How to Make a Tree Stump Table

Before I sold everything I owned and painted my whole house white I couldn’t buy a decorating magazine.   Why you ask?  I couldn’t put any of those nice things in my house.  It’d look stupid.  I’d look stupid.  My house would look stupid.  No matter how you looked at it, everything led to stupid.

I found most of the stuff in my house at garage sales or at the side of the road so the latest doo-dad from Fancy Store just wasn’t going to fit in.   A lace doily and a bowl of Scotch Mints?  They would fit in.  See here for proof.

So anything featured in a decorating magazine dated anything later than September of 1840 wasn’t exactly going to blend.

When I finally painted and redecorated my house, I bought some magazines.  And I started filling my house up again on a minimal (non-existent) budget.  When I saw a tree stump table teetering on stainless steel legs in Canada’s House and Home magazine, I thought “I’m gonna make me one of those”.  For free.  Yay for free furniture!

Crap.  That’s what got me into trouble with my house in the first place.  Decorating it with things I had found at the side of the road.   However, this free thing didn’t require that I scrape dried up earthworms off it, so it was bound to work out better.

I got me a stump and I made me a table.  And you can too.





*  Tree stump

*  Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)

*  Polyurethane (high gloss, semi-gloss, satin … whichever you want)  I used satin which has just a nice sheen

*  Paint brush

*  1 package of 4 Capita legs from Ikea (I used 6”)  $19.99

Drill and appropriate bits

Since I already have a tree stump table, (the one I made when I redid my house) for this post I had to make another.  So when I went to order my fireplace wood I told the old guy who runs the business I needed a stump to make a table out of.  He dragged me to the back of the woodpile and pointed to a huge walnut log.  He said that’s your table.

He got out his chainsaw and eyeballed a perfectly level cut.  The stump table had begun.

He threw it in my trunk and I took it home.

I don’t care how you get your stump … just get one.

That is step number 1.  Get a stump.

Your legs will be 6 inches high, so figure out how tall your stump needs to be for where you want to put it.

My stump is 15″ across by 18″ high to bring it to the just below the arm of my couch.

Allow your stump to dry out for at least a month.  It’ll lose several pounds and the bark will loosen, making step 2 easier!

Coincidentally if you allow yourself to dry out for a month you’ll lose several pounds too.

You can dry the stump outside for a couple of months, then bring it inside for a couple of weeks.

If your stump was already cut and dried from wherever you got it, you can just bring it inside for a couple of weeks.

Now the work begins.  You have to remove the bark.  Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it isn’t.

The first stump table I made was from Oak. The bark just pulled off with my hands.

The second stump table I made was from Walnut.  The bark was a nightmare to remove.  I needed an array of tools, a swear jar and my boyfriend.

To remove the stump’s bark, you’ll need these tools to do it:

A Hammer

A Prybar

After your stump has dried inside for a couple of weeks insert the prybar between the bark and the stump.

Hammer it enough to loosen the wood.

Then either keep hammering or pull the bark loose with your fingers.

Keep doing this all the way around the stump until all the bark is off.

And yes, you do need to remove the bark.  If you don’t, over time it’ll loosen and fall off on it’s own leaving you with a cruddy looking piece of crud as a table.

If the bark is particularly stubborn, like this stupid thing was … do the same thing but with wood chisels.

They’re sharper and will cut through the fibres between the bark and the stump better than a prybar.

Be careful  not to hack into the wood with the chisel though.

Now your stump is cleaned of its bark.


When it’s dried out the stump might split a bit like this.

That’s O.K.  It adds character.

The stump now needs to be sanded to get all the little hairs and slivers off it.

You need a smooth stump.

Use a variety of sandpaper grits.

Get rid of all the hairs.

Sand until you can run your hand over the stump and it feels smooth.

Once your stump is smooth wipe over it with a damp, lint free cloth or a tack cloth.

A lot of wood dust will come off.

Now flip your stump over and get ready for the fun part.


Get your pre-purchased legs.

Mine are the Capital legs from Ikea.

Each leg comes with a bracket that you screw into the base of your table.

Place your legs on the underside of your stump.

You can use all 4 legs or just 3.  I’m partial to 3, but 4 is definitely more stable.

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.

Remove the legs and fit your drill with the appropriate sized drill bit.

Drill holes at the spots you marked for the screws.

Once all your holes are predrilled, place your legs and brackets back on and screw them into place.

To make my life easier, I put all my screws into a little dish.  Don’t question it.  Just do it.

Now all your legs are on!

Now it’s time to finish the table.

If there are any sections where you accidentally took too much of the wood off you can skim over it with some stain.

I have a whack of different cans of stain so I picked the one I thought would match the best.

Appropriately, it was “Walnut” stain.

Just wipe it onto the light portion of your wood with some paper towel.

It just darkens it up enough to make it blend in a little better.

There will still be a colour variation, just not quite as distinct.

The staining is a matter of choice.

On my first stump table I didn’t do it … on this one I did.

Let your stain soak in and dry.

Then get some of this  …

… and one of these.

If you’re using an oil based finish use a natural bristle brush.

Seal the whole stump.

Sides … (that’s a fast moving cat in the background by the way)

… and top

The top of the stump will get really dark, but it’ll lighten up once the finish sinks in and dries.

After your first coat dries gently sand off any burrs and bumps.

Remember … just sand lightly.

The sanding will leave the finish with a white haze.  Don’t worry about it.

It’ll go away once you apply another coat of finish.

Speaking of which … your stump will need another 2 or 3 coats around the sides.

Plus it’ll need a total of around 6 coats on the top.  Because of the open grain, the finish soaks into the top a lot more and requires more coats.

Always let your finish dry the recommended amount of time in between coats.

Once you’ve completed all coats of finish you can admire a thing of beauty.



The only drawback to this table?  Not a single dried earthworm on it.  Plus, everyone who sees it is going to ask you to make them one.  Now, thanks to me, you can just direct them to this website and tell them to make their own.

This one by the way … went to my niece for Christmas.  Yes, the niece who famously chucks things.  She’s the chucker.  This finished stump table weighs close to 70 pounds.  So good luck chuckin’ that little niece.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some decorating magazines to peruse.


  1. Ana says:

    Awesome!! I might have to make one now that I know how. Happy New Year!

    • Tami says:

      I just came across your blog. I have been dreaming of the stump table at West Elm. But like you, I am too cheap to let loose with the cash. I have thought about making one, but thought it would take much longer for the stump to dry out. This is a definate project. Will give my husband the specs when he cuts wood this summer. Thanks for the great instructions.

    • ryan says:

      hi great work….just wondering…how do you know if the stump has termites?

      • Karen says:

        Hi Ryan – Termites aren’t a huge problem around here, but to check for them I’d just see if the stump is much lighter than it should be. Also, chances are you’ll be able to see the termite damage. They have to enter at some point of the stump and if there are termites, you should be able to notice the entry point. If you’re worried about termites or bugs put the stump in a plastic garbage bag, spray it with bug spray that contains pyrethrins. ~ karen!

        • ryan says:

          thank you

        • Daniel says:

          Hey I have the same problem, great suggestion. however I found that the stump has some random spots that are really moist almost like a sponge. Would this be a sign that is is decomposing or termites?

          • Karen says:

            Well Daniel – It could be aliens. But probably not. Most likely it’s just rotted wood. You can dig around (dig the rotted wood out) to see how far it goes. It this is going to ruin the look of your stump, then you’d best look for another stump I’m afraid. One that hasn’t been infested with aliens. ~ karen!

            • I’ve seen some lovely stumps and branches where spaces of dug-out wood are filled with bits of agate, or glass marbles, or other such interesting items… and the hole is then filled with resin. Place the wood it on its side (gravity is your friend) and let it dry (solidify) for a long while, and once done, it will look like smooth glass filled with sparklies.

            • Ann says:

              Daniel, Karen!

              Another little thought to add to the stump idea is, if there is a significant spot of rot… but you REALLY like your stump… dig out the rot till you cant take any more out…. then, if its on the side, clean out the “bottom” of the hole and smooth it down till its flat… and finish it the same way you did the outside of your stump. NOW … you have a stump table or seat… with a CUBBY in it…. sometimes, that can be useful for magazines or little things like a book you read while in your chair or some little items you want handy but not constantly cluttering your table top.

              If the rot is on the TOP of your table… scoop out all the soft stuff, then fill it with clear resin. You can get the resin you need from most hardware or paint stores. OR you can scoop it free of mushyness and get a piece of glass for your table top…. a creative way to use the space would be to get a piece of glass and have it cut with a hole right where the hole in your stump is… place it on the stump table with the hole lined up with your stumps hole…. and find a flower pot or small vase that will fit inside the hole… fill it with water or soil… and… insta- pretty !!! add your flowers and now, if you have pets… like I do… that like to knock over anything with water in it… they CAN’T make a mess of your flower vase any longer!!!

              Happy Crafting!!!


            • Karen says:

              Thanks Ann! ~ karen

        • carolyn nolen says:

          Why do people think that only something that will kill you is needed to get rid of tiny bugs? If termites are in your tree stump, get some alcohol (70% or 91%) and spray away. Any bug that burrows or is in the ground will die, immediately, and not return. Always try green first!

    • Enedelia Obregon says:

      I have some large logs from tree that I would like to use for decorative purposes. Do I need to remove the bark before I seal it? I’d like to keep the bark since I’m keeping them outdoors.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Enedelia – Depending on what type of tree you’re talking about, chances are over time the bark will fall of by itself. That’s why it’s recommended that you remove it first. You can try to seal it with the bark on, but it’s probable that your bark will start to fall off on its own eventually and you’ll have to reseal it without the bark. ~ karen!

        • Andrew says:

          Also, the bark holds moisture that will lead to rot slowly and attracts bugs – or at least gives them a foothold to hide away from predators while they attack your stump from relative safety.

