Decorate, build and design with a tree trunk

Decorate, build and design with a tree trunk

Building furniture out of tree trunks

Tree trunks can be beautified with few resources and a little creativity. They are ideal for the design of furniture and furnishings. Wood is robust and, with the appropriate preparation, extremely durable. The annual rings, which are visible in cross-section, make each piece unique and give the apartment a rustic character. Therefore, images of tree grates can also be found on seat cushions or carpets.

also read

  • Build an insect hotel from a log
  • Liming the tree trunk and protecting it from diseases
  • Sealing the tree trunk - the best methods

Make a tree trunk table yourself

You can use slices of a tree trunk to make a spacious dining table out of them, or you can use a tree stump as a side table. Stumps are easier to come by because they are created during woodcutting work. Large tabletops are more difficult to organize. Since the demand is not so great here, you should look for suitable material in second-hand shops, flea markets or on Ebay. Regardless of whether the table should be round, oval or misshapen - there are no limits to your imagination.

These materials are suitable for wooden tables:

  • Living room table: Tree slice makes an attractive coffee table, protected by a glass plate
  • Bedside table : simple tree stump with a flat surface
  • Dining room table : elongated solid wood top with sealing
Tree trunk

Creative lamps

Floor lamps, lanterns or individual lighting for indoor and outdoor areas can be created from tree trunks. Any type of wood is suitable for this. However, softwood is easier to work with than hardwood. You can use logs with cracks and cracks as building material, because these will later serve as light slits.

This is how the lamp is made:

  1. draw a square on the lower surface
  2. pierce with a sharp edge at an angle along the marking
  3. Saw out lines with a jigsaw (€ 70.75 at Amazon *) so that a pyramid-shaped recess is created
  4. Saw the lighting slots around the trunk
  5. Install the light element in the recess

Original seating

Tree stumps are ideal for creating a seating area. They can be converted into a chair in their natural state. If you have various sawing tools at your disposal, you can create a rustic and massive garden bench from a tree trunk. A seat is cut into the trunk for the wooden bench. Alternatively, you can build the bench from two wooden panels and attach it to smaller stumps. Such a bench creates an authentic atmosphere in the garden.

“Glow in the Dark” stool:

  • Saw stumps 45 centimeters high
  • Thoroughly sand the seat surface
  • Coat the top with fluorescent paint
  • set accents with luminous pigments so that dark colors shine brighter at night

Practical facility

A real tree trunk as a wardrobe or clothes rack sets accents in every apartment. The natural material is not only suitable for coat stands, but also as a wine rack and storage place for books. With a little craftsmanship, you can build a bed or a washstand with just a few resources. Let these ideas inspire you.

Wood speciesobjectimplementation
wardrobeBirch, spruceTree trunk with branchesDebarked trunk is placed upright
shelfSoftwoodbranchless trunk, not too thickDebark the trunk, screw on boards on the side
Wine bottle holderPine, sprucethick stumpDrill holes with a hole saw, mount on the stand
bedOak, beechSolid wood beamsDowel the beam to a frame
sinkOaktwo wooden panelsDrill recesses for the wash basin, screw it to the side plate and insert plexiglass as a front panel

Ideas for the garden

In the Baden-Baden city forest, handmade wooden fountains adorn the landscape. They consist of a massive tree trunk in which a recess has been made. For your own garden fountain you need a tree trunk with a diameter of at least 50 centimeters. Soft woods are unsuitable for this construction project, as cracks quickly appear here. Oak and ash are more suitable. You can also hollow out the tree trunk from above and convert it into a rain barrel (€ 149.95 at Amazon *). You can easily form a sandpit out of long and thin tree trunks, which only needs to be screwed.


Decoration made from tree trunks

The ideas for decorating logs are almost infinite. Only your furnishing style influences the implementation. A tree trunk exudes a rustic and primeval character. It offers the perfect contrast to clearly defined lines in modern facilities. So that the object does not appear overloaded, you should use additional decorative elements sparingly. In the garden, on the other hand, playful elements are allowed because they stand out particularly from the green oasis.

How do I decorate a sawed tree trunk?

