DIY Tree Slab Side Table in Redbook

Welcome to another Team Red DIY. We all know that hairpin legs are having a moment – well they’ve been having a moment for a while but because they are so popular its now really easy for us to make ourselves. I mean this DIY is really just about finding the resources (we give them to you at the end) and drilling in 6 screws. A baby sloth could do it (another thing that is having ‘a moment’). Its a thing.

Redbook August DIY Slab Side Table

But what would a perfect looking DIY be without some chaotic behind the scenes? So here’s how this column works. Every month we send Redbook 5-7 DIY ideas. They take it to their Editor in Chief and 2 of them get approved to move on. Then we hone in on those two, making sure that they are in fact easy and affordable. We source them, order them, find a location for the shoot, make one to make sure it works, buy enough to shoot two (one in progress for the step by step and one that is the ‘hero’). And then David Tsay, Scott and my team style and shoot thing thing.

In this case it was these hairpin legs wood slab tables. Brady and Ginny sourced the legs online and the slabs from the flower market.



redbook bts

In this case we shot it in our studio. On one side of the room we have this perfectly set up shot and on the other its just total chaos. We haven’t started designing the studio yet, well we have but the quotes we’ve gotten for what we want to do are like 7K so thats on the back burner for now. But its convenient to shoot there because it has a good blank wall, decent light and we have access to my hoarding collection of props.


If you are asking why don’t I style these myself its because life is just a little too crazy. That morning i had woken up at 1:30am (yes, you read that right) to do 27 tv interviews in a row. I got done around 9am and headed back home to the shoot. So obviously I couldn’t have bought flowers at 6am like you have to or you know, been functional at all. I just kinda art direct – but Scott and I have been friends and working together for so long that I’m never worried.

We choose the color palette (and run it past RedBook) and then Scott and I collaborate to get the rest of the props. You may notice that pink sofa that we just sold to here – its just so photographable. And the rug below was an ‘option’ that we gave RedBook (I believe its from CostPlus World Market).


This is David being all, ‘hey pay attention’ and me clearly RUSHING from behind the desk to come approve the shot.


So you may notice that the rug that we used above didn’t make it in the final version. What did was my persian rug runner from upstairs that you may have seen in these instagrams:

persian rug

Except we used it upside down, because we CRAZY like that. The color was too intense right side up and it took too much away from the table. Upside down it just looked like a flatwoven kilim.

hairpin legs

So there you have it. You might know that i’m not Orange’s number one fan, but I think this color combo is sooo cute and fresh. These legs also come in white, green, blue and pretty much every color. Here are all the resources:

Sofa: Vintage, covered in light pink from the fabric district.

Wood Slabs: We sourced a couple of our options from the flower district, but they are also available online through Save-On-Crafts.

Table Legs: we sourced quite a few for this project and were 100% pleased with all of them but in the end the orange ones made the cut. Both Hairpin Legs for Less, and Hairpin really pulled out all the stops to help us with these legs and a big thank you goes out to them for being so accommodating and getting them sent through to us! Their legs are fabulous, customizable and rage from about $12-$40 a leg. The orange ones we used were 18″ in height, and cost about $35 per leg because we went with the powder coated finish.

Rug: Vintage from the flea market

Pillows: Target

Art: Jamie Derringer

The gorgeous after shots are photographed by David Tsay, and styling was done by Scott Horne.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea Hack, DIY Towel Ladder , Embossed Velvet Heart Pillow, Office Wall Pockets,

  1. A

    O. M. G. I love this so much! I am definitely making this. Thank you thank you!!

  2. Beth

    I love how willing you are to share the behind-the-scenes. As a big fan and hopeful-one-day designer I appreciate getting to see the “ugly” parts of the job and how it all comes together. You rock!

  3. Paula

    I LOVE this one!! Ok, now to entice my husband to help me make it.

  4. Sonel

    I love getting to go behind the scenes!

  5. Ditto on loving the behind the scenes focus of this post. Also, I just want to say that I really love that your DIY projects are so accessible and are feasible budget and materials wise for someone to actually do!

  6. Victoria

    As one of the people that subscribed to Redbook when I heard you were on board as a Red Team member I see the magazine spread first. Although I skim through your post on those days I don’t remember seeing much if anything added so I love the behind-the scenes shots with your comments for this project. So fun.
    On the side….I can’t believe you managed to pack Charlie & car seat plus all the rest for your shot this morning. Adorable….to include everyone.

