5 Things to Do with… Tree Stumps

After you cut down a tree, you're left with an unsightly, sad-looking stump. What on earth can you do with that? As it turns out, quite a lot.

By Jennifer Noonan | Published May 9, 2014 2:23 PM

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As the country emerges from a harsh winter, many homeowners are facing the prospect of cutting down and cleaning up hazardous trees. Certainly, a felled tree could go a long way toward replenishing your store of firewood. But for those without a fireplace—or for a do-it-yourselfer who can’t resist a new project—there are many more creative ways to reuse the stump or other parts of the tree trunk in your house or garden. Scroll down now to check out five of our favorite DIY tree stump ideas from around the Web!



Tree Stump Ideas - Side Tables

Photo: abeautifulmess.com

Bring the outdoors in: Transform a tree stump into a nightstand or side table. The pair shown above were stained white and sealed with a coat of polyurethane. Particularly at home in modern decor, these beautiful surfaces are also quite versatile; each sits on a quartet of caster wheels, providing hassle-free portability.



Tree Stump Ideas - Planter

Photo: flickr.com/heylucyloo

It can be challenging to remove a tree stump. The main reason to go to all that effort is to get rid of an eyesore. Here’s a labor-saving compromise: Convert the stump into a planter. Use a chisel or a power drill to hollow out the stump to the depth and width desired. Then simply add soil and your choice of flora.



Tree Stump Ideas - Bird Bath

Photo: shutterstock.com

With a tree stump, you can easily create a birdbath that integrates seamlessly with your landscape. Locate a tree stump on your property that is either flat to begin with or can be made flat. Position a large plate, tray, or pot saucer on the stump and fill the vessel with water. Then watch as birds bathe and butterflies and bees visit for a drink.



Tree Stump Ideas - Stools

Photo: fun.kyti.me

Indoors or out, a tree stump of the right size—or a hefty log cut from a trunk—makes for a natural place to sit. Make your “stump stool” more comfortable by attaching a cushion to the top. Using canvas (choose a weather-resistant material if you plan on putting the stool outdoors), sew a basic pillow in a round shape that can fit like a sleeve over the flat-topped stump.



Tree Stump Ideas - Playground

Photo: carrieannesnyder.blogspot.com

If you’d like to build a natural playground in your backyard, rounds cut from a trunk are the ideal building blocks. Arrange rounds of varying heights in a straight line for a rudimentary obstacle course. Then for a balance beam, lay a large log across two shorter stumps. Encourage your kids to devise their own challenging layouts!