Decorating a sawed-off tree trunk is child's play, because there are no limits to your imagination. You can remove the bark with a chisel and use the tree trunk as a decorative column. Together with children, you can paint the tree trunk or design it creatively with templates. You can buy decoration or collect and use materials from nature. Tree trunks can be embellished with fabrics and colors.

Make decoration yourself:

  • Glue napkins to the trunks with glue
  • Transfer photos with transfer media
  • Make natural paint from pureed berries, plants or sand and white acrylic paint

What can you do with a sawed-off tree trunk?

If stumps arise during the next tree felling work, you can process them perfectly. There are numerous templates that you can use to edit the sawn off pieces of wood. Objects that are used by animals or to decorate the garden pavilion and balcony do not require any special pre-treatment. Natural wood is allowed to develop itself, which makes it more and more beautiful.

Shaping an old tree trunk:

  • Sculptures : work out with chisels and saws
  • Cat tree : natural cat playground
  • Flower pot : Plant dead wood stumps with woodpecker holes
  • Lantern : candle holder for outdoors

DIY ideas for the garden and home

Become a craftsman yourself and design your own individual everyday objects and decorative objects for the house and garden. A chainsaw makes your work easier. But think about a secure and stable fastening of the materials, because this work can lead to setbacks. A little practice in handling chainsaws is therefore of great importance.

Tree trunk with lantern

You need a log with a diameter of 30 to 40 centimeters and a height of 35 to 40 centimeters. Roughly hollow out the tree stump with a chainsaw. To do this, prick the wood about 30 centimeters deep on the left and right and then turn the stump 90 degrees. Saw right and left into the wood again and repeat from the other side until you can push a rectangular block of wood out of the stump.

Carefully remove the wood on all four inner sides so that an even and round wall is created. Saw slits of light in the front of the tree stump. You can design the notches abstractly or create a silhouette. Place the lantern on a tree grate and place a tea light inside.

DIY tree trunk lantern

Cutting board

Long-lasting cutting boards are made from the so-called end grain of the tree trunks. These have the great advantage that their fibers are not severed when they are cut. They retract when the knife edge penetrates and then tighten again. This creates a pleasant feeling when cutting and the work surface remains undamaged for years. With a chainsaw, you can easily cut a cross-cut wood board from a tree trunk yourself.

Care tips for end-grain boards:

  • Rinse quickly by hand and dry
  • store upright
  • Brush regularly with walnut oil

Build a birdhouse out of a tree trunk

To make a nest box, hollow out the tree stump. Proceed as you did when building the lantern. Thin tree slices serve as the ground and roof. An entrance hole with a diameter between 28 and 32 millimeters is drilled at the front. Such dwellings are gladly accepted by tits.

Tree trunk

Easter and Christmas

Easter bunny, Santa Claus and Santa Claus are popular motifs that are simply painted on the tree trunk. You can also decorate the tree trunk for Christmas and decorate it with artificial snow, fabric ribbons and fir branches. Cut the tree trunk into thin slices and use them as a Christmas decoration for the fir tree. The tree grates can be painted, pasted or left natural

Tinker Advent wreath:

  • four pieces of a birch trunk of different heights
  • place a white pillar candle on each
  • Wrap the candles with ribbons
  • Distribute Christmas tags and pine cones


Recipe for a tree trunk motif cake

To bake the cake, first mix the flour, baking powder, water and cocoa together in a bowl. A little coffee powder refines the aroma of the chocolate dough. You need several dough bases, which are coated with buttercream and layered on top of each other.

Then let the butter melt and mix this with cocoa powder. When the mass has hardened, it is spread on the side of the cake. Furrows and bumps are desirable so that the cake later resembles a tree trunk. Spread a layer of cocoa butter on top and use liquid chocolate to create annual rings.

Machining methods

Before using the wood for your construction projects, you need to treat the log. There are various processing methods that should be worked through step by step. This gives you a robust and long-lasting natural product, which becomes unique through individual processing. You can also leave a dead tree trunk in the garden and decorate it with flower pots. You can anchor the tree trunk in the ground for more stability.

