difficult.
Step 3. You now have a barkless stump.
You now sand it down to get rid of all the hair and slivers.
Step 4. Your stump is now completely smooth.
Wipe it off with a damp, lint free cloth to remove all the wood dust. 
Step 5. If you want legs on your stump (which I don't, but I'll include this step for completeness sake anyway), flip it over and place your legs on the underside of your stump. Use a measuring tape to make sure they’re an equal distance apart. Once you have the legs positioned, mark the holes in the plates with either a pencil or a marker, and drill holes at the spots you marked for the screws. Once all your holes are pre-drilled, place your legs and brackets back on and screw them into place.
Step 6. You can now stain your stump with wood stain in a nice warm color if your stump needs it. If not, you can go ahead and give your stump a few coats of Polyurethane. Lightly sand it after the first coat to get rid of any uneven patches you may have. In total you can  get by with about 3 coats on the side, and 6 coats on the top.
Congratulations, you have now made your own, home made tree stump table!


  1. I know where you can get some stumps:)


  2. Tell me where! And what kind of wood? Wanna come check it out?