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Homemade car cover

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RustyBolts, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. I wanted to get a car cover for my hot rod pickup I just finished making. But, when I saw what they charge for a good car cover (>$200) and figured out that nobody makes one that would fit my chopped, channeled, and fenderless pickup without a lot of modifications, I started figuring "how hard could it be to make one myself?". So I checked around and found a place that sells "Blockit" car cover material really cheap. It's the same lightweight composite waffle pattern polypropylene type stuff that the car cover manufacturers use. The more you buy, the lower the price per yard. I bought a 50 yard roll for $60 ($1.25/yard). What a deal. I've got enough to make at least two car covers.

    When I got the roll of material, I first rolled out a big piece of it upside down over the top of my truck, leaving a little extra at both ends. I put the material on upside down, with the softer side facing up. Then I cut a big long piece that went down the driver's side and cut it roughly to shape to match up with the top piece, a little oversize and then trimmed some more and used a stapler (like you use to staple paper with) to staple the seams together, leaving at least an inch of extra flap at the seams. I did the same on the other side. I messed with it for a while to try to get it to hug in a little tighter at the sides. I left it purposely too long on the sides. The staples were just temporary to hold it together.

    Then I took it off the truck and sewed the seams out a little past the staples. Then I pulled all the staples out. Then I sewed the seams again about 1/4" inboard to have a double row of thread at the seams, and to make the real seam inboard of the holes left by the staples. Real car covers fold the seams over in sort of an interlocking style and then they sew two rows of thread through the whole stack, but my dinky import upholstery type sewing machine is too small to be able to wad up half a car cover to fit it underneath to do that type of sewing, so I just did a simple seam.

    Then I turned the car cover right side out and put it on the truck to trial fit it, and then went around the edges and cut away the bottom edge with scissors until it was about even with the floor. Then I took it off and went back to the sewing machine. I folded the bottom edge inward about 1" and sewed in about 1/2" from the edge all the way around the edge of the cover to give it a nice finished seam on the bottom.

    I put it back on the truck and it fits pretty well. Kind of ugly and lumpy, but it does the job. I might sew some elastic straps along the bottom in a few places to gather up the loose stuff, but it doesn't really need it. It stays in place all by itself and doesn't shift around. It keeps the dust off the truck, which is all I want it to do.

    That car cover material is pretty lightweight and easy to sew, and I think you could probably sew it with practically any old sewing machine you can find. The seams aren't as tough or water-resistant as a commercially made car cover, but it's good enough for indoors I think. I used nylon upholstery thread like what I used to sew my interior.

    It killed most of a Sunday, but I think it saved me about $200

    Attached Files:

  2. Thought about doing the same thing myself...way to go it gets the job done and now you have extra bux for the next swap meet or parts purchase
  3. How about a photo with the cover off?
  4. Here it is naked:

    Attached Files:

  5. Where did you find the material? Do they sell to the public?
  6. Topless Ford
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Topless Ford

    Great post!!!

    If you lack the ability to sew, find a small awning shop and have them sew it for you. They will usually charge you by the hour which isnt much. Being on the "it may rain with a clear blue sky" gulf coast, the guys around here have custom covers made for their big trailer tools all the time. (compressors, chop saws, table saws, drill presses, etc).
  7. kustomizingkid
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 225


    Hell ya mang!

    I wasn't a fan of car covers, or at least saw little point in them until we got a cat. That fucking car walked right over my car and put scratches in the paint everywhere....
  8. That is an awesome idea.....UNTIL YOUR FRIENDS COME INTO YOUR SHOP WHILE YOUR SEWING!!! Then your gunna get picked on for a LONG time! Better lock the doors while in your shop and wear a wig and sunglasses when your out shopping for the sewing machine. Maybe better to ask your girl or mom to do the dirty work for you.
  9. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,093


    FWIW Covercraft will custom make a cover for anything but you are right... its pricey. They will make it to your precise measurements. So if you measure everything perfect in theory if the cover could stand up on its own it would look like your truck.
  10. Fish Tank
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 550

    Fish Tank

    Great post, thanks for the instruction and especially the materials used.
    And RustyBolts, great looking truck too by the way.
  11. Mudslinger
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,964


    Get a cargo parachute from sportsmans guide when they have them. I think they are $20 to $30 and huge!
  12. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,955

    stuart in mn

    One of these days I'm going to take all the old T-shirts I have from car events and sew them together into a car cover. I figure I have more than enough to make one. :)
  13. GoManGo1951
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 229


    Thats great!!!! Save some coin! Ours is to new to us to cover up!!! We need our fix everytime the garage is open. Plus we like how it makes the garage look when the door is open.

  14. Mopar Mama
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 234

    Mopar Mama
    from Boise, ID

    Calm down. Men who sew are sexxxy!!! :cool:

    Rusty, do you think the fabric would hold up outside if more attention were paid to the seams?
  15. Thanks!:D Yeah, with a sewing machine with a bigger throat, you could probably make seams that interlock and are waterproof. You would have to be able to wad the whole side panel into a small enough pile to shove through the opening to the right of the needle on the sewing machine. It didn't look like it was going to fit through my cheap little sewing machine, so I sewed it the easy way.
  16. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,319


    I bought a cover at Wal-Mart for $20 some bucks. My car has been outside now a few months and it's held up well.

    That's a cool custom job. I'm just saying that if you want cheap........
  17. To quote Hank Hill, "I'm not sewing, I'm upholstering,"

    That truck is really nice. I was begenning to think nobody built anything but rusty or primered pieces of shit. You should post a thread with some details and photos.
  18. Mopar Mama
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 234

    Mopar Mama
    from Boise, ID

    I've got a walking foot, plus I'm really stubborn. I bought a car cover for the Desoto about 6 months ago and it's already ripping. 40 bucks shot to hell. I think the custom cover is the way to go even if it looks kinda funky. Thanks for posting this!
  19. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,269


    You post some nice tech. I did a car cover also. That truck is bitchin'
  20. Pins&Needles
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 381

    from Santa Cruz

    Yeah you say that until you watch a man sweat it out busting his ass trying to sew up and pull on a seat cover, oH and don't forget when he mis-judges the speed on the machine and sews directly over his hand 4 inches in, all the way punching holes through skin and crushing bone while actually stitching himself to the piece which he then has to cut off! Manly? I think so!
  21. CanyonCarver
    Joined: May 20, 2008
    Posts: 80

    from So-Cal

    Sweet Jisis it's a yummy rod!

  22. You all are correct. I do a lot of my own apolstry, it is a LOT of work. But you have to admit it would be kind of funny if you walked in on your dad or friend or some big manly type car guy with their wife's pink sewing machine in the middle of the garage, right!?!
    I have no problem sewing anything and I think it is a cool idea. I even bake!

    Better yet, buy a cheap $25 car cover and modify it for your ride. I buy the cheap ones all the time, never thought about making it fit better.

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