How to Make a Tree Stump Side Table With DIY Legs

Jen Panguluri
by Jen Panguluri
15 Materials
4 Hours
I am super fond of live edge tree stump tables. The wood is easy to get free because people are always trying to get rid of their fallen trees, and as far as construction, it doesn't take much skill (thankfully) to get a stump ready to be a side table, coffee table, or plant stand.
In a previous post, Live Edge Tree Slice Side Table with Legs made of Lamp Pipe, I went into more detail about processing the wood for simple live edge furniture projects. In this post, I'll go over that briefly, then show you three different styles of DIY legs that you can pair with your wood. These legs are stand-alone and can be used for other furniture projects, too!
My wood was a piece of a sweet gum tree. I took the bark off using a chisel and hammer. I sanded it flat with a belt sander, then sanded more with a palm sander and by hand. I used Minwax polyurethane as a protective finish.
I planned this project so that each of the three styles of DIY legs are attached to the wood with a standard top plate leg connector, Waddell brand being the most available at stores. Waddell brand top plates come in two varieties, angled and straight. I used angled top plates because I wanted my legs to be positioned at angles, but you might like them straight. I used three top plates (for three legs), but you might want four. Because it's your DIY, you get to decide! Seriously, one of the hardest part of the project was figuring out where to install the top plates on the bottom of the stump. I drilled pilot holes, screwed them on the wood, then screwed the legs into the top plates. I had to move the top plates several times before I was happy with how the legs were positioned. So I have lots of extra holes in the bottom.
The first leg style is a DIY makeover of a store-bought Waddell brand mid-century modern tapered wood leg. These legs are available in several lengths and come unfinished to be stained or painted to your liking. The legs come in several lengths from 4 inches to 28 inches so you can get legs that are appropriate for your piece of wood and how high you want your table to be. I used three 12-inch legs, which cost about $3 each.
These legs come with a cap (also called a ferrule), and a glide on the end. You can leave the legs intact and finish them to use as-is. Or if you don't want the cap and glide, you can cut the leg off through the wood just above the cap. For this project, I wanted the cap but not the glide. So what to do? First, I cut through the metal cap with a tube cutter.
Then I cut the wood where I had cut through the metal to remove the glide and a bit of the cap. With most of the cap intact but the glide gone, I think the leg has a more streamlined refined look. Just another look. Sometimes I like the glide, sometimes not.
After this, I taped off the cap and painted the wood a variety of colors. The full tutorial, A Chic Makeover for Waddell Brand Mid-Century Modern Tapered Furniture Legs, is a separate post on my blog so go there for more details.
The next DIY leg style is made of carriage bolts and nuts. It is VERY simple to make. Go to the link below for details.
The third leg style is made of threaded rods, washi tape, and hex coupling nuts. It also is VERY simple to make. All the details are at the link below.
If you have the inclination, visit me at my blog, DIY Furniture Studio, at the link below for many other DIY furniture and decor tutorials. Lately I have been making lots of colorful cement decor using latex paint as a colorant that make unique, inexpensive gifts. So if you are looking for DIY gifts to make for the holidays, check it out.
DIY Makeover of Waddell Tapered Leg.
DIY Carriage Bolt and Nut Leg.
DIY Threaded Rod, Tape, and Coupling Nut Legs
As I mentioned before, the legs are stand-alone and can be used in any number of your furniture projects. Have a nice day!
Suggested materials:
  • Tree stump   (free (Craigslist ad))
  • Belt sander   (Harbor Freight)
  • Palm sander   (Home Depot)
See all materials
Jen Panguluri
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Rita Revell Rita Revell on Nov 11, 2018

    So where did you get your stump? How long did you need to let it dry before you started working with it? I got a few 2" rounds that I will eventually use in this manner, but I am letting they dry out first. They said to give it a year for every inch! Your 's is a nice size--ain't nobody got time to wait that long!! LOL!

  • Janice Janice on May 24, 2019

    this this is a great idra but how do i stop the crack in the wood

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  • Cynthia Whitney Cynthia Whitney on Jul 23, 2017

    Hmmm, I may just have gotten some Christmas gift ideas. We have a lot of cedar logs that are just waiting to be used for something!

  • Beautiful!! Love that the wood didn't go to waste! Nothing worse than watching beautiful wood rotting away!