DIY Repurposing

10 Things to Do with Cross-Cut Trees

Cross-sections of a tree branch are all that keep you away from a house full of one-of-a-kind rustic, woodsy decor.

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Fallen branches and trees don’t often have much to look forward to besides becoming mulch on the forest floor. But with a little ingenuity, designers are starting to find new ways of using wood and cross-cut lumber indoors as decor.


Instructables via andrea biffi

Cross-sections from tree branches make an excellent trivet, protecting your kitchen counters and dining table from the likes of hot casserole dishes and coffee pots. Glue or string together the mini wood slices to make a trivet however big or small you need.

Related: 10 Best-Bet Kitchen Buys from IKEA

Charger via LaurelandBliss

Rustic chargersunder fine china create an interesting juxtaposition, while the levelness of the chargers steady dinnerware on the table. Available from Etsy; $14.99/charger.

Related: 8 Things You Never See on the Dining Table Anymore


Instructables via mikeasaurus

Around the holidays, there’s bound to be a lot of company at the house. Use tree-slice coasters to protect the finish on your coffee and side tables from spills. Made from smaller tree branches and sealed with Danish oil, these can also be bundled together as a set to make a host or hostess gift. 

Related: 15 Frugal Ways to Furnish Your Home at Home Depot

Cake Stand via RusticWoodSlices

When the dessert hour rolls around, surprise your guests with treats displayed on a woodsy cake stand. A thick wood slab makes for an excellent and sturdy base to hold a cake, pie, or other sweet bites. Available from Etsy; $35.95.

Related: The 10 Most Indestructible Dishes You Can Buy

Vase via PlaceCardHolderShop

Vasesmade from logs are another take on the theme. If routing out the log is too time-consuming or tool-specific, you can instead drill holes to place individual stems into. Of course, another option is skipping the DIY route and buying one from Etsy instead. Available from Etsy; $23.47.

Related: 13 Creative Designs for Easy DIY Planters

Place Cards via TheHeritageTree

Keep the rustic theme going at your table with cross-cut place card holders. It’s the perfect use for smaller branches and requires minimal sawing, cutting, or drilling. Available from Etsy; $24 for 35 holders.

Related: Set the Table with 9 Thanksgiving DIYs

Table via SheffordWoodlands

Beyond tabletop decor, a coffee or side table made from a fallen tree trunk makes a bold yet relaxed statement. Available from Etsy; $287.25.

Related: 10 Coffee Tables for Under $100

Cutting Board

Instructables via thebrownie

A good cutting board is a kitchen necessity. To make your own, simply sand a medium-size log cross-section on top and bottom before applying a food-safe lacquer. 

Related: 10 Kitchen Favorites That Last a Lifetime


Instructables via mimikry

Holiday ornaments can cost a pretty penny. Slices of a tree branch, each drilled with a hole and strung with twine, make for great alternatives to store-bought decorations. You can leave them blank or paint winter scenes on the flat surface. 

Related: 10 Ways to Decorate Your Xmas Tree for Under $10

Night Stand

Instructables via homemademodern

At the end of a long night of entertaining, tuck into bed next to a log night stand. Again, let the log dry out completely in a warm and dry area (this also allows the bark to be easily removed). Next, sand down the top and sides. Keep it natural with a coat of low-luster polyurethane.

Related: 10 Useful Items You Should Keep on Your Nightstand