Last week our neighbor gave me an old tree stump.
They never used it for anything and it had been outside for years so it was really bleached and actually pretty smooth. I (kind of) followed this tutorial except that my stump (anyone else have a Black Eyed Peas song running through their head now? ;) didn't have any bark on it and I didn't use any legs. It was already the perfect height for a side table.
I sanded the whole thing down with my palm sander to get it really smooth and splinter free. Then I wiped it down with a tack cloth and applied 6 coats of poly.
I'm loving how it turned out!