    • Chris says:

      Karen.May 18,2013
      We had a tree down from the Sandy storm. there was a piece of truck that was so different i wanted to keep it but not for the house. for the garden. I am assuming i can follow the same steps u did to paint and stain. i have alot of experince in that area. But the drying out part it is big. can i cover it out side it is always raining and bigand heavy to drag in the house. any suggestions? and when i rolled it over there was little bugs on it I don’t know what they were I threw water on them and they went away. I really don’t want to throw the tree out. do u have any suggestions? thank you so much

      • Karen says:

        Chris – You can dry it inside and seal it and everything, but if you’re leaving the tree outside, personally, I wold probably just remove the bark and leave it natural. It will rot eventually but it will be a long, longgggg time before that happens. ~ karen!

  2. Laura says:

    Handily my backyard happens to be full of stumps. Gotta go drag one in now. Thanks Karen!

  3. christina says:

    & may I add to my fb post? The $199. stump in the mail order catalog does not have legs! It is just a STUMP!! (creativity is SUCH a blessing!)

  4. Nancy says:

    I have lots of big tree stumps but none of them are cut straight. I guess I just need to learn how to use my chain saw. It kinda scares me. Any good suggestions?

    • Karen says:

      Oh dear God, Nancy. LOL. Don’t use a chainsaw! They’re for experienced lumberjacks only. *I* don’t even like to use a chainsaw. If it hits a knot it can kick back and take your face out! If you *are* experienced with a chainsaw, just mark a straight line on the log with roller paint and cut away (and cut under the paint so it doesn’t end up on the stump). ~ karen

      • Chrodis says:

        Where can I buy a vertical section of a tree to make a long 6 person dinner table? Do you know what I mean?

        • Karen says:

          Hi Chrodis. I think you probably just mean a board, LOL. If that’s the case you can get “barnboard” at a lot of lumber stores. Rona here in Canada has barn board. It’s wood that’s around 12 – 16 inches wide and it can be however long you want. You’d need a few to make a table though. It’s almost impossible to get board that’s much wider than that anymore. You’d have to look for vintage barnboard that’s around 100 years old to come across something like that. Good luck! ~ karen

          • Guido C.Epelbaum says:

            Hy: March 16,2012 Columbus,Ohio USA

            Regarding the wide board for a table top…Almost
            35 years ago while skiing in Vermont,Killington,…I stopped at at mill WEIRD WOOD something….and I picked a board,that they shipped to my house….lots ow work later..I had a
            beautiful Harvest Table…the top was 34″ wide,92″long,2 1/2″ Thick….White pine I believe..still being used daily….a great piece of furniture..teach me how to send you a picture
            I have some beauties GUIDO…Gepelbaum @AOL.COM

        • michael cousin says:

          Chrodis… I believe what you are asking for is a piece of “live edge” or a “slab” generally a 2-4″ thick slice of a tree cut length wise. the edges are not cut and squared, they are left intact leaving you with a flat hardy table which has the natural contours of the tree as the edges. You can check my website for pics of a live edge floating shelf i made for a customer. They are commonly used as tables shelves bar-tops and mantles. I make sure mine are dried for 2 years before starting work on it, since wood moves as it dries. the fibers shrink and twist which will ruin your finish, and leave you with a twisted un usable table top.

    • Daina Pearson says:

      Just reading this… I would use a power-sander. May take you a while, but definitely a safer idea!

      • Karen says:

        Nancy, A power sander is good idea for levelling out small imperfections but it probably wouldn’t be very good if the stump is off by an inch or so. (which I think is what Nancy is referring to). An electric planer, perhaps would work though! karen!

  5. Rosalie says:

    I knew this could be made! Now I just need a stump.

  6. mimi says:

    Fabulous work!
    And I love how you have nail varnish on in the photos, makes you a glamorous workwoman in my book!

  7. Jennifer says:

    This is brilliant! Your niece is a lucky gal. Am guessing there aren’t too many felled walnut trees in the Phoenix area, but ‘Stump Quest 2011’ is on. (LOVE your cuff and ring in the tack cloth demo photo — the sign of a true professional. If I wore jewelry while doing something like this, it would fall off into the varnish no doubt.)

    • Karen says:

      Jennifer! You can use any wood. Some are prettier than others, that’s all. My original stump table is red Oak and it looks really nice. ~ karen!

    • Sandie says:

      Jennifer, try Don at the Gold King Mine in Jerome. Not to far from Phoenix and a nice drive. They do vertical cuts there.

  8. Craig Lawrence says:

    I click and read all your ads every day because I know that’s how you bloggers get paid. One of your ads isn’t working properly. Just thought you should know. Love your blog and support it by supporting your advertisers!

    • Karen says:

      LOL, Thanks Craig! The ads rotate so I’m not sure which one you mean. But thanks! I’ll look into it. And thanks for your support! ~ karen

  9. Love this! Thank you so much. Would love to try to make my own, just have to figure out where to get a stump.

    Also, wondering if you have to put on legs or if it’s more of a decorative/height thing?

    Wishing you all good things in 2011!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Connie! Heck no, you don’t have to put legs on it. I just like the look of it, plus it brought the stump up to the height of my couch arm. If I had just used a stump it would have had to have been 24 or 25 inches high, which wouldn’t have looked right. If you have a chair with a lower arm, or even just a corner, the stump with no legs will look great. They can also be painted! Or whitewashed! The possibilities are endless. 🙂 ~ karen

  10. Kristin says:

    I am in love with the rustic-modern look of this table. I think I am going to go right out to the nearest plot of trees and find a fallen one just to make a table like yours!

  11. deborahinPS says:

    I look forward to reading your daily posts Karen…seriously entertaining and informative to boot. What more could I ask for?
    Love the table!
    And I have a “chucker” in the family…my daughter. Christ, I left an EXpensive down robe to be worn during the wet cold months in the Pacific NW, where the only heat in the house was by one measly fireplace. The little ingrate chucked it!
    Heck, I should have known…I’ve seen her closet with so few pieces of clothing in it one wonders how she finds a full outfit to don 🙂

  12. LOVE IT…so timely, my husband wants one…but I’m not DIY gal…you think I could do first time round? Okay…gotta get me a stump first.

    • Karen says:

      Sundeep! ABSOLUTELY you can do t his as a first time DIYer! This is an especially great project for a first timer because it’s so easy but has such HUGE impact. As long as you follow all the steps I’ve laid out exactly (let the stump dry out! Be patient with taking your bark off etc. ) You’ll do great. When you get your stump, if you buy it from someone make sure to ask them if the stump has been cut and dried for a few months. Also ask them if they can recommend a wood that the bark will come off easily. Walnut is NOT one of those woods. LOL. Oak, probably is. It’s also nice to try to get a stump with a knot, or some bumps where branches were coming out of it. Makes it interesting! Good luck and lemme know if you go though with it. ~ karen

  13. Alexandra Dare says:

    This is VERY cool, Karen. Superbly cool.

  14. Lesley H says:

    Happy new year Karen. Thanks so much for this! Can’t wait to find me a stump and a boyfriend and get to work!

  15. Angela N says:

    I have been wanting to do this for awhile! Thanks for the tutorial. Now I need to find a stump.

  16. Tina from Cali says:

    Thank you! I have been eyeing these since they made there way into the design mags. I wanted to make one myself so thank you for the tutorial. Forget Wonder Woman, you are my hero.

  17. Pam'a says:

    Karen, your table is just gorgeous. And my hat is off to your wood wrestling skill and tenacity with those chisels– You’re practically supernatural!

    But I have one suggestion: DON’T use a freshly cut stump. The longer you let it dry out, the lighter and easier it’ll be to wrestle. Best of all, the bark’ll come off a lot easier. [Gees, Karen. That had to be tough on your nails!]

    My husband (the wood torturer) has stumps and chunks of wood aging all over the place. He’d tell you to get the oldest stump you can. ‘Hope that helps!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Pam’a! Thanks! But I’m confused. Why do you think I was using a freshly cut stump, LOL? ~ karen

      • Pam'a says:

        Hmm. I guess I just inferred it from the combo of 1) the bark being hard to chip off, and 2) wanting to get it done in time for Christmas. I could have *sworn* there was a better reason than those…

        • Karen says:

          🙂 Nope. I let the stump dry for months. It was difficult to remove because it was Walnut. And it was probably just being mean. ~ karen

  18. Nancy says:

    Hey Karen,
    Thanks for the advice on the chainsaw. It is safely tucked away in the basement far from my itchy hands. When I told my daughter your advice she said, “I could have told you that!” So now I just need a lumberjack. But the stumps are drying so it’s work in progress.

  19. Cheryl says:

    Hi Karen! I love how you don’t just SAY, ‘Hmm, I could do that,’ but you go out and actually DO IT. You’re so inspirational! Your tree stump side table was one of my favourite things in the Style At Home article that featured your house. I started following your blog because of that article! Sadly, my home doesn’t look anything like yours (but I continue to read home decor magazines in vain).

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Cheryl! My house didn’t look like *my* house until about 2 years ago either, so don’t sweat it. 🙂 ~ karen

  20. Emma says:

    Karen – I MUST have one of these. Like, Now.

    But I’m stumped (ha!) about where to find the wood. I live in the Hamilton area too, so I’m wondering if you can share where you bought yours and the approximate price.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Emma. I got my stump from Kastrau nursery. I got it for free but that’s because I buy $700 worth of wood for burning in my fireplace every year! I imagine it’d be around $20 to buy it all on it’s own. You can check and see. Otherwise just Google firewood places in Hamilton and see what comes up. ~ karen!

