We love the look of hairpin legs on tables. They look super slender and chic and they’re ideal for all sorts of DIY projects. Just quickly attach them to a piece of wood and you can make a quirky piece of furniture that you can actually use in your home. Hairpin table legs are definitely very versatile and very convenient. They offer a perfect blend of looks and functionality.
Wondering what are some projects that you could do with hairpin legs? Well, a wood slab table would be a great start. The top is a big slice of wood from a large log or tree stump and the base is just three hairpin legs evenly spread apart. You can spray paint the legs if you want to give them that deep black finish.
Another thing you can use hairpin legs on is a contemporary desk similar to this one. As it turns out, a lot of the stylish desks that are popular these days have very simple designs and actually use hairpin legs. That means it’s now easier than ever to build one yourself from scratch.
Hairpin legs also look stylish on coffee tables. If you want to build one yourself we suggest using reclaimed wood in your project. A pallet would actually make things a lot easier. You can repurpose it into a top for the table with little modifications required. The result will be a pallet table with hairpin legs and lots of character.
A few things you might not know about hairpin legs
The history of hairpin legs begins in 1941 which is when they were first created by Henry P. Glass. The period says a lot about this invention. The design of hairpin legs is one influenced by the war. It requires less material than traditional legs while keeping the strength, thus coming in response to the shortage of metal during that period.
Hairpin legs were used on furniture for the first time as part of a Russel Wright American-Way collection in 1941 and were a limited series. The original Hairpin Group collection included five tables, three chairs and a settee designed for patios, all with hairpin legs.
You can find an American-Way hairpin leg chair displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago if you ever want to check out the original design. It’s listed as being made of cast iron.
Since it was invented in 1941 the hairpin leg has been incorporated into countless designs for lots of different types of furniture pieces, accessories and more. It’s even a distinctive feature you can see on lots of iconic designer pieces.
How to choose furniture legs
It may seem a bit unusual to pay lots of attention to the legs in particular when choosing a piece of furniture. It’s not as strange when you realize just how many different options are out there. Hairpin legs are just one of the types and even they come in several varieties. Here are some of the elements which can influence your decision:
Different styles of furniture are connected to different particularities regarding the legs. For instance, a farmhouse or rustic piece of furniture would often have very sturdy and robust legs whereas a more modern or contemporary one could be a lot more slender and sleek. Hairpin legs are nice and thin which suits modern furniture but they also have a mid-century vibe because of the period where they were first invented and their history.
Determining the right height for a piece of furniture is important, in some cases more than in others. If you’re building something yourself and you have several height options when selecting the legs, take into consideration what the overall height of the piece will be and determine whether or not a particular set of legs would make that piece comfortable or practical enough for your needs.
That depends a lot on what you’re building. If it’s a coffee table for example, it should be around the same height as the sofa seat. If it’s a chair for a desk or a table, the height should be determined in relation to the table and to the user.
Let’s say you want to build a dining table with hairpin legs. To figure out the ideal height for the legs, decide how tall you want the table to be. A dining table for example is usually 30’’ high. If you go with a 2’’ top that leaves you with 28’’ legs. A 1’’ top means you need 29’’ legs and so on.
Most commonly, hairpin legs are used for side tables. These are really easy to build and look really nice. Figure out the height you want for the table by first deciding where you want to place it. If it will sit next to the sofa, make it a bit taller than the seat cushion so you can easily reach it when you swing your arm to the side, but not so tall that you knock over whatever it on top by mistake.
The custom details
This is the part where you can get really creative. If you’re building a piece of furniture from scratch or giving one a makeover and you want to use hairpin legs for that, you have more options than you think. Yes, a lot of hairpin legs look the same but that doesn’t mean they can’t be special.
You usually have a choice or either going with the basic and classic metal hairpin legs that have a dark a fairly rugged look, opting for the more stylish copper version or just customizing them using spray paint and giving them a completely unique look.
Top 10 Best Hair Pin Legs Available on The Market
These are just three of the multitude of ideas you can choose from for your next DIY project. Hairpin legs are, as you see, very versatile and look great on pretty much everything including coffee tables, desks or consoles. You can surely find a design that you want to try for yourself so your next concern will probably be what kind of hairpin legs to actually buy. While they’re all basically pretty much the same, there are still some identifying features to consider. Check out our top ten choices below.
This is a set of four hairpin legs made of high quality steel. They’re resistant to corrosion and have a smooth satin finish. The black color makes gives them a very versatile appeal and a timeless look. They’re very sturdy with a weight capacity of 350 lb which is a bit over 150 kg.
Here’s another set of four hairpin legs perfect for that coffee table you’re thinking of building. You can also use them to give an old table a quick makeover. Installation is quick and easy thanks to the pre-drilled holes in the mounting plate. You can also use these hairpin legs on console tables, nightstands, benches or even desks. They’re made of 3/8” solid raw steel with a black satin finish.
