Upcycling old materials into new furnishings and decor has become a popular DIY trend. One of the most versatile items for repurposing are used tires. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform old tires into amazing pieces to style your home.
Reasons to Repurpose Tires into Furniture
There are several benefits to repurposing old tires:
Sustainability: By giving used tires new life, you reduce waste and the need for additional raw materials. This is an eco-friendly way to furnish your home.
Creativity: Tires can be made into a wide variety of furniture shapes like chairs, ottomans, shelves, and tables. The possibilities are endless.
Durability: Tires are extremely durable and hardy. Items made from them hold up well to regular use.
Texture: Repurposed tire furniture has a unique look and feel. The treads add visual interest and give pieces made from them lots of character.
Cost savings: Sourcing used tires is very affordable compared to buying new furniture. This is a budget-friendly project.
Sourcing Used Tires
Finding a stock of old tires to work with is the first step. Here are some ideas on where to get them:
Auto shops: Call around to garages and mechanics in your area to ask if they have any used tires on hand they want to get rid of. Offer to haul them away for free.
Tire retailers: Stores that sell new tires often have partnerships with recycling companies but may be willing to set aside a few for you.
Junkyards: Check with salvage yards and auto wreckers which typically have tire stockpiles. You may be able to get them at a very low cost.
Classified ads: Browse local classifieds and online listings for people trying to unload old tires for free or very cheap. Act fast if you see a good offer.
Friends and family: Ask loved ones if they have any tires from recent car maintenance you could have. Offer to take the tires off their hands.
Helpful Tools and Materials
Before starting your tire furniture project, gather these supplies:
- Utility knife – for cutting and slicing tire treads
- Scissors – used for snipping threads and cutting fabric
- Screwdriver – necessary for dismantling tire rims
- Sandpaper – for smoothing rough edges on tires
- Spray adhesive – binds tires and attaches fabrics
- Paint and primer – for optional color finishes
- Fabric, cushions – for upholstering chairs, ottomans, etc
- Wood boards – useful for seats, shelves, and backings
When handling used tires and working on furniture projects, keep these precautions in mind:
Wear thick work gloves to protect your hands from wires and rough edges in the tires.
Use eye protection like safety goggles when cutting tires to avoid injury from debris.
Work in a well-ventilated area due to potential rubber fume exposure. Consider wearing a protective face mask.
Use power tools carefully and keep cords out of walking paths to avoid tripping hazards.
Go slowly when prying tires off rims to avoid damaging tools or injuring yourself.
Wash your hands thoroughly after handling tires to remove any chemical residue.
Ideas for Repurposed Tire Furniture
Here are some DIY ideas to inspire your repurposed tire projects:
Ottomans and Poufs
Cut the sidewalls off a tire and place it tread-side up. Adhere a round piece of plywood to the underside as a base. Upholster the top with foam and fabric for a pouf, or leave it as-is for an industrial look. Stack two or three finished ottomans as a nesting table set.
Remove one sidewall from a tire. Adhere a piece of plywood to the underside as a seat. Screw on wooden legs at the appropriate height. Paint or stain the plywood base as desired. For arm rests, use a second tire tread sliced in half lengthwise.
Cut a tire horizontally about one-third of the way down. Flip the bottom portion upside down to create a short stool or side table. To make it taller, adhere a wood cylinder or square column beneath the tire seat. Stenciling designs on the rubber with paint adds personality.
Slice a tire horizontally into thirds. Mount the tread sections in stair-step fashion onto a wall using heavy-duty anchors. The resulting ledges make convenient shelves for displaying items. For extra stability, adhere boards behind each tire.
Tire Coffee Tables
Remove both tire sidewalls so only the central tread remains. Adhere a large round piece of plywood to the underside. Attach three or four wooden legs along the edge of the plywood base. Top with a round piece of glass cut to match the size of the tire tabletop.
Tire Pet Beds
Line a tire tread with a cushion insert and soft blanket or dog bed to create a cozy nesting spot for your pet. For a cat, turn a whole tire laying flat into a comfy place to curl up and nap.
With a little imagination and DIY spirit, the possibilities for upcycling tires into unique furniture are endless. Put those worn out rubber wheels to creative new use and keep them out of the landfill. What kind of tire projects will you dream up?