Ten, Funky Ways to Use Logs

Published on | Log Homes | Coleman Kelleghan

Logs---they are one of nature’s most versatile gifts! From furniture to firewood to building material for log-homes---they are a miracle in the rough. And whether left alone, painted or beautified with grain-enhancing stains, logs can be used in a multitude of ways to decorate your home and add warmth and character to any room! Here are ten fun ways logs can be utilized; and you won’t believe how easy these projects truly are!

1: Spice Up The Bedroom!

Does the front of your bed come up against a bare wall? If so, your wall’s days of mundaneness are over! You can create a stunning log headboard that is actually created from slices of logs attached to plywood that is fastened to the wall! If you have access to a tree that can be harvested, you’re in luck; or simply finding an old log or stump is always an option!

What You Will Do:

  • Cut the piece or pieces into wood slices—each round piece will be about 2 inches thick. Allow the wood slices to dry out for several months, if necessary.
  • Cut a square or rectangular piece of plywood large enough to cover the amount of wall space you want covered by the headboard. Paint the plywood piece a black or dark, smoky gray.
  • Use Liquid Nails to attach the wood slices to the black plywood panel---smaller pieces will butt up against larger pieces, etc. (The black background of the plywood will add a nice contrast to the color of the wood slices. Once on the wall, the headboard will appear like a stack of logs!)
  • Apply a bit of polyurethane to enhance the tops of the log slices and drill the panel into the wall.

You have just created a fabulous log-slice headboard to add charm and warmth and a dash of spice to your bedroom!

2: Tasteful Tree-Trunk Pedestals:

You can turn simple tree trunks into eye-catching pedestals for any room of your home. Tree trunks that are dry and anywhere from 3 or 4 feet high are perfect! Make sure the tops are nice and flat.

What You Will Do:

  • Whitewash or stain the debarked trunks. Coat each trunk with matte-finish polyurethane.
  • Go to a glass shop and have round glass panels made to adorn the tops of each trunk, allowing at least an inch-overhand from the edge of the top of each trunk.

Voile`--you have created gorgeous, glass-topped tables suitable for a lamp or vase or any other decorative embellishment! These pedestals can go anywhere—they can even be purposed as rustic end tables!

3: Beautiful Branch Headboard:

Even though one headboard idea has been discussed, here’s one more that is totally different!

What You Will Do:

  • Find a log that is the same width as your bed or a bit longer. A log about 3 inches in diameter would work well. Remove bark or allow it to remain. Stain, paint or leave as is. Even a log with bark can be spray-painted to coordinate with existing decor. This log will serve as the one, horizontal log on your headboard.
  • Find other logs with about the same diameter and about 5 feet long.  These 5-feet long logs will be placed vertically on a table and spaced about 6 inches apart. Again, you can debark them, paint etc. You will need enough of these logs, laying side by side, to achieve the same width as the horizontal log already mentioned.
  • Place the horizontal log on top of the arranged vertical logs and drill a screw into each area where the top log and vertical logs meet. The horizontal log should be placed about a foot down from the tops of the vertical pieces.

Believe it or not, your headboard is done! This piece will become a conversation piece! This headboard should be drilled into the wall to safely secure it. When making your bed, simply prop sham-enclosed bed-pillows up against the headboard to provide a finished, cozy look!

4: Cozy-looking Tea-light Holder:

This particular item is perfect for the winter holidays!   A log will serve as a tea-light or candle holder and should accommodate a minimum of three lights for shorter logs and 4 or more for longer logs. When done, each light should be about 3 to 4 inches apart.

What You Will Do:

  • Take a bark-covered log and cut it in half, lengthwise. You will have a flat, smooth side and an arched, bark-covered side which will serve as the top where the tea-lights will be placed.
  • Use a router to create 3” openings into the barked half and space the openings about 3 or 4 inches apart.
  • In each opening place a 2 ½” tea-light or a small candle—yes it is that easy! Surround the festive log with red and green wired-ribbon, pine cones and small evergreen branches.

The complements will flow and the small lights will glow as this centerpiece becomes the focus of your living room or dining-room table!