Tree trunk dry without cracks

Slow drying in the fresh air is gentle on the wood. However, this process takes a long time. If you want to properly dry a log, it should be stored for at least a year.

With this method, the wood always retains a residual moisture of 15 to 20 percent as it adapts to the moisture content of the outside air. To control the drying process a little, you can put the tree trunk in a mortar tub filled with sawdust. Here the moisture can spread evenly and slowly.

Seal the tree trunk

To ensure long-term protection, you need to seal the tree trunk. It is important that the wood is completely dry. Otherwise residual moisture can lead to mold growth. Natural substances such as coconut oil, beeswax or linseed oil are suitable for impregnation. Oil the wood until it is completely saturated. Allow about 24 hours of drying time between coats, otherwise no solid layer can develop.


If you've cut tree slices from a fresh branch, you should seal the cut as well. Otherwise germs can quickly penetrate the wood.

Sawing and hollowing out

If you want to slice or saw a tree trunk, you need the right tools. Which saw you use depends on the thickness you want. Chainsaws can be used to cut thin slices of tree, but they will not be perfectly straight. You will need a band saw to make a straight cut. A circular saw is helpful for cutting thicker slices.

You can hollow out the tree trunk with a hammer and chisel. However, this method is not suitable for larger projects as it takes too much time. You do the rough work with a chainsaw. You can also do the fine-tuning later with a draw knife.

Debarking and grinding

If it is softwood, you can debark the tree trunk very easily. Pierce between the bark and wood with a chisel and carefully hammer off the bark. It usually separates automatically so that you can simply pull large pieces of bark from the wood. Hardwood is more difficult to debark.

high pressure cleanerleaves no tracesWood gets damp
Draw knifesuitable for small areasenergy consuming, traces possible
Watersimply peeling off the barkDrying necessary

To get the surface smooth afterwards, you have to sand the wood. Sandpaper with a grit of 150 is suitable here. You can experiment with different grits. When sanding, the wood is roughened because the fibers stand up. This also happens with a very fine grain, which is why the wood looks dull afterwards. You can get a really smooth surface by planing.

Cut lengthways

There are special rip saws in which the teeth are filed at a 90-degree angle to the saw blade. They act like tiny gouges and cut directly into the wood fiber. With this tool you can saw along the grain. The saw is guided over the wood in increasingly longer movements until the full length of the saw blade is exhausted. When you have cut the board two-thirds through, it is turned over and cut from the other end.


Growing mushrooms on a tree trunk | Growing mushrooms

Fungi on the tree trunk are actually undesirable because they slowly decompose the wood. However, there are numerous edible mushrooms that colonize dead wood as destructive agents. With the right material, you can grow mushrooms yourself in the garden.

Which tree trunk is suitable?

Use trunks that have not been cut for more than three months. Older stumps can be contaminated with spores from competing fungi or microorganisms. This prevents the cultivated mushrooms from growing. Fresh wood that looks healthy, has no mold or moldy odor and is damp is ideal for mushroom cultivation.

Trunk size and type of wood

For easy handling, the trunks should not be longer than one meter. The ideal diameter is 40 centimeters. A minimum diameter of 20 centimeters is recommended so that the wood does not dry out too quickly. However, there are some types of mushrooms, such as Shiitake, that are relatively insensitive to drought. You can also plant such mushrooms on a trunk with a circumference of 15 centimeters.

These types of wood are suitable for growing mushrooms:

  • Oak: pom pom, chaga
  • Beech: Shiitake, oyster mushroom, Judas ear
  • Birch: stick sponges, lemon oyster mushrooms
  • Poplar: pioppino, rose oyster mushroom

Vaccination methods

Tree trunk

The mushroom mycelium spreads fastest in the direction of the wood fibers, as this is where there is the least resistance. Therefore, the cut inoculation method is ideal for inoculating tree trunks. A large incision is made against the fibers, which is then completely filled with the mushroom spawn. With the disc inoculation method, the spawn is applied directly to a fresh interface and covered with a tree disc. Here, too, the mycelium can quickly spread in the wood.


