From benches to tables, hairpin legs are seeing a major revival in the home styling world – and for good reason. These supports give sleek, modern form to something that traditionally is just functional. The only problem is that they aren’t the most inexpensive of pieces to purchase for your next at-home furniture build.
Thus, I decided to make sure that my own DIY hairpin purchase counted twofold. Although I had my heart set on a side table, I chose to make my investment go the extra mile by creating a side table that also offered a place for my favorite potted plant to rest.
First, you’ll need to purchase a set of three hairpin legs and around wooden tabletop. I ordered my hairpin legs from Amazon (if you don’t want to spend as much on your own, you can get them unpainted), and I picked up the tabletop from our local hardware store.
To turn these two supplies into a table, start by finding the center of your wooden tabletop and use a straightedge to draw a line down the middle. Then, since we were using three legs, we divided our 360 degrees round tabletop by three and marked lines using a straightedge again every 120 degrees using that first line as a starting point. This denoted the placement of all three hairpin legs.
Next, we needed to figure out the size of the hole for our potted plant to sink into. To do so, we used a standard-sized pot as our guide and put it into the right angle of a square ruler. Then we lined up another straightedge along the opposite end to get an accurate measurement of the diameter of the pot.
After that, we matched the measurement to a compass, put the point in the center of the tabletop and made our circle line.
Finally, it was time to cut the hole. This required a drill and drill bit to get the hole started and then a jigsaw to cut out the rest of the hole.
We then used a rasp to clean up the hole after it was complete. Don’t forget to wear your safety glasses!
To finish the construction of the side table, I used the marked lines from earlier to place the legsand then drilled pilot holes. After that, I screwed hardware in through the hairpin legs and into the underside of the wooden tabletop.
Tip: Avoid the risk of drilling all the way through your tabletop by cutting off a small piece of painter’s tape and, matching the length of your screw, wrap it around your drill bit. Then when you drill the pilot holes, the tape will show you where to stop drilling and reverse.
Next came the finish. Although I considered painting the table, I ultimately decided to go with a rich, dark walnut stain instead. This helped to preserve the pretty grain of my wooden tabletop and brought out the character of the finished table.
When staining your own tabletop, simply dip a clean, dry rag into the can of stain and wipe onto the wood, following the direction of the grain.
Wear a glove to prevent staining your fingertips, and if any stain gets on your hairpin legs, use a clean side of the rag to quickly wipe it off.
Allow your table to dry for two to three hours, and then wipe on a coat or two of polyurethane to ensure that your table is waterproof. Then, finish by gently sinking a favorite potted plant right into the center of your tabletop.
I used a hearty indoor plant that had a bit of orange color in its leaves to mimic the color of the hairpin legs that I used to support the table. From potted plants to my daily mug of coffee, this done-it-myself table already is a favorite sweet spot in the house!