      • Patti says:

        I’m so glad I came and read through this whole thread to this point, because I’ve been looking and looking and just could not find a place in the area. I’m in Kitchener, and Hamilton isn’t too far away. Road trip! 🙂

  21. Well that’s just about the neatest thing.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jamie! I’m mortified you’re seeing my awful photos by the way. The good news is I start a photography course tonight. Ya know, so it doesn’t take me 172 clicks to get one barely useable picture. 🙂 ~ karen

  22. Madame Meg says:

    Oh yay! I’m so glad you finally posted about this- I’ve been waiting… let’s go with patiently… since you mentioned you were going to tell us all about it way back when you first shared your house! I’ve actually been looking for an appropriate stump for about a year now, but it never even occurred to me to ask at a firewood place, I believe there’s even one of those right around the corner from my house! (I’ve been trawling the woods where I walk the dog, hoping there’d be a perfectly cut stump there!) Guess I’ll be heading around the corner soon! Thanks!
    : ) Meg

  23. Jen says:

    This kills me. We just a perfectly great stump pulled from our yard as it was a serious eyesore. Now I see this fantastic gem. Balls!!!

  24. Beverly says:

    For anyone who hasn’t used poly, the oil based is more durable – but stinks like crazy while being applied! So do it outside! I mostly use water based – hardly any odor, and does a wonderful job.

    And thanks for the tutorial, I am absolutely going to do this…

    • Karen says:

      Beverly – You bring up an excellent point! It does stink, but not as bad as I remember for some reason. Maybe they’ve changed the formulation a bit. However …. having said that, I did do my stump inside because it’s the middle of winter here in Southern Ontario. The smell was totally bearable. Until I hid the stump in our bedroom so my visiting niece wouldn’t see it before Christmas. WOW. Definitely stink. Had to move it out into the hallway. Blech. ~ karen!

  25. Jodi says:

    I have always wanted to know how you made your own log table. They are so organic and fabulous – but so expensive!

    I cannot wait to do this. I am going to get a log this weekend!

    • Karen says:

      Jodi – Yay! Lemme know how it goes. If I were to do one today, I’d do it with a greyish blue whitewash. Something to think about … not to confuse you, LOL. ~ karen

  26. Katie says:

    This is unbelievable good timing. Some neighbors just cut down a tree and I think I can steal a stump on my way home from work. I know you said it should dry out for months but I’m wondering how many months – two, three?

    Thanks for the great tutorial!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Katie! If it’s a brand new tree that’s *just* been chopped down, it’ll take at least 2 months to dry out. If you bring the stump inside it’ll dry faster, but the fast it dries the more likely it is to get cracks. I happen to like the cracks, so no problem for me! Just stick it somewhere and then forget about it. And just for fun … weigh the stump before you start drying it and then after. Oh! And finally, make sure the stump is cut very straight. Otherwise you’ll have a table with a sloped top! Good luck. ~ karen

  27. What a great step-by-step guide, thanks! Looking forward to starting the project soon!

  28. mariah says:

    Beautiful work! I was wondering what you think about doing this with a birch stump. I want to keep the beautiful bark in tact, do you think it would work? Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mariah! Thanks. I have no idea if this would work with birch! The one problem I see immediately is that birch trees don’t get large enough to make into side tables. They tend to die before they get to this size. Also, when the birch tree *does* get quite large, the bark tends to be icky. You *could* peel away the outer bark and hope for nice bark underneath. I’m also not sure how the birch bark would react to the clear coat. (it may darken/change the colour of the birch) If I were you, I’d try the poly. on a small, dry, birch branch. If that goes well … then give the birch stump a shot! If you’re successful send me a pic. I’d love to see it! Good luck. ~ karen

  29. come over today from d*s. This is an amazing tutorial. Thanks so much!! Love the table

  30. I love your stump. My husband and I made a birch stump a while back, but it’s not level :-\ and we left the bark on. I love your kitty and your abominable snow chair too!

  31. anna see says:

    What a great tutorial! I LOVE this idea.

  32. Sabrina in Australia says:

    Thanks for taking the time, effort and good humour to write such an entertaining DIY blog- certainly has inspired me to use a piece of birch that the previous owners left under our deck- except I shall leave the bark on- it’s beautiful.

  33. Lori says:

    I love this! we’re finishing up the last coat of poly on ours tonight. Also, where did you get that shaggy chair? I am in LOVE.

  34. Jessi says:

    Love this!! Definitely going to try it!!

  35. Bromeliad says:

    Excellent tutorial. And the commentary is priceless.

  36. Cherished Hearts Vintage says:

    The next stump I see sitting along the road from the guys cutting trees who are always parked in the middle of the gravel road, I’m snagging it. Can’t wait to try this one out!

    My brother and I spent hours as children rubbing the barks off sticks to make swords. Thanks!

  37. colleen says:

    OH!..I have two stumps and just need this push to getter’ done!
    Your blog is great (love your ring & bracelet!)
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. {darlene} says:

    Amazing project!
    stopping by from Nester. I love your writing style… and your taste! great post.

    • Karen says:

      Darlene! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know where you came from! I’m always curious about how people found their way here. Hope to see you again in these parts. 🙂 ~ karen

  39. Crystal says:

    “A swear jar,” heeheehee.

    I loved the tutorial for the table; now can you do a tutorial on how to make that swear jar? Because I definitely need one. My swears fall all over the place–especially in my kids’ rooms.

  40. living in the mean streets of east london i dont come across abandoned tree-stumps like your one very often, but i really love this little guy and keep a special place in my heart for it.
    what i’m going to do is re-blog it immediately to spread the word and remind myself of its beauty at
    keep up the awesome work

  41. sisi says:

    I love your table, but I love your chair even more!!
    How on earth do you make that chair? I so hope that you DIY it and not bought it!!

  42. Diana says:

    Hi Karen,
    I´m from germany. I found your great website and I` m so happy about it. Today I`ve startet with removing the bark of my oak stump;o)
    But I have got a great tool. A bark remover. It took only about 40 minutes to get ready with it. Now I`m looking forwart to do the next steps.
    Thank you for this great idea.
    Love from germany

    • Karen says:

      HI Diana! Thanks for the comment. It’s so much fun to hear from people around the world. 🙂 The bark remover is a GREAT tool. Oak should be pretty easy for you to remove the bark. It’s only certain types of woods that have a very stubborn bark. Walnut is one of them! Send me a picture when you’re done! ~ karen

  43. Diana says:

    Hi Karen, of course I will send you a picture.
    I thought that I should let the Stump without legs.
    Sorry for my bad english.

    • Diana says:

      Hi Karen

      my oak stump is READY!!! yeah, it looks very good and really fits into my livingroom. I wanted to send you a photo, but i´m not good in using the computer – upload, download… and i can`t find another email where i could send one easily.

      i will make a 2nd stump and let it in his own colour. just with clear polish- and lower with longer legs. two of my friends asked me to make one for them.
      Thank you for this idea!

      Love from germany

  44. melissa Waine says:

    OMG Karen this is just UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!

    You are my HERO! I have a million ideas but not the knowledge or skill with tools to do anything. My husband can’t change a lightbulb and is no help either. He laughs at me for constantly pulling things off the side of the road, repainting the kids slippery slide etc. We live across the road from a golf course in Sydney, Australia and there are constant big thing chunks of wood like this on the side of our street as they cut down the huge trees lining the course… and I’ve always wanted to make one into a coffee table! Does it need legs or could you just seal both ends?

    Thanks and I will be following this blog like crazy!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa – Thanks for visiting. Feel free to tell the rest of Australia about my site. 😉 Funny … Australia is the 3rd largest reader of The Art of Doing Stuff. I have NO idea why! So you have access to stumps! That’s great. NO, you absolutely do not have to put legs on it. If you have access to all kinds of stumps, they’d also be great outdoor seating! If you end up making one send me a picture! I’d love to see it. I’m thinking of doing one in gold leaf next. Good luck! ~ karen

  45. Abbe says:

    What should I do if I do not want to take the bark off and I will be using it as an outside poolside table?

    • Karen says:

      Abbe – Hi! If you’re keeping the stump outside, treat it the exact same way I’ve shown you in the post. The problem with not removing the bark is it will eventually come off by itself as the wood dries and shrinks. So you’ll spend all that time finishing the stump (I’d use spray if you’re leaving the bark on because it will be MUCH easier to apply on bark) and there’s a good chance the bark will separate from the stump and fall apart. You can take a shot and try it if you want. If you’re worried about the work try and find an Oak stump. The bark comes off really easily. If you insist on leaving the bark on to use the stump outside, find a Walnut stump because (in my experience) the bark has more of a tendency to want to stay on the tree. Good luck! ~ karen

  46. Marti says:

    DEFINITELY worth the begging! I love the look of the table and the thought that I can (and will!) do it myself.

    I may attempt this as soon as I’m done butchering the repurposed fur coats in the living room. (Don’t ever do that yourself. It’s a huge, HUGE mess and is doomed to drive one to despair.)

    Um, re: asking you who did your site. JudithShakes Designs, I’m guessing?

    • Karen says:

      Yup. Courtney at JudithShakes did my site. I designed it in terms of exactly how I wanted it to look but she executed it. And the only reason I designed it is because I’m a control freak. I’m sure she’d do a great job if left to her own devices with just a little guidance from you. Give her a shout. ~ karen

  47. Samantha Adams says:

    LOVE this tutorial. Found it by way of Design Sponge. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for a long time but I didn’t want it to be too heavy or impossible to move. The legs are a perfect way to keep the height but not the lbs. Also, on a side note it’s worth mentioning that three legs on anything makes it more stable on uneven surfaces. also it’ll compensate for any level differences on your stump. (Other than it just looking cool)

  48. Found you by Row House Nest link to Design*Sponge. I always admired stump tables in magazines and wanted to make one but was unsure how to treat the wood.Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

    • Karen says:

      You’re very welcome Joselyn! I’m glad you found my site. Good luck with the stump table. If you have any questions about it just shoot me an email. ~ karen!

  49. Melissa says:

    Hey Karen,
    Thanks for the stump table instructions. I have three pine stumps that were cut fresh last September just for this purpose. They’ve been drying in a garage and then a basement (with a brief stint in the covered bed of a pickup truck) for 8 months. Thought for sure that’d be long enough…but I just took the bark off one of them (easy work with a chisel), and it’s totally wet inside! Does that seem right?? And either way, will it still dry out nicely (maybe faster?) now that I’ve de-barked it while it was still wet? What do you think?