With a self-made aid, you can carry out the filling of the mushroom spawn more conveniently. Cut off the bottom of a tin can and shape it into a slit-shaped funnel.


After the tree trunks have been successfully inoculated, they should be stored at a temperature between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. A place in the shade, sheltered from the wind and as humid as possible ensures that the mushrooms will grow quickly. You can keep the humidity at a constant level by wrapping the trunk in damp linen bags. The growth phase, in which the mycelium spreads in the wood, lasts about eight to twelve weeks. If you have used the disc inoculation method, you can remove the tree disc after this phase.

Growth test

If you want to check whether the trunk is already grown through, you can saw off a two to three centimeter thick wooden disc from the trunk. The white-gray fungal mycelium is visible at the moist interfaces. If you don't see the mycelium, the trunk should be watered and stored at 20 to 25 degrees Celsius for the next ten days. If the trunk is completely grown through, any covers are removed.

Culture growth

Stand the trunk upright in a shady spot and dig half of it into the ground. This pulls moisture from the soil into the trunk. Now the mushroom mycelium can grow into the soil. Depending on the type of mushroom, you can harvest the fruiting bodies after five to 18 months. The mycelium lives on after the harvest, so that fruit bodies regularly develop over the next four to five years.

The total yield of cultivated mushrooms is usually 20 percent of the weight of the wood. With good care, the harvest can be significantly higher.

frequently asked Questions

What can you do with a tree trunk?

The possibilities are almost endless. You can try your hand at creative construction projects and convert tree trunks into seating, shelves or tables. Smaller tree stumps are ideal for handicrafts. With the right tools, you can design lantern holders, cutting boards or flower pots. Tree trunks can be painted with acrylic paint, embellished with photos or covered with various decorative particles. With the right tool, you can carve sculptures or faces into the tree stump.

Creative ideas with a wooden look:

  • round carpet with tree trunk motif
  • Pictures of the wood texture on canvas
  • drawn cliparts as a template for wall stickers
  • abstract drawings and templates for coloring
Tree trunk chairs

How can I fix a cracked tree trunk?

Epoxy resin is ideal for repairing holes in logs and filling drying cracks. The synthetic resin bonds perfectly with the wood and closes the gaps. Epoxy resin is particularly recommended for large gaps. To prevent it from running out, you can stick an adhesive strip on the crack after filling. After the resin has dried, it can easily be sanded and painted over.

Where can I buy a tree trunk without bark?

Getting a suitable piece of the tree trunk at a reasonable price is usually not easy. The supply in the hardware store is limited because the demand for tree trunks is not very high. Keep an eye out for the coveted objects at flea markets. You can also ask the nearest forester. However, you will have to remove the bark yourself afterwards.

It becomes even more difficult if you want to buy a tree trunk with branches. To do this, you have to inquire at specialized dealers or in a tree trunk furniture shop. They offer such objects already fully processed, but this has its price. So take the opportunity when trees are felled in the community or neighborhood.

Which wood is suitable for craft ideas?

If you want to build pieces of furniture yourself, you should prefer logs made of hardwood. Linden, maple, ash, birch and oak are particularly solid and durable. Panels and boards are ideal for creating natural seating areas and tables.

You can use soft woods such as spruce, pine and fir for decorative items. These can be processed more easily and can also be hollowed out or peeled with simple means. Root wood is the ideal material for individual objects such as planters or candle holders.

Why is a tree trunk sawn for a wedding?

It is a well-known custom that a bride and groom must saw a tree trunk at the wedding. The trunk symbolizes the first great hurdle that the bride and groom have to overcome together. The wedding cake in the shape of a tree trunk is a slightly modified form of this custom. This obstacle is easier to overcome and brings a sweet surprise with it. In general, wedding gifts made of wood are very popular. A heart made from a tree trunk symbolizes eternal love.

What can be done against ants in the tree trunk?

Ants on the tree often indicate an attack by aphids. The insects feed on the honeydew that is secreted by the aphids. A kind of community emerges from which ants and aphids benefit. To get rid of ants, you need to fight aphids with appropriate home remedies.