The Smartstandard hairpin legs also comes with bonus floor protectors made of rubber. They protect the floor from damage plus they also add stability. You can attach them to tabletops to make stylish tables, stools, benches and much more. They add an industrial touch to the design with a hint of mid=century modern flair. The mounting bracket has pre-drilled holes for easy installation. The legs themselves are made of cold rolled sturdy steel with a satin black powder-coated finish.
This particular includes four hairpin legs that measure 3/8” in diameter, M6 screws (3.4”) and four floor protectors. Keep in mind that if you want to install a tabletop that’s thinner than 3/4” you should buy shorter screws. The hairpin legs have industrial strength quality and have pre-drilled holes in the mounting plate for quick and easy installation on tables, night stands and more.
The Elicit set includes four hairpin legs and 20 screws (1 1/4”) which are suitable for tabletops that are thicker than 1 3/8”. You can install the legs on both indoor and outdoor furniture pieces as they’re able to withstand the usual condition in either case. They’re made of 3/8” steel and have heavy-duty strength while also providing a sleek mid-century modern look.
You can use the hairpin legs from Interesting Home on all sorts of different furniture pieces including chairs, accent tables and even cabinets. these particular ones have a simple mid-century modern vibe and come with extra rubber feet for added floor protection in case you need it.
They're strong, durable and stable as well as resistant to rust which means you'll be able to enjoy your unique furniture for years to come.View Deal
This is the 16” hairpin leg set from Smartstandard. They come as a set of four with included rubber feet for added protection for your floors and added stability. Each mounting bracket have five pre-drilled holes for fast and easy assembly. The legs are made of heavy-duty solid steel with a satin black powder-coated finish. They can support up to 300 lb (135 kg) and they’re designed for versatility.
The 12” hairpin legs by Design are perfect for coffee tables, nightstands and other low furniture pieces. They’re made of cold rolled steel and can support up to 350 lb (almost 160 kg). Installation is quick and easy thanks to the flat mounting plates with pre-drilled holes.
These 7” hairpin legs are quite special, both because of their size but most importantly because of the finish. You can use them on cabinets, armchairs and even sofas for a lightweight and sleek look and added character. These gold hairpin legs have a bit of industrial flair but not as prominent as the black versions.
Speaking of different finishes and colors, you should definitely check out these quicky hairpin legs. They come in a multitude of different colors such as this beautiful duck egg nuance, pastel green, copper, white, yellow, red, brass, black or with a clear coat or chrome finish. This gives you the freedom to add style and character to your furniture and to make it pop in a stylish yet subtle way.
Modern pieces of furniture with hairpin legs
Hairpin legs look amazing on tables and there are many lovely designs to prove it, like the Hoyt end table for instance. It features a slender wooden top with a square shape and rounded edges and it’s supported by black hairpin legs with a cool geometric design that wraps around the top. It’s also lightweight, easy to move around the has the perfect height for an end table.
Hairpin legs also look exquisite on dining tables. In fact, they’re wonderful in this context because they give the table a lightweight look that’s often appreciated in the dining room. The Kelson table has an elegant top made of solid acacia wood with a natural red-toned color and the black hairpin legs go really well with this finish.
There are also many other instances where hairpin legs add character to various different pieces of furniture. Check out this lovely TV stand for example. It’s quite compact and ideal for small spaces and the base gives it a very slender and airy look while also allowing the top to remain a bit bulkier in order to include two open storage cubbies.
The Romeo bar stool is another very stylish-looking piece. It has a modern design with classic and industrial influences and thanks to the hairpin legs and overall shape and structure it doesn’t look robust or bulky at all. The seat has a circular shape and is topper with engineered wood. The metal base has a circular footrest for added comfort and a chic golden finish.
We also really enjoy the simple and modern design of the Casady TV stand. It has a sturdy and durable construction but at the same time it features a slender silhouette thanks to the thin hairpin legs. The top is made of wood and has a neutral gray finish and two open storage cubbies with integrated cable-management cutouts.
The Labarge dining table is small and has a casual and inviting look. It features a round wooden top supported by four metal hairpin legs and it’s perfect for an intimate dinner or a casual get-together. The design is simple but not without character and you can pair this table with your choice of accent chairs for a customized look.
You wouldn’t really expect to see hairpin legs installed on a bookcase but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t look great. This design shows how big a difference this little detail makes on the overall design of this vertical bookcase. It has both open shelves and closed storage compartments for added versatility and the design is a nice blend of modern and industrial influences.
A small solid wood top with a live edge design and four slender metal hairpin legs give the Tindle end table a super chic and charming look. This is a perfect companion for the living room sofa and can also be easily incorporated into a variety of other spaces. It’s both beautiful and practical and it’s a nice accent piece in general.
Another gorgeous accent piece is the Osmond bench which you can add to your entryway, hallway, at the foot of the bed or various other areas of the house. It has a simple design with clean lines, slender metal hairpin legs and a comfortable upholstered top covered in faux fur. It’s as glamorous as it is versatile and convenient. Pair it with any other furniture piece or accessories to create a welcoming and stylish décor.