Posted by Tim Vidra / June 26, 2015
Over on eHow: Rustic Tree Stump Side Tables
We've constructed a new pair of rustic end tables, using little more than tree stump slices and hairpin legs. find the full furniture tutorial for these tables newly published in our eHow project series.
These end tables are an updated version of the original tree stump side table we made a few years ago. With a shorter overall tree slice, we were able to install longer hairpin legs in a bright white finish and while still solid, the overall table is lighter in weight than the original.
You may remember how we originally found the tree slices for these tables back in April during a day trip up to Madison County. I'd stopped along the roadside where a tree had recently been cut down and the homeowner was happy to bid farewell to a few slices:
Because wood changes, warps and cracks as it dries, it's better to work with it once it's dried out. We let our tree slices dry out over a 3 month period indoors before starting on the tables.
It's amazing what a few power tools can do — swipes with a planer and palm sander do wonders for exposing a clean, smooth layer of natural wood grain for the table surface. On the flip side we worry less about the surface finish since it's an area nobody will see (except for crawling nieces and nephews maybe).
We went with a bright, modern, clean white powder-coat finish for the hairpin legs. Because standard side tables measure between 20-24 inches, you can gauge the leg length you'll need by subtracting the stump slice height by your ideal table size. In our case, we ordered 18 inch legs to pair with a 6 inch stump, resulting in a 24 inch side table height. We found our hairpin legs on Etsy from a local Richmond favorite, Cream Street Shop:
One of our favorite ways to protect and seal natural bark to bring indoors is by applying a thin coat of clear finishing spray. The matte finish still gives the bark a super natural look, but keeps any additional dirt and debris from crumbling onto the floor once inside:
We love how tables like these bring an instant mix of natural, rustic feeling to any space along with sleek modern touches from the hairpin legs.
As with some of our other larger projects, we brought the tables upstairs to photograph in Stephanie's old room, which is now light-filled and pretty empty (but a great photography spot, ha). The tables are actually living as end tables downstairs between our two family room couches, which has been a welcome update.