I have become deeply committed to making the majority of my DIY, arts and crafts projects with as much recycled material as possible. I swear it seems like I see a project in just about everything that most people just throw away. It’s my loving tribute out of the respect I have for this beautiful, amazing planet that we live on. Besides it’s fun and much less expensive than purchasing everything you need from an expensive craft store. However, it’s a double-edged sword. My family is very supportive of what I do but sometimes they get a little puzzled by some of the supplies I find to use. My latest sustainable supply is trees.
They always seem to be cutting down trees to build things or make space in their yards here. My sweetheart is a tree climber/trimmer for a living. He actually wears a harness and spikes and climbs to the top of these really tall trees to trim them! It’s very dangerous work as you might imagine. Anyway in doing this kind of work I noticed that a lot of trees get wasted. So…I started asking if I could have some of these beautiful stumps to make something out of them. They cut down all kinds of trees. The only tree that they protect in this area are the historic oak trees. I have managed to get some cherry wood, cedar, water oak and of course pine so far. This particular stump was a salvaged from a cedar tree.
The supplies needed for this project are:
- A leveled stump of cedar
- A piece of plywood larger than the circumference of the cedar stump
- A pencil
- 1 yard of American flag fabric (at least)
- 2 Foam Cushion Circles shaped like the stump top ( I used the foam that is normally used for installing carpeting)
- A staple gun
- Staples for the staple gun
- 7 screws that are long enough to go through the plywood seat cushion you make and at least a 1/2 inch into the stump
- Screwdriver or Power Drill
- Hammer and Chisel
- Sander or sandpaper
- Wood stain of your choice
- Water Sealant (such as polyurethane)
Prepare the Stump:
- Choose your stump.
- Using the hammer and the chisel remove all of the bark from the stump. Careful do not to gouge the stump. Removing only the bark if possible. This part is really time-consuming so be patient. Remove as much bark as you can using this method. Remember, you are creating this work of art to your personal style so can leave some or all of the bark on the stump if you’d like.
- After removing as much of the bark as you can with the hammer and the chisel, use the grinder to remove the rest of the bark. Follow this up with a sander or some sandpaper to smooth it down more. This should bring out the natural grain of the wood.
- Now let’s beautify the wood. I chose to use wood stain to add a little more color to my stump. There are many solutions sold to preserve the wood as well. Apply the stain or wood preservative according to the directions. I decided to add a water sealant on the stump ends to keep it from drying or cracking. It wanted the bottom protected in case someone decided to use it outside. This will help maintain as much of the natural look as possible.
Finish the Stump:
- Cut the plywood into a piece that is slightly larger (2″-3″) than the of the stump. Then lay it on top of the stump to trace the exact shape of the it using a pencil.
- With a jigsaw cut the plywood along the outline.
- Use the cut plywood to trace the shape onto the carpet foam. I cut 2 pieces of for a thicker seat cushion.
- Glue the two foam pieces together and then glue them onto the piece of plywood.
- Iron the fabric. Spread the fabric out and lay the cushion padded side down onto the fabric. Cut the fabric around the cushion with a 2″-3″ allowance. Make sure the seat is centered on the fabric.
- Pull the fabric taut and using the staple gun, staple the material to the underside of the plywood seat cushion.
- Attach the seat cushion onto the stump using the screws in a decorative pattern.
You can use a protective plastic or even scotch guard to protect the seat from the elements if this is going to be an outside piece of furniture.You could also add casters so that it would be easy to move as well.