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How to Make a Stool with Hairpin Legs

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When we had our new kitchen installed, we added a simple breakfast bar with matte black hairpin legs and solid oak worktop (read all about it here!) Ever since, I’ve wanted to make some matching stools for our girls to sit on at the table. We bought our beautiful hairpin legs from The Hairpin Leg Co. for our breakfast bar, and we have nothing by praise for them. They are so strong and stylish, and we are happy to support an independent British brand. The guys at The Hairpin Leg Co. loved my tutorial, and kindly sent two sets of shorter legs to make some simple hairpin leg stools.

Chic wooden stool with hairpin legs

Why Hairpin Legs?

Hairpin legs were invented during the war, solving the problem of sturdy, long-lasting furniture that only used the bare minimum of materials. In an age where we are thinking about how much we consume, they work perfectly today too, allow you to transform old furniture into something beautiful. Or, as we have done, transform old bits of wood that would otherwise be wasted into stylish and functional furniture that will last for years.

We made a pair of stools using two sets of hairpin legs, one for each of our daughters, and they are so simple to make. Read on for my tutorial to make your own hairpin leg stools. The same steps apply if you want to make a side table or coffee table too, you just need to buy different length legs.

Dining room with herringbone floor, dining table and stool with a pink wall and open oak door

Materials Needed to Make Hairpin Leg Stools

Our hairpin leg stools were very simple to make, with just a few tools and materials needed:

  • A set of hairpin legs in the correct height (for a stool, use 40cm legs, which you can find here)
  • Wood (we used the left over oak worktop from our breakfast bar)
  • An electric drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Screws and brackets (which come with the hairpin legs)
  • Sandpaper and worktop oil if the wood is untreated

How to Make Your Hairpin Leg Stools

My husband made the stools, and I was chief photographer.

Step 1. Cut your seat to the correct size if necessary, sand it, and oil it. If you don’t have the correct tools to cut the wood yourself, your local DIY place will probably cut it for you.

Step 2. Measure where you want your hairpin legs to be fixed. Make pencil marks through the screw holes on each leg.

Step 3. Remove the legs and drill small pilot holes a short way down into the wood, on each of the pencil marks.

Drilling pilot holes for a hairpin leg stool

Step 4. Put the legs back in place, lining up the holes in the legs with the pilot holes. Use the electric drill to screw the holes into the wood. It was a bit difficult for Ryan as the worktop is solid oak, and he had eight legs to do, but he got there in the end!

Drilling in the screws to a stool

Step 5. Flip the stool over and pop the floor protectors that came with the legs, on to the the feet. Then test them out: they are a hit with our kids.

She loves her new stool

How Our Hairpin Leg Stools Look In Our Dining Room

We use our stools in the dining side of our kitchen diner, and having the same legs as the ones on our breakfast bar really helps tie these two rooms together. The black legs also work so well with our Eames-style dining chairs.

Dining room with herringbone floor, table with white chairs, stools and a hexagon mirror
Oak Breakfast Bar with Hairpin Legs

The stools also tuck beneath the table nicely, so we can free up floor space between meals. The stools are really sturdy and weigh quite a bit as the legs are so solid.

Using Our Hairpin Leg Stools as a Side Table

At 46cm tall, the stools are the perfect height to use as side tables too. I’ve tried it out next to the chair in our cosy reading corner and it’s ideal for a lamp, a book and a cuppa.

Hairpin leg side table next to an Ercol chair with tea, book and plant on top
How to make a hairpin leg side table
Oak and metal side table in front of a radiator

Where to Buy Your Own Hairpin Legs

Our hairpin legs are from The Hairpin Leg Company, and you can buy them through my affiliate link here. They come in two and three bar versions, in loads of gorgeous colours, including dreamy copper, cheerful yellow and pillarbox red. They come in in lots of different leg lengths, for furniture, tables, stools, and counters. I want to make a desk or dressing table next, I just love the minimal simplicity of the legs.

Dining room with herringbone floor, table with white chairs, stools and a hexagon mirror

22 Comments

  1. Maria

    6th May 2019 at 8:00 am

    What a briliant project and absolutely love what you have achieved! Your photography and styling are ace!

    1. Becky Pink

      6th May 2019 at 9:01 am

      Ah thank you so much Maria, you have made my day xx

  2. Mary Middleton | hello peagreen

    1st May 2019 at 4:29 pm

    it looks amazing, you’re so good at explain the steps.

    1. Becky Pink

      1st May 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Ah thank you Mary, I love a good step by step xx

  3. Sam - Dove Cottage Blog

    30th April 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Ahh it looks amazing! Well done you, I’d love to have a go at this too!

    1. Becky Pink

      30th April 2019 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks so much Sam, I love how simple and sturdy they are, yet minimal xx

  4. Fiona Mostyn

    30th April 2019 at 10:35 am

    A great project. Well done this looks really smart

    1. Becky Pink

      30th April 2019 at 10:47 am

      Thanks so much Fiona, Iā€™m so pleased with them x

  5. Olivia Robins

    30th April 2019 at 10:10 am

    aww i love that stool – its so cute and what a cool diy – kind regards Pati robins

    1. Becky Pink

      30th April 2019 at 10:47 am

      Thanks so much Pati, we really love them x

  6. Evija

    29th April 2019 at 1:07 pm

    The little stool looks fab, I love hairpin legs on just about anything.. and this is on my (growing) list of things I want to DIY!!

    1. Becky Pink

      1st May 2019 at 11:01 am

      Ha ha yeah hairpin legs are the way forward! Xx

  7. Donna Ford

    29th April 2019 at 8:10 am

    Such a great job! They look fab and I love the little coffee table. Def saving for later x

    1. Becky Pink

      29th April 2019 at 9:20 am

      Thank you Donna, it was so easy and I love the result xx

  8. Claire Pillarboxblue

    28th April 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Your stools look sweet. I recently made a desk for my study with orange coloured hairpin legs and I love it.

    1. Becky Pink

      28th April 2019 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Claire, I bet that looks amazing! I was so tempted by all the coloured hairpin legs but played it safe in the end x

  9. Karen

    28th April 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Ohh how lovely are these! Really impressed you made it. And so versatile too. I reckon I could use these to make myself a desk too šŸ™‚

    1. Becky Pink

      28th April 2019 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much Karen, yes they would make brilliant desks! xx

  10. jenna

    31st March 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Great post! I absolutely love how these turned out! I will be graduating from college soon, and I have been super interested in making some of the furniture for my new apartment… Thanks for some inspiration!
    -Jenna ā™„
    Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

    1. Becky Pink

      31st March 2019 at 3:32 pm

      Ah thanks Jenna, do let me know if you try it and enjoy your new home xx

  11. Danielle

    29th March 2019 at 9:09 am

    I love this, thanks for sharing!! I want to make a bench so will look into it šŸ™‚ xx

    1. Becky Pink

      29th March 2019 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Danielle, they would look fab in your gorgeous house. Xx

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