It is a great treat when you can find items from nature to work into your decor and crafting fun. I had a lot of fun in the past playing with pebble art as every time I’d get digging around in my yard I’d find nice smooth pebbles.
There were also a couple of clay deposits near me that were mostly red clay, though I also had a source for white and yellow. I used that clay to make a watercolor kit when I was experimenting with making natural watercolors.
The latest find was when my partner and I were walking around a park path and noticed someone had chopped a tree and dumped all the sections into this wooded area that is sort of just the dumping grounds at this point. People drag tree waste, yard waste, and concrete stuff out there. I had seen a few stump side tables here and there usually for upwards of $200 or more. The logs I saw before me looked equivalent other than needing a good sanding, staining, and coating.
I suggested a project to my dude and he thought it was a neat idea so he dragged some of the abandoned waste logs back for testing. Bark was already gone, logs were already mostly dried out, and their sizes were already cut down pretty well. Given the size of the logs, they were definitely more ideal for a side table type thing.
MAKE A DIY LOG SIDE TABLE
- tree stump
- rubber mallet
- sandpaper or sander
Once your log is cut up and selected you want to check it for shape and any flaws. You want to be aware of what you are working with before you start.
HOW TO STRIP BARK OFF A LOG?
Now for my project, I lucked out as my logs were already bare wood, dried, and had no rot or insect problems. Chances are good your log will come with bark.
You will want to peel away layers of bark manually or start to use your chisel. Use your chisel and mallet to separate the bark from your log. If you chose an evergreen stump you will have sap to deal with and you want that dried out. Drying the log for a few months prior is ideal as you need it dry to work it, stain it, or paint it.
The bark removal process is easier on a dried-out log in general, though the process might take a bit. Once your bark is removed, you sand down the log really well until everything is acceptable to your wants.
The next step in turning a log into a side table is to stain or paint it the color of your choice. I preferred the natural look so I went with a very light stain. Once the paint is dry, seal it well with polyurethane so it doesn’t chip as much and the color doesn’t have as much distortion.
I also added three wheels to the bottom of the log so it could be moved and used where needed.
My guy did most of the work so this is mostly his baby, I did some of the sanding, staining, and final coat application. We were actually pretty pleased with the end result. The cracks were left on purpose for now as the goal will be to fill them at a later date with some gold resin for that extra pop.
The only other thing to note is allow it to sit in a ventilated place while all the polyurethane fumes air out. I had to keep my door open to keep the fumes from being killer, it was raining outside and there was no other place for it so that was the best option.
The total cost of supplies was pretty cheap as we just bought the wheels. Even though we had sandpaper he really wanted a sander for other projects so he went ahead and invested in that. All the stain was already on hand and the log was dump waste pulled out of public forest plot where people dump a variety of things.