5: Sassy Support-poles:

Those unattractive steal support poles you find in most basements serve a crucial purpose: they bear weight, but adding beauty to a basement room isn’t a function they are known for. Here’s a way to cover those plain poles and add charming seat space at the same time! The idea will be to surround each support pole with logs that are high enough or almost high enough to reach to the basement’s ceiling.

What You Will Do:

  • Use whole logs that are free of bark and butt 3 to 4 logs of approximate length up against each steel support pole. The logs would be anchored to one another with steel braces and long screws.
  • Either before or after log-placement, the logs can be stained with an added coat of matte-finish polyurethane.
  • Now here’s the cool part: attach a wrapped seating arrangement around the entire perimeter of the logged area. This can be best done by purchasing a ‘wrap-around-tree-bench’ kit.   Add vibrant pillows for a splash of color and comfort!

The ugly poles are hidden, you’ve added incredible ambiance to your basement and you now have extra seating for family and friends!

6: ‘Edgy’ Coffee Table

This is a super-easy project that will utilize a long, sawn piece of wood with the bark still attached. The piece will be used as a gorgeous, rustic coffee table that will complement any living room, den or office with a natural, outdoorsy feel!

What You Will Do:

  • Acquire a sawn log from a saw-mill about 16” wide and 3 feet, or longer.
  • Add some stain and polyurethane to your table-top and attach pre-constructed table legs or use appropriate-sized logs as the legs for a rich, textured look.

You have just created an exquisite piece to add to your countryside interior!

7: Charming Log Handrail:

Most handrails in any home are generic and nothing short of boring. Replace your generic versions with long, slender logs!

What You Will Do:

  • Cut the log the appropriate length; and the thickness of the log will be about the same as the thickness of a regular handrail.
  • Staining would be optional; and the bark can be removed or not removed, but either way, a generous coat of polyurethane will top it off! This super-simple touch will definitely add a pop of panache to any stairway!

8: Adorable Branch Candle-Holders:

This project involves crafting tree-branches into individual candle holders. Once candles are placed inside and lit, the pieces will provide a warm glow to create the perfect rustic focal point for any table, mantle or countertop.

What You Will Do:

  • Cut the branch into three different lengths: 8”, 6” and 4”. Allow the bark to remain.
  • Each piece will be hollowed out to provide a cavity large enough to accommodate candles that are 2” in diameter. Make sure the bottom of each wood piece is perfectly flat to ensure stability.
  • Cut the tops of the openings of each candle holder at 45-degree angles to add visual intrigue.
  • Line each opening with foil and insert candles which can be of varying lengths.

You can tie festive ribbons around the pieces when decorating for the holidays!

9: Fabulous Wall Clock!

A time-piece never looked so good! Here, you will use a slice of a log to create a beautiful clock! It’s super easy and super cool!

What You Will Do:

  • See if you can acquire a slice of a sawn log from a saw mill--with bark in-tact—about 1 to 2 inches thick. Having a minimum diameter of 12” would be perfect.
  • Stain and seal the wood.
  • Add numerals made from brass, tin or iron and glue into place.
  • Drill a hole in the center of the clock’s face.
  • Install a battery-operated clock-mechanism kit that will include all the parts you will need to complete this eye-catching time-piece!

10: Nifty Tree-stump Planter!

With a large tree stump, you can do several fun things to repurpose a hunk of wood that might, otherwise, just languish forever with no realized potential! This is one nifty project that will look intriguing on your back deck, patio or front porch!

What You Will Do:

There are multiple ways you can use an old tree-stump!

  • Keep the bark in-tact but hollow out most of the interior and fill the space with nutrition-rich potting soil and add your favorite flowers and greenery—a fabulous flower pot!
  • Or how about an ice-chest for your guests’ canned or bottled drinks?  Coat the interior with polyurethane and add a plastic drop-cloth to the inside to provide extra protection from moisture.
  • Level off the top of the stump and simply place a large pot on top filled with colorful flowers and foliage! It doesn’t get much easier than this!

Your hearty tree stump can remain outdoors and be continuously ready to offer whatever use you might have in mind! Logs have unlimited potential to add flair, style and out-of-the-ordinary ambiance to any part of your home—both inside and out! The next time you take a walk or hike in a wooded area, chances are you’ll look at logs a bit differently and wonder: “Hmmm—I wonder what I could do with that piece?!”