DIY Tree Stump Tables


Finally back from my European hiatus! I had a magical time but I’ve never been happier to be back home! I mean, you DON’T even get free refills there.

I had been throwing around the idea of these tree stump tables for a while. Again, everyone thought I was crazy! No idea why. I love them, and retail “tree stump tables” go for hundreds of dollars.

In January, I saved 3 stumps from getting the firewood axe and put them in a barn to dry out since they had been sitting in the snow for weeks. Forgot about them for a while but came back to them in May when the weather was getting friendlier.

Aside from finally finding the perfect stumps, it was such an amazingly simple process.

And I could not be more in love! They ended up even better than I imagined. And most days, I have a pretty unrealistic imagination…


We started by removing all the bark with a hammer and chisel. Since the stumps had been drying in a barn for nearly five months, it didn’t take long.


I love how they aren’t perfect. And you can still see pieces of the original bark in the cracks.


I had my lovely assistant help me sand down each stump with a coarse and fine grit sander.

sanding-tree-stumpsAfter the sanding was finished, we started with the first of many coats of polyurethane.

The directions said we could add a new coat after 4-6 hours but for each coat to fully dry, I think we waited about 24 hours. One coat each day.

I used a clear satin polyurethane. I preferred satin to glossy. I think we did 4 in total. On all sides and the top and bottom.


My boyfriend is the smartest. He set the stumps on a wooden board so the plastic drop cloth wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the stump. This is why I keep him around. I’m the imaginative talent! I can’t be in charge of these little details. He’s also amazing.


I like to think they look even better than the retail stumps! If I had the means, one thing I might have done differently is hollow them out. They are HEAVY. For now, I will just get a nice workout every time I decide I need a furniture rearrangement!

I like them clumped together for now in a little coffee table set up but may use them separately in the future.


The ceramic mushroom coffee mugs are from my recent trip to Europe! Came all the way home from Prague in one piece. Absolutely worth it!




About Girl of a 1000 Dreams

Lover of DIY and cats. But aren't we all?
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14 Responses to DIY Tree Stump Tables

  1. Krystal says:

    They came out GREAT. This is such an awesome tutorial. I would love to try this!

  2. Your tables look absolutely amazing! I’ve been wanting to attempt this project for a while now but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect stump. Hope mine cane turn out as amazing as yours!

  3. Pingback: DIY Tree Stump Tables

  4. Pingback: Friday Finds 7-12-13 | At Play Blog

  5. lou says:

    These are awesome!! I have been in love with that end table for so long! How did you keep the logs from splitting? I am having trouble keeping them from splitting and cracking when they dry out.

    • Thank you! Luckily, there wasn’t any major splitting. We kept the trunks in an enclosed work room so I’m assuming that type of controlled environment helped. I did have some minor cracking that you can see if you look directly at the tops of the trunks. I was a little concerned at first, but we continued on and they still turned out great! I kind of love that they aren’t perfect!

  6. Katie says:

    Hi! Found you on the CRAFT link up party. These are amazing!! PINNED!

  7. Lindsay says:

    If these were used outdoors for s patio would the weather ruin them? Or is the poly protective?

    • That’s a good question! Even though there are quite a few coats of polyurethane, I assume keeping them outside would have some effect on them eventually. Change in pressure/temperature could have some effect on the wood itself. For shorter periods of time I think it would be fine but you may want to move them into shelter when not being used.

  8. nancy says:

    they look like they still have the bark on them. was that something special, or just my imagination?

  9. nancy says:

    thanks for replying. I also like the look.

  10. Pingback: DIY Using Ideas with Natural Materials | Design & DIY Magazine

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