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. So if you’re looking to create a bedroom that is both beautiful and affordable, this headboard will be a great addition to your room. Have fun building!

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! 😉

Our inspiration was this 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! 😉

Here’s what we came up with:

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

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DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

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

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

HOW TO BUILD A
WEST ELM INSPIRED
DIY WOOD HEADBOARD

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Materials & Tools Needed

Building Instructions

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

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.

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.

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. 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. 🙂

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.

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

Let me know if you all have any questions! 🙂

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