16 Inspiring DIY Tree Stump Projects You Can Make: Simple and Creative Guide

Last updated on January 18, 2024

Explore these unique and budget-friendly DIY stump projects because they can transform a discarded tree trunk into an artistic masterpiece.

Transforming tree stumps into a beautiful piece of decor is not just good for your pocket, but also an eco-friendly choice. Whether it’s your living room, porch, or garden, a tree stump can add natural and rustic vibes to any setting.

So let’s explore the 16 inspiring DIY projects that can turn a simple stump into an artistic masterpiece. From fashionable side tables to exquisite planters, we will unveil a range of unique and creative ideas, covering everything you need to know to make this affordable and sustainability-friendly decor venture a success.

With a little time and effort, the tree stump you might have thought as a waste can become an amazing addition to your home. You’ll soon discover it’s not just an old piece of wood but a goldmine of decorating potential.

Key takeaways:

  • Tree Stump Planter: Hollow out and fill with plants.
  • Tree Stump Pot Stand: Elevate potted plants in your garden.
  • Aged Moss Stump: Create an earthy, natural focal point.
  • Fairy Garden: Design an enchanting miniature world.
  • Decorative Art: Paint, carve, or burn designs onto the stump.

Make a Tree Stump Planter

make a tree stump planter

Transform that old tree stump into a charming garden feature by hollowing it out to house your favorite flowers or succulents. Start by drilling a series of holes into the center of the stump, then chisel away the inner wood to create a cavity deep enough for plant roots. Preserve the exterior with a wood sealant to prevent decay.

For increased visual appeal, consider layering different shades of plants to create depth. Trailing plants over the edges can offer a whimsical, waterfall-like effect, while planting taller species in the center will give your stump planter a mini garden vibe. Ensure proper drainage by adding a layer of gravel before filling with soil. This eco-friendly project not only upcycles a natural resource but also adds a unique botanical accent to your outdoor space.

Create a Pot Stand

create a pot stand

Elevate your potted plants by using a smoothed tree stump as a natural stand. The varying heights of multiple stumps can add depth to your garden layout.

To ensure longevity, treat the wood to prevent rot. Sand the surface for a smooth finish where the pot will rest.

For added color, consider staining or painting the stump, but remember to let the natural wood grain show through for an organic touch.

To make your stand unique, you could carve out a section to nestle the pot in more securely.

This project is not only practical but also offers an earthy, rustic flair to your green space.

Make an Aged Moss Stump

make an aged moss stump

Transforming a bare stump into an understated natural focal point is simple with the application of moss. The key to achieving the aged effect is in both the selection and the attachment of the moss. For best results, opt for varieties like cushion moss or sheet moss, which naturally grow in a lush carpet-like form.

Begin by cleaning your stump surface of any loose bark or debris to ensure a smooth canvas for the moss to adhere. If the wood is particularly dry, moisten it to help the moss bond more effectively. Mix a handful of moss with equal parts buttermilk and water or beer and a teaspoon of sugar to create a moss “milkshake.” Paint this mixture onto the areas where you want the moss to grow. Alternatively, you can press pieces of live moss into the stump and hold them in place with a light layer of netting or biodegradable fabric until they take root.

Maintain a moist environment, especially in the initial weeks, to encourage moss growth. Use a spray bottle to dampen the stump regularly. Over time, the moss will spread, creating a verdant, aged appearance that perfectly complements any garden setting.

Design a Beautiful Fairy Garden

design a beautiful fairy garden

Transform a tree stump into an enchanting haven for fairies with a dash of creativity. Hollow out the center to simulate a tiny fairyland recess, ensuring adequate drainage. Adorn with moss, pebbles, and miniature plants like succulents for a natural landscape.

Incorporate whimsical fairy figurines, miniature houses, and pint-sized furniture to invite a sense of magic. Use twigs and leaves to create pathways and bridges. For a final touch, add solar-powered string lights to bring your fairy garden to life at dusk, offering a warm glow that can be seen from afar.

Remember, the key is in the details – the more intricate, the better to spark the imagination.

Decorative Art

decorative art

Transform a stump into a canvas for outdoor art by painting, carving or burning designs into the wood. Opt for weather-resistant paints to ensure your art lasts through the seasons.

Consider nature-themed imagery like leaves or animals to harmonize with your garden, or abstract patterns for a modern twist.

For a more rustic look, use a chainsaw or chisels to carve reliefs or figures into the stump.

