The Owner-Builder Network

5 Unique Upcycled Tree Stump Ideas: Sustainable Decorations

Log End Garden Pathway

Have you cut down a tree and wondered what to do next? Maybe you’re still struggling on what to do with the parts/ How about using it for a functional upcycled tree stump decoration?

They’re tough to remove by hand and a stump grinder doesn’t come cheaply. Instead of paying to remove your logs and stumps, why not turn them into something beautiful and let the removal be done in a natural way!

Not every log and stump is ready for the fireplace. Some are better for some awesome furniture and decorations for your home. There are tons of great ideas for tree stumps and logs to use in your home.

Upcycle – to reuse or recycle (something that would otherwise be thrown away) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than it had before. Tree stumps and logs are often thrown away as trash. Why not turn them into something useful?

Here are a few different ways you can use logs and tree stumps as accents to your garden or outdoor area. The next time you come across a tree stump or unused logs these ideas will hopefully pop up in your mind 🙂

Piggie Planter - The Hungry Travelers

5 Decorative Upcycled Tree Stump Ideas

1. Planters

Tree stumps and logs make great planters. They look so natural and can easily blend into your garden. You can plant a wide variety of flowers, succulents, and even vegetables in them!

Given enough time, the logs and stumps will gradually break down, providing nutrition for your plants and the soil. Think of them as nature’s pots!

Stumps can be made into planters, flower beds and even home decor items. You can find them by asking around nearby construction projects and by visiting your local exchange and resource centre in your area.

2. Stool

This rustic stool is made from a tree stump and log. The stump and log can be left outdoors as long as it is under a roof.

It is a charming accent piece and conversation starter. Because the stool is made from wood, it can be easily disassembled and moved.

3. Stand Table

This is a really cool table made from upcycled stumps and logs with simple glass table tops. Of course, you can use other materials as table tops but glass will help you “see through” the inside of the log.

4. Outdoor Bench

A sturdy bench is a perfect addition to your patio or deck, but if you don’t want the look of a traditional wooden bench, try upcycling tree stumps and logs to create beautiful and rustic outdoor seats.

This idea is that you can embellish your backyard or decking area with a beautiful piece of garden furniture made from a log or tree stump.

You can make this bench with just a chainsaw and a few hand tools. The wood may need to be stripped of bark and other surface stuff, but your chainsaw does the real work.

With a few cuts and a little shaping, you will have a solid bench that is both functional and beautiful.

5. Log End Garden Pathway

This log-ends pathway was created from purely natural materials and stumps. By simply cutting them into equal thicknesses, they will create a cool and rustic garden pathway.

We used these to create a garden pathway that was both functional and decorative. You won’t need to spend a lot on this pathway as you can gather the materials easily.

What would you use stumps and logs for? Check out the gallery for more ideas.

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer 😎

If you liked this, you will also like viewing these gardening ideas

Upcycled Log Water Features

Creating a serene and inviting outdoor space often involves incorporating natural elements that enhance the aesthetic appeal and promote sustainability. Upcycled log water features stand out as a prime example of how one can transform discarded materials into beautiful, functional garden art. By repurposing logs and tree stumps, you not only give new life to what would otherwise be considered waste but also add a unique, tranquil element to your garden. 

This guide will delve into the process of creating upcycled log water features, highlighting the focus keyword, upcycled tree stump, to inspire and instruct on embracing eco-friendly garden practices.

Upcycled Log Water Features Basic

Upcycled log water features combine the rustic charm of tree stumps with the calming presence of flowing water, creating an oasis of tranquility in your backyard. This eco-friendly project repurposes what would otherwise be waste and contributes to a sustainable garden ecosystem. Whether you have an old log from a fallen tree or a remaining tree stump, this guide will show you how to transform it into a stunning water feature.

Selecting Your Upcycled Tree Stump or Log

The journey to creating an enchanting upcycled log water feature begins with carefully selecting the right log or upcycled tree stump. This critical first step requires a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for the potential hidden in these natural elements. 

When choosing an upcycled tree stump or log for your project, consider the material’s durability and resistance to water exposure. Finding a piece that is robust enough to be hollowed out and constantly exposed to water without succumbing to rapid deterioration is essential. The longevity of your water feature significantly depends on this durability.

The size and shape of the upcycled tree stump or log are equally important, as they should complement the available space and align with your visual aspirations for the garden. Ideally, the selected piece should be conspicuous enough to serve as a focal point, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. 

