DIY Truck Bed Cover: How to Make a Tonneau Cover?

If you are a truck lover, you may already know how useful a Tonneau cover can be. It may seem like a simple accessory for your truck, there is much more to it.

To begin with, you can save a decent amount of money since there are a lot of tests and studies that show that a bed cover can reduce your truck’s gas consumption.

A bed cover will also help you keep any stuff that you are carrying secure and dry. Furthermore, if you want to save money, making your Tonneau cover could be the best option.

It is much easier than it sounds, so stick with us through this process, and we promise to you that you will be able to build your bed cover in a relaxed and fast manner after you are finished reading.

What You’ll Need to Build It

  • Marine grade plywood (the dimensions may vary between each truck model)
  • 1x2 (6 boards)
  • Table saw
  • Drill and a variety of drill bits
  • Any material you will use to cover it (many people use vinyl fabric or diamond plate aluminum)
  • One piano hinge
  • Contact glue

Building a Tonneau Cover from Zero – Step by Step

Soon as you become sure that you have everything you need to begin creating the bed cover, you will find that constructing it isn’t that hard. Maybe you won’t do it in a few minutes, but it shouldn’t take more than a day to do it either.

Step 1

We will begin by creating a frame (or frames) to mount the plywood. You should start by measuring the width of the inside of the bed.

Make sure that you have the exact width since a single centimeter could make the whole cover unstable. Since you would want to put other things on top of the cover as well, you don’t want that instability.

Use the 1x2 boards to form 2 frames if you are trying to make a foldable cover. If you are not looking for this, make one big frame.

Again, make sure that they are the right size by trying them on the bed cover.

Once you are sure they fit, use a rivet gun or contact glue to attach one of the frames to the inside of the bed (since we are aiming for a foldable cover, the other frame will be for the part that folds on top).

Once you have it fastened on the inside of the bed, we can go on with the next step.

Step 2 

Next, we will begin working on the marine plywood pieces to create the cover which will go on top of the frame we just made.

Since these pieces of plywood will cover the whole bed, you want them to overlap the sides of the bed.

Once you make sure that you measured the width correctly, you can begin cutting the plywood. Make sure that you shape the edges to fit those of the truck.

Step 3 

Now, we will cover the plywood with whichever material we prefer!

You can cover the plywood with a variety of materials like vinyl, plastic, or in this case, diamond plate aluminum.

In most cases, you can order the aluminum already cut into the necessary sizes, which will make your work much more comfortable. If not, you could cut them with any saw with a metal blade with ease.

Next, you’ll have to shape the edges, so they match the plywood.

Finally, set these into the plywood with screws until you are sure that there is no way that the aluminum will come apart from the plywood.

Step 4 

Open two more holes on the end of one of the aluminum sheets so that you can add a piano hinge.

Once you do, add the other sheet with screws to the same piano hinge so that the whole cover can be folded into two equal parts.

At this point, the cover should look like any cover that you may buy in any store. It should cover the entire bed, and it should fold in two parts with ease.

Also, there should be no way that you see into the inside of the bed while the cover is unfolded.

Once the cover passes all these tests, it means that you are ready to go and show off your DIY Tonneau cover to whoever passes you on the highway.

Wrapping up

It sure sounds pretty simple right?

Well, it is! Specifically, if you can obtain all the pieces from the same hardware shop.

It may take you a while, but seeing the final product on top of your truck you will feel nothing but satisfaction. Plus, making the cover yourself will help you save a few bucks. 

We hope that you found this article beneficial! If you did, let us know!

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