How To Make A Tonneau Cover For Your Pickup Truck

So, you just got a new pickup truck. Now all you need is a nice hard looking Tonneau cover for it. However, once you have a glance at the market, everything seems pretty expensive. What to do?

Make one yourself! This is something that comes across an auto mechanic’s mind most of the time. You’ll need a few hours and a DIY retractable truck bed tonneau cover will be at your service.

Without any further ado, here’s everything you need to know about how to make a tonneau cover for your truck.

DIY Retractable Truck Bed Cover Process:

Things you’ll need:

Making a homemade tonneau cover will need you a few tools. These are:

  • Black paint
  • Spray glue and contact glue
  • Screws
  • Staplers or staple gun
  • Vinyl fabric
  • A drill.
  • A hinge, for example, piano hinges
  • Table saw
  • 1×2” plywood (total 6)
  • Sheets of plywood (around 2)


  1. You need to begin with creating two frames using the 1×2 plywood. One of the plywood should be attached with truck bed here. The other one is for connecting to the liftable tonneau cover.
  2. Each of the frames should sit well within the truck bed. The sizing should be one-centimeter space on each side between the frame and bed.
  3. The frames are a really important part here. This is because it provides structural strength to the cover. Securing the cover to the truck bed is also a responsibility of a good frame fixing.
  4. Now, one needs to cut two plywood pieces and use it for the frames. The plywood needs to exceed horizontal and vertical lengths of frames. This should be a similar width to the edges of the truck bed.
  5. If you lay the plywood in a flat position over the truck bed, it must sit nicely covering all edges. It should be covering from one edge to another.
  6. You need to install the hinge. So, make certain there is no overlap between frames at all.
  7. Finally, you paint the plywood. Now, this is not a compulsory step. However, doing so will better store the wood from moisture damage. This will ultimately increase the lifespan and durability.
  8. After painting the plywood let it dry thoroughly. Now attach the hinge on a spot where this cover will fold.

Using Vinyl Fabric

There is a huge range of example for a DIY tonneau cover that comes with bare bones. This types usually come with plywood working as the main source of protection from different elements.

However, if you need to get something better for quality, using vinyl fabric will be just the right thing. This stuff can improvise the functionality a lot. Same goes for the durability of the cover. Here are the steps to use a vinyl fabric for securing.

  1. You need a spray glue to evenly spray all over the wood and back of the vinyl fabric. This is the finest way to secure a vinyl fabric to plywood.
  2. Once you put the fabric over plywood, make sure to spread it evenly. Now using the contact glue, secure every edge properly.
  3. It’s time to use the staple gun. Using it you need to secure edges around the bottom. The edge of fabric needs to be folded within.
  4. It’s time to install the tonneau cover now. Use screws and steel angular for installing it across the frames. You can also use T-nuts.
  5. To make sure there is no damaging of the truck, use rubber on top of steel angulars.
  6. The completion of this installing process depends on the size and make of your particular truck. You can enjoy your own artistic freedom while DIYing the whole thing.


That’s the end of this topic for a very interesting DIY that can safeguard your precious trucks. It’s a fun way to try something cool and also saves you enough money.

Make sure to understand your truck type well before jumping into the actual process. It’s okay if you get stuck between the processes. Just keep on going patiently. End results will be satisfying for sure. Good Luck!