Split Stump Side Table- $30 Thursday

Happy $30 Thursday to ya!

$30 Thursday Button

April, Jen and I have some fabulous projects in store for you today! Oh how we LOVE $30 Thursday!

Here’s mine!

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 1 | The Wood Grain Cottage

step 2 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 3 | The Wood Grain Cottage

(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.

step 4 | The Wood Grain Cottage

Then, I did the same thing to the bottom.

step 5 | The Wood Grain Cottage

To remove some of the excess bark, I used sand paper and lightly sanded it off.

step 6 | The Wood Grain Cottage

Then, I started pulling the string tight and used a staple gun to secure it in place.

step 7 | The Wood Grain Cottage

step 8 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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:

step 9 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 10 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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:

metal step 2 | The Wood Grain Cottage

metal Step 1 | The Wood Grain Cottage

metal step 3 | The Wood Grain Cottage

Once the primer dried, I sprayed on a couple of coats of this:

metal step 4 | The Wood Grain Cottage

I let it dry, then drilled two holes in one end of the metal.

step 12 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 13 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 14 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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!

step 15 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 16 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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….

step 17 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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!

step 18 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 19 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

step 20 | The Wood Grain Cottage

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.

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

The split wood makes my heart happy.

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

And all that texture on the top is pretty amazing too! It’s aged to perfection!

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

It’s flat enough that you can actually set things on it… This summer it will probably have a tea glass for its companion!

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

The weathered look of the wood with the metal is perfect…

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

Goodness… I can’t wait to put it to good use this summer!

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

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!

Split Stump Side Table | The Wood Grain Cottage

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!

April, made this fabulous DIY Pallet Plate Wall Art.

Pallet + Plate Art  | House By Hoff

About April  | House By Hoff

And Jen did an awesome makeover on this Pottery Barn chair.

chair overlay | Migonis Home

About Jen | Migonis Home

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!

Shayna | The Wood Grain Cottage

P.S.- Have you missed any of my past $30 Thursday projects? If so, here they are!

DIY Stackable Fruit Crates:

DIY Stackable Crates I The Wood Grain Cottage

DIY Garden Globes:

DIY Garden Globes

DIY Spoon & Pallet Hook Rack:

Spoon Hook Rack


Linking up to:

House of Hepworths

The 36th Avenue

Liz Marie Blog

Crafty Scrappy Happy

 Miss Mustard Seed

Tatertots & Jello

It’s Overflowing

DIY Show Off

Thrifty Decor Chick

Rain On A Tin Roof

Young House Love

Savvy Southern Style


  1. WOW! Again Shayna! 🙂 Your side table looks great, it turned out beautiful and perfect for the outdoors! I love it, wish I could do something like this but I don’t have access to any of these tools 🙂 you did a great job! on my way to look at the other $30 projects (fun post Shayna!)

    1. INGRID! THANK YOU! I’m so glad you love it- me too! It’s such a nice edition to our patio furniture! 🙂

    1. Awe- APRIL! You are too sweet And you are SO creative and talented too! 🙂
      Hugs to you!

    1. TARYN! THANK YOU! I’m so glad you love it! AND, I seriously love everything that you do to! 🙂
      Hugs to you!

    1. THANK YOU so much Linda! I didn’t know how it was going to turn out either… but I love it! 🙂

    1. THANK YOU! I love the metal too- AND you’re right, it’s so handy to have access to all that good metal! 🙂

  2. Amazing! I’d love to have access to a lot of metal. It’s so expensive in our neck of the woods. I’ve been wanting to make a planter similar to this for some time now so needless to say I LOVE this table!

    1. THANK YOU Alex! I must admit, it’s pretty handy being married to a welder! The metal perks are awesome! 😉

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