Those with a pyrography kit can burn intricate designs directly into the wood, adding a unique touch to the garden landscape.

Make Board Games for Kids

make board games for kids

Transforming a tree stump into an outdoor board game is a playful and budget-friendly project for the yard. Sand the surface smooth then paint it with outdoor-friendly paint to create a checkers or chess board. Alternatively, make a tic-tac-toe game by gluing small wooden blocks as the grid and painting stones as the game pieces.

This DIY adds a fun element to your garden and encourages kids to spend more time outdoors, combining nature and play. Remember to seal the finished project to weather-proof your new backyard game station.

Garden Furniture

garden furniture

Transform your tree stump into a rustic outdoor seating solution to give your garden character and functionality. Sand down the top for a smooth sitting surface, and treat the wood to withstand the elements.

To elevate the look, attach a circular wooden slab top, creating a natural-looking stool. Alternatively, cluster several stumps of varying heights to craft a bespoke garden bench.

Add outdoor cushions for comfort and inject your personality with color and patterns. These pieces effortlessly blend with the landscape, offering a unique and eco-friendly twist on traditional garden furniture.

Illuminated Tree Stump

illuminated tree stump

Transform your garden into an enchanting nighttime haven by incorporating lighting into an old stump. Drill holes to fit LED tea lights or solar-powered lights, creating a soft glow that highlights the natural patterns of the wood.

For a more dramatic effect, hollow out the top portion and install a larger light source, turning the stump into a rustic lamp post. Ensure the lights are weather-resistant, and if you’re dealing with electrical components, be mindful of safety and consult with an electrician.

This project not only recycles a tree stump but also elevates your outdoor space with a warm, ambient light feature.

Garden Decor and Sculpture

garden decor and sculpture

Transforming a tree stump into a piece of garden decor adds a whimsical touch to your outdoor space. Carve the wood to create sculptures, such as animals or abstract figures, making a unique focal point for your garden.

If carving isn’t your forte, consider collaborating with a local artist who might be looking for raw materials for their work.

Additionally, consider turning the tree stump into a pedestal for other garden ornaments. Mount a birdhouse, sundial, or a specially chosen statue atop the stump. This elevation not only gives prominence to the chosen ornament but also breathes new life into the stump.

For a simpler touch, stencil designs onto the stump and paint them, or use it as a canvas for mosaic art with tiles or glass. The natural curves and edges provide an organic backdrop that contrasts beautifully with structured artistic patterns.

This method allows for personalized decor that can be adapted seasonally or according to your changing tastes.

Decorative Mushrooms Out of Tree Stumps

decorative mushrooms out of tree stumps

Transforming a tree stump into whimsical mushrooms is a delightful project that adds an enchanting touch to any garden. Begin by partially burying smaller stumps or thick branches near the main stump to create a ‘cluster effect.’ Shape the tops into domes to mimic mushroom caps; you can achieve this by sawing or carving, depending on your skill level and tools at hand.

Select outdoor paints in classic mushroom colors—reds, whites, and tans work well for a storybook look. For added fun, use glow-in-the-dark paint for the spots. This helps the mushrooms come alive at night, adding a magical glow to the yard. Ensure longevity by sealing painted stumps with a weather-resistant sealant, protecting them from the elements. This playful touch infuses your outdoor space with charm and character, delighting visitors and passersby.

A Playhouse for Kids

a playhouse for kids

Transform an old stump into a whimsical play area that sparks imagination and outdoor play. With some ingenuity, you can carve out a door and windows to create the semblance of a tiny cottage. Enhance the fantasy feel by using non-toxic paint to add colorful details or attach small wooden accessories.

Consider incorporating a small chalkboard within the stump for drawing, or mount a simple, flat board on top for children to use as a rustic play table. Encourage the kids to participate in the decorating process, which not only makes for a fun family activity but also gives them a sense of ownership and pride in their new playhouse.

Remember to sand down any rough edges to make it safe for young adventurers.

Garden Path

garden path

Transform your garden into an enchanting escape by repurposing tree stumps as stepping stones.

Configure them along a meandering route to add a whimsical touch to your outdoor space.

Ensure they are cut to an even height for safe footing and consider sealing them to withstand the elements.

Over time, these natural elements will harmoniously blend with your garden’s ecosystem, creating a serene pathway that invites exploration and admiration.

Glow in the Dark Stools

glow in the dark stools

Transform your garden into a whimsical nighttime oasis with glow-in-the-dark paint and a few tree stumps.

Use sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the stump before applying a primer coat.

