before and after

before & after: karen’s log table + jaime’s jewelry display

by Kate Pruitt

Expert scavenger and DIY genius Karen is back again with this simple log table design. After seeing a log table she liked in a magazine, Karen decided to take matters into her own capable hands and make a quick and easy budget-friendly version. We’ve included the instructions after the jump, but to view the full project, and to read the story behind Karen’s inspiration for the idea and her acquisition of the stump, visit Karen’s very entertaining site, The Art of Doing Stuff. Thanks for sharing another awesome idea, Karen! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE for more of Karen’s log table and Jaime’s jewelry display after the jump!


  • tree stump
  • sandpaper (medium and fine grit)
  • polyurethane (high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin . . . whichever you want. I used satin, which has a nice sheen.)
  • paintbrush
  • 1 package of 4 Capita legs from Ikea (I used 6” ones), $19.99
  • drill and appropriate bits
  • pry bar


1. Allow your stump to dry out for two months. It’ll lose several pounds and the bark will loosen, making step 2 easier!

2. After your stump has dried inside for a couple of weeks, insert the pry bar between the bark and the stump. Hammer it enough to loosen the wood. Then keep hammering, or pull the bark loose with your fingers. Keep doing this all the way around the stump until all the bark is off.

3. Sand until you can run your hand over the stump and it feels smooth.

4. Once your stump is smooth, wipe it over with a damp, lint-free cloth.

5. Place your legs on the underside of your stump. Use a measuring tape to make sure they’re an equal distance apart. Once you have the legs positioned, mark the holes in the plates with either a pencil or a marker.

6. Drill holes at the spots you marked for the screws. Once all your holes are pre-drilled, place your legs and brackets back on and screw them into place.

7. Seal the stump with at least four to six coats of polyurethane. Sand lightly between the first couple coats.

Maybe my creativity is a bit tapped out today, but I can honestly say that when I look at this image, all I see is a wooden suitcase. Luckily, when Jaime looked at it, she saw a lot more potential, and she has turned this simple supply box into a beautifully organized, one-of-a-kind jewelry display cabinet with just a few minor adjustments. The lace detail is very charming, and I’m shocked at how many pieces Jaime can fit in there just by adding some strategically placed eye hooks. Job well done, Jaime!

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