Turn a Stump Into a Planter

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Creating DIY projects

There is an old tree stump in my yard. I decided that instead of removing the stump, I would rather put it to some use and grow some flowers in it. So in this instructable I hollowed out that stump so that I can use it as a flower planter. I did not want to hollow it out all of the way to the bark. I wanted to leave about an inch or so of wood, and I've already marked the border that I want to leave behind with a pencil.

If you want to see me do this in a video, you can watch that video here: https://youtu.be/ZTs7qpW9suo

Here is a list of tools that I would recommend:

Step 1: A Bad Start

I started out using a 3/4 inch auger bit, but I realized that this was not the best idea, I definitely do not recommend using this bit for this job. I drilled a bunch of holes in the stump then started drilling sideways to join the holes. My hope was that this would break apart the pieces so that I could pick them out. This kind of worked, but not very well. A lot of the pieces weren't getting loose, and it was hard to clean out much of the shavings from the drill. I realized that this would take forever, so I came up with another plan.

Step 2: Fixing My Mistake

I got a 2 inch forstner bit and started drilling. Since I have already torn apart the wood so much with the auger bit, it doesn't drill quite like a forstner bit usually does. But the good thing is that it did work MUCH better. With the larger bit, it's much easier to clean out what I drilled, and the progress that I'm making finally feels like progress. This is what I would actually recommend doing right from the start.

Step 3: Drilling a Little More

I finally get past the part that I messed up, now I just need to deepen the hole. I noticed that a great technique for this is to drill down in one spot about half an inch to an inch, then move the bit to another spot and drill down about the same deep. This makes it easy to keep it cleaned out when the wood shavings build up.

Step 4: Cleaning Up the Edges (optional)

Now I have it about as deep as my drill will let me go. I'm going to clean up the edges a bit with a chisel. I don't want it to be perfect, the imperfections will give it some character. I just want to remove some of the more extreme spots.

Step 5: Taking Some Measurements

I decide to take some measurements. It's about 14 inches wide, by 13 inches wide, about 6 inches deep that I hollowed out, and the overall stump height is about 16 inches.

Step 6: Finishing Up!

Next I fill it with dirt, and it's ready for some flowers!

Step 7: Summary of Steps

So as a summary:

  1. Mark your border with a pencil, about an inch or more in from the edge.
  2. Next, use a large forstner bit, drilling down half an inch or so at a time throughout the entire area you're hollowing out.
  3. Remove shavings as necessary.
  4. Then when it's as deep as you want it, add dirt and plants!

Any tips and ideas to make this easier or better would be greatly appreciated, so please leave a comment!

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