Add rustic charm to your living room when you build your own timber magazine or newspaper holder. It only takes 20 minutes anda few smooth cuts to create this unique piece from a timber log. Choose a size, timber type and finish to suit your home – pale timbers will add to a Scandinavian look while a rich red gum will bring modern Australiana to any space.

Tools and materials

One of the perks of this project is that it requires very few tools. You will need:

  • File
  • Pencil
  • Tree section to form magazine holder
  • Tree stump for work block
  • Timber strips for securing tree section to work block
  • STIHL chainsaw with carving cutting attachment (a lightweight and manoeuvrable battery chainsaw like the STIHL MSA 140 C-B is an ideal choice)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)


Now that you have assembled your tools and materials, it’s time to get to work.

Step 1: Prepare your work surface

Before you begin building, it’s important to set up your work block. Notch the section of a tree stump, then place your tree section in the notch. This will form the work piece from which to carve your magazine holder. Fix it down by screwing a wooden strip to the work block – this will prevent it slipping or rolling away.

Step 2: Take measurements

Next, take measurements according to the size of the magazine (or newspaper) that you’re designing for. For example, if you intend to store tabloid or newspapers, you should choose something larger than if you were simply displaying standard magazines. Mark these measurements with a pencil, then cut the timber to size.

Step 3: Cut the surface of the magazine holder flat

For the magazine rack to stand firmly on the floor, you will need to level out the underside. To do so, make a single horizontal cut along your tree section, removing a layer of wood on one side of the section.

Step 4: Saw the recess

To create a recess for the magazines to sit, secure the work piece. Mark the desired recess size with a pencil. Place your tree section vertically on the work block and fasten it again. Using your chainsaw, make two smooth cuts toward the centre axis. The second cut should remove a triangular wedge shape.

Step 5: Smooth the edges

Use a flat metal file to smooth over raw surfaces. You may like to round off the edges. Adding felt pads to the underside of the rack will also protect any surfaces you place it on.

Your magazine rack is complete! Whether for yourself or a gift, your creation is bound to add warmth to any living space.

For quality advice on the best chainsaws and protective equipment for this task and others, visit your local STIHL dealer.