Happy $30 Thursday to ya!
A while back, I had a great idea pop into my head… an outdoor side table made from a split stump!
And it was pretty simple to make!
Here’s what I did:
First, I started with a regular ol’ stump. My sweet uncle volunteered to chop it up for me while I was at work, so I don’t have a picture of this step.
Just imagine a stump being chopped into several pieces…
Once the stump was chopped up, I started putting it back together. Yes, yes, I know that sounds weird. Let’s chop it up just to put it back together.
I’m positive my uncle thought that I had completely lost any remaining marbles I might have had. He’s just too nice to say that to my face.
Putting the pieces back together was pretty simple… through the process of elimination it fit together perfectly.
Let me tell ya a little bit about this here stump… It’s been sitting on my uncle’s property for about 40 years. True story. Needless to say, it’s aged and weathered to perfection.
Once the stump was put back together, I used utility twine and wrapped it around the stump.
(I apologize for the slightly blurry pictures. I was using my phone to take pictures, and one handed to boot!)
I pulled it as tight as possible and tied it in place.
Then, I did the same thing to the bottom.
To remove some of the excess bark, I used sand paper and lightly sanded it off.
Then, I started pulling the string tight and used a staple gun to secure it in place.
As I pulled the string tight, the logs started to “shape” back into the original stump, and the gaps on the top and sides became smaller. You can see the slack I was able to pull out of the string:
Once I had it pulled as tightly as possible, and the string secured in place with the staples, I cut off the extra string and stapled them in place.
Then, I started working on the metal strips.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Anthony is a welder. He has access to lots of metal. For this, we used 16 gauge sheet metal and he ripped it down at work to 3″ wide. To figure out the length, I wrapped a tape measure around the stump and then added a few extra inches. I had him cut these at 59″.
They came as raw steel. Raw steel is dirty and this steel was rusting in a few spots. To start, I gave the metal a nice cleanin’.
Then, I laid them out on cardboard and gave them a solid coat of this:
Once the primer dried, I sprayed on a couple of coats of this:
I let it dry, then drilled two holes in one end of the metal.
And just a little FYI for ya, you can drill metal fast, which is unlike stainless steel because it has to be to drilled s l o w. You’re welcome.
Then, start wrapping the metal around the stump. It does a pretty good job of contouring to the stump, but it’s not perfect and neither is the stump.
With the side that has the drilled holes, attach the metal strip to the stump in a solid piece of wood. The last thing you want is for the screw to strip out of the wood because it’s already split! I used 2 1/2″ drywall screws.
Be sure the metal strip covers the twine!
And here’s where it gets a little tricky… you really need two people to make it work…
After you’ve shaped the metal to the stump, use your drill to make another hole at the opposite end of the metal.
Now, wrap your metal around as tightly as possible, and use a sharpie to mark through the open drill hole.
Drill the hole… you can see that we moved ours over a smidge from the actual sharpie mark….
And then, because
I was freaking out we couldn’t get the metal to wrap around tightly enough, my hubby came up with a brilliant plan (seriously) and grabbed a ratchet strap to tighten around the metal. Worked like a charm!
He’s so smart!
I held the metal strip in place and we removed the ratchet strap. While I held it in place, he used a few more screw to attach it to the stump.
We used a hammer to get the metal straight around the stump and then used a few extra screws to hold it in place and prevent it from slipping.
Even though the metal strips were dry when we started handling them, they still scratched. This is a very hands on project and could really benefit from a little thinner metal!
I used a couple pieces of sandpaper to cover the stump and gave the metal another coat of the hammered spray paint.
After I let it dry, the stump was ready to be moved.
Let me just tell ya, I’m absolutely positively loving this stump side table.
The split wood makes my heart happy.
And all that texture on the top is pretty amazing too! It’s aged to perfection!
It’s flat enough that you can actually set things on it… This summer it will probably have a tea glass for its companion!
The weathered look of the wood with the metal is perfect…
Goodness… I can’t wait to put it to good use this summer!
I must tell ya, I am head over heels loving the split sides… It gives it so much dimension… and I’m not even worrying about the wood. Chances are, if it’s been weathering for 40 years it’s probably just fine to sit outside a few more!
Oh ya… I didn’t spend a single dime on this project… If I would have though, it would have been about $12.00 for the metal strips. Because I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have a welder & metal working hubby, I browsed through Home Depot and Lowes and found some metal flashing that would work great too. It’s in the roofing section!
The finished side table dimensions are: 17″ tall and 15″ diameter.
Lucky me, I have another aged to perfection stump that’s just waiting to be made into a side table! I better get on that!
And now, be sure to check out April & Jen’s projects too!
Isn’t it great knowing that you can do any of these projects for under $30?! I love that! Be sure to check out our $30 Thursday Pinterest board too. We’re getting quite the collection of great projects and all of them are easy to do on a budget!
P.S.- Have you missed any of my past $30 Thursday projects? If so, here they are!
DIY Garden Globes:
. ENJOY .
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