No I'm not cheep and yes I can afford a Bestop bikini for my Wrangler but I just felt like making one, my wife Nichole was a huge help. As far as material used, weather proof vinyl same as roll bar cover 2 yards $7. Grommet $4, aluminum flat bar that I used as a windshield channel $10. I had the rest of the stuff, straps, screws n nuts. Less than $20 and its a tight fit. Looks rugged and unfinished, and will leak rain but its better than a sun burn.
I like it! I am considering the same thing, only first building a metal frame under, for supporting my radio, switches, speakers etc. Then using the soft top canvas or vinyl to cover it. Once I decide what I am doing, then I will post with pics.