  50. Jac says:

    Karen –
    I love your table – but I LUUUUUV what you have going on with your furry chair. Any chance you could share what you did there?

  51. Michael says:

    Hi Karen-

    This is a great post! I’ve been looking for clear directions on how to do this for some time. I have a stump that’s been drying outside for over a month, and all the bark has come off naturally. My only concern now is whether any small insects have gotten inside. Do you know a good method for sealing the stump, or does the stain cover that issue as well?


  52. Trudi Johnson says:

    I added your project to pinterest (a project searchable site). Hope that’s all right! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Trudi – Of course that’s fine. I love Pinterest. It’s a great resource, and I get all kinds of hits from it. Thx. ~ karen

  53. My Duong says:

    I just got a pine log thats full of the gooey stuff, it has been outside for 2 months, but doesnt seem to dry at all, please help, Im dying to make this table … Thank you for your time!

    • Karen says:

      My Duong – Your pine stump may take a year to dry out. Sap/resin/gooey stuff from things like pine or spruce is super sticky and tends to stay that way. It’d probably be quicker to go find yourself an Oak stump. 🙁 Sorry. ~ karen

  54. Mel says:

    I looked for ages for dried wood on farms to make these tables or they can be seats…it is very hard to to find a farmer who has trees down then take your saw out and chop it up or pay him to chop it up. Takes a while to dry out properly. They do look awesome and thanks for sharing your tutorial. Im one step further along my path to making them now.:-)

  55. Manav says:


    Love what you did with the stump. My wife and I have wanted to make one for so long but never came across any stumps. We almost gave up until the other day when we’re walking on our block and a tree removal service was at a house, so we picked up a stump and brought it home.

    I’m curious though, how closely do we have to stick to the drying timeline. It’s mostly because we’re impatient and want to get our end table finally ready, but also we don’t want to make any mistakes. We’ve had the stump in our apt. for a week or so now, and we’re wondering how much longer we have to wait.

    Hope you can help.


    • Karen says:

      Manav – Glad you like the stump! I know what the impatience of waiting for it to dry out feels like, but if you plan on sealing it with the bark off, you really need to let it dry out. If the bark doesn’t come off fairly easily, it isn’t dry enough yet. You can carefully try to remove the bark with a little chisel and hammer. If it pulls away fairly easily you’re good to go. Even AFTER removing the bark you should leave the stump for another week to let the bit under the bark dry out. I know it’s hard, but try to leave it as long as possible for the best result. You don’t want to be putting any kind of Polyurethane or other treatment onto wet wood because it won’t cure properly. Good luck! ~ karen

  56. lak says:

    Hi Karen

    I loved your instructions on how to make the end table with a stump.My husband just got a huge stump that he found on the side of the road (hurt his back a little!!)..i am going to follow your instructions..
    Also in your video there is a round white orb next to the lamp..where did you find that? is it a lamp shade too??
    thanks a lot

  57. Emily says:

    Let me first of all say thank you for being the one who lead me to obsess over DIY projects. I’ve been wanting to go out and buy myself one of these stump side tables for quite some time. However, I WILL NOT spend $400 on a piece of furniture that I can make myself, for $15. Two weeks ago I stopped by an orchard/far on my way home from a weekend away and low and behold, they had a pile of de-barked, already dried out stumps! So, by the time I got it home, All I had to do was plane one side so it was level. I didn’t want to stain it either because the sun discolored it in a way that made it look awesome so I just applied several coats of clear finish and I’m done! Thanks Karen!

  58. Chelsea says:

    I have been wanting these stump tables since I saw them last year at LL Beans (a popular store here in Maine) but they were $200 a piece and it just wasn’t going to fit the budget. Thank you so much for the step by step so I can finally make them for myself!

  59. Bill says:

    Hello Karen and thx for this nice tutorial 🙂 I just returned from a weekend vacation in the countryside having a big stump in the back of my car that my wife thought it would become a nice table. It is about 40cm tall and 50 cm diameter ( back is still in pain) and comes from a fresh cut fir tree. How much time should I leave it to dry? Should I first remove the bark and leave it to dry after? Fir wood seems juicy has a strong smell and it is first time I try to do such a project. More details about “fir stump table” will be great help and much appreciated x-)
    Greetings from Greece,

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bill from Greece 🙂 – I think if you re-read the tutorial you’ll find most of the answers you’re looking for. The bark won’t easily come off the stump unless it has already dried out for a month or so. Each type of tree has a different type of bark. Some remove easily (oak) and some are difficult to remove (walnut). I’ve never done a fir tree so I’m not sure how the bark will react. If you try and chisel it off now and it isn’t ready to come off, you risk marking the sides of the stump underneath. Just tuck the stump away for a month or so and revisit it then. : ) ~ karen

  60. Arran says:

    Hi, Karen. I found this article shortly after finding a stump. Your instructions were very helpful, but I do have one question. How did you get all the bugs out? The stump I found had tons of rolly pollies, centipedes, and possibly termites in it. I live in Seattle, so putting it outside to dry/debug it wouldn’t be effective, as it would just get more damp. Should I just look for another stump, preferably one that is pre-dried, or is there any way to salvage the big stump I found?

    Thanks so much!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arran – Termites I’m not familiar with. We don’t seem to have a problem with them here in Southern Ontario. If the stump is old and rotting a bit, and that’s why there are bugs in it, I’d get rid of it. If it’s just got the odd bug on it just drop the stump straight down a few times to knock the bugs off. If you’re still worried about it (and you may be opposed to this) you can put the stump in a garbage bag, spray bug killer in it and then tie it up. Leave it for a day. Untie the bag and leave the stump outside to air out for a day or two. Good luck. ~ karen!

  61. Laura says:

    Hi Karen

    Loved the tutorial so much I made my wedding cake table with a huge stump from my wood pile. Its about 3ft tall and in the shape of a funky star.It must weigh an easy 300 pounds I love it. Wish I could post pictures!

  62. Inga says:

    Hi karen – great site! I noticed you mentioned being from Southern Ontario. Where did you get your wood from? That would be my first place to start 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Inga – All you have to do is go to any place around you that sells firewood and buy a stump off them. 2 of my stumps I actually found at the side of the road after neighbours had a tree cut down. Just keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find one! ~ karen

      • Inga – in Toronto there are a lot of Norway Maple trees being taken down because they’re near the end of their useful life. If you live in (or drive through) neighbourhoods that were built in the 40’s, eventually you’ll see the tree service guys cutting down the old, sick trees. Sad for the city, good for the DIY’ers!

  63. John says:

    This site was so very helpful Karen! I’ve just made one using some redwood, has come out a beautiful colour, however when the council was cutting some trees in my area ( melbourne, Australia) one side was not a straight cut, the hours and effort I put in to cut that straight myself was almost not worth the effort!
    Fantastic website

    • Karen says:

      Thanks John! I just finished watching the finale of Masterchef Australia. Not that you watch it simply because you’re from Australia, but I felt compelled to tell you anyway. 🙂 (one of my readers was a contestant) ~ karen!

  64. John says:

    I have seen this series, who was the contestant?

    • Karen says:

      Her name is Shannon. She had a website called Bake n’ Bloom, but she’s let it go by the wayside now as she gets her new site up and running. She lied to me and said she’d been away from my site for months because she had mono. Turns out she didn’t have mono … she was stuck in the Masterchef house and couldn’t tell anyone, LOL! ~ karen

  65. Gabriella says:

    Love this

  66. Great idea!

    I’m surprised that a handy Canadian like yourself didn’t put the damn Philips screws into the metal recycling and pull out some Robertsons.

    One of my first tasks with Ikea projects is go to the shop and find Robbie screws that match in width and length and ditch the included fasteners.

  67. Anna says:

    Hello – Love the stump – just wondering if it would be appropriate to hollow out a bit of the inner stump to make it lighter to carry (from the bottom of course). Would this cause any adverse effects?

    • Karen says:

      Anna – I can’t see any reason why that wouldn’t be possible, but it’d be pretty hard to hollow out part of the inside of the stump and I’m afraid it wouldn’t make much of a difference in the weight. Once the stump dries out it weighs less. I’m 5′ 3″ and 105 pounds and I could manage it just fine. It’s not like you’re going to be lugging it around the ouse every day. 🙂 If all else fails, just make your stump shorter, as opposed to hollowing it out. ~ karen!

  68. Beth says:

    I am totally doing this! I have 6 stumps in the backyard that have been drying all summer! I am pulling a few in before it starts raining.

    I love castors, I might put this thing on castors then roll it all over my house! wheee!

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • Karen says:

      Beth! Ooooo! I love castors too! I have a bunch of antique ones in my basement with wooden wheels. If I can find 3 or 4 that match I’m totally doing that! Good thinkin’. ~ karen!

  69. sameera says:

    I loveee how youve done this and i just had a huge tree cut down in the summer, and stumps all over my backyard. Finally i know what im doing with them! I just have one question, How can we make them shiny and smooth like these?

    • Karen says:

      Sameera – My stump is smooth like that. You just need to give a bit of a rub with sandpaper if there are any rough bits, but there shouldn’t be. To get the shinier, glossy look all you have to do is use a high gloss Polyurethane (or sealant of your choice). ~ karen!

  70. Cathy says:

    I just made 2 of these tables and they turned out amazingly well! I needed help from my husband as they were quite heavy to move, and he helped with the power sanding. Used the Ikea legs…they added that modern touch. These 2 tables are gifts, but am going to make one for myself next. Can you explain the whitewash technique?

  71. karen says:

    hey Karen,

    I am a photographer. You should sell these. They would sell. Trust me!

    Oh, and a question….forgive me as I know nothing about tree stumps….but are bugs ever an issue?

    Blessings to you and thank you for sharing!

