How to Make Seats from Tree Stumps

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Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves

  • Small saw

  • Hose

  • Sandpaper or sand sponge

  • Clean, dry towel

  • Varnish

  • Paint


Cut and upholster a piece of cushioning to use on top of the stump rather than sanding and glazing it if desired. Use a stump that has the flattest bottom possible to avoid creating a rickety seat; use pieces of plywood to even out the bottom if necessary. Varnish the top of tree stumps to use as small side tables.

Reuse tree stumps by turning them into stools.

Turn that tree stump sitting in your yard into a small stool -- a sustainable way of creating extra seating for your home. The hardest part of this project is most likely digging up the stump, unless you are fortunate enough to come upon a previously-uprooted stump. Use tree stump stools as fun seating options for children's play rooms or as a rustic piece of furniture for your vacation cabin. Tree stump seats can also work as additional seating in your backyard, either as one of many other seats on a patio or as a seating fixture among garden areas.


Step 1

Remove any excess roots around the bottom of the stump by either ripping them out with gloved hands or using small saws to remove hardier roots. You might also want to turn the stump on its side and hit it with your hose to remove dirt, debris and any lurking insects.

Step 2

Sand the top of a tree stump with sandpaper or a sand sponge until it's smooth and even. Wipe off any wood shavings with a clean, dry towel.

Step 3

Apply a varnish to the top of the stump to give it a glazed look if desired. Apply one coat of varnish in even strokes and allow it to dry for about 20 minutes before applying two more coats of the product. Allow the second coat to dry fully before applying the third coat, and remember to apply the varnish in a well-ventilated area to avoid excess fume inhalation, as varnish features a very strong odor.


Step 4

Paint the sides of the tree stump, if desired, in one color, multiple colors or in various patterns and designs. You can also opt to leave the stump as is for a rustic furniture piece.


references & resources

Kent Page McGroarty

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.