Once your base is ready, layer on a glow-in-the-dark paint, choosing from a variety of colors to match your ambiance.

Opt for a paint that’s both weatherproof and long-lasting for outdoor durability.

The glow emanating from these stools will provide a gentle, enchanting light, perfect for evening gatherings or simply enjoying a quiet night under the stars.

Charge them up under sunlight during the day, and they’ll be ready to illuminate your space at dusk.

This project is not only practical, providing additional seating, but also creates an ethereal effect that enhances the beauty of your garden without being overbearing.

Gnome Home

gnome home

Transforming a tree stump into a whimsical gnome home offers a magical touch to any garden. Start by carving out windows and a door to craft the illusion of a tiny residence nestled in your backyard.

To enhance the fairy-tale vibe, add a curved roof using salvaged wood or bark. Paint details on the wood to bring the scene to life or keep the natural look for a more rustic feel.

Incorporate miniature accessories like a cobblestone path, tiny furniture, and faux windows to complete the illusion. For nighttime allure, place solar-powered lights inside to mimic a cozy hearth.

This project not only recycles an old stump but also ignites imagination and enchantment in your outdoor sanctuary.

Tree Stump Art

tree stump art

Unleash your inner artist by using a tree stump as a canvas for outdoor art. Begin by sanding the stump’s surface to create a smooth area for painting. Select outdoor-friendly paints to ensure your masterpiece withstands the elements.

Consider varnishing the finished artwork to add durability and sheen. For a more rustic look, wood-burning tools can etch designs into the stump, lending a touch of natural elegance. Collaborate with the stump’s unique shapes and grooves; they can inspire and integrate into your design.

Choose themes that complement your garden, from forest scenes to abstract patterns. Remember, the art can also serve as a conversation piece or a focal point within your outdoor space.

A Cozy Birdbath

a cozy birdbath

Elevate your garden’s charm by transforming a tree stump into a rustic birdbath. To do this, simply flatten the top of the stump to create a stable surface.

Next, place a shallow basin or repurposed shallow dish atop the stump. Ensure it’s secure to prevent tipping over. If needed, carve a small groove within the stump’s top to better hold the dish in place.

Enhance the aesthetic by surrounding the base with stones, moss, or low-lying flowers, blending the structure seamlessly into your garden.

Remember to change the water regularly to keep your feathered guests coming back. This project not only recycles an old stump but also supports local wildlife, bringing your garden to life.

Wooden Table

wooden table

Transforming a tree stump into a wooden table blends rustic charm with practicality. To ensure stability, start by leveling the top of the stump with sandpaper or a saw. Seal the wood to protect it from the elements and prevent rotting; polyurethane or a wood sealant will do.

Consider the height of your stump—ideal for a coffee table or a bedside stand—and select a glass top or wooden slab that complements the stump’s diameter for a polished look. The natural rings and texture of the stump will bring an organic, unique feel to any room.

Optional additions such as castor wheels for mobility or a lower shelf crafted from a cross-section of another stump can enhance functionality and style.

Owl Home Décor

owl home decor

For the nature lovers, transforming a tree stump into owl decor adds whimsy to your outdoor space.

To begin, hollow out a section of the stump and shape it to resemble an owl’s cozy nook.

Consider all-weather paints to add features like eyes and feathers, ensuring your creation withstands the elements.

To enhance the aesthetic, incorporate real branches for a perch or moss for texture.

The result: a charming habitat for your feathered friends, doubling as a conversation piece for human visitors.


How do you preserve a tree stump?

To preserve a tree stump, apply a thick layer of polyurethane to the entire bark surface using a paintbrush, creating a waterproof barrier after drying.

What are some cost-effective materials to use for DIY tree stump projects?

Some cost-effective materials for DIY tree stump projects include salvaged wood, affordable paint or varnish, old fabric scraps, and inexpensive glass or mosaic tiles.

How can you safely cut and prepare a tree stump for DIY projects?

To safely cut and prepare a tree stump for DIY projects, one needs to use protective gear (gloves, goggles, etc.), utilize a chainsaw for cutting, clean the stump thoroughly, and treat it with a wood preservative to prevent decay.

What are the best DIY projects to turn an old, unwanted tree stump into an outdoor decor piece?

Old, unwanted tree stumps can be efficiently transformed into beautiful decor pieces through DIY projects such as creating decorative flower pots, crafting unique garden tables or seats or sculpting captivating garden art.


Liked this article? Here's what you can read next: