Remember ages ago when I really wanted a hairpin leg coffee table?
Unfortunately we only had a tiny balcony patio at that time, so it never happened. But when we moved here to the bay area, we got rid of our Ikea coffee table (which was literally falling apart anyway) and inherited a lovely thing called a GARAGE.
For the past week or so, we’ve been working diligently after Jack goes to bed. Here’s how we made it:
MATERIALS: We picked up some cheap wood at Home Depot. We got a 16′ board of douglas fir and cut it into four equal pieces. (it was $10 total). We also picked up a sander (we recommend this one), a small can of stain, a small can of clear sealer, a cheap brush, some small boards to hold everything together (about 3-4″ less than the width of your coffee table, see picture below) and some wood screws. We ordered hairpin legs from ebay (14″), and I’d highly recommend this seller. His shipping was fast, the legs are about $50 cheaper than everywhere else (!!), and the steel comes finished so they won’t rust. He also included plastic tubing to protect our floors, and wood screws. Again, I definitely recommend this seller.
INSTRUCTIONS: First, sand your wood on both sides. It really helps to have an electric sander so you can get the corners smooth and rounded. Next, lay your pieces how you want them. Apply your stain according to the packaging directions. We did two coats on the top, but only one on the bottom. Next, apply two coats (according to the packaging directions) of poly-clear coat.
When everything is dry, sand it down again using a fine paper (220). Lay everything out and screw them together with a drill like this:
Then screw in your hairpin legs (we made spaced them about 1 1/4″ away from the edges). Clip your plastic tubing to size (I’ll probably cut ours down even more), snip horizontally, and snap on.
We’re super excited and love it. It’s heavy and very durable, and it’s fun for Jack to sit on. If anyone makes one, I’d love to see your finished product!
I just can’t get over how cute your house is!!! You are welcome to help me decorate anytime.lol. I love your coffee table. You guys are so creative!!!! Where did you get your rug? We’re getting rid of our coffee table- lack of space- but I’m thinking we need something so it doesn’t look so empty/ unfinished.
Thanks. My mantel is lacking…I’m trying to find a mirror to go up there.
We got our rug at rugsusa.com. It was around $150 and we’ve been really, really happy with it.
I’ll be in Utah at Courtney’s house May 13-16…let’s get together!
Wow.lol. Somehow I never know that you responded.lol. I can’t wait to see you at the wedding though!!!!
I love this and will be attempting to make my own!! So, after you stained it twice and added two coats of the clear-coat you then sanded the whole thing again?
yes, we sanded the edges a little bit again. But if you sand the entire table after your clear coat, you’ll just sand your clear coat off! so just smooth the edges a bit. good luck! you will love it!
okay, my last comment was a little confusing. You CAN sand the entire thing down, but you have to use a very fine sand paper. :)
Ha ha! Okay, thank you!!
Love the table! I am going to attempt to make one! What colorstain did you use and what are the two skinny boards you used underneath the table with what size screws? Thanks!
oh shoot, you’re asking the wrong person! We bough “reject” wood (they usually have a scrap pile next to the wood cutter at the hardware store). We just sorted through until we found strong pieces that were the right size we needed. They don’t show anyway. :)
As for our stain, we used miniwax stain in “special walnut”, and a miniwax fast drying polyurethane clear coat on top. The only tricky thing we ran into is that we bought the cheapest wood, and it was very pink-toned. So the sanding and stain helped a bit, but it’s still more yellow-y than I had hoped (wanted more of a light weathered grey-brown). And shoot, it beats me for the screws! We obviously used wood screws, and they were probably 1″ to 1.5″ long (since our table is 1.5″ thick, plus you’re drilling through the scrap wood to hold it together.) good luck!!
hey there – do you know what the measurements of your coffee table are? I love it and like how it looks next to your couch, but I’m trying to figure out what size to make mine! Thanks so much in advance!
hi! we made ours 2’x4′, and used 14″ hairpin legs. it’s the perfect height and width for our couch, but I suggest measuring (and maybe taping out the floor in front of your couch?) to see what size works best for yours. Our wood is 1.5″ thick. (we literally just took a 16′ long board and cut it into four pieces.)
That’s very helpful! Thank you Allie!
So glad I found this, it was exactly the inspiration I was needing to take on my own coffee table project! Thanks for sharing! :)
Hooray! Our hairpin legs just got a new life a few weeks ago as we converted them into a bench. We love them!
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for posting about your table. I had been looking for two months for the exact table I wanted: one with refined legs but a tough top that will withstand a 7 year old and twin 2 year olds – all boys. I am putting my poly on the top today (ended up using the same stain as you, but that was a fluke), and my legs will be delivered next week. I handed all three boys tools of various sorts (hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc.) and let them distress it to their hearts’ content. I joke that there might be such a thing as TOO much distressing. :)
Anyway, thanks for the great demo!
This makes me so happy! Our table has since become a bench (our new house doesn’t have the room for a coffee table) and we still love and adore it. I hope you love yours!
Did you use 3/8″ or 1/2″ thick hairpin legs?
Oh goodness, I have no idea! I know they’re about 14″ tall though.
Hello, I found your project months ago and have been dying to make myself a coffee table. My husband and I are on a tight budget and I have picky taste, but fell in love with your piece. So hooray, I get to toss the table that my husband had from his previous marriage! Using 14″ legs, your coffee table ended up being about 15 1/2″ tall? Did you make your table the exact height of your couch? Thank you!
Hi Alice! Yes, our table was about 15 1/2″ tall, and it was pretty close to the height of our couch. I just shopped around a bit for what a standard coffee table height was and we bought legs and wood to make it the same height. Hope this helps! Good luck!
loving the coffee table. Me and my husband are in the process of making one too. But these hairpin legs are way too expensive I’m trying to open the link of the ebay seller that you’ve mentioned, but it won’t open. Could you please send me the name or the link again??
I wish I could, but we bought these YEARS ago! I have no idea now.
For Meen who’s looking for a place to buy hairpin legs – I found some at https://www.tablelegs.com/WoodworkingPlansAndArticles/Hairpin_Leg_Helpfuls.aspx (for U.S.) and at http://hairpinlegs.ca/ for Canada.