Last time I was at my in-laws house they mentioned they had a ton of tree stumps in the yard and they needed to get rid of some of them. So I promptly ran out back, scooped up 4, and put them in my trunk.
I’m always so bummed when I see these on other blogs and they’re all like yeah I just grabbed some from my yard, so easy! woo hoo! And I’m sitting in my house in the middle of my urban neighborhood waiting for a hurricane to maybe knock someone’s tree down so I can maybe sneak out in the middle of the night and steal some stumps. But no more!
While these really are easy to make, they do require some patience. These stumps had been drying out in my inlaws yard for about two years, so when I took them home they were pretty good to go– but you do always want to be careful that they are dry and that there’s no critters in there. Even though they were dry, I wasn’t sure about the critters, so here’s what I did:
I used a spackle knife to scrap off all the bark, which for four of these took under 15 minutes. Then I grabbed 2 gallons of bleach at the dollar store and poured them into a big bucket. Each of the stumps got a good dip, then a good hosing off.
The bleach changed the color a little bit, of course, but I actually like it better. Plus, I now have piece of mind that if there was anything in there it’s dead now.
After I hosed them off I let them sit outside for about 2 days (the smell of bleach was STRONG), then I let them dry out even more in my basement for about another week.
Once dry, I sanded the crap out of them. You want these things to be smoooooooooooth as butter. This probably took about 20 minutes per stump, I just put on a movie and sanded until it was over with both 10 then 180 grit paper. After sanding I wiped them down with a damp cloth, and painted the top of 2 with Behr’s Waterscape (leftover from my half bath). No primer or anything, just one good thick coat and let dry.
I sealed each stump with 2 coats of polycrylic– just to be even more sure they were safe to keep inside. Don’t forget to sand the bottom as well!
I thought they could use a little more spunk, so I added silver upholstery tacks to one (just a rubber hammer and the tacks, they all went in really straight and I didn’t need to pre-drill any holes)
I also added some little felt pads to the bottom of each to make them easy to move around– I picked up a back of like 100 of these for a dollar and use them all the time, it’s worth keeping a good stock.
Two of the stumps ended up in the guest room, they’re a great size to put your glasses or cell phone on.
They’re such a cute little additional the room, and add a nice bit of interest too.
The other 2 will show up in a post next week. I know, you can hardly wait to see. ;) haha.