    • Karen says:

      Karen – Bugs haven’t been an issue for me but if you’re worried about it you can spray the stump with bug spray and put it in a plastic bag for a few days. I just bash the stump on the sidewalk until bugs stop flying out of it, LOL. ~ karen!

  72. Beth says:

    Just made my first first one! It was EASY the way you described it – thanks you so much! I had 5 camphor tree stumps in my back yard all summer, so when I saw this post I was soooooo happy! Many thanks!

  73. Cori says:

    These are awesome, and entertaining, instructions. I want to make a floor to ceiling tree in a bedroom and this is perfect! Thanks for the awesome tutorial and pictures with it.

    • Melissa says:

      Cori, if you do that, will you please please post it somewhere as a tutorial (like Karen does)? We have lots of wood and are trying to find cool ways to bring them into our decor. I’m a big believer in learning tips from others before embark-ing (get it, haha) on my own ventures. 😀

  74. Jenni says:

    I want to thank you for thoroughly entertaining me with your article! I laughed many times and also thanks to you have a new project to try out.
    Thanks again,

  75. Ickis McGee says:

    I’ve snagged myself two stumps that have been drying in the garage a couple of weeks. They are about 28inch circumference by 16inch high. I have no idea how long they sat out by the side of the road, but the bark all came off with relative ease. How will I know when they’re dry enough?
    Also they have some soft spots; are those detrimental? Seems like I could just sand through them.
    (btw, yes I did have a he’ll of a time getting them in/out of the SUV by myself)

    • Karen says:

      Ickis – I’m not sure what you mean by soft spots. It could mean that the tree is rotting, which wouldn’t make for the best tree stump table. 🙁 If it doesn’t seem throughout and just a bit on the surface you might be O.K. You’ll know when the stump is ready to go when you see a bit of cracking. Bring it inside the house and weigh it if you can. Then leave it in the house where it’ll dry out faster. Weigh it again in a few days and you’ll be surprised at how much lighter it is just from drying out inside. I’d give it a week or so inside and then you can start on it. Good luck! ~ karen

  76. Ickis McGee says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yea, I think the soft spots are a little bit of rot but it’s definitely only on the surface. These things are SOLID. The big one still weighs an easy 100lbs. I guess I still have a while to wait.
    I forgot to ask earlier, one has a very uneven side (I guess where they cut an angle to fell the tree. What tool do you recommend to even that off if not a chainsaw. If a chainsaw, do you have any tips? (I know chainsaw is not your favorite tool).

    • Karen says:

      Ickis – The only way to cut it is with a chainsaw. And cutting perfectly straight is really tough. You’re best to get someone skilled w/ a chainsaw to do it for you. ~ karen

  77. Paul C says:

    This is great. I’m going to make one of these bad boys!

    • Karen says:

      I’ve made another since this post! Actually, didn’t really have to do anything. The second one I left unfinished with no legs. Sits in a corner with a fern on it. Good luck! ~ karen

  78. this is so incredibly cool! i need to find myself a bit of trunk now! 🙂 lisa

  79. nadine says:

    It’s very nice ! I like it

  80. Carl says:

    I just took down a couple of trees in the yard and have too much wood sitting around, great idea on how to use it up. I think the plant stand is also a tremendous idea. Hot project by a hot woman….lol

  81. heather says:

    sorry i didnt read all the comment so idk if it was asked but – OMG i LOVE that freakin chair – the stump is awesome too – but i want that chair!! how please??

  82. Steve Perfetto says:

    Karen,you should let people know there is a outdoor mimwax as well as indoor.Also old wire reels,like the ones used by construction people,make good tables also.Also a saw mill,or someone with a portable saw mill would be a good source for larger pieces to make coffee tables and such,they usually don’t keep the slab wood for anything anyway.

  83. Sacha says:

    Hi Karen– I was able to get some stumps, however they aren’t all even. Do you know where i can bring my stumps to get them evened out? Thanks for the advice!

  84. patti says:

    Wow…love the stump table!!…I’m def making one…I see that you have a blue orb in your living room photo (with all your roadside/sale finds)…Just love your antique mirror over the mantel!
    Take care,

  85. Emily says:

    Hi!! I love the stump table and am thinking about making one myself. One question… what about bugs? Have you had a problem with the stump being infested with any kind of house guests?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Emily. Nope. No bugs. Well, a few but those got knocked off prior to making the table. Just rap it on the ground a few times and anyone living in there will wander off quickly. ~ karen

  86. debbie says:

    hi karen-

    just stumbled onto your site. thanks for all the awesome project ideas.

    quick question: is it possible to keep the bark on the tree and treat it in a way that preserves the bark look?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie – Well, depending on the tree the bark will fall off anyway. It dries up and falls off. You might be able to achieve this look with Birch. OR you could just bring the stump in, put legs on it and not bother with varnishing it. Either way … :)~ karen!

  87. jeryl says:

    Hi…I have a pine stump that I want to make into a table. It weighs prolly 150 lbs. I have put casters on the bottom so i can roll it around. Why is it necessary to take the beautiful bark off? Will a pinetree stump have to much sap if I took the bark off?

    • Karen says:

      Jeryl – Yes, there could be sap from a pine stump. The reason, however, that you take the bark off is because it’s going to come off eventually anyway. As the wood dries over time the stump shrinks as does the bark, creating a gap in between the bark and the stump. So it just … falls off all on its own. If you want, you can try not finishing the stump and leaving the bark on. It might last for a month with the bark sticking, maybe a year … but it will eventually fall right off. 🙁 ~ karen!

  88. Marcy says:

    I have been thinking about doing one of these tables for years. Today I decided to see if anyone else has been thing about it too. Thank you for doing all the research for me. It will make my job of making one (several) more fun.

  89. Nancy says:

    Your directions were informative and fun!! Love this project!!

  90. Mary says:

    thank you great idea and growing I still want to do more with these.

  91. Lisa says:

    Dear Karen,
    I picked up a stump on the side of the road about a week ago with the idea of making this table (yep, West Elm got me thinking too!) Today, I came across a piece of driftwood at the lake, stump sized, PRE-SANDED a la REAL SAND! All I need now is the stain and sealant. The first stump will now be a mother’s day gift for my mom! Thanks for these postings, you’re a total bad-a$$ and inspiration!

  92. Kelly says:

    I enjoyed your tutorial and learned a lot, so thank you. I have a chucker in my family too…I bet she will want a stump table after she sees mine;-)

  93. Dawna says:

    Sooooo, I’ve been wanting to do this forEVER! I had my boyfreidn get me a gigantor stump… it’s like 3 feet wide… I’m going to make a coffee table… Boyfriend says its not allowed in the house… Won’t he be suprised when he comes back from Vegas and it’s sitting in all its stumpy glory in the living room! Thanks for the step-by-step… Hopefully this doesn’t cause a domestic… 😀

  94. Mike says:

    A 3″ slice of that burl just to the left of your lumberjack would make a way nicer table. I like yours too though.

    • Karen says:

      Mike – I wouldn’t necessarily say it was nicer … just different. And definitely too large for most people to be able to tuck almost anywhere. Thanks though. ~ k!

  95. Matt S says:

    Saw your project a few months back and it suddenly opened my eyes to the giant tree branch that fell down in my yard during a freak intense snowstorm 7 months back. 2 months ago I cut two tables out of the branches (both thick as a stump) and stripped the bark. Now that I’ve sanded them and attached the legs I’m wondering how much longer I should let them dry out.

    They are both still slowly cracking but nothing drastic and I’m growing impatient about finishing the project. What’s the worst case scenario, I just need to apply some more stains to any cracks that may form?

    Also I came across an interesting issue when I cut my logs. As I mentioned they sat out in my yard for a few months and when I cut them up I found that some carpenter ants moved into one of the stumps. Actually didn’t notice until I brought the log inside and noticed an unusual amount of ants suddenly crawling around the closet where I left them to dry. To remedy the situation I first applied a liberal amount of carpenter ant spray into the larger holes at the top of the log, so much that it actually pooled up inside. Quickly the ants evacuated the holes which I disposed of. After which I flipped over the log to let the excess fluid run out.

    Afterward I chipped out as much of the eaten wood as I could with a chisel and used shrink wrap to wrap the log and cut off any air holes. Over the next few days I noticed a few survivors popping up under the shrink wrapped and took care of them as well. After a week I felt the problem was taken care of and I filled in all the holes with hard drying wood filler, sanded it down, and flipped it over so the “inhabited” section would be at the bottom of the table. Now a month later I haven’t noticed any visitors and I have a clean and beautiful log as a table. Just felt that info may help any others that run into a similar problem with this project.

  96. Hi Karen,
    My name is Dallas and my wife sent me a link to your stump table. Very cool! I make furniture and home decor from old vintage materials as a hobby. Check out my website if you want you can pirate some ideas. (still being built but it has quite a few pics on it)I am making two bar stools for some friends out of two big beautiful Cedar stumps. the wood is amazing but is taking forever to dry. any ideas? also I have access to a large oven used for powder coating do you think it would hurt the wood to bake it some? maybe that would speed up the drying process? Would love to hear your thoughts. thanks

  97. Iya says:

    Thanks for this. My mom has been keeping 3 stumps for 20 years and just left them as is with the bark and all. I’ll be applying your turorial on those three babies and will use them in my house.

  98. Domico says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I found a few pine tree stump in my neighbourhood and knew what I wanted but didn’t know how. Thanks!

  99. Wilson says:

    I found my stump! Problem is I found its kinda big and heavy haha I am not sure if I picked one up which is too big.

    • Karen says:

      No such thing. Don’t worry about it. Just let it dry out. ~ karen!

      • Wilson says:

        I hope so because I moved two of them back to my house this evening and each of them weigh about 50 lbs or so. I hope they will become much lighter after they get dry out!

