Blog, DIY, Home Decor

Hairpin Dining Table – DIY (The Process)

We are currently renting a 500 square foot apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s an older apartment (1920’s) and we only have around 36 square feet of space for our dining area. Before today we didn’t really have a space for proper eating, we would just eat on the couch while watching Parks and Rec (and other Netflix TV shows). But since we’ve gotten into eating hotpot (a Chinese/Japanese meal/method of eating) we’ve realized eating on the couch isn’t a viable solution anymore. Hence the teeny tiny (30 inch round) dining table.

Our apartment is a mix of rustic and modern pieces, most of which we’ve made on our own. For this eating space, which I will call our dining area, we decided to mount a simple adjustable bracket shelving system in the small available wall area between the counter-top and the radiator (also, yay for old fashioned steam heating). Please do excuse the phone pictures.


After mounting, and cutting the pieces, we began sanding + staining the pine planks. Each plank was around $9 USD, and we purchased a total of 6 planks. I’ll explain more of why we needed 6 planks (for 4 shelves) later on in this post.


Once the planks were stained with danish oil (dark walnut color – we decided to only go with one layer of stain), we set them up to dry. The bottom most shelf is shorter then the others because we wanted to create a hidden litter box area for our two cats, and they needed an opening to enter from.

While the planks were drying, we began working on the dining table top. We purchased the top from Etsy, sanded it a bit and stained it with the same danish oil as the shelving.


The legs of the table were also purchased on Etsy. To place the legs I made a 20 x 20 inch square out of scrap paper and taped it to the center of the table 30 inch table. I then made sure the legs looked okay with relation to the table top (and we needed enough space for our legs to comfortably fit while sitting at the table).

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I then outlined the corners of the paper with tape and removed the scrap paper template.

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We then placed the legs and began to screw them in place.


I was so exited to see how it turned out so we put the table in the small dining space and added the chairs (which I had from before).

Everything looked a-okay at that point, so we focused on making the litter box area for our kitties. Because we live in a smaller space, our usable space is limited. Previously, our cats had an awkward corner of the kitchen for their litter box. It was inconvenient (and sometimes gross). We decided to make an enclosed space with the shelving unit for the cats, that way they have the privacy they need and the litter is out of sight.

I wanted to make a bottom portion of the shelving look as it if was a drawer unit, but allow it to be lifted with open sides so the cats can easily enter + exit their litter space. It also had to be wide enough to fit a litter box (in our case we used large containers).

I measured out the spacing for hinges + handles which I had found in the gate section of Home Depot.

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The hinges allow the enclosed litter area to be opened and closed for cleaning, and add to the rustic vibe we had going.

And that was that! We secured the hinges to the bottom shelf, added litter to the containers, and introduced the cats to their new bathroom! I think they like it so far.

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Here is a round up of where we purchased our materials:

30 inch pine round > ChristianWoodsTM Etsy

Hairpin Table Legs > Barnxo Etsy

The remaining items were all from Home Depot.

>> Visit the next post to see the final look <<

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