Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tree Stump Trampoline Steps

This project was at the top of my outside DIY list this summer:  figure out steps for our trampoline!
We've had our trampoline for a couple of years and have been using an $8 white plastic patio chair for the kids to get in and out of it.  Not only was it an eyesore in the backyard but really, really unsafe.  I was hoping we could build something cheap, safe and attractive instead of buying an aluminum ladder- I wanted something more substantial for the little kids to maneuver in and out of the trampoline.
Pinterest searches yielded zero inspiration so I started talking to my husband about designing and building a set of steps out of wood or metal (a husband who welds=incredibly helpful!) until I remembered the pile of wood sitting at the end of our street.  Our neighbor graciously let us take some pieces for free(!) for our project.  The tree stump trampoline steps were born.
We used two pieces of wood (and by we I mean my husband who did all the work, I didn't even lift a finger.  But I did come up with the idea!)  The larger diameter piece works as the middle step, then the smaller, taller stump was cut in half to form the first and third steps.  All the cuts were made with a chainsaw so the surface of the steps were very rough.  I thought we could just sand them smooth but the wood was just too uneven.  To avoid giving everyone splinters my husband "finished" tops of the steps with a fiberglass resin used on boats.  The steps are nice and smooth without being slippery when wet.  He also used a wood hardener (before the resin) that will hopefully prolong the life of the steps.  The sun is brutal on outdoor furniture and toys at this altitude!

Finally he set them in place in the backyard and used extra long lag screws to keep everything in place.  I love the turtle design that showed up on the smaller stump.

The kids use the edge of the trampoline for a handrail.  The steps are broad enough that no one is in danger of falling off.
With the wood hardener and resin the project turned out to be over my budget of $0, but I love the finished product.  Time for trampoline fun!

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