Yet, it must remain manageable in terms of handling and modification. Striking a balance between size and manageability ensures that your upcycled log water feature captivates and is feasible to construct and maintain.

Preparing the Log or Tree Stump

After selecting the perfect upcycled tree stump or log, the subsequent phase is its preparation, setting the stage for transformation. This process involves a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, moss, or loose bark, which might interfere with the waterproofing measures or the aesthetic quality of the finished water feature. Ensuring the log or stump is debris-free is crucial for a smooth modification process and the piece’s longevity.

Creating a level top might be necessary for upcycled tree stumps intended for use in your water feature. This step is vital for establishing a stable base, particularly if the stump will support additional elements such as a glass top or decorative stones. The aim is to ensure that the upcycled tree stump does not wobble or shift, which could disrupt the flow of water or, worse, cause the feature to topple over.

When working with logs, cutting them to the desired height is an essential preparatory step. This involves sizing the log for the space where it will be situated and ensuring that it has a flat base for stability. Creating a flat base is imperative to prevent the log from rolling or shifting once it is placed in its designated spot in the garden. This step lays the groundwork for a secure and enduring upcycled log water feature, promising an attractive and stable addition to your outdoor space.

Creating the Water Reservoir

The creation of the water reservoir is a pivotal stage in developing your upcycled log water feature, where the essence of the project begins to take shape. This reservoir, nestled within the heart of your chosen upcycled tree stump or log, serves as the foundation for the tranquil water flow that characterizes your feature. 

A meticulous process of hollowing out the selected wood piece is undertaken to establish this central component. Employing tools such as a chainsaw or a large drill, carefully carve a cavity within the log’s core or upcycled tree stump. This cavity must be sufficiently deep to contain water and house a small pump, which is integral to the water feature’s functionality.

Attention to detail is crucial during this phase; the interior of the hollowed-out upcycled tree stump or log must be treated with a robust waterproof sealant. This application is essential to ensure the longevity of the water feature by preventing the natural absorption of water by the wood, which could lead to decay and deterioration over time. The sealant acts as a barrier, preserving the integrity of the upcycled tree stump or log while allowing it to fulfill its new purpose as a captivating water feature.

Installing the Water Pump

Installing a small, submersible water pump marks the next step in bringing your upcycled tree stump water feature to life. This pump is the heart of the feature, propelling water through the structure to create the mesmerizing effect of flowing water. 

Position the pump carefully within the hollowed-out cavity of the upcycled tree stump or log, ensuring its electrical cord is safely routed to reach an outdoor outlet. This consideration is paramount for the safe operation of the water feature.

Positioning the pump’s nozzle is critical to achieving the desired aesthetic of the water flow. It should be adjusted so that the water cascades or bubbles out to complement the overall design of the upcycled log water feature. This thoughtful placement contributes to the serene ambiance that a water feature evokes, embodying the harmony between nature and creativity.

Finishing Touches

With the pump installed, you can add finishing touches to your upcycled log water feature. Consider incorporating stones, pebbles, or even aquatic plants around the stump’s base or log to enhance its natural appearance. These elements beautify the water feature and help integrate it seamlessly into the surrounding garden.

An upcycled log water feature is a testament to the beauty and functionality that can be achieved through creative repurposing. By transforming an upcycled tree stump or log into a focal point of your garden, you contribute to a more sustainable world while enjoying the soothing ambiance of flowing water.

Tree Stump Outdoor Lighting

Transforming an upcycled tree stump into a source of outdoor lighting is an innovative way to blend functionality with sustainability, creating an enchanting ambiance in any garden or outdoor space. This unique approach to garden lighting illuminates pathways and seating areas and gives a second life to what would otherwise be garden waste. 

By incorporating the focus keyword, upcycled tree stump, this guide will walk you through turning a simple tree stump into a captivating feature of outdoor lighting, demonstrating the potential for upcycled materials to enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor living areas.

Selecting the Upcycled Tree Stump

The journey towards crafting a mesmerizing outdoor lighting feature starts with carefully selecting the right upcycled tree stump. This crucial first step involves identifying a stump that embodies both strength and aesthetic appeal, ensuring it can support the addition of lighting fixtures or candles without compromising on style. 

Searching for the perfect upcycled tree stump should prioritize sturdiness and a flat top surface, which is indispensable for securely mounting lighting elements. The ideal stump should seamlessly blend into its intended surroundings, whether it’s destined to bring warmth to a secluded nook in your garden or cast light along a winding pathway.

