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Get Creative with these Tyre Upcycling Ideas

  • Tyres-Tips/Guides

South Africa is running out of landfill space as ‘Day Zero’ looms closer and closer. To avoid a national crisis, citizens are encouraged to reduce their waste by recycling or upcycling what they would ordinarily throw away. Tyres are made largely from rubber, which is an extremely useful material that can be turned into an amazing array of different items.

In South Africa, the disposal of end-of-life tyres at landfill sites is forbidden. So, to honour World Environment Day on the 5th of June, instead of discarding old tyres which, as they break down, can leach harmful substances into the environment, why not have a little fun and create something new out of some old tyres?

Here are some ideas to inspire you:


1. Chairs

Tyres make a great base for chairs. Just stack them on top of eachother to adjust the height, and if you want to make a backrest, use another tyre. For the seat, you could make a lattice pattern out of strips of tyre rubber. For a simple tyre chair, follow these step-by-step instructionsthat uses rope to make the seat lattice and the only tool you need is a drill.


2. Coffee table

Stack tyres for the desired height you want your table to be. You can either paint the tyres or cover with jute rope, then either place a glass or wooden table top on top. We like this seagrass tyre coffee table with a wooden top. If you’re a bit of a handyman, give it a go!

Coffee table

3. Ottoman

Cover the tyre completely with sisal using hot glue to hold the rope in place and if you have an artistic streak you can create a beautiful pattern like this one.


Use your imagination and make what you need – it might be a bedside table, a couch, an outdoor bar – the possibilities are endless!

For kids

4. Seesaw

Make an easy seesaw for little ones to play on in their own backyard. Cut a tyre in half and attach a board to the sliced face. Using spare rubber, create dampers on the bottom of the seats.

This idea below looks simple enough to tackle and the bee and ladybird colours add an extra bit of fun.


Image source: accordingtoboyle

5. Horse swing

If you’d like to try something more challenging, this tyre horse swing requires time, patience, strength, and accuracy, but it’s so rewarding!

Horse swing


6. Steps

If you have a hill in your garden you can make steps from many old tyres. Once you’ve laid out a pathway to make walking and climbing easier, dig indents where the tyres will be placed. Once placed in position, fill with soil, sand, rubble, stones, depending on the look you’re going for. Then place plants and rocks to create a pleasing aesthetic.


Image source:

7. Garden hose caddy

Hoses can be an eyesore when they’re just lying around the garden. Old tyre to the rescue! Probably one of the easiest projects here but if you need, here are the step-by-step instructions.

Garden hose

Crafty fun

And if you simply want to have some fun and get crafty, here are some sweet ideas to get the creative  juices flowing.


Tyres have endless uses, take this South African entrepreneur, Mzokhona Maxase, who sought to find a green solution to scrap tyre problem and came up with a shoe polish product derived from char, a waste by-product from old tyres. The aim of his company, Cubic38 is to create eco-friendly alternatives from waste tyres in order to keep the environment clean from waste. 

And who doesn’t know the famous traditional African car tyre sandals with the indestructible sole manufactured from motor car tyre rubber?

Whether you’re upcycling an old tyre into a sandpit for the kids or finding innovative ways to make new products out of rubber or yre by-products, every tyre saved from being thrown away counts. Let’s celebrate World Environment Day together and make a difference!

Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.


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