Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tree Stump Coffee Table

tree stump coffee table
I have a favorite magazine that I bought like 5 years ago....no kidding, still have it. I wish I could remember what its called....Something about ...actually I really don't know what its called. I won't even try. Anyway. In that magazine it featured a house and in the living room the guy used concrete for table tops on his coffee table and side tables. Not concrete that he molded and smoothed out himself. A piece of concrete from a sidewalk that was torn up by his house. I thought this was an excellent idea...something I remember every time I see broken piles of concrete. I've even tried to pass this by the hubs....but it was a total no go.

Its ideas like those that I thrive off of though. I drive by a tree lot every single day on my way to work and back home. A few months ago I started to notice piles of wood growing and growing. They had a lot of small limbs and branches, but that's not what intrigued me. It was the huge ol' stumps that took up more than half the pile that caught my eye. Then I remembered those concrete tables, and huge piles of concrete. I don't know why my mind works like that...concrete, wood...same thing, right?

I didn't even know if they sold the stuff. Its not like a place of normal business, there's no building, no office. Just every once in awhile I'll see a truck there planting a tree or delivering more wood. So, after months and months of trying to contact these people, I finally saw them one day out moving trees. I called the hubs in two seconds flat and told him to get the truck, we were going to pick up stumps. I don't know what he was thinking when I said this. He knew I wanted some stumps, but really didn't ask why. Which, I thought was amazing. Cuz really, what would a girl do with some old nasty tree stumps anyway? This is why I love my husband. He doesn't question my weird ideas...sometimes.

I didn't even know how much tree stumps went for. $5, $10, $40??? No idea. Well, apparently they go for $4 each. The guys at the tree place thought I was crazy. Had no idea what I was talking about turning these stumps into a table. Probably got the good deal cuz they felt bad for me since I was delusional. :) It pays to have crazy ideas.

Anyway. I got five of them for $20.  
Differing sizes of course. The vision in my head was a coffee table with five stumps, with five different heights.

First, I sanded the heck out of them. But, still left enough wood grain and detail to show they were once a tree.
Next, I primed each one one half at a time.
(this one I had to fill with mud cuz it had a very scary looking hole that went through the whole thing, and I didn't know what the heck would rear its little head out of it at any given time in my living room...so sealed up it got)
Then I painted them a slight off color of white. Next was to seal them up, mainly cuz I was fearful of little spidies and buggies coming out of the woodwork,  I used some Polycrylic on every single square inch. 
So, my vision was five tables. Obviously my vision had no idea of how gigantic these babies really are. So, once I got three into the house, I left it at that...there was definitely no hope for five.
Tree Coffee Table
Thankfully, the hubs likes them. He didn't at first, but then he realized that they don't move like the coffee table did when he puts his feet on them. Its the little things in life....I guess :)
Tree Stump Table
I love the odd characteristics that each piece has and the brightness it brings into the room.
Tree Stump Coffee Table
Here's my coffee table before: 

And after:
Tree Stump Coffee Table

Now that I have two more stumps, maybe I'll make some side tables....? Although, that may be just a bit overboard :)

For the most part, I was lucky that these pieces were cut straight, but the middle one totally was not.
Nothing that a piece of 2x4 underneath couldn't fix :) And you can't even tell, huh?

Just an FYI in case you want to get some of your own wood for some tables...make sure that its seasoned, and not wet at all or else you'll get nice little buggies everywhere. You'll know its seasoned when the bark on the outside either isn't on there anymore, or comes off easily....and obviously, if its not wet. It takes about a year or so to get it seasoned. That's why you need to find big random piles of wood that have been sitting there for awhile like I did :)
Happy Hunting!