The size of the upcycled tree stump plays a pivotal role in its functionality and visual impact within the garden. It should be proportionate to the space it’s designed to illuminate, maintaining a balance that enhances rather than overwhelms the garden’s existing layout. 

An upcycled tree stump that matches the aesthetic and spatial dimensions of your outdoor area will elevate the ambiance and stand as a testament to sustainable beauty. Moreover, the longevity of the stump is paramount; selecting a stump in good condition ensures that your outdoor lighting feature will remain a centerpiece of your garden for years to come.

Preparing the Upcycled Tree Stump

After selecting an upcycled tree stump that meets all the criteria for aesthetics, stability, and durability, the next phase involves its preparation. This stage is critical in transforming the stump from a simple piece of wood into a functional part of your garden’s lighting scheme. The preparation begins with a thorough cleaning to eliminate any dirt, debris, or remnants of bark that could interfere with the installation of lighting components or the overall appearance of the feature.

If the natural state of the upcycled tree stump does not provide a flat surface, it is essential to address this by leveling the top. Using a saw to create a smooth, flat surface ensures that any lighting fixtures or candles placed atop the stump will have a stable foundation, reducing the risk of tilting or toppling. This step not only contributes to the functionality of your outdoor lighting feature but also to its safety.

To further safeguard the upcycled tree stump against the elements and prolong its life as a key feature of your outdoor space, treating the wood with a high-quality wood preservative is advisable. This treatment helps to protect the stump from moisture, insects, and decay, factors that could compromise its integrity over time. By carefully preparing the upcycled tree stump, you lay the groundwork for a durable, enchanting outdoor lighting feature that enhances the natural beauty of your garden while highlighting the potential for sustainability in garden design.

Installing Lighting Elements

The transformation of an upcycled tree stump into a captivating outdoor lighting source begins with strategically installing lighting elements. This pivotal step is where creativity meets functionality, allowing you to tailor the lighting to suit your needs and aesthetic preferences. Whether you aim to achieve a subtle glow or a more pronounced illumination, the choice of lighting plays a crucial role in realizing the vision for your upcycled tree stump.

  1. Solar Lights

Solar lights are ideal for those seeking an environmentally friendly lighting solution. Embedding solar lights into your upcycled tree stump promotes energy efficiency and enhances your garden’s natural charm. Begin by drilling holes at strategic locations on the top or sides of the stump, ensuring they are sized to snugly fit the solar lights. 

This setup allows the solar panels to absorb sunlight throughout the day, storing energy to power the lights as dusk falls. The seamless integration of solar lights into the upcycled tree stump offers a sustainable way to illuminate your outdoor space, with the added convenience of automatic activation at nightfall.

  1. LED Lights

LED lights offer versatility and efficiency, making them popular for integrating into upcycled tree stumps. You can achieve a customized lighting effect by drilling holes to accommodate small LED bulbs or strategically placing flexible LED strip lights around the stump’s perimeter. 

These lighting fixtures are known for their longevity and low energy consumption, providing a soft, ambient glow that enhances the atmosphere of any garden setting. The adaptability of LED lighting allows you to experiment with colors and intensities, enabling the upcycled tree stump to become a dynamic feature of your outdoor lighting design.

  1. Candles

For those who appreciate the timeless appeal of candlelight, carving out niches in the top of the upcycled tree stump offers a way to incorporate candles into your garden’s lighting scheme. This method creates an inviting ambiance, with the flickering light of candles casting a warm, gentle glow ideal for intimate outdoor gatherings. 

When opting for candles, it’s crucial to consider safety measures, such as the stability of the candle placement and the potential for wind to affect the flame. Additionally, positioning candles away from flammable materials is essential to ensure a safe and enchanting lighting experience.

Finishing Touches

The final step in creating your upcycled tree stump outdoor lighting feature is to add finishing touches to enhance its beauty and integration into your garden. This could include planting flowers or small plants around the stump’s base, adding decorative stones, or painting the stump to match your outdoor decor. These finishing touches complete the look of your upcycled tree stump lighting feature and help it blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

An upcycled tree stump can be transformed into a stunning and functional outdoor lighting feature with creativity and effort. This sustainable project provides a practical lighting solution, adding a unique, charming element to your outdoor space.


Upcycled tree stumps offer a versatile and eco-friendly solution to enhancing garden aesthetics and functionality. With the potential to be transformed into unique lighting features, seating options, or decorative art, these stumps embody the essence of creative sustainability. This approach not only prevents waste but also adds a distinct, natural charm to any outdoor space, demonstrating the limitless possibilities of upcycling.


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