Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barking Up the Right Tree

Last summer (June 2011), our area experienced a tornado.
Fortunately, there were no injuries, but a lot of trees were down.

A couple of weeks prior to this happening, I happened to show my husband a clip of a DVR'd episode of The Nate Berkus show, featuring Nick Offerman (an actor from of one of our fave shows, Parks and Rec).  I just thought he'd get a kick out of seeing him, as he is so funny, but Nick's woodworking inspired my husband, Tommy, to try a woodworking project himself.

With so many trees down, we were able to get our hands on some stumps and he got to work making one of them into an end table for our family room.  

We both enjoy the rustic look with decor (adding texture and making it more interesting) and it's always fun to bring the outside in.

First, Tommy took the bark off, which I made into another project (pictured below in this post).  Then he took a chainsaw to it to shape it out.  He hopes to make some more end tables with the remaining stumps, where he keeps the general shape as is, but thought he'd experiment with this first one.

We were able to rent a planer tool (a lot cheaper than buying) from The Home Depot for a couple of hours to flatten and level off the top surface of stump.  He also had fun with a hand chisel to play with the shape of the wood around the edge, giving it a wavy look.  

Tommy then took a couple of different shades of stain and brushed them on a scrap piece of wood so that we could get an idea of the color we'd like.

Once the stain was decided and finished, he put a couple of coats of varnish and we were good to go.
A new end table for our family room for next to nothing in cost.

There's a beautiful wood stump end table selling at West Elm, one of my favorite stores.  But it's nice to get a similar look, for literally a fraction of the cost and knowing that we made it, makes it more meaningful to us.

Here's the project that I had mentioned earlier in this post.

When Tommy stripped the bark off of the trees, I noticed some of them remained in nice big chunks and got to thinking.  

We have a lot of loose smaller pictures that tend to end up in drawers/boxes, etc...It would be nice to have a spot to display them, especially these days where there are so many adorable birthday invites, birth announcements, thank you cards, etc...that come adorned with sweet pictures of family and friends.

I had a roll of jute hanging around the house, so I took one end, held it down and started wrapping it tautly in various directions until the front was pretty well covered and didn't look too heavily roped in one area.  I then simply knotted the two loose ends together in the back.

I had the perfect shelf in the family to put in on and started filling up the gallery.

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