Hey everyone! I have had a crazy, busy few weeks between sick kids, my husband and myself both sick, making holiday plans, and projects that I thought would be quick that turned into not-so-quick projects. Not to mention all of this rain makes it rough and adds a ridiculous amount of time to paint drying.
Anyways, have you ever had a piece of furniture you really liked but wished it was taller or had different legs? Well, it is easy to fix!! For instance, this piece in my formal dining room was a hand-me-down from my grandfather’s house. I loved the detail on it, but it was too short. So, I added legs to make it taller. It didn’t need a lot of height, just enough to at least make it as tall as our farmhouse table shown here.Last year I made ottomans for our living room, and those needed legs, so that was an easy fix as well. Most pre-made furniture legs in stores have screws in one end like this:Some do not, especially if you are using a regular piece of wood and making your own leg. It is still doable to turn it into a leg, it just takes some more time.
I’m currently working on a table/cabinet piece that I am turning into a desk and separate cabinet for our office. The original legs were literally 1x4s. It was unstable and just a mess. There are 2 parts to adding the legs. First, attaching the top plate and second, adding the hanger bolt to the leg.
Materials needed to add legs to furniture: I had some questions on what brand of tools I use, so I am linking up to my exact models… Many of these were bought years ago and they are used frequently. They still work really well! (Affiliate links are provided in this post. I receive commission on the sale of the products, but this does not result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. For more information, see my full disclosure here.)
- Straight Top Hardware Plate
(they also make slanted ones, although I have never used those)
- DeWalt Cordless Drill and DeWalt Drill Bit Assortment
- Hanger bolt for wood (some pre-made legs already have this attached. When buying, make sure it is compatible with the metal plate you are using)
- locking pliers
- Turn your piece of furniture upside down and mark the 4 holes so you can predrill. (You do not have to predrill, I usually do because it makes it easier!)
- Remove the plate and drill pilot holes in all 4 spots (i.e. a smaller hole that will help guide the screw) that you marked. Place the plate back and screw the screws(included with the metal plate) into the 4 pilot holes. Make sure the plate is the right side up. The area where the screws are should be flush with the surface.
- Now, if you bought pre-made legs that already have the hanger bolt attached, all you do is screw that into the middle hole on the plate and you are done!
To attach the hanger bolt: I will be honest, this part was terrible for me! I normally buy pre-made legs with the bolt already attached, so this was new for me too! I ended up repeating this a few times until I got it right, so I feel like I can finally say I figured out the right way(and the wrong way!) to do it!
- A lot of legs will have the center marked with indentions for you where the hanger bolt should go. If yours does not, measure off and mark the center of the piece of wood (on the end you want hooked into the piece of furniture).
- Drill a pilot hole down into the leg using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the hanger bolt. I started off with the wrong size and had to switch it up. Then, I had help from my 3 year old who decided drilling at an angle worked better than straight down. Point being, it did get done right eventually.
- Insert hanger bolt (pointed end first) into the hole.
- Using locking pliers, screw the bolt into the leg. The hanger bolts have 2 sections of threading separated by a smooth area. The bottom area with the pointed part goes into the leg and the top portion goes into the straight top plate. This part takes forever, and requires a lot of elbow grease!
- Once the hanger bolt is screwed in, you screw it into the metal plate.
See though, how the opening is wider than the bolt? That is what you DO NOT want! It’s only like that for less than a quarter of an inch, then it is the right size, BUT, you want it to not be wider than the bolt anywhere, for overall stability purposes. This was where I wasn’t paying attention and the drill bit was the wrong size and my 3 year old was helping and decided screwing things in sideways works better than down! Then, once you do this for all of your furniture legs, you are done! I love how these furniture legs turned out! Here is a sneak peak of the finished desk. The cabinet that goes with it (originally they were attached and the desk part folded out from the back of the cabinet) is still in progress… it’s the quick project that has not been quick…
Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow me on social media and subscribe to my mailing list!