Monday Crafternoon | Wood Centerpieces

Monday Crafternoons are all about making your DIY project just a little more attainable.  I was a serious DIY bride, with a handyman fiancé so we have a ton of projects under our belt.  Let us know if there are any projects you want us to add to our series in the comments.

This week is all about the handyman husband and refusing to spend any amount of money on something that can be found outside and used with just a little bit of effort.

The project: Wooden centerpiece bases

The difficulty level: Michael says, “it was um, pretty easy.. as long as you have the right chainsaw”.

Time needed to complete: About an hour and a half for 20 pieces (depending on how thick the wood is)

Materials needed:  Get a gasoline powered chainsaw, not an electric.  Depending on how thick the wood is, you can easily burn out the motor with an electric.  For our second time doing this project, we rented a chainsaw from Home Depot.  You also need a tree. You could use some sandpaper too, but we liked the rough cuts so we didn’t sand any of them.

The Total Cost:  It was around $40 to rent the chainsaw.

The Step-by-Step instructions:

First, get a tree… Really, find some logs. This is actually easier than chopping your own tree down… Craigslist often has free (or really cheap) piles of logs for sale, and you don’t need more than a few logs. We had a range of diameters, using both smaller sizes around 4 inches, and others around a foot.  I had 4, roughly foot-long logs for this job and got about 20 centerpieces out of them.

Next, get yourself a gasoline chainsaw. It does depend on the wood, and how thick it is, as some woods cut much slower than others. I rented one from Home Depot, but you can get them from other hardware stores, or find a friend.

Once you have the wood and the chainsaw, find a spacious area, use an extra piece of wood to prop up one side of the wood, and something else to keep the log from rolling.

Next, check the chainsaw for chain oil and gasoline, and make sure your chain is at the right tension. Make sure your chain brake is on before you start it, and depending on the type, you might need to pump the purge a bit if you have one.

***If you aren’t experienced with a chainsaw, get some help with this project.  Use some common sense and be safe.


Then, get your safety gear on so you can look like a goofball, disengage the chain brake, and let ‘er rip! Remember to take your time when cutting through the log, don’t force it, and go to town. I just eyeballed cutting the centerpieces, and went slow to keep an eye on the thickness of the slices.


Make sure you cut all the way through from one side to the other. Don’t cut around the edge, and then cut to the center, as this can cause quite an uneven cut in the center. I recommend aiming for at least an inch thick, especially if you are going to place some things on them, but mix it up if you want.


Special thanks to Katelyn James for these AMAZING examples! Some from our own wedding above, and others Michael cut for our very best friend’s wedding Caitlyn & Ray below!


We also did a ton of smaller ones (which Laura ended up loving).  Waaaayyyyyy easier and super cute.  So if the big ones seem difficult but you love the look, just make some smaller ones.

Is it worth the DIY?:  Again, it was about $40 to rent the chainsaw.  So if you are only making a couple, it’s probably not worth the DIY.  If you are having a 300 guest wedding like we did, meaning you have tons of tables, it’s definitely worth it.  Or if you already have a high powered chainsaw/can borrow one.  Totally worth it.

Let us know how it goes for you! and be safe 😉

we're Michael & Laura


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a husband and wife photography team based in Richmond, Virginia (though we LOVE to travel!). We hope you enjoy browsing some of our most recent work, reading our tips and tricks for brides, and taking a little peek into our life.  

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