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DIY Toilet Tank Lid Cover

Though maybe not quite as important as the actual bowl of the toilet – or the plumbing that carries waste away every time you flush – the lid on your toilet tank is a major piece of the puzzle here.

Toilet tank lid covers, though, have a nasty habit of cracking and breaking with even just a little bit of contact. They are generally made out of ceramic, after all, and once they pop it’s next to impossible to put them back together again safely or reliably.

What are you supposed to do if your toilet tank lid cover comes apart at the seams, then?

Make Your Own Toilet Tank Lid Cover

Well, you definitely cannot just leave your lid open and exposed. That’s asking for trouble. Having it wide open like that invites all kinds of trouble, from the water in your tank evaporating and leaving you without any flush power whatsoever to objects falling into the tank and gumming up the rest of your toilet plumbing.

Finding a toilet lid cover that fits your setup can be a bit of a nightmare, too.

Every toilet is built a little differently than every other, especially when you start to get into different manufacturers and different toilet models even from the same company.

On top of that, most hardware stores (even the big-box home improvement stores) generally don’t keep a steady supply of toilet lid covers for every toilet they sell on hand.

Lucky for you, though, you can cook up your own DIY toilet tank lid cover without a whole lot of headache or hassle.

Everything You Need to Know About a DIY Toilet Tank Lid Cover

Some people are a little bit hesitant to take on a DIY toilet tank lid cover project, but we are here to tell you that there’s really nothing to worry about.

This is about as simple and as straightforward a DIY project as you’ll ever tackle – a project that’s almost impossible to mess up!

The Best Option – Making a DIY Cover Out of Wood

While there are a lot of different material options available to make your new toilet tank lid cover from, wood is far and away the best of the bunch.

Super easy to work with (especially when you pick the right wooden construction materials), wood can be cut, sanded, and finished in an almost unlimited amount of ways. You’ll have total creative control over how your new toilet lid looks.

Get Good Quality Wood

For starters, you’re going to want to get your hands on quality wood to work with. You need wood that’s strong and solid, not foolishly heavy, and generally pretty easy to work with and stain.

Clear pine (available at every hardware and big-box home improvement store) is perfect. You want 1” x 8” material at least, though 1” x 10” material might give you a little more “freedom” to play around with the design of your new tank lid.

Trace the Toilet Tank Lid onto the Wood

From here, you’ll want to use your old tank lid (if you still have it) as a template. Trace the lid onto your new piece of wood, giving you a pretty good idea of what you need to cut away to replace the lid as a 1:1 swap out.

If you don’t have the old tank lid, though, that’s no problem.

You can cut your wooden material to a rough size (leaving at least a couple of inches to overlap on all sides of the tank) and set it right down with a new lid is going to go.

Hold the wood down on the tank and then scribe the outline of it on the underside of the wooden material you’re working with. That’ll give you a good template – though you’ll need to cut an inch or two around that line, just to make sure that your lid has enough overhang to grab when you need to lift the lid later on.

All that’s left to do here is to break out your jigsaw, follow along with the lines that you have traced, and then drop the new tank lid down on top of the tank itself.

Get Fancy

If you want to get fancier than that you can consider adding little rails or dividers on top of your new wooden tank top. You can use it as a place to organize things in your bathroom without having to worry about cracking your ceramic lid as you might have in the past.

Seal the Wood

Finish things off with a quality wood stain (you can pick the color) and then seal everything down with polyurethane.

Don’t skip this step!

If you don’t seal all sides of the new wooden toilet tank lid moisture from the toilet (and from the shower/bath in the same room) will run the risk of twisting, warping, and ruining your new wooden lid faster than you would have thought possible.

Runner Up – Plastic Will Get the Job Done

Let’s say that you don’t want to do a wooden lid, though. Plastic is a perfect alternative! Maybe you want an even lighter-weight toilet tank lid to set on top of your new toilet. Maybe you don’t want to have to worry about your wooden lid warping, growing mold, etc.

Or maybe you just like the look of plastic and would rather go in that direction.

Follow the exact same steps we highlighted above for tracing your toilet tank lid or the actual toilet tank itself onto a rough sheet of plastic. That’ll give you your template, just the same as it would with wooden construction materials.

Cut your plastic with a jigsaw and make sure that you sand down any of the rough edges.

Now you’re good to go!

Want to Get Real Fancy? Break Out the Welder!

What if you want to get really fancy, though? Well, if you have the skill – and the tools available – maybe you’ll want to make a toilet lid out of lightweight metal materials.

Aluminum is pretty tough to weld up without a ton of experience, but you can get your hands on some super lightweight gauge steel (again at any hardware or big-box home improvement store) and have something welded up pretty quickly.

If you’re going down this route, though, you’ll probably want to create either a plastic or paper template following the instructions we highlighted above instead of working directly on the metal itself.

Transfer your template to your metal sheets and then cut your new tank lid out. Tin snips or metal shears will make quick work of most lightweight gauge steel.

Weld up a bit of a lip on your new tank lid (just so that it doesn’t slip all over the place) and you are rocking and rolling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a DIY toilet cover just as good as OEM?

In a lot of ways, a DIY toilet cover isn’t just as good as OEM (the toilet tank cover that came direct from the manufacturer with your toilet) but even better.

For one thing, you’ll be able to DIY a new cover that’s going to fit your toilet tank like a glove. OEM toilet tank covers are made in mass-produced numbers and are only ever a “close enough” kind of fit.

Secondly, you’ll be able to pick the material – and wood is definitely more durable than ceramic.

On top of all of that when you go the DIY route you’ll be able to add any extras, accessories, design elements, or organization features to your new cover that ceramic options never would have included.

What’s the biggest difference between ceramic, wood, and plastic toilet lid covers?

Ceramic toilet tank lid covers have a traditional look and feel that them to be sure, and they are also impervious to mold, moisture, and things of that nature.

Wood, when sealed correctly, offers all of the benefits of a ceramic cover without the delicate nature of the material. Drop a wooden toilet tank lid cover on the ground and it’s not going to split into a million different pieces.

Plastic covers are foolishly light, incredibly durable, and can give a completely different look and feel to your bathroom space. Plastic is a slightly more challenging material to work with (but not by much) and is well worth your consideration.

Why would I want to DIY this instead of grabbing a new ceramic replacement?

Tracking down a ceramic replacement for your toilet tank lid can be a bit of a project.

These things are rarely kept in stock and are almost always a special order kind of purchase. That means you’re going to have to wait until it comes in, it’s going to cost a lot more, and you run the risk of it splitting and breaking just like the original did.


At the end of the day, something cracking or breaking your toilet tank lid isn’t the end of the world.

Sure, it might feel like a nightmare to try and replace the old toilet tank lid with the exact same thing – a ceramic option straight from the factory – but you have other options available.

Going the DIY route guarantees that you’ll get a custom fit for your toilet tank without having to spend a mountain of money along the way. On top of that, because you are the one driving the bus on this DIY project you can add any extras, any special features, or any organizing accessories to your new tank lid with almost no headache or hassle whatsoever.

That’s tough to beat!

Set aside a weekend or so (or knock this project out over a couple of days after work) and we think you’ll really like the end result.

Best of luck!