The Tree Stump Table Revisited
The Lazybones Version

I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now.  So I’m kind of a veteran.  I have learned a couple of things as a blogging old timer.

1.  Use the word tinkle a lot.  Tinkle is a funny word that always gets a laugh.

2.  People do not want to tackle any project that takes more than 15 minutes unless the end result is covered in icing.

So … because of this, I’ve decided to offer you an alternative to one of my more time consuming tutorials.  The Tree Stump table has proven to be one of my most popular and passed along posts.

cleo stump

It’s a truly simple project, but it does take time.  There’s waiting for the stump to dry and the finish to dry and the finish to dry and the finish to dry.  There are several coats of finish.  Plus there’s some power tools involved and you have to go out and buy legs, and … well … it just takes a lot longer than 15 minutes.   Tinkle.

So, it occurred to me, that if you reallyyyyyy wanted, you could get the same basic look as my tree stump table, without all the fuss or muss.

And here’s how you do it.

Instructions for …

The Tree Stump Table

The lazybones version

1.  Get stump, let it dry out, bring it inside.

2.  That is all.

Stump with fern

This is a stump the fella and I found while walking home earlier this summer.  Originally we were going to make a stump table to bring up to the cottage, but realized there probably wasn’t room for it.  So … it sat in the backyard with a fern on it looking quite beautiful.  One day whilst looking at the beautiful, natural stump with the beautiful fern, I thought to myself.  “Hmm, myself … I bet that would look beautiful inside, just as it is.”  

So before frost had a chance to get at my fern I dragged the whole lot inside.  And guess what?  It does look great inside.  Myself was right.  Other than taking the bark off, which basically just fell off ages ago, this stump table took no effort at all.  I like the dull finish of the natural wood and it’s perfect for a plant.  If your plan is to use this as an actual table, be warned that if you spill anything on it like wine or salsa or whatever, it will stain.

That’s what’s great about the original stump table.  The finish on it makes it close to indestructible.  The drawback to it of course,  is that it’s not covered in icing.




  1. Lis says:

    Karen! i loved your table so much that i saved’ , um I mean, I asked the arborist to leave a couple of stumps from this maple tree that we had to get cut down because it was dying. Any who, I had hoped to use them as patio tables or stools. They’re quite heavy so i just left them weathering out and now its been a year and a half, and they’re gray? is there any hope for finishing/staining them at this point? thanks!

  2. KA J says:

    I am late to this party but found this posting through your industrial strength Tree Stump Table blog. Hubby and I just finished a new cabin and we bought the large pieces of furniture (all vintage, handcrafted or antique) over the last couple of years, which made furnishing it a bit less heart-attack inducing (except for the new mattresses — argghhh.) I am very unwilling to spend any more money on this labor of love but we have about a number of 15 foot logs from trees that were cleared for the home. Surely, they can be of some use for the two sets of night stands I need, right? (The ones I love on line are $900 a piece! Really??) So thank you. I will incorporate your first technique with your second suggestion — in other words, The Tree Stump Table without the legs but with a piece of felt glued to the bottom so it does scratch my floors. Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Hi KA J – If one stump isn’t big enough across for an night table, and you’re looking for a bit of design, you could also get several smaller stumps or straight, thick branches and put them all together standing upright. Either glue, screw or use metal strapping around them to hold them together. ~ karen!

  3. Brie says:

    I just found your site yesterday while looking for chicken ideas! I made a stump table this past summer from an old discarded one the previous home owners abandoned and never repurposed…. Rude. Anyways…I actually “pickled” mine so it has a nice white stained look. I put a potted tree on it and call it the tree table for my tree to sit on. My family thinks I am insane. Love your blog!

  4. Janet Thomson says:

    Hi Karen,,,LOVE you!!!Currently figuring how to convert my awful backyard into yours..I will consider it over the long winter, and have a game plan for spring.
    I was wondering where you got the fabulous sheepskin on the chair…I have been looking everywhere for one like that (even Scotland!) but cannot find one reasonably priced with long hair like yours…Help!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janet – The throw is from Homesense (which is the Canadian equivalent to Homegoods in the States). It was in with the blankets and such. It cost around … oh crud … I can’t remember. I believe around $190 … on sale. Good luck! ~ karen

    • J says:

      Janet-I know you posted your question in 20 11, but I just read it! I got one in Iceland and they have/had an airport duty free shop,,,,

  5. Traci says:

    Love the table, but I have another question for you: How do you keep your fern alive? I’m currently in the process of killing one right now and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so it’s not cold yet….HELP!!!

    • Karen says:

      Traci – Tell me where your fern is (inside/outside, sun/shade etc.) and what it looks like (yellow leaves/crispy leaves etc.) and I’ll see if I can diagnose! ~ karen

  6. Kristen says:

    I LOVE your tree stump table! In fact, I love it so much, I’ve made 3 of them since first seeing your tutorial :)

    I recently started a blog, and posted about making the tables here (I linked it back to you, of course):

    Anyway, this lazybones version looks pretty fantastic, too… I would LOVE finding a stump where the bark fell off an it’s own, because that was definitely not the case with the 3 I made ;)

  7. Laura says:

    In case I haven’t said it yet, I love your smiling suitcase & pretty much all the stuff you do. There’s a high chair in the nook where my fern was. Once my baby is sitting in a booster, I’ll try a fern again…on a stump, so the cats can have another place to scratch that isn’t the couch! :)

  8. Beth says:

    I love the the tree stump table…..BUT really…I just want to sit in the chair beside it, where your kitty is sitting… that looks so comfy, what a great place to sit and read!!!!

