The Best (and Weirdest) Things You Can Do with a Tree Stump

Their majestic boughs offer shade on a hot day and their leaves turn brilliant colors in the autumn months, and they become so much a part of our home that we wish our favorite trees could live forever. When a beloved tree dies, or must be cut down, it doesn’t necessarily signal the end of the tree’s usefulness. Turning tree stumps into landscape ornaments is a wildly popular concept. Follow along as we take you on a delightful tour through woodland abodes where fairies dwell and lofty birdhouses that are sure to please even the most finicky of birds. You’ll find stumps designed for rest and recreation, and along the way, perhaps you’ll be inspired to tackle your own tree stump transformation project.
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Gnome Home

Once a mighty oak, this tree-stump-turned-gnome-home tops out at over 6 feet high and adds fanciful interest to a wooded backyard. Nestled in a bed of lush hostas, any self-respecting gnome would be lucky to call this stump home. A talented DIYer framed roof supports from 2x4s and used wood shims to craft rustic shingles. The windows are fashioned from plywood and adorned with cedar detailing and painted-on curtains that pull the look together. 

Related: 21 Clever Little Things to Do with Scrap Wood

Fairy Land

This delightful fairy garden successfully incorporates natural elements with whimsical childhood treasures, and it’s sure to provide endless hours of entertainment for the young and the young at heart. This project makes it easy to see why fairy gardens are one of the most popular tree stump trends today. With the addition of a mossy roof, colorful mushrooms (fairies love mushrooms!), a tiny ladder, and a welcome sign, this stump is ready for any tiny winged guests who may visit.

Related: 19 “Zero Dollar” Garden Hacks

Subtle Spa via Wonderlane

A sturdy stump makes a perfect pedestal for a bird bath. Use the basin from a former bird bath, a shallow terra cotta dish, or any other heavy basin or bowl to create a water retreat for your feathered friends. Add stones or a small solar fountain, and you’ll soon have birds flocking to your yard. If the stump isn’t in a shady spot, surround the bird bath with tall plants to help keep it cool during the heat of the day.

Related: 10 Inventive Designs for a DIY Garden Fountain

Tic-Tac-Toe via Ivylore

What could be more fun than turning a dead stump into a board game? Get the kids involved in crafting the game pieces, which in this case are smooth rocks painted to resemble ladybugs and bumblebees. Apply a coat of exterior sealer to the top of the wood to preserve your game board. Pull up a couple of lawn chairs and let the games begin!

Related: 10 Genius Ways to Make Your Backyard a Blast

Backyard Adventure

Molded plastic footholds, climbing grips (available from retailers that sell playground accessories), and a large tree stump become a climbing wall for little hands and feet. Attach a safety fence, constructed from dimensional lumber, and bolt the slats securely to the sides of the tree. Stabilize the boards with thick rope, and add a slide to keep youngsters occupied while they develop large motor skills.

Related: 12 Backyard Updates You Can Do in a Day

Throne at Home via Talena Winters

Grab your favorite book and a cup of tea, then nestle down in this tree stump chair for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The tree trunk was first cut to an appropriate height with a chainsaw, then carefully sculpted to form the chair seat, sides and decorative back. Many DIYers consider the act of carving to be a therapeutic activity, making this project a welcome respite from a long, busy day.

Related: Seat Yourself: 11 Ways to DIY Your Own Chair

Farm Table via Alissa S.

Create your own table for open-air dining! To start, ensure the surface of the stump is as flat as possible to give you a level base. When choosing your tabletop, consider materials that strike the right ambiance for your outdoor living space—salvaged wood for a rustic retreat, metal for a modern vibe or even a large concrete slab for no-nonsense fun. For stability, insert one or more large bolts through the top of the slab and into the stump. There you have it—a simple table, perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts!

Related: 15 Doable Designs for a DIY Patio Table

Classy Glass via Lee Bonnifield

The glass top from an old patio table, combined with a uniquely shaped tree stump, makes a great spot for outdoor dining. If you don’t already have a glass tabletop sitting around, you can have a piece of thick glass cut to a custom size and shape. If you go the custom route, make sure you’re using tempered glass, that way if the table ever breaks, you won’t have dangerously sharp glass pieces to pick up out of the grass. 

Related: 8 Unique Ways to Build Your Own Table

Peek-a-Boo Bears via Ian Abbott

A chainsaw in the hands of a talented sculptor can turn an ordinary tree stump into a work of art. This stump oozes whimsy and intrigue as two adorable bears peek out of their tree to watch passersby. Tree stump chainsaw sculptures should be periodically sealed (once every year) with a coat of clear marine varnish, or another penetrating exterior sealer, to keep them from splitting.

Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard

Stump Garden

Nothing could be more natural than creating a flower bed in a carved out tree stump. If the center of the stump is already hollowed and rotted out, you’re in luck! Add soil and start planting. If the tree stump is still in tact, carve out a basin at least a few inches deep and fill it with quality garden soil. If the bottom of your new “pot” holds water, drill a couple of holes in the side of the trunk to allow for drainage.

Related: 10 Foolproof Flowers Anyone Can Grow

Big Bench

The bigger the tree, the greater the possibilities! This bench, skillfully cut from a massive tree stump, offers woodland visitors a serene spot to stop and enjoy the scenery. A commercial chainsaw is your best bet for making both the initial top cut and also to remove the large front section of the stump. A smaller chainsaw can be used to sculpt away the interior wood to form the seat, back and sides.

Related: 12 Doable Designs for a DIY Bench

Little Cabin

Birds and trees—the original combination. A tall stump makes a natural base for a birdhouse or a bird feeder. Constructed from branches to give it a log cabin look, this birdhouse blends effortlessly with its surroundings. Consider adding a wide plastic or metal baffle around the stump to discourage cats and squirrels from climbing up and reaching the feeder or birdhouse.

Related: 8 Ways to Combat Garden Pests

Shabby Chic on Fleek

Create a rustic landscape by grouping antique iron implements and wooden planters to form curbside decoration. This stump provides a columnar base to hold a bucket or planter, and it plays the additional role as a focal point in this charming assemblage. Check out craft and hobby stores to find weathered buckets, and attend a farm auction or visit a flea market to locate antique iron accents.

Related: 9 Clever Landscaping Hacks for Your Best-Ever Yard

Don't Get Stumped

You might have originally seen it as an eyesore, but after looking at these fun and inspiring projects that tree stump in your yard is your next DIY.