How to Make a Truck Bed Couch

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There are few things as fun, or as iconic, as going to a drive-in movie. And yet, for as fun as drive-in movies are, they pose some simple problems. If you stay inside your vehicle, your vision is impaired by the windshield and the pillars. If you exit your truck to watch the movie, then the experience is diminished by the fact that you no longer have a comfortable seat.

The solution is simple: a homemade truck bed couch. A truck bed couch is exactly what it sounds like: a homemade couch that is designed to fit perfectly in the bed of your truck, so that you can sit in comfort while having an unobstructed view at the drive-in movies or have a relaxing time camping or at a tailgate party. Constructing a truck bed couch takes a little bit of work, but it is very straightforward.

Part 1 of 2: Make the base of the couch

Materials Needed

  • Fabric (allow at least 1 foot extra on all sides)
  • Foam (1 inch thick)
  • Plywood (most truck beds are 6 ft by 6.5 ft but measure your truck bed to be sure)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw (a circular saw or table saw)
  • Sheets (old king or queen bed sheets)
  • Staple gun and staples

person measuring truck bed with tape

Step 1: Measure the truck bed dimensions. Use a measuring tape to figure out the exact specifications your truck bed, including the wheel well area. Write the dimensions down, or draw them out on a large piece of plywood.

person using power saw to cut wood

Step 2: Cut the wood to the exact dimensions. Using a saw, cut a piece of plywood to the exact dimensions that you have measured.

  • Tip: If you do not have a single piece of plywood that is large enough for the truck bed couch, you can piece together this base layer with multiple pieces of wood. If you do this, attach the pieces of wood to each other securely by using another piece of wood on the bottom as a joiner.

Step 2: Cut a piece of foam underlay to the same specifications. Measure a piece of foam overlay so that it is the same dimensions as the piece of wood, and then cut the overlay. After it has been cut, place it directly on top of the piece of wood.

  • Note: The thicker the foam, the more padded your bed will be. Buy foam that is at least 1 inch thick.

person using stapler to secure on fabric

Step 4: Secure with fabric. Cut a large piece of fabric to be slightly bigger than the dimensions of your truck bed. Then, drape the fabric over the wood cut and the foam underlay, so that the fabric is draping over all four sides. Pull the fabric tight, and use a construction stapler or staple gun to attach the fabric from the underside.

  • Tip: Pick a fabric that is comfortable and easy to stretch for the best results.

Part 2 of 2: Make the back of the couch

Step 1: Measure the height and width of the truck bed. Using a tape measure, figure out how tall and how wide your truck bed is. This is the size that you will want to make the couch back.

Step 2: Cut the wood. Just as you did when making the base of the couch, use a saw to cut a piece of plywood to the exact dimensions of your truck bed height and width.

  • Tip: As you will be putting a fair amount of weight and stress on the back of the couch, make sure that you are using strong plywood.

Step 2: Cut a piece of foam underlay to the same size. Just like when making the base of your couch, cut a piece of foam underlay to the exact same size as the piece of wood, then place the foam on top of the plywood.

rectangular piece of wood layed out on sheet

Step 4: Wrap the back of the couch is an old sheet. Use an old king or queen bed sheet, and wrap it around the entire back of the couch, tucking it into itself so that you can pull the entire thing taut. Once the sheet is pulled taut, staple it to the board.

Part 2 of 2: Assemble the drive-in movie truck bed couch

couch placed down in truck bed

Step 1: Put the couch together. Place the base of the couch on the bed of the truck, until it is securely in place. Then, take the back of the couch, and sit it upright at the back of the truck bed.

  • Tip: You can place the back of the couch straight up, or let it lean at an angle against the wheel wells, depending on what angle you would like the couch to be.

couch dressed with a blanket and pillows

Step 2: Dress the couch. Once the couch is fully assembled, add any pillows or blankets that you would like to maximize the comfort of your new drive-in movie truck bed couch.

After making your truck bed couch, you will be all ready to head to the drive-in movies or tailgate party. With this nifty truck bed couch, you’ll have the best seat in the house!


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