  9. SG says:

    Our city has a lot where they pile firewood and wood chips free for the taking. I look for interesting stumps that no one wants to cut up and burn. You can call your local or state park department and ask what they do with the trees they cut.

  10. Rob says:

    Great idea. I also wish my luggage was pretty enough to store in my living room. :)(left of stump)

  11. Jerrica says:

    I stole a tree stump from a pile by an abandoned Blockbuster — I was so freakin stoked about it too (about having the stumb, not the stealing, well, yeah that was fun too!), it was the perfect size, and it had been cut evenly. But then a few weeks later while it was “drying” we noticed some white stuff had sprouted on the bark, and come to find out they were termites, we could hear them inside! Needless to say we chucked it. So, I’m thinking I need to be a little more picky about where I get my stump next time!

  12. Carole McGinnis says:

    I found your blog searching the internet on how to make a tree stump table. I have been hooked on your blog ever since. I have almost read every archive you have. I have made your tree stump table, globe lights, globe feeders, mirrored boxes, chicken curry salad, bbq pizza, cesar salad and more. Everything I make comes out great and I love everything. You have inspired me so much to make things, repurpose things and create. I wuv you. I look forward to you every day – I hope you never stop. (I am from Southern California)

  13. Patti says:

    WHERE THE HECK DO YOU PEOPLE FIND STUMPS!? Karen!! I live in Canada! I live in Ktown, actually! And I have family on the Bruce Penninsula and in the Muskokas. But TRY AS I MIGHT – I can’t find a stump! AND I WANT SOME! Lots! And I want branches so I can do this:

  14. Donna says:

    Love it and I actually have one….it came from a tree we had removed from our front yard. So many people loved them I started selling them to others. Now I look for wood and take it….because we do that around here as well!

  15. Nancy says:

    Very nice Karen..I like the natural look..also I’m lazy..tinkle..

  16. Marie says:

    “the fella and I found while walking home earlier this summer” I sure hope the owner wasn’t waiting for this stump to dry so they could make your original table! Karen, what is the secret to growing a Boston fern? I just can’t figure it out and I’m FROM Boston for goodness sakes!

    • Karen says:

      Marie – LOL. I once took a table that was on someone’s front lawn which I thought meant it was out for anyone to take. (we do that around here … if you don’t want something you put it on your sidewalk and within an hour it’ll be gone) Anyhow … I took the table and then the next morning we noticed the house I took it from was having a garage sale. So … oops. Anyhow … the Boston Fern. It likes a lot of natural light and the right amount of water. They’re deceiving because they’ll live with a small amount of water for agesssss, and then one day they’ll just up and die from it. So even if you think, Hmm… looks perfectly healthy, I don’t need to water it. You do! This fern hasn’t lasted too long in the house so we’ll see how it goes. My sister has a Boston Fern that’s lived in a fern stand in her front hall for years. It has skylights over it and windows in front of it. And *that* is about all I know about Boston Ferns. :) ~ karen

  17. Robbin says:


    Where is the best place to find a stump when you live in the suburbs? I really like this natural approach to the stump table – easy and more rustic.

    • Karen says:

      Robbin – Well, we grabbed this one from a tree that was cut down on our walk home. If no one’s cutting down a tree nearby just find a place that sells firewood. They’ll have a stump for you. ~ karen

    • I just asked for one on freecycle and had 2 replies in 12 hours. Just be warned, ifyou ask for a tree stump it will probably still be in the grond.

      Someone else contacted me and said she had large pieces of firewood that exceeded my dimensions (I asked for at least 10 inches diameter and 15 inches tall) so, that’s the route I’ll go…

  18. Jules says:

    Love it- my stump is still in my bulkhead drying out! have a spot waiting for it..I have some nice wood shaped legs just waiting for it!

  19. Now that’s my kind of project :)

  20. Rosalie Davis says:

    My stump is sitting in the garage drying out and waiting to be brought inside.

    • Larua says:

      My stumps (I hauled 3 home) sat in the garage drying out all last year. Then I decided to use them as seats in the garden…now this summer they were COVERED in firebugs – thousands, millions and that’s a conservative estimate.
      I want to bring at least one back into the garage to start the drying process all over again but I am so worried about those #@#$%* firebugs taking up residence in my garage over the winter.
      Advice? Comments?

  21. teresita says:

    I like the lazybones better! And you don’t feel bad if you eventually get tired of it.

  22. Bev says:

    I love them both! But the original one I think is worth the wait and the time – modern and rustic all at once! What is so funny is that growing up in the 70’s we had a tree-cross-section coffee table thing. I always thought it was hideous (and it was not cool like yours) and told my mom she was a hippie – oops! I’ll have to hide the tree stump at Thanksgiving ;)

  23. pve says:

    now I shall call you “stumpletinklestilskin” – you are too funny showing us your logs. my dog would tinkle for sure on it if I ever brought one inside. my dear husband would mistake if for firewood. tinkle.

  24. Karen Eggleston says:

    Yes, but you could cover it in icing.

  25. Alyson says:

    That is an exceptionally good blogging tip you just casually dropped in there and it’s so true! I do so many projects spotted from blogs, but they’re always the quick gems…the ones that take longer go in my bookmark and get interwebdust. And ‘poo’ is the ‘tinkle’ of my blog.

  26. Marti says:

    Yeah, nice, but I still LOVE that finished stump table and intend to make it as soon as I have a pot to pi… um, a better living situation.

    • Cindy Marlow says:

      I love the natural stumps. I think they know I love them ’cause they seem to gather here. They get repurposed as plant stands, plant pots, plant sleeves, plant mulch, etc. Plants and stumps go very well together.

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