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How to Build a West Elm Inspired DIY Wood Headboard

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Follow the four simple steps in this DIY tutorial and you’ll have your very own DIY wood headboard that looks very similar to West Elm’s Alexa Reclaimed Wood Bed at just a fraction of the cost – 10% to be exact.

I am so excited to share this DIY wood headboard with you all!!

Seriously, when I find a beautiful piece of furniture that I can make for a tenth of the cost, I get giddy.

Chris and I have been working hard this week to help a friend (that’s pregnant and due in a few weeks!) do a makeover on her master bedroom and this DIY wood headboard was one piece of the project.

Boy do I love it… I’m actually considering having him build one for our daughter! πŸ˜‰

Our inspiration was thisΒ Alexa Reclaimed Wood Bed from West Elm:

DIY Headboard

Now keep in mind, while this retails for $1,499 in a queen size, it’s also an entire bed, not just the headboard.

But still – $1,499?? When we can make one just as beautiful for $150?!

My DIY’er conscience went crazy on this one. Lucky for me, I have an amazing wood-working husband that can “whip one out” in an evening! πŸ˜‰

Here’s what we came up with:

Isn’t it lovely??

DIY Headboard

It’s a sophisticated farmhouse style headboard. πŸ™‚

DIY Headboard


DIY Headboard

I love the dimension the raised board adds to it.

DIY Headboard

Chris also built the “X” floating side tables to go with it. Aren’t the fabulous? πŸ™‚

DIY Headboard

See below for instructions on how we made the headboard so you can make one too!

Have fun building!

DIY West Elm Inspired Headboard

For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.

Materials & Tools Needed:

How to Build a Chevron Wood Headboard:

STEP 1: Cut and Prep Plywood

Begin by cutting your plywood to size (48″ by 60″.)

To make thing easier, we left the height of the headboard at 48″ (the factory size of the plywood) and just cut down the width to 60″.

Then draw a center line vertically on your plywood (at 30″.)

Next, using your square, draw a 45 degree line from the bottom center of your plywood up to the edge on both sides.

STEP 2: Install Chevron Wood Pieces

This is where you start cutting and installing the chevron 1×4 boards.

We left our chop saw at 45 degrees and used that for all the cuts throughout.

Measure your diagonal line on one side and cut a board that long, then install using wood glue and nails.

DIY Headboard

Repeat this all the way up and down on the first side then repeat on the second side.

DIY Headboard

We weren’t overly concerned with the edges being perfectly flush because after installing all the 1×4 boards we actually went back with our skill saw and trimmed down all four edges to make them perfect.

STEP 3: Install Border Pieces

Next we took our 1×2 boards and wrapped the outer sides of the boards.

We didn’t bother with miter cuts here, instead we just did butt-joints for ease.

The last part of the build is installing the 1×2 face trim (we did do miter cuts on the corner of these for the pretty aesthetics of it.)

We did the frame first, sanded the entire face and then installed the center board.

DIY Headboard

Be sure to sand everything really well after all of the wood is installed and then dust it off copletely with a rag and air hose.

DIY Headboard

STEP 4: Stain and Seal

Next up is staining and sealing!

My friend chose the American Walnut stain and I think she made an excellent choice!

I typically go for Early American which is a little less red and a little more grey, but I like the color of the American Walnut compared to our inspiration piece.

DIY Headboard

Chris did just one layer of stain (and don’t worry about staining the back since it will be up against the wall!) and two layers of the matte polyurethane.

I like using matte polyurethane because without the gloss it still looks like raw wood and yet it’s sealed. πŸ™‚

DIY Headboard

To hang above the bed, we used two 60lb french cleats attached to the studs.

We decided to line up the bottom of the headboard with the top of the box spring since that’s where the bed skirt began and it gave a nice height above.

As promised, here are the printable instructions:

Yield: 1 Queen Headboard

DIY Wooden Chevron Headboard

Chevron DIY Wood Headboard

Build a stylish West Elm inspired wooden chevron headboard in just 4 simple steps!

Active Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Cost: $125


  1. Cut your plywood to 48" by 60".
  2. Draw a vertical line at 30" to mark the center of your board.
  3. Using a square, draw a 45 degree line from the bottom center point to the top corner on both sides.
  4. Cut and install 1x4 boards along that diagonal line from top to bottom on both sides, using the line to help you mark and cut the boards to fit. Install them using wood glue underneat and nails on top.
  5. Use a skill saw to cut around the edges of your entire plywood board and clean up the edge once all 1x4s are installed.
  6. Wrap the outer edge with your 1x2s using a butt-joint on the corners.
  7. Frame the front edge with you 1x2s using miter cuts on the corners.
  8. Sand the entire face and then install your 1x2 center trim board down the vertical seam.
  9. Sand the center board and dust off the entire headboard with a rag and air hose.
  10. Stain the entire headboard and then seal it with matte polyurethane.
  11. Hang the headboard using french cleats attached to studs on the wall with the bottom of the headboard even with the boxspring.

And there you have it – an easy to build West Elm inspired DIY wood headboard!

Let me know if you all have any questions! πŸ™‚



9 thoughts on “How to Build a West Elm Inspired DIY Wood Headboard”

  1. No, it’s 3/4″ thick plywood. The wrap should be flush with the side because it’s covering the 3/4″ plywood and the 3/4″ 1×4 board stacked on top of each other equaling the 1.5″ (2) side.

  2. How thick was the 4′ x 8′ plywood? Is 0.5 inch the right size so the 1 x 2 wrap with butt-joints becomes flush with the face of the headboard?

  3. Hi Georgia, unfortunately we don’t have plans for a king, but you could easily just make the base structure 76″ wide rather than 60″ and increase the chevron boards accordingly. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for these plans. We just finished building and installing our king size headboard patterned after your design. Happy New Year!

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