        Feel free to have a look on the stump that I picked up this evening.
        Have a look and see if you consider this is too big or not. Cheers

        • Karen says:

          It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like a good stump to me. Good knots in it that’ll show up well and the bump where a branch was. I’d say it’s a good stump indeed. Generally around 18″ high is good. ~ karen

  100. Sherell says:

    OMG…we just got our stumps and I knew there had to be someone out there who had done this (the right way). THANKS SO MUCH for this! Can’t wait to get started!!!

    • Jackie says:

      Oh great my fiance carried a log up a very large hill for me when we first met it has sat in the garden for ages this is such a fab idea, I also have a sleeper which I may give a go for a long table.

      Thank you I

    • Irene Plonka says:

      Your blog has given me the ideas I need. My husband was helping friends clear an area for a building and he found a tree which had been “strangled” by grapevines leaving a spiral indentation around the stump.He brought it home for me and I have kept it on my covered/screened porch for a few years. It is now in
      the garage. It is shorter (so would probably benefit having legs) and it needs to be level cut.
      Thank you for such good instructions.

  101. Kelli says:

    Thank you so much for this blog! We are putting in a pool this summer, and it looks like I will be forced to remove my favorite tree in the backyard. I hope using part of it’s trunk to make a stump table will give me some peace about losing the tree by letting me hold onto a piece of it.

    • Karen says:

      Kelli – You’ll forget all about that tree the first time you lay in your bathing suit, poolside, smelling everything grilling on the BBQ with a beverage of choice in your hand. Plus you’ll have the stump table. 🙂 ~ karen

  102. Chris says:

    Note that for the table legs, you’re actually better off with 3 legs not 4… the table will automatically level/stabilize with 3 legs. You need only 3 points to define a plane 🙂 If you put on 4 legs you’ll forever be having to level the table/item out (else it teeter-totters), with 3 that is never a problem.

    Also, awesome writeup, thanks! I’m in the process of making a table from half a slice of a tree (horizontal cross-section slice), the wood’s been drying in my garage for ~8 months now, I’m excited for the table 🙂

  103. shevi says:

    i live in Israel so:
    1. there aren’t many trees with thick trunks
    2. they don’t really sell firewood there
    3. you don’t see people cutting down trees often because there aren’t so many.
    i really want to do this but i don’t know how to find a stump!
    if you have any advice please respond. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I think you may have answered all of your own questions Shevi. 🙂 Just keep your eyes out. Try asking at garden centres or any sort of government office where they do roadside cleanup. Places where someone might be able to locate a stump for you. ~ karen!

  104. Hi! It’s me again, your glowing orb loving newest fan! I have been meaning to make a log table too for a long time now. I have started one, but some parts of my log are just too soft and become sawdust when I take a hammer to it! My try died of “natural causes” several years ago and is very dry. This “sawdusting” phenomenon couldn’t possibly be because of termites, could it? I have a picture of what I am talking about at the end of my post here: (The picture is at the end). PS: I have also linked to this tutorial here in my post. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated!

  105. Naomi says:

    Hi Karen,

    LOVE your blog. I’ve been waiting forever to find a stump, and finally found a great one today in Trinity Bellwoods Park (I’m a Tranna girl too!). The city workers who were chopping the tree down even did two nice cuts on it for me. I told them it was good karma for them. 🙂 I think they thought I was nuts for putting it into our wagon and carting it off with my two little kids.

    It’s Red Maple, and the bark is coming off easily, just by hand. How long do you think it needs to dry?

    Thanks so much


    • Karen says:

      Hi Naomi – Excellent! Nice of them to chop it straight for you. That’s the biggest pain, when you find a stump but it’s lopsidey. So, how long you let it dry depends on how healthy the tree was. If it was dead (which it probably was because they were chopping it down) it doesn’t take as long to dry out enough to put your finish on it because it’s already pretty dry from being … well … dead. If the bark is coming right off, chances are you only have to leave it for a couple of weeks to make sure it’s good and dry. A good rule of thumb is to weigh it right now. Then … weigh it again in a week, and a week after that. Once it stops dropping dramatically in weight you’re ready to apply the finish. If it doesn’t lose any weight at all the first week, chances are it’s all dried out. ~ karen!

  106. Wilson says:

    Hi Karen, will the polyurethane stops the sap leaking from the stump? I’ve been waiting for couple months now but it’s sap is still leaking once in awhile.

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  108. Jeff Patterson says:

    This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it on Pinterest.

  109. Laura says:

    You are a hoot!!(A beautiful hoot, & so is your cat!) reading these posts that go waaay back make me see I’ve missed a lot of really good stuff until now!! I’ve had the tree stump project on my wish list for an oh so very long time(that’s a really really long time) I’ve been waiting for my man to figure it out & do it-how COOL that I would be able to create it myself. “New bedroom, here I come!”

  110. madeline says:

    Love this 🙂 I just found a bunch of logs falling out of a dumpster in a parking lot and made my dad come with me to pick one up. I came across your site because I was planning on making a side table … and now I know how to! Thanks 😀

  111. Natasha says:

    Just what I needed. My favorite more than 50 feet tall tree was cut and I could not let them take away all the wood and was wondering how to preserve it. Now I can do a lot with them.

  112. coachroscoe says:

    I am in the middle of making a set of 6 of these for my wife for Christmas and ran across your site! Beauty job! I am using maple which has pretty stubborn bark too, but I just used a draw knife. Slightly different results, but I managed to de-bark all 6 stumps in about 3 hours. I also had the issue of leveling off the top and bottom, and found that a rough hand planing, followed by a 50-grit belt sanding did the job pretty well and fairly quickly. In addition, you can get screw-leveling feet or gliders at most local hardware stores to really fine-tune a level top.

    If a knew how to post a pic or two, I would be happy to show my process and pieces!

  113. Bill says:

    Hi again Karen 🙂
    It’s Bill from the message of 26 September the year before. I finally ended the table! Better late than never! Heh… I let it the whole year outside to dry out and I weighted it every month or so until it stopped losing weight. I ‘ve been weighing and waiting with patience 😀 until it ended up with half its initial weight. Then I took the bark off, I sanded it to make the surface smooth, filled some quite big cracks afterwards with wood putty and sanded again. Finally I applied the wood preservative varnish and 3 coats of “dark walnut” paint. I added some tiny legs and also a glass top and… tadaa!!

    I hope you like it! Thanks again for your very helpful advices 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Congratulations on finishing the table Bill. You must have quite the amount of patience within you! Good job. It has a beautiful shape to it and I like the glass. Thanks for sending along the pictures! ~ karen

  114. Janice says:

    Excellent tutorial but I might have a big problem and have been searching the net for hours. I just hauled home a beutiful cloud shaped stump from the very bottom of the biggest chestnut tree u have ever seen. They cut it down on our block. I also took a stool size cut which is fine but the stump is infested with beetles!!!!! Can u please help me? Do I need to get rid of it? It is on a Dolley on my deck flat with air to breathe through the bottom but I have poured soap and water, mr clean, bleach and aerosol and these little suckers have bore in for sure. Will they go eventually? I live in Vancouver so moist all the time. Should I get timbor? I’ve always wanted to do this but I don’t want to infest everything. Much appreciated if u have some advice.
    Love your decor! Table, fluffy throw and fluffy cat…..very NYC!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janice – It’s hard to say what to do because I don’t know how bad the bugs are. The one thing you can try is to spray it with plain old bug spray. What I normally suggest is to put the stump in plastic garbage bag, spray it with bug spray and then close the bag for several days, but if this stump is as big as you say then you might not be able to fit it in a garbage bag! Often, banging a stump on the ground will also get rid of the bugs. You startle them out basically, but again … big stump. If you can manage it give either or both of those ideas a try. Banging really helps a lot! Bang em out if you can and then spray the stump to get any that might remain. And repeat. 🙂 ~ karen!

  115. Janice says:

    Karen: thank u so much for answering me so quickly or at all in fact!!!!! I’m so appreciative. Now I just have to be patient for a long time b4 I can start my dream project! I will continue to follow u and again thanks!!!!

  116. Moni says:


    You are so funny and talented. I came across your blog via the chicken coop page and have enjoyed reading all of your projects and antics. I absolutely love the tree stump table idea and your Siamese looks gorgeous sitting beside it. I have one of those and now I think I need the table to match the cat. Thanks!

  117. jens says:


    how do you prevent the trump from cracking and falling apart over the next couple of years?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jens – As long as you dry your stump slowly it shouldn’t crack and fall apart. Also treating it with the Varathane helps. ~ k!

  118. jennie mixon says:

    I had been wanting to do this type of project but never committed to it until last week. I have 6 stumps that I worked on and 1 is completed the other 5 will be done this week. I can send you some photos if you like since you inspired the process to get started. Thank you for the web site!!!

  119. Linda Lorrain says:

    OMG…you have ruined my life! I now have to quit my job so that I can put all my energy into enjoying your website! How can I possibly find time to work for a living when you have presented me with all these fabulous things to make! The tree stump table is going to be my first project so I am going home tonight and telling my boyfriend to cut down a tree for me. We have 4 acres so the pickin’s are plenty:)
    Thank you, Karen, for your humour and renewing my love for making something out of something else.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda! Well … that’s why I pretty much quit my job(s) as a television host. So I could sit at home and make crap out of other crap. I used to be rich. Now I’m happy. Glad you found my site! ~ karen!