  7. Jaime

    This is a great DIY! Love the result and color palette. And thank you for including my artwork in the shoot!

  8. Dona

    Love to read the “behind the scenes” posts! Thanks.

    This next question may be sacrilegjous, but since MCM (and hairpin legs) have been having their moment for a while now – do you think they will look as outdated as an 80’s floral sofa in the near future? What do you think is next? (an 80″s floral sofa??)

  9. debbie

    Emily, this is so darn cute. I love it.

  10. Emily – can I ask how much was the rug you purchased at a flea market? I am so curious what the running rate is for something like that – not sure what is reasonable and what is too pricey. Thanks!

  11. my gosh, i NEED this diy in my life. thanks for sharing here!

  12. A.B.

    Question- where are the hairpin legs from in the practice shot? (photo 3 from top)

  13. I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s articles all the time along with a mug of coffee.

  14. megan

    Love these behind the scenes post so so much! I appreciate the lovely shot & diy but I also REALLY appreciate the chaos behind the scenes!!!! Makes me feel much better about real life (like a clean tidy living room with flowers & a total mess next door in the dining room.) Thank you, as usual for an awesome & authentic post.

  15. Sarah

    I love seeing the difference from the original pitched set-up (cost plus rug picture) and the final.
    The first picture looks like what I could do (on a good day)… it’s too literal, matchy matchy, not enough editing out, etc…then the final has the accidentally perfect vibe that I LOVE about your work. Post like this (and just trying in your own home) show how damn hard it is, but the beauty of someone as talented and hard work as you? The end result looks effortless!
    Thank you again for the inspiration.

  16. this is a great diy – very easy and actually something that i’d try! i’d love to hear more about why one shot was chosen over the other. also really like that cost plus rug (and of course that antique one). the styling the shot element is really interesting – you can get away with things that wouldn’t work in real life, like having a runner in front of a sofa.

    love jaime derringer. her work is so awesome.

  17. CS

    Love the table and going behind the scenes!!!

  18. I have a slab and can’t wait for a project like this one..I’m leaning toward green or purple legs. I got my slab from work where a eucalyptus tree fell and we went to town cutting pieces. I also have thicker and larger stumps to use as seats or coffee tables. Wish I knew you need some could have hooked you up with tons.

  19. Gorgeous table, and who knew it could be so easy?

    Oddly, this project reminds me of both my father and my father in law. My dad made a much more rustic (but still very cool) wood-slab table, and my father-in-law spent roughly forty-five minutes trying to get the perfect wood slab for my wedding cake to sit on (apparently, the slabs kept splitting).

  20. Lena

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff:)

  21. I love this table and the behind the scenes scoop! When I first saw the pic, I was like “There is no way a baby sloth could make that table”, but then I kept reading and it really is that simple. Very cool.

  22. I. am. so. excited. about. this. tutorial!!! I just saw a similar table and fell in love but it was over $300 and my first thought was, “How on earth could I make that?!” And then I stumbled onto your post! Thank you… I am super excited to try it. Yay!

  23. Sacha

    Love this! I’m not a fan of orange at all, but you’re right. This mix of colours looks great.

    Thanks for sharing some behind the scenes, how-to stuff. Very interesting!

  24. Ammara

    what was the size of the tree slab you bought online? thanks!

  25. qlka

    wow, I love it!!!!!
    Great idea, thank you for sharing:)

  26. Carrie

    I can’t wear orange (it makes me look like I’m deathly ill) and definitely lean more towards cool colors (my house is all blues, greens & purples except for the pops of yellow in my grey living room) but I am finding lately that I love orange, especially with blue or purple. The contrast is awesome.

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    • ronny

      hi. its beautiful!
      can you please let me know what are the exact measures of the Wood Slab and the Table Legs?
      i would like to buy and build the table and dont want to be wrong about it :)
      Thank you

  30. That niche is a pretty standard “design element” in large apartment communities built in the 1990s. Back in 1998 we looked at about 10 different communities and they ALL had a weird fireplace niche. The majority also had the fireplace offset at an angle instead of flush against the wall. I wonder if that’s why to this day I hate that.

  31. felecia

    Very cute!

  32. This is a very beautiful table!! Stunning!

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