Make a boho inspired ottoman out of a tyre and rope

Project Overview

Old car tyres have long been a favourite for homemade garden swings, but they can have more grown-up uses, too! Heres how to transform a tired tyre into a chic sisal ottoman. Use it as a side table, low seat or footstool perfect for poolside lounging (although avoid getting it wet).

Photo credit:  Sam van Kan and Larnie Nicolson

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure it up
2 Secure the pine
3 Position the panel
4 Place the framing and circle cut-outs
5 Secure the cut-outs
6 Round it over
7 Apply adhesive to sisal rope
8 Attach the rope
9 Leave to dry
10 Enjoy your new ottoman
  • Step 1. Measure it up

    On the MDF panel, measure 300mm from each end and the sides to mark the centre of two circles that will be just over 590mm in diameter. On the length of pine, measure 155mm from one end and centre a hole using an 8mm drill bit. From the other end, measure 50mm to centre a hole using a 4mm drill bit.

    Tip: If you’re not using a standard-size car tyre, adjust the measurements so the MDF circles will centre on the top and taper down the sides as a seamless base for the rope.

  • Step 2. Secure the pine

    Use a 20mm screw to secure the pine to a centre mark through the hole closest to the end. Put a pencil through the hole on the opposite side and push the pine to mark out a circle, then repeat on the other end of the panel.

  • Step 3. Position the panel

    Position the panel on a stable surface to cut the circles with a jigsaw, ensuring there is unobstructed space for cutting underneath, cutting with one hand while pushing down and turning the panel with the other.

  • Step 4. Place the framing and circle cut-outs

    Evenly position the four pieces of framing timber inside the tyre, then centre one of the circle cut-outs on top.

  • Step 5. Secure the cut-outs

    Secure the circle cut-out to each timber with two 40mm screws.

    Tip: Drill pilot holes using a 4mm bit before installing the screws.

  • Step 6. Round it over

    Flip the assembly over to centre and secure the remaining circle cut-out. Round over both circles cu-touts using a random orbital sander to smooth off the sharp edges.

  • Step 7. Apply adhesive to sisal rope

    Apply adhesive to the end of the sisal rope and the centre of the top circle cut-out, securing with three 20mm screws, ensuring they’re flush with the surface, leaving to dry.

  • Step 8. Attach the rope

    Begin coiling the sisal rope over the screws to create a tight coil to neatly cover the circle cut-out. Work in sections of five rounds of rope, first applying adhesive in a zigzag pattern, then coiling. Hold each section with masking tape and leave to dry for about five minutes, or until the adhesive becomes tacky and holds the rope.

  • Step 9. Leave to dry

    Work over the circle cut-out and down the side of the tyre, flipping the assembly over at halfway to work towards the base. About 10 rows under, cut the rope, apply adhesive to the end and secure with a 20mm screw, leaving to dry thoroughly before use.

  • Step 10. Enjoy your new ottoman

    Use it as a side table, low seat or footstool.

Tools and Materials


  • Safety equipment
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill with a 4mm, 8mm and driver bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Random orbital sander with 120-grit abrasive disc
  • Caulking gun
  • Masking tape
  • 20mm timber screws
  • 40mm timber screws
  • Two tubes of Gorilla Grip 310ml 10 Minute Cure Construction Adhesive


  • 1200mm x 600mm x 12mm MDF handypanel
  • 0.5m length of 20mm x 10mm clear pine trim (or an offcut of similar size)
  • 90mm x 45mm framing timber cut to four 185mm lengths
  • Clean standard-size used car tyre
  • Approximately 75m of 10mm sisal rope
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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