Stump Table DIY

I love finding ways to bring the outdoors in to use in my home decor. I have jars of sea shells in my bathroom, acorns and buckeyes on my dinning room table (check out my fall table here) and one of my favorite things in our home is a bowl of rocks that we collected on the beach on our honeymoon (yes, one of my favorite things is a bowl of rocks).

When we got married nearly two years ago I went a little overboard and transformed a warehouse into a rustic winter retreat. As part of our reception, we had 14 different wedding cakes in different flavors honoring each member of our immediate family. I had them displayed on cedar stumps that my husband and father-in-law cut down on our family farm.

Photo by Mary Rosenbaum.

Photo by Mary Rosenbaum.

This past weekend when we were up to the farm I found one of the larger stumps from the wedding still sitting on the front porch of my in-laws farm house. After nearly two years, it had completely dried out and the bark was starting to crack off. Luckily they let me load it up and bring it home so I could clean it up and display it in our home.

I started by pulling off all the bark and sanding down the sides and top until it got to a beautiful light color.

Remove Bark

Then I painted the top with a high gloss exterior paint (we had it laying around in the garage). I think that it would be fun to change the top color seasonally because it would be so easy to change and then just paint it back (you might see it red for Christmas).

Paint Stump

And that’s it. It took me one hour and like $4 (in sandpaper). So if you have one hour (plus two years for your stump to dry out) this stump side table could be yours! In all seriousness, when we were planning for the wedding I was looking for stumps everywhere before we decided cut our own. I saw them EVERYWHERE – really! On the side of the road in ditches, at landscaping retailers, on Christmas tree lots. You’ll be surprised where you’ll find one (and most definitely for free) and you won’t even have to cut down a tree in your own yard. The important thing is that it really needs to be completely dried out. Otherwise it will sap all over your floor (especially this cedar) and crack in the heat of your home.

Final Stump

I think it turned out so lovely and I LOVE it’s sentimental value. Our wedding cake sat on top of it and now I get to see it in our home everyday.

stump table

If you’re not into making one … apparently West Elm thought of my brilliant idea too. ha! They have one for $199 and you don’t have to ever get your hands dirty.

West ElmBut I like getting my hands dirty …