Upcycled Tyre Chair




Turn a couple of old tyre's in to an industrial style chair for both indoor and outdoor seating. The Orange base and feet are optional. Don't forget to stack your other junker tyre's up underneath the string chair to make a seating height customized to you.

Everything I used in this project was upcycled and reused (except for the string), that includes loose and old screws, nuts, bolts, off cut wood pieces etc.

Materials you'll need:

  • 2 tyre's
  • Scrap wood
  • Screws, nuts, washers and bolts
  • Lots and lots of string
  • Wooden Dowel
  • Jigsaw
  • Stanley Knife
  • Wood drill bit
  • Hammer and chisel (optional for the base)
  • Metal drill bit (optional for the base)
  • Hand-held drill

Step 1: Step One: Cutting Out Your Tyre Backing

Using a larger drill bit, pierce a hole through the soft membrane around the outer edge of the tyre, providing a hole for your jigsaw to go through.

Carefully guide the jigsaw around the edge of the tyre until you're left with nothing but the tread pattern and set this aside for later.

Step 2: Step Two: Making Your Spirograph Seat

Using a Stanley knife make periodic slices all around the rim of your second tyre where it's at its softest, make the slits about one inch in length around the circle circumference and make sure you cut all the way through the fabric and rubber layer to the other side, leaving one inch gaps between each hole. (You can use a piece of chalk to mark it out before you cut).

You need to create some sort of 'needle' to help you guide your thread through each hole, so I used a piece of strong metal with a hole in it to create a makeshift needle. Then thread your string/yarn on to the 'needle' and start threading through the holes in random sequence, it's probably easiest to not go through the center just yet and to stick to the outsides until you've built up enough layers, then work your way towards the middle the more you build up, pulling the string as taut as you can.

Bear in mind this takes a lot of time to do and requires a lot of strength. (I ended up with really callous palms for a while). It'll be easier for you to use four meter lengths of string at a time and then when you run out just tie the new string on to the end of the other one.

Just keep going until you feel it's strong enough to hold.

Step 3: Step Three: Making the Base Frame (optional)

Cut two pieces of wood to the same length (about 20cms longer than the diameter of the tyre to allow for your legs to be attached later).

Then mark a line in the middle of the wood and then draw a line 3cm away from this mark on either sides so that you end up with a 6cm long square in the center of the wood. Using a chisel and hammer carefully chip out this square only half way in to the thickness of the wood. You can use sandpaper to smooth it up afterwards. Repeat this process for the other piece of wood too so that you now have a lap crossing joint.

Step 4: Step Four: Adding 'feet' to Your Base Frame (optional)

You can use whatever you want to create the feet for your base frame but I happened to have five disused emergency stop button brake cover's from old workshop machinery. (I have no idea what they're called.)

Using a metal drill-bit I put two guiding holes through four of the 'feet', then using the correct screw bit for my screws, drilled the wood against the metal foot whilst upside down, making sure that the screw teeth grab the wood securely. On the first piece of wood you drill from upside down with the lap joint hole downwards, and on the second piece of wood you drill from upside down with the lap joint hold upwards. (This is to make sure you put the feet the right way up on each piece of wood so that when they're crossed they're not wrong side up)

Step 5: Step Five: Attaching Your Tyre Seat to the Tyre Backing

Grab a wide piece of wood, just long enough to span both tyre's, then from the inside the string made tyre, screw this piece of wood upright. Place the tyre you cut apart in the first step on top and 'pinch' it in the middle, pushing it back against the wooden board you just drilled to the string made tyre and then screwing it carefully in to place so that you've got too floppy 'arms' attached on top of the string tyre.

Drill periodic holes along the length of this floppy tyre going through both layers then find correct sized nuts, bolts and washers and secure through these holes to keep the both sides of the tyre material together.

Step 6: Step Six: Stabilize Your Chair Arms

To secure the ends of your chair arms in to place, cut two lengths of wood to size (you could even use dowel to give an even finish) and put it through the loops created in the arms, then from underneath the string tyre use another piece of wood from here to create a sandwiching between the rubber tyre for affixing.

Pull the piece of dowel out as far you can and then screw it in to place from underneath. Do this for both sides of the arms.

Now that your chair arms are both roughly in place, screw the tyre tread against the dowel piece.



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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Pretty good, but can you eat a dohnut without licking your lips?


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Wonderful chair and appeared to be comfortable but lacks colors ..... .... I prefer the green color of the color that is Alchrisama Tvdilah


    3 years ago

    I love the seat design it looks super comfy and great craftsmanship!! I don't want to be negative but the one thing that could be changed is them m8/hex bolt heads in the back rest/arm rest. They look so uncomfortable digging into your back. Maybe try larger pop rivets? Or try to shave off the heads of the hex bolts to make atleast the back part flush? Otherwise perfect build and design! 11outa10!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Cheers, I made this as a school project so I was more concerned with getting a good grade then comfort :) Pop Rivets would have probably been a lot easier then looking for the right sized nuts and bolts in the scrap tray.


    3 years ago

    three words... black widow sanctuary. watch your bum.

    I'd like to hope it would float with an inner tube but it's quite a heavy structure and with a person sitting on it at the same time... It could be done on the cheap but it depends what you use to make it buoyant. I guess the only way to know is to trail and error stuff.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice.

    If you're leaving these outside where it might get rained on, be sure to drill some holes in the bottom sidewall so water can drain out.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    That's actually a great idea, I've had that problem of water building up in them and will definitely put a series of holes in the base to drain them out now.


    3 years ago

    Incredible. Good I saw this before getting a new set of tires and trashing the old ones!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This looks really cool!

    Great use of some old tires and some found objects. Looks comfy too!