With ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ becoming the buzzwords for home décor, tree stumps have suddenly been given a new dash of life. The best part of working with tree stumps is that they’re absolutely free and can be found almost everywhere. Any tree stumps, whether they’re big or small, or thick or thin, can be used for home décor as long as you get your hands on them before termites and other insects.
A tree stump should ideally be left to dry in the sun for a few weeks before bringing it indoors. During this time, the bark will fall off, giving it a cleaner look. The wood will then need to be coated with polyurethane to protect it against moisture and future insect attacks.
There’s a lot you can do with a treated tree stump. If you have some time to spare, and a log or two lying around your yard, here are a few projects you can consider.
Using a tree stump to create DIY furniture such as a stool or a side table is a great weekend home décor project. A tree stump used as a stool can complement any style of design, and suits almost all rooms. To maintain the organic look of the stump, remove the bark and polish the wood to bring out its natural beauty.
For a more fun and quirky look, paint the stump in a bright colour. You could choose to paint the entire stump or even just the seat and let paint dribble down the sides. If you don’t want to paint the wood and yet want to brighten your stool, pad the seat with a colourful cushion.
A wide tree stump can be polished and used on its own as a coffee table. Alternatively, add a glass top to the tree stump to give it a different and interesting look. You could even group a few tree stumps together to create a bigger coffee table if you need. A stump with a wide base and a slimmer top can look elegant and chic too.
Though the rings of a tree stump are its most beautiful part, they don’t always have to be on display when making DIY furniture. If you have a long, solid tree stump, consider laying it on its side and using it as a base for a rectangular coffee table.
Tree stumps are also ideal pedestal bases for planters. Tall stumps can be placed on the floor while shorter stumps can be placed on table tops to give your room décor a more organic vibe. You can even use these tree stump pedestal bases outdoors to create multiple levels in your landscape. Taller stumps can even be used as pedestal tables for indoor plants, lamps and other curios.
Don’t be afraid to use a stump with branches. Cut the branches at varying heights to ensure that they can take the weight of a planter, and arrange short plants at alternate levels.
A tree stump makes for a unique bedside table. You could either use the stump as it is to form a block table, or rest a slice of the stump on slim metal legs for a mix and match look. Depending on your bedroom décor, you could polish the wood or paint it.
If you’re attempting to make a mixed media bedside table, you could even polish the wood and paint the metal legs. Though these tables look very stylish, their only drawback is that the drawers that they miss out on. But if you are using a fairly hefty solid tree stump, then you can carve out some wood from the middle portion to make space for storing a few things.
Logs of wood or tree stumps are great planters for flowering plants. Since no two logs of wood are identical, rest assured that your planter will not only be stylish but also unique.
These planters can be built either by standing the stump upright or by letting it lie lengthwise. Cut out a section of the stump where you would like your plants to grow, and your tree stump planter is ready. Though you can put soil directly into a tree stump planter, it is advisable to use a plastic lining within the tree stump first. This will enhance the longevity of your planter.
No tree stump is too small for it to serve a purpose. A tree stump doesn’t always have to be used in a functional way; it can also be used simply to enhance the aesthetics of a room. Slice a tree stump to show off its rings and polish it. Stand this on a metal or plastic stand to display its natural beauty. Pressed flowers or calligraphic artwork on this wooden panel will further augment its grace.
Alternatively, take a cue from this decorative creation by Paulo Crafter, designers from Viseu. This exclusive structure made from a slice of tree trunk and some roughly-hewn branches is not just a thing of beauty, but it also supports a couple of quirky lamps!
Once the tree stumps are treated for protection from moisture and insects, they can not only be used indoors but also outdoors. Tree stumps when thickly sliced can be used to create a pathway, or define a sit-out in a garden. Discs of debarked logs can also be installed with grout or cement to create a unique outdoor floor. This is an ideal flooring for alfresco dining sections!
Thin tree stumps can be used to create an organic fence or as edging for a flower bed. For a more ordered look, you could halve the stump lengthwise so that one side is straight while the other has a natural finish. This will help aligning the pieces next to each other. Another way of using tree stumps to create an edging is to slice them and place them by overlapping them partly over each other.
There’s no end to the number of ways you can use a tree stump. Their easy availability makes them a very budget friendly material to work with. So find a tree stump in your garden and think of innovative ways to put it to use!
For more inspiration, check out another fun home project idea - DIY a Zen mini courtyard in your room.