How to Carve a Piece of a Tree Trunk

That old tree stump in the garden can be carved into a beautiful design.
That old tree stump in the garden can be carved into a beautiful design. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A tree stump that has been carved into a statue or work of art is an elegant addition to a garden, as well as being a talking point when guests visit. While more complex designs are better sculpted by a professional, those with less experience can still create wonderful carvings using just a few tools and a bit of imagination.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Chainsaw
  • Wood carving tools
  • Marker
  • Sandpaper

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Measure to determine the dimensions of the stump. This will allow you to design a carving that suits the size of the stump.

Mark the design on the stump, using a marker. Do not carved narrowly designed parts, as there is a risk of the wood splitting and breaking.

Remove large chunks of the stump aren't not needed, using a chainsaw. This should leave a stump that reflects the overall shape of the carving design. Do not carve intricate designs with a chainsaw.

Whittle the remaining sections of wood to match your design, then sand any rough edges and splinters. Employ coarse sandpaper to retain a rustic look to the stump or fine sandpaper to give a smoother finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • The finished carving can be varnished to help it last longer.
  • Always wear safety equipment.
  • Take great care when using a chainsaw, as improper use can cause serious injury or even death.


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