  120. Becky McIntire says:

    My father just cut down most of his 2 oak trees and 1 pine tree in the past month. He cut it all down and left the bundling up off all the shrubbery to me. I am moving into my new apartment in a month and I told him I want to make end tables and a coffee table out of the branches and stumps but now I dont have much left to work with bc I have been bundling it all up. I thought about how I still wanted to do this tonight though and I want to thank you because wednesday I am going to his house to clean up the rest and I will be saving me a few stumps. Thank you so much:)

  121. Jacqueline says:

    I was passing by a house today and saw some men chopping down two huge pine trees! I’ve been wanting to do this project for a really long time, guess I got lucky today! I immediately called my husband and he met me and cut a deal. We paid $40 for seven stumps measuring about 3-4 feet in height, each! They were even nice enough to help load the stumps into our truck with their lift gate!!! I’m soooo excited about this project, but I’m worried that the stumps won’t dry out properly. They are super sticky 🙁 Did I choose the right tree for this project? I sure hope so, it wasn’t easy unloading about a ton of wood. If its going to work do you know about how long it will take for trunks to dry out?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jacqueline – Some pine stumps do seem to drip pitch (sap) forever. Others though are fine. You’ll probably be fine. But I would suggest you get them cut into shorter lengths. The shorter they are the faster they’ll dry out. It’s still going to take months for them to dry unless the tree was dead to begin with. You can dry them inside the house near a fire or woodstove. Even by a hot air vent. But you need to keep turning it so it dries evenly and fairly slowly. If it dries too fast you risk getting a great big crack in it. The stump will almost always crack a bit across the top and bottom, but fine cracks. A big crack from quick drying isn’t what you want. Goodluck! ~ karen

  122. Toby McCrae says:

    Hi Karen!

    Thanks for this inspiring tutorial. A tree outside my townhouse got hit by a truck yesterday and a huge limb cracked off the side of the tree. The city came and cut it up, leaving six stumps in the snowpile out front. I posted on Facebook that people should come and get them to make tables. 5 out of 6 of the stumps are gone now and I shared your tutorial with my friends. Three of us are making tables. My friends were brave and took two each! We can’t wait to try this.

    Thanks again!

  123. Toby McCrae says:


    I forgot to ask, what would you recommend for me to do in order to level it off nicely on the top and bottom? Should I hire a carpenter? I don’t have the tools or the know-how.


    • Karen says:

      How off is it Toby? You don’t need a carpenter, you need someone who’s good with a chainsaw. Do NOT do it yourself if you don’t regularly operate a chainsaw. You may be able to bring it to a lumber yard or a place that sells firewood and have them straighten the ends for you. ~ karen!

  124. Jacqueline says:

    I wrote you a few days ago. I brought the pine stumps inside my house as you directed. Good thing I did, because it rained recently. We haven’t removed the bark, but there are some parts that are exposed that after four days of being indoors are starting to mold! BTW, we brought the stumps inside before it rained. Is my project ruined?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jacqueline – I suspect you’re fine. Let them dry out for a bit and then try to remove the bark. It’s hard to say how long before the bark will come off because I don’t know if the trees were dead or what kind of wood it is. Was it pine? Anyway … just give it some time and everything should work itself out. ~ karen!

  125. Nola Cooper says:

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! It is awesome!

  126. Kim says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for these instructions, I can’t wait to start my table. With the Nimo snow storm we lost a tree and we are going to put some of it to great use. We have a wonderful fire pit and would love a couple table to put around it.
    Thank you!!!

  127. Laura L says:

    I was on Pinterest and saw a pic of this project and wanted to see what other great Karen things they may have pinned that I missed when, DUM, DUM, DUM (sounds dramatic in my head) I clicked on the link and found this!
    I can’t speak the language but I bet they didn’t give credit where credit is due! 🙁
    Even included the picture with your furbaby! Some people!

  128. Dawn says:

    OMG! I just went out and cut 4 large stumps to do SOMETHING with…..NOW I KNOW! I have 3 beautiful cedar stumps that will be amazing! LOVE the idea!

  129. Jenn says:

    I FINALLY made my tree stump table today! and i am OBSESSING over them. i’ve dropped all plans so that I can sit in my house and stare at them. more than most things. i’m still deciding whether i want to post a picture on your facebook wall of them. that’s how much i love them…

  130. Reagan says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I want to do just this for give my transitional/contemporary living room a bit of earthy flare. My husband does woodworking for a hobby but he wasn’t sure how long to let the stump dry out. I wonder if you need a shorter time here in Texas. Well again, thank you for your post. Now I just need to find the perfect type of wood.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Reagan – You’re welcome. In terms of drying time, you’ll probably need the same amount because you, like Southern Ontario, where I’m from, get a lot of humidity. You’ll know by how much the stump weighs if it’s cured. ~ karen!

  131. Danielle says:

    Slowly sanding mine…they are sheddy little buggers! But I linked to your post on my blog. Thanks!

  132. Su says:

    What a pleasure! Not only did I learn how to turn the 12 pieces of tree (neighbor’s tree fell across our pool) currently sitting in the back yard into useful fire pit furniture, I had a good laugh. Thanks for both the tree ed. & laugh.

  133. Tim says:

    Do you do the polyeruthane on the bottom as well?

  134. What a fantastic project, Karen. And the appropriateness of the Minwax Walnut Stain is great. Very nicely done. – Bruce

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks Bruce! Judging by the name of your site I would guess you have an appreciation for Minwax. 😉 ~ karen!

  135. Pamela says:

    Great idea. good job on the table, just wish you wouldn’t use the word “stupid” so much when describing things. The word is overused in your vocabulary.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Pamela, I’m happy with how it turned out. As far as the word “stupid” goes, it’s repeated in the first paragraph to create a point by using literary rhythm. ~ karen

  136. Ksuha says:

    Job beautifully done!

  137. Annie says:

    “Coincidentally if you allow yourself to dry out for a month you’ll lose several pounds too.” HAHA. You have made a friend for life. 🙂

  138. Bipasha says:

    super! thanks for sharing the steps in so much detail. I’ve always wanted to try making one of these, and thanks to you, one day I just might do it.

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome! You might as well find the stump and leave it to dry. Then if the mood strikes you .. you’ll have it sitting there ready to go. 😉 ~ karen!

  139. Fran says:

    Hi there-

    What a great idea! I will have to do this! Also I LOVE the throw on the chair!!! Is is a rug or an actual throw? Where did you get it?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran – It’s a Mongoloian lamb blanket. I got it at Homesense (which is the equivelant of Homegoods in the States). ~ karen!

  140. Heather says:


    Gorgeous table! I’m so excited to get started on making my own. If u were to estimate, after the wood drying process, how long do you think it takes for you to make one?


    • Karen says:

      After the wood is dry? It depends on how easily the bark comes off. If it comes off in one fell swoop you can be done in a day, but then you have a couple of days where you’re applying the finish and giving it time to dry before the next coat. 🙂 ~ karen!

  141. Reji says:

    Thanks so much for posting this.
    I live in Chicago and I have no idea where I can get a tree stump.
    Any ideas?
    Greatly appreciated.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Reji – If you can suss out a firewood supplier (for people who have wood burning fireplaces) you’ll be able to find a stump there. They’ll either give it to you or charge you a low price. $20 perhaps. ~ karen!

      • Reji says:

        That’s perfect.
        Thanks for getting back to me.
        I have these ideas firing in my head so thanks again for the quick reply.


  142. Glen oneill says:

    Hi Karen, Love the work that you did with the Treestump. I’m doing my own Treestump now, this dump is probably about one year old. It is Maple wood and very dry, but looks very good. It is about 12 inches in diameter and wondering if that was wide enough for a side table. I was just wondering if you had to sand the stump tell it is white or should I leave all the dark marks and stuff that are there? Just wondering how much sanding I should do on that piece. The piece of maple I have is probably 12 inches on top the e regular shape and feathers out to about 14 to 15 inches on the bottom. Just wondering if there is any tips that you could give me thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glen – 12″ at the top should be fine for a small end table. As far as sanding the stump goes, it’s up to you and personal preference. I like a bit of colour changes personally. Places you will need to sand are any areas that are rough. Just smooth them out. The height of the stump needs to be comfortable for putting drinks etc. on once it’s beside the couch or chair. Good luck! ~ karen

  143. Glen oneill says:

    Hi Karen this is Glenn, space thank you for getting back to me so quickly just one other question. Just wondering if the stump need it legs or can it sit right on my hardwood floor?

  144. Kaitlin says:

    Absolutely love this tutorial — just did two of them with the help of my fiance and they came out great.

    Only thing — we couldn’t seem to get it smoothed out completely with the sandpaper, because more and more wood just kept falling off the more we sanded. Is that normal? At one point we just kind of gave up and started staining it. We are praying the stain will just hold it together for the most part.

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  147. Tabitha says:

    Is there no treatment to do prior to insure all the worms and or bugs are dead or out?

  148. kim says:

    thanks for your awesome tips and ideas. My question is can I keep the bark on and polyurethane then I wanted to know about whitewashing. Can I whitewash in a different color? If so do you have any examples? Thank you for your time. Kim

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim – You’re welcome. As I said in the post, the bark really needs to come off. There are a few examples of woods that like to hold onto their bark but most drop off on their own eventually due to the shrinking (loss of moisture) in the wood and bark. You could research to see if there are certain types of wood that this is less likely to happen with. And you can white wash, absolutely, but again it would be a big more difficult (but still doable I think) with a rough bark. If you type “whitewash” into my search bar you should be brought to a post on how to white wash. ~ karen!

  149. andy garcia says:

    do you any one in Houston that can make a picnic table out of the tree we just had cut down? I have most of the hard wood stump still in my back yard, they said it was a Spanish oak tree.

    • Karen says:

      I’m afraid I don’t, but hopefully someone else in the comment section might. I have friends who found the best way to get something like that done was to put an ad on Kijiji saying what you want. Then people who can do it contact you. 🙂 ~ karen!

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  152. CAPERNIUS says:

    Years ago I made an end table from a Sassafras Log…

    I let my log sit outside all summer long in the sun, then when the temps started dropping, I brought it in & set it on a register.

    Come the following summer, peeling the log was a cakewalk(super easy) & it sanded up really nice! : )

    For legs, I did not buy them, I made them from some old galvanized pipe I had in my workshop….
    I drilled holes in the bottom 1/16” bigger than the pipe, which gave it a very tight fit, & put cane tips on the bottom of the new legs.

    My son has the table now & uses it all the time…he’s 25, which make the table about 35 yrs old & still looking as good today as the day I finished it.

