11 Creative Ways To Repurpose An Old Tree Stump In Your Yard

Cutting down a mature tree in your backyard may be necessary at times, but the remaining stump doesn't have to sit there as an underutilized eyesore for years to follow. Tree stumps can be repurposed in a variety of clever ways. With some effort and imagination, an old stump can be transformed into an elegant table, an outdoor chair, a hollowed-out planter, or even a play structure for the kids. The wood can also be salvaged for home decor, garden tiles, and nature-inspired board games. The possibilities are practically endless, and we've rounded up 11 of the best ones to inspire your next DIY project.

If you have a severed hardwood tree in your yard, such as an oak or maple, you may be waiting decades for the stump to decompose. So, why not breathe new life into its remains by turning it into something beautiful, practical, or simply fun? One tree stump could have 100 brilliant uses; all you have to do is pick the one that speaks to you. Without further delay, let's give your forgotten tree stump a new lease on life.

1. Turn it into a beautiful side table

If you love a hands-on project, your old tree stump can be transformed into a stunning natural side table. To prepare the stump and prevent decay, store it in a sunny area and let it dry out for a few weeks. You will also need to remove the bark with a chisel, which can be a tricky process. Once the hard part is over, the stump can be sanded, stained, and sealed. You can leave it as is or install some table legs for height. It is the perfect nature-inspired statement piece for your living room, office, or bedroom.

2. Transform your tree stump into an earthy flower pot

Breathe new life into your tree stump by transforming it into a DIY flower bed. This project is best suited for shorter stumps because they're easier to hollow out. Use your power tools to carve a hole in the center and work your way out. Smooth it down with a chisel and drill drainage holes into the sides, then fill it with soil and plant your blooms of choice. Ensure that the hollow is deep and wide enough for the flowers to thrive.

3. Make a tree stump bird bath

Use your tree stump to attract birds to your yard and beautify your garden at the same time. The first step is to find a basin that is compatible with the size of the stump. For this, you can use a ceramic or clay saucer, a shallow planter, or a serving tray. Ensure that the stump is level and install the basin on top of the tree stump by drilling it in place. You can also attach it to a cement platform for added stability. Consider decorating the surrounding area with stones, flowers, and shrubs. Before you know it, your forgotten tree stump will become the new focal point of your backyard.

4. Repurpose it into an outdoor chair

If you have a large and wide tree stump to repurpose, you can add a backrest to it and transform it into outdoor seating. This idea is inspired by a street art and furniture project that took over Providence, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia in 2012. To recreate it in your yard, source an existing wooden chair backrest with rounded spindles. Remove the spindles and drill them into the stump, leaving enough room to comfortably recline. Attach the spindles using wood glue and install screws at the base for added stability. Alternatively, those with a knack for woodworking can use an angle grinder to carve a makeshift backrest into the log itself.

5. Create a log board game surface

You don't need to spend more money on board games when you have a perfectly good tree stump in your yard. Tree stumps make excellent surfaces for games like chess, checkers, and tic-tac-toe. Simply saw off a slice of the stump, sand the surface, remove the dust, etch or paint your desired board, and seal it once it's fully dry. You can also paint the surface of the tree stump and keep it in the ground as a fun outdoor setup. Use painted rocks for the game pieces for added authenticity, and your log board game station is complete.

6. Make a rustic cutting board or charcuterie tray

Similarly to the DIY game board, you can repurpose an old tree stump into a beautiful, salvaged wood chopping board, serving tray, or display riser. You can cut multiple slices from one trunk since the slabs are quite thin. Cut your wood slices and allow them to dry, then remove the bark, brush and sand the edges, seal any cracks with wood glue, and apply your stain and food-safe finish. The rings of the tree stump will create a gorgeous natural pattern on the surface. While you're at it, cut a third slab and use it as a decorative tray for your coffee table.

7. Turn your tree stump into a whimsical gnome home

Give your garden a dose of fairytale charm by transforming your tree stump into an adorable gnome dwelling. This project is especially suited for those who love to get creative and crafty. The only real requirement for this gnome home is putting a roof on it. You can do this by cutting an angle into the top of the stump for a sloped roof to sit on. From there, you can decorate it with all of the bells and whistles, including a door, windows, a picket fence, a balcony, a staircase, landscaping, and little gnome residents.

8. Use it as a plant stand

Instead of hollowing out the center and turning the stump into a planter, save yourself the effort and use the stump as a riser or stand for your existing planters. Create a beautiful vignette in your garden by using the stump as a focal point and surrounding it with planters of all shapes and sizes. Consider adding decorative elements such as a rustic wheelbarrow, a watering can, or a birdhouse. With a creative eye, your old tree stump could become one of your favorite DIY garden ornaments.

9. Create a makeshift walkway out of log tiles

If a substantial portion of the trunk is intact, your tree stump can be repurposed into a collection of eco-friendly backyard stepping stones. Cut your wooden discs and treat the surfaces to prevent decay. Create a stepping stone by ensuring that the ground is level and measuring the distance between each step. Loosen the surrounding dirt and firmly hold the discs in place with wood chips or small stones. The stepping tiles should be flat and securely installed to prevent tripping accidents.

10. Turn it into a nature-inspired bistro table

Your backyard bistro set is already halfway complete, thanks to your forgotten tree stump. Transforming it into a table is easy to do, as long as the stump is a suitable size and the ground is level enough to comfortably accommodate a table surface and chairs. Use a wooden table top as a visual source to achieve a rustic look, or for a more contemporary aesthetic, opt for glass or stone. You can also remove the stump from the ground and de-bark it to create an indoor table, but this route is more labor-intensive.

11. Use it for backyard fun

Why shell out for a ready-made backyard adventure course when you can build your own? You can use the wide sturdy trunk of a mature hardwood tree to build a DIY play structure or slide for the kids. Or, if you have multiple stumps at your disposal, opt for something simpler like tree stump steppers to test your agility and balance. Your tree stump play area can be as basic or extravagant as you choose, but with skill and creativity, anything is possible. However, with projects like these, it's important to go the extra mile to prevent hazards so that they can be enjoyed safely.