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How to Make a Table from a Tree Slice

I am so excited to share with you my Wood Stump Side Table.  Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, this guy turned out so good.  He exists because a tree died….sad right.  It’s kind of a long story but if you stick around I will explain exactly how to make a table from a tree slice!

How to Make a Tree Stump side Table pin for Pinterest.

I live in the Midwest where Ash trees are native.  Unfortunately, the Emerald Ash Borer has come to the United States and invaded these poor trees.  

There are so many dead trees in the area, many have been cut down and are now firewood for our homes.  I had a neighbor at our old house who had to cut down 5 Ash trees.  Yep, that’s what I said, 5!  And in the neighborhood we don’t have all that many trees, it’s a fairly young development.  

I saw him out cutting the trunk into stumps and asked him if I could have a few.  There were so many he was happy for me to take them off his hands.  There we were, my hubby and I, rolling stumps across the street.  Haha, it was quite a sight!

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How to Make a Table from a Tree Slice

I used 2 of the stumps in the backyard patio as end tables.  They were pretty cool.  I didn’t do anything to them, just put them in place and plopped down a plant and a cold beverage….Instant end table.  

The other two stumps I loaded into my car and took to a sawmill to be sliced.  

Did you know that when you slice a tree the slices are called cookies?  Yep, tree cookies!  LOL  I had them cut in 1″, 2″, and 5″ cookies.  For this project I will be using the 5 inch pieces.

What you will need:

How to prepare the wood slices for your project.

After you get the tree sliced into cookies you have to treat the slices in order for them not to crack badly as they dry out.  

I used a metal pan that is supposed to go under a water heater just in case of a leak.  And some plastic from the paint aisle to protect the metal pan from instantly rusting.  

I put some Pentacryl down on the plastic then placed the tree cookie on it and poured a little Pentacryl on top then folded over the plastic to cover the wood slice.  

This needs to properly soak in so I would let it sit for a day.  Then take it out and lean it up against something to dry.

Pentacryl for keeping Wood from Cracking

Once the tree cookie is dry take a hard look at the bark.  Depending on when the tree was cut down will determine whether the bark will stay on or not.  

If it’s cut in the Fall or Winter then the bark will stay on, but if it’s cut in Spring or Summer then the bark will fall off, it’s just a matter of time.  My trees were cut in the summer so the bark is falling off.  

I didn’t really want the bark on for my wood stump side table.  So I took it off, you may have to use a hammer and chisel but the longer you wait the easier it is.  I left my stumps sit for a few months before I had time to work on them and the bark came off easily.

All the tree slices, or cookies, after I got them cut from the sawmill.

How to sand the wood and how to seal a wood stump side table.

After you get the bark off sand the sides, top, and bottom.  I used a sander, starting at about 80 grit and moving up to 220 grit to finish it off.  

I tried really hard to get all the bug’s borer marks out of the sides.  They really gave me the willies!  Once you are done sanding clean with a tack cloth and apply polyurethane.  

I used at least 3 coats of poly for the top.

How to attach the legs.

I bought table legs for my table from Etsy.  They are amazing!  I screwed them onto the bottom of the table and voila!  I made a wood tree stump side table!

Hairpin Table Legs
One leg has been attached to the tree slice.
I marked where each screw is going to go into the wood using a sharpie so I could drill pilot holes.
This shows everything to screw the legs into the wood slice, pencil, screws, legs and tree slice.
On my garage floor is the completed side table made from a tree stump.

The guys at work said I should sell them.  They think I could easily make $100-150 profit from each one.  I don’t know about that but I will tell you that between paying the sawmill for the cuts ($7 a slice) and the Pentacryl, then the table legs my total cost was about $60  a table.  Not too shabby!!!!!  You could make one too, all you need is a tree!

A tree slice side table next to a dark gray chair sitting on beige carpet.

Related DIY Wood Projects:

How to Make a Tree Stump Side Table

How to Make a Table from a Tree Slice

Prep Time: 2 days
Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 3 days 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy



  1. Soak your tree slice in Pentacryl for 24 hours then set aside to dry for another 24 hours.
  2. Remove the bark.
  3. Sand the tree slice.
  4. Attach the legs to the bottom.
  5. Seal the wood with polyurethane (3 coats)


The hardest part of this project is dry time.

Wood slice side table pin for Pinterest.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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Thursday 7th of September 2017

Very creative ideas. Looks pretty impressive. Nice work.

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Wednesday 6th of September 2017

Awesome, this is what I was looking for in google


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

That's so cool! Love the reuse and the modern/rustic look.


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Thanks Jennifer!


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

The table looks amazing! I love it!


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Thank you so much Andrea!

Erica D Ardali

Friday 1st of September 2017

I love upcycling. Turning something you might throw away into something beautiful is so rewarding

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