    OH! And the “legs”? still tight as ever.

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  158. Julie says:

    LOVE karen’s blog! i love her writing and ideas and style. I can totally relate to this. So happy i found this.

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  161. Alex B says:

    I just came across your blog and love it. I was looking for ways to use trees that have fallen on my property. I will be doing this project! However, I absolutely love the white chair in the picture. Was that a project as well or was it purchased?

  162. Pingback: My Stump Side Table…Three Years in the Making | Crafty Little Gnome

  163. Pingback: this tutorial is to make a table, but well use it to clean/smooth/seal some tree stumps to make seats out of them for the fire pit. - DIY Craft's Home Decor

  164. Amazing post! Thank you for share this DIY idea <3

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  167. Jume says:

    I started making two of these exactly how you described – but I probably did not dry out the stump for long enough- now after 3 coats in the top face, the stump is letting out some wax – what do you suggest I do?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jume! There’s not much you can do at this point since you’ve already finished them. It would be a huge ordeal to try to remove the Polyurethane. If the sap is only coming from the top cut portion, you could try to sand off the Polyurethane with a belt sander, let the stump dry out properly and recoat it. Sorry! ~ karen

  168. nicole says:

    Do I polyurethane the bottom of the tree stump??


  169. LISA says:

    I absolutely LOVE your table, your blog and your sense of humor!!! Soooo great!!!
    I have a great big ole dried out stump I got from a neighbor. I am planning on making a sitting stool on casters. The only thing in your instructions that stumped:) me was bringing the stump inside for several weeks. Is this a must before I get started?

    • Karen says:

      “The only thing in your instructions that stumped:) ” Heh! The reason you have to dry your stump out is so it is dry before you put the polyurethane on it. It’ll lose a lot of weight! But if the stump is old (and was cut months ago) then you don’t need to do that step because it will be dried out already. You can generally tell how old it is by how easily the bark comes off. Good luck! ~ karen

  170. Dwight says:

    Hi Karen,

    Great article! I’ve been thinking about making one of these for a while, and yesterday I came across 2 stumps in my sister’s backyard. I had a question about the drying process which I know is very important. The stumps were already cut and have been drying out since they moved in (about a year ago). So I assume that I don’t need to do any further drying out? I live in an apartment so I don’t have a garage or anything to leave them in..

    Also I wiped them clean of the dirt and there were a few bugs on the outside, but could there still be more inside? Someone in the comments recommended spraying with alcohol, would you recommend this?


  171. Dwight says:

    Hi Karen,

    Great article! I’ve been thinking about making one of these for a while, and yesterday I came across 2 stumps in my sister’s backyard. I had a question about the drying process which I know is very important. The stumps were already cut and have been drying out since they moved in (about a year ago). So I assume that I don’t need to do any further drying out? I live in an apartment so I don’t have a garage or anything to leave them in..

    Also I wiped them clean of the dirt and there were a few bugs on the outside, but could there still be more inside? Someone in the comments recommended spraying with alcohol, would you recommend this?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Dwight! If the stumps have been drying out for long time (a year for instance, lol) then they should be fine. If they’ve been outside it makes sense that there are a few bugs. I don’t have any experience with spraying the stumps with alcohol so I couldn’t say if it works or not. What I usually do is drop the stump onto a hard surface like cement/pavement until no more bugs scatter from it. If you’re worried about it then I’d put the stump in a plastic bag, spray bug spray into it, close the bag up tight, and leave it for a couple of days. Good luck! ~ karen

  172. Carol says:

    Just read your editorial on tree stump tables and loved it. Best part; your writing is very down to earth and personal = total win. Thank you for sharing your skills with us mere mortals ?

  173. roma says:

    i found your website for making a stump table, I cann’t tell you how much I appreciated it. We had a oak tree cut down and I asked the man who did it that I wanted some pieces so I could make a table for my son. Im sure it will turn out beautiful. Im thinking about putting coasters on the bottom so you can move it easier. Once again, thank you for the easy steps to make it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Roma! That’s great. If you go to The Nester’s website, I think she has one of hers that she made on rollers. ~ karen!

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  176. Nano says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for showing us an amazing idea of creating your own table\chair. We had a tree cut-off and I wanted to make some stools. I followed every instruction that you showed us, but when I took the bark and continue to sand them, little worms continue to come out from tiny holes. I managed to get most of them off, but is there a product that kills them before I put the stain? I am going crazy and don’t know what to do and would love an advice.

    Thank you so much!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nano! Yuck. Wormy wood! If you have that big an infestation I’m kind of worried that the wood will be all rotten inside. If you’d still like to use the wood what I would do is put the stump in a plastic garbage bag and spray it with bug spray that has pyrethrin in it. Taking one of the worms into a garden centre and asking them what spray to use on it is a good idea too. Once you’ve sprayed the stump close the plastic bag up tight for a few days. Then remove the stump, bang it on the ground several times to knock out any dead worms that you can and leave it to air out for another few days. HOPEFULLY it should be ready for stain then. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  177. Nano says:

    Thank you Karen for a fast reply and for taking the time to help us! I will definitely try that out and will let you know how it comes out! ?

  178. Amber says:

    Karen, I found this amazing project on pinterest. It led me to the joyboo site place that stole your project and didnt link it. Just saw that in the comments and wanted to let you know. I am pinning this from your site so I can hopefully try it out soon. Thanks for the tutorial. Have a great day!

    • Karen says:

      omg THANK YOU Amber. That’s incredibly nice of you. My site is fairly large, but it would be twice as big if I didn’t have to deal with all the spammy sites stealing my content! Again, thank you, I truly, truly appreciate you taking the time to Pin to my site and let me know. 🙂 ~ karen!

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  180. Diana S says:

    Hey Karen,

    Nice Post and thanks for the advice on the tree stump table. I absolutely love your idea. Thanks

  181. Mercy Jacob says:

    Hi Karen I have a tree stump but as I was taking the bark out I found it has a split all the way through. Can I still use it.

  182. Mercy Jacob says:

    I have a tree stump for the purpose of making a small side table but as I was taking the bark out I found it has a crack all the way through. Can I use it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mercy! Well if the split runs the entire way through the stump so that it’ll fall apart the no. Can’t use it. But if it’s just a crack that runs from the outside towards the centre it’s fine. Basically it’s fine as long as it isn’t going to fall apart. A crack usually looks nice, it adds interest. Also depending on how dry the log is, it may crack even more so keep that in mind. ~ karen!

  183. Mercy Jacob says:

    Hi Karen, Thanks for the prompt reply. I appreciate it because I was working on it and did not know whether to continue. It is more than three months old so I don’t know whether it will crack further. If I go ahead will the crack get covered with the wax. Mercy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mercy. Wood can crack for years. I can’t see the stump so I’m not sure how big it is. Just polyurethane it as far as you can get your brush in. The polyurethane is just to protect the table from spills and stains so it doesn’t really matter if it makes it right into the centre of the crack. ~ karen!

  184. Mercy Jacob says:

    H Karen, The stump is pretty good. Can I pour wood glue through the cracks so that all the cracks stick together and does not move. Just asking for suggestions.

  185. Mercy Jacob says:

    Thanks for the reply. Mercy

  186. JP says:

    beautiful work and talent. i am not going to lie. my favs…the cat walking by in haste and getting a chuckle at the challenge of your neice trying to “toss” this peice out. i highly doubt she will. thank you for your help and tips!! good luck with your art and work.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks JP. It’s been several years since I wrote this post and so far so good. My niece STILL has the stump table! ~ karen

  187. JP says:

    p.s. it is quite clear you are superior, just like a cat. it also helps that you are a canuck (meant in warm way). i’m in vermont and we really want you to adopt us!! ;-). i’m so glad i tripped on your site!! good luck with your endeavors and please keep posting. :-).

  188. Guy H. says:

    Maybe I missed it somewhere in your comments but one simple but extremely important question. How did you insure that your table was level? The log needs to be perfectly level in order to make it work.

  189. Chrissy says:

    I just came across this post, and it has given me the confidence to tackle the stump that’s been sitting on my porch for a year and a half! I kept as a memento from our wedding decor with the pipe dream that I’d eventually turn it into a table, but I’ve been too scared that I’d ruin it. Thank you for the confidence boost. It’s been shedding bark for a quite while now, so I’m thinking this isn’t going to be so bad after all!!

  190. Nancy says:

    Love love love it.
    Going to make at least one. I was at West Elm and saw theirs but must admit I like your table more, especially with the feet.
    Now I’m on the hunt for a tree stump.
    Beautiful job, love your tutorial.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Nancy, I appreciate you saying so. 🙂 I made that table YEARS ago for the blog and I still absolutely love it. Good luck! ~ karen!

  191. Amy says:

    Hi Karen — I have completed the stump work but would like to add a piece of glass as the table top so that I have more surface area. Do you have any suggestions for how to do this and also where to find a piece of glass for something like that? Thanks!

  192. krish says:

    hi I like the way you describe everything. I have so many logs but I don’t know how to use them Can you please explain how to make a center table with the logs and floating study table for my kids.What tools do I need to buy

    thanks alot

  193. Vik says:

    Very informative post. Thanks for putting it up.

    I’ve never done this before. Heck, I am the kinda person who thinks it’s a big achievement if I change the light bulbs in the house 🙂

    Quick questions for you:
    – I was planning to make a table and put it outside on my deck. Any recommendations on steps to do that? Do I need to seal the wood? Does it prevent the wood from rotting?
    I suspect sanding is still an important step as it’ll probably get rid of any splinters etc that could cause issues.

    Any other tips for setting up a table outside?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vik! Sealing is important if you want the stump to last outside, otherwise it’ll just eventually rot. You can seal it with any outdoor wood sealer. If you want it to look more natural use Thompson’s Water Seal because it doesn’t add any shine and does a great job of sealing the wood. 🙂 ~ karen!

  194. sandrine says:

    hi it is very beautiful your table

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