My friends and I love to make an annual pilgrimage to antique hot spots in the area we live. This usually occurs in the autumn as we gear up for holiday shopping and includes our favorite haunts, steaming coffee and a lovely lunch. On our last such outing, we had a pint-size tag along in my friend’s toddler. She was a trooper as we meandered our way through musty barns and open-air displays. One shop had a few old stumps scattered about the perimeter – for a toddler, it’s the perfect spot to sit a spell. And so she did. On multiple stumps. You can hardly blame her. I can see the appeal!
Considering the holidays were mere weeks away, and I just happened to have a mess of logs in the back yard, I thought I’d try my hand at making her a stump stool of her own. I supposed I could’ve just tied a ribbon around one and called it a day, but this mini fashionista deserved something a bit more chic. With a few basic supplies, I turned would-be firewood into a sweet little stool.
Supplies Needed for a DIY Stump Stool
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- A fairly level stump (appropriately sized for its intended purpose – in this case, one low enough to the ground for a toddler to sit or climb on)
- Painter’s tool
- Sandpaper or sanding block
- Tack cloth or something to remove the dust after sanding
- Paint (I used the same white trim paint we use in our house to create a white-washed affect)
- Paint brushes (bristle or foam)
- Paper towels or a rag
- Water-based sealer
How to Make a DIY Stump Stool
Remove the bark. I chose to remove the bark because the wood had been exposed to the elements for some time and was beginning to deteriorate. This step would also prevent snagging on clothes or scraping delicate skin.
Sand all the surfaces. Using sandpaper or a sanding block, sand the top, bottom and side of the stump. It wasn’t necessary to use multiple or fine grits in this application, but be sure to knock down the edges (where the side meets the top and bottom) to create a slightly rounded over edge.
Remove dust. Using a tack cloth, clean all the surfaces to remove dust and particles left behind from sanding. You could also use a damp rag in place of, or in addition to, this process.
Paint. Apply paint in small sections. Using a paper towel or rag, wipe away excess paint before it has time to dry. This will allow some of the grain and unique imperfections to show through. Allow it to dry for a bit before the next step.
Sand (again). If you want to achieve a weathered finish, give the stump another quick sanding – as much or as little as you see fit.
Apply sealer. For this, I chose a fast-drying, water-based polyurethane in a matte finish and applied it using a foam brush. Be sure to allow it time to dry before you handle the finished product.
I actually made two of these, one for each of my friends’ little girls. It was an easy afternoon project and looked really pretty tied up in a burlap bow.
If you create your own up-cycled stump stool, I’d love to hear about it!