They can definitely be used as a small table, especially a bed-side table. My father and I were brainstorming ideas like this 20 years ago when we got back from Mali. I've seen them casually used as a mousepad, and it would be a good repository for mail and keys when you first get in the house. If you put a planter dish beneath it, you can use it as an umbrella stand and then you don't need to replace the skin at all. If you turn it upside-down, I think it would make a nice lamp in some way. And, of course, if you're artistically minded, it can become part of a wonderful sculpture.
But the best use, in my mind, is the one for which it was intended.
Ba-da-bee-dee-ba at 1,000 mph