How to Make a DIY Tree Stump Stool For $60

June 14, 2022
tree stump stool

A tree stump stool is a trendy and unique décor to add to your home. As beautiful and authentic as they are, they don’t come cheap. For anyone who has come across a beautiful tree stump side table in any family décor store, I can bet you turned your head to confirm you saw the price right. 

Most furniture retail shops value a wood stump side table for between $200 and $800. That is way too high for most people to afford, and hence, it prompts the need to learn how to make these fancy pieces of furniture as a DIY project.

It is easy to make yourself a gorgeous tree stump bedside table with the necessary knowledge plus technique for as little as $60.

Making your things affords you the freedom to design a customised appearance at a lesser cost than buying. Like most other DIY projects, preparation is vital if you want a tree stump stool.

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What do you need to make a tree stump stool?

See that you have everything you require in place before you begin. The materials listed below should feature in your checklist.

  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Chisels
  • A tree trunk
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain brush
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Wood varnish
  • A large cardboard piece
  • A cloth

Once everything is sorted, the hard work begins. Below are the guidelines you should follow if you want that cool tree stump stool at a minimal cost. 

Steps to make your DIY tree stump stool

tree stump stool

Find a tree stump

The most significant and challenging aspect of your DIY task is to source for the trunk. It would help if you found a piece that suits your needs in shape, size, and strength.

However, it can become daunting to land an appealing work that matches your specific needs. For that reason, you might want to find a mature tree to fell.

If you do not have one on your property, ask around from neighbours, family, and friends.

More often than not, there are tree stumps perfect for a stump stool lying idle in people’s backyards. If you are lucky enough, you may come across someone intending to cut down a tree or had one cut down recently.

Always take advantage of any opportunity that allows you to have your trunk chopped to your preferred shape, height, and size.

If you still haven’t found a match for your desired tree stump stools, another option is to buy. You can find helpful links online via Facebook Marketplace and sites such as Gum tree.

You may also contact any local tree removal company nearby and request to buy. They can reserve a stump for you in their next job if they have none in their possession.

Remove the bark

tree stump stool

You can hold out for the trunk to dry out, making it easier for the bark to peel off. But, if you are in a hurry or want a unique style, you can chop off the bark as it is.

This allows you to create splits and leave some bark fragmentations in your desired pattern. Your chisel and hammer may come in handy here, as you need a little force.

Due to the high amounts of dust produced, wear a face mask and protective goggles. You may also want to move your project outdoors to avoid messing up.

Before commencing, lay down a sizeable piece of cardboard or any other material to help you collect the debris. Whether you are working indoors or outdoors, cleaning becomes more manageable.

Smoothening the surfaces

To give your tree stump stool a smooth touch and finish, smoothen all the surfaces using sandpaper. For a faster and less draining job, use a hand sander, a better alternative. Either way, remember to wear your protective goggles and a face mask.

How you work on the sides depends on your desired final look. For extra character on your wooden stump stool, a touch of roughness can enhance an unpolished finish on the sides.

Where your stump has branches, you can integrate them for a more unique and natural look. But this requires a lot of creativity, and you must be spot on with your ideas and execution.

If you have a creativity shortfall in this regard, worry not; many people are in the same boat. Level the sides by removing any branch offcuts.

Some barks may leave undesired fragments if the stump was freshly cut. Please get rid of them plus any extra residual sap on the trunk using a chisel.

tree stump stool

Give extra attention to the bottom and top surfaces. Your timber stump side table needs to be stable, and hence, it should stand firm on the floor without any wobbling whatsoever.

On the other hand, the top of your trunk should be even all-round.

Even with a stable base, your things will not rest comfortably if the top surface is uneven. Level it up by smoothing any sharp edges to have a uniform surface where anything can sit comfortably.

At this point, a higher grit sanding sponge can refine your finish for a superior super-smooth feel.


Wood is attractive and charming in its natural state. Even so, get the best out of your tree trunk stool by adding a few finishing touches to spruce it up. Prepare the trunk by brushing and cleaning off any debris, dirt, and dust residues. Also, bin all the debris and dust collected on the underlying cardboard.

With a clean stump and working environment, it’s time to engage your creativity gear and explore any possibilities that fit your style and preference. Your wooden stump stool can be more long-lasting if you apply a protective sealant over all the surfaces.

tree stump stool

To ensure everything is coated, use a large brush for the first coat. You can then follow it up with a smaller brush to get all the details right.

That way, you can get rid of surplus sealant from any clefts and crannies it may have spilled. You may add extra coats based on your judgment, but allow it to dry off completely before adding another coat.

The sealant gets absorbed in the wood, further emphasising its natural texture. If this texture does not sit right with you, you can further sand the surface for a smooth touch.

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Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.