How to Build a Nightstand with Hairpin Legs

Recreate the nightstand you've been seeing in stores and all over social media. Hairpin legs make this bedside table trendy and super easy to make.

white box side table with black metal legs
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Hairpin legs can be found on dining tables, coffee tables, stools, bookshelves—and the list keeps on growing. However, big-name stores charge a pretty penny for this hot trend. Instead of splurging your entire budget on one piece of furniture, build your own furniture with our expert advice. (Save the extra cash for your next project.) This hairpin leg nightstand project is the perfect piece to kickstart a bedroom makeover. This trend transcends design styles and looks good next to nearly every bed. Get the scoop on how to build it below.

Click here to see the rest of this weekend bedroom makeover.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Miter saw
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill and bit
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Large paintbrush


  • 2 1/2X24X24-inch MDF board
  • 2 1/4X24X24-inch MDF board
  • Wood glue
  • Masking tape
  • 1-inch screws
  • 1 1/4X24X24-inch plywood
  • Wood filler
  • Acrylic paint
  • 4 Hairpin legs, hardware included


  1. Cut Measurements
    Piece Dimensions Quantity
    Inner box top and bottom 1/2x14-1/4x23-1/2-inch 2
    Inner box sides 1/2x14-1/4x9-1/2-inch 2
    Outer box top and bottom 1/4x14-1/2x24-inch 2
    Outer box sides 1/4x14-1/2x10-inch 2
    Back panel 1/4X9-1/2X23-3/8-inch 1

    Make Cuts

    Cut all boards to size. Use a miter saw to cut 45-degree angles on each short edge. All angled edges should be made on the same side of the boards.

  2. Pair Boards

    Set the slightly smaller boards on top of their matching boards that are 1/4 inch larger. When you place the small board on top, line it up with one 10-inch or 24-inch side, depending on what size you're working with. The extra 1/4 inch should hang off one end. Glue the boards together like this, so you'll have two combined side pieces and two combined top and bottom pieces.

  3. Align Boards and Form Box

    Once the glue has dried, lay the boards on a table or workspace in the following order: Side panel, top, side panel, bottom. The 14-1/2-inch sides should be touching each other. Apply a strip of masking tape to the back of the boards where the edges meet. With the help of a partner, carefully flip the whole piece so the mitered edges are facing up.

    Apply wood glue to the mitered edges of the boards. With a partner, begin folding the edges inward until you form a box. The taped seams will ensure the corners are perfectly aligned. Clamp to hold tight. Secure with 1-inch screws into each edge.

  4. Install Back Panel

    To finish building the box, install the back panel. The plywood board will fit right into the indented space in the back of the box, made by the different-sized boxes on top of each other. You may need to cut the back panel slightly to fit. Line the edges of the recessed portion with wood glue, and carefully set the back panel in place. Let dry.

  5. Sand, Paint

    Cover all nail holes with wood filler and let dry. Lightly sand the entire box and wipe clean. Sanding will improve the quality of the surface and make it easier for the paint to stick. Paint the inside and outside of the box with a paintbrush and let dry.

  6. white wicker box in side table

    Install Legs

    Finally, install the table legs. We used hairpin-style legs for their strength and modern lines. Use the provided hardware to attach the legs into each corner of the bottom of your table.

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