As summer is on the slow decline, it is time to really embrace what is still left. Before you go outside to spend time around campfires with family or relaxing in the shade with a good book, you should tackle this awesome DIY rope ottoman to have inside or out.

If you are thinking about a tire change before fall, ask your local garage to bag up your old tires or stop by and ask if you can take some off of their hands for a possible small fee.  I have toted two tires from my old apartment over a year ago to my new place, where they have been living in my garage ever since in anticipation for this project.

The time has finally come for the perfect recycled tire ottoman to complement my soon-to-be finished office, and maybe someday a home with a perfect patio.

Follow along as I show you the simple ins and outs of putting together the perfect ottoman:


What you need:

  • Tire (my car has rim diameter of  15” tires, which is the size of the hole)
  • Wood Circle (Lowes has 18” pine circles which does the trick)
  • Scissors/Box Cutter
  • Staple Gun
  • Hot Glue Gun (and lots of glue sticks)/Spray Glue Adhesive
  • Rope and/or Jute
  • Batting
  • Foam
  • Fabric of Choice

Keep in mind:

This is not the cheapest project, but the results are amazing and long lasting.  Once I was ready to wrap the tire, it hit me that it would take me an entire day if I chose to stick with jute.  Lucky for me, there is a Home Depot just a couple of miles away, so I ran over and found ⅝” nylon rope.  The rope was the most expensive part of the project at 58 cents per foot.  While trying to guess how much rope I would need I settled on 50 feet to start, and I was way off.  For a 15” tire you would need close to 90 feet of rope.  To be more cost effective, I broke the rope portions up with a stripe of natural jute.  You will see this further along in the instructions.

How to Make It

Part 1:  The Cushion


  • For the cushion you will need your round wood panel, batting, foam, fabric, scissors and spray adhesive.
  • I look at this cushion as though you are building a sandwich, but be sure to do a dry run before applying the adhesive.
  • Apply a thin coat of adhesive spray to your pine round
  • Cut a square that gives you several inches around the pine round (Note, I folded over so there was double the amount of batting cut, allowing half to lay on the table as the foam is affixed to the first layer of batting.)
  • You should try to do a quick measurement of your foam as well.  I only had a square 15”x17” segment so I did the best I could to cut the corners and then fill in the missing gaps.  If you have or have bought a large piece of foam then you can easily trace around your wood circle and cut the foam out.
  • Once my quick adjustment was complete I sprayed the batting and placed the foam on top and pressed hard, to make sure the foam was adhering to the batting.
  • The next layer of the sandwich is to flip the extra layer of batting over the foam, repeating the same step of spraying your adhesive between layers.
  • The final layer is your fabric.  I had picked this fabric out over a year ago in anticipation of the project; it will blend great with my soon-to-be-reupholstered reading chair.  I tried to center the pattern as best as I could.  Then I folded half of the fabric over to spray the glue to the batting as to keep my center point marked.  Repeat for the other half of the fabric.
  • Allow everything to dry, give everything a good press to make sure all corners and edges are stuck together.
  • Next and final step requires your handy dandy staple gun.  Since everything adhered to the pine round you can flip it over allowing all of you extra edges of batting and fabric splay out.  Begin to take section by section and staple it as tight to the bottom of the board as you can.  Think of it as wrapping a present and trying to make it look like the corner folds are even.  The bottom of the board will not be seen so it doesn’t have to look pretty.

Part 2:  The Tire


  • Now that the cushion for the tire is complete it is now time to jump into the rope section. (I used about 12 glue sticks on the entire tire.)
  • For a reference point I placed my cushion on top of the tire where it would typically be so I could easily wrap the first several rows of rope around it. (I DID NOT attach the cushion seat to the tire because I plan on using the inside for storage.  If you would prefer to attach the seat, you would need to have you cushion face down on your workspace, and place your tire on top of the cushion.  This allows your to staple from the underside of the tire and seat itself.  This will require a lot of staples to ensure it is not going anywhere.  I would recommend even using something along the lines of Gorilla Glue between the outside edge of the wood circle and the tire.  I have learned from experience that Gorilla Glue is a top-notch super glue.)
  • Once I have looped the tire two or three times, I made it to the edge; at this point I removed my cushion to make the gluing process easier.  I spun my tire instead of trying to walk about the tire with a hot glue gun and rope in hand.


  • Once my rope made it to the edge I decided I was going to break up the rope with the jute. (This is completely optional, I did not have the time to run back to the store for more rope. Trust me this project requires a lot.)  That being said, I used the treads as markers, both of how straight and even the rope was being applied and where I would stop the rope and start up with the jute.
  • I only did a single center tread in jute then picked up with the rope again the following day.
  • For the sake of time, money and traction, I did not wrap the rope all the way down and around the bottom of the tire.
  • Instead I painted the bottom in the process of painting the rope.  I decided to go for a cleaner look and to match my fabric, so I chose white spray paint.


  • Since the cushion was not attached I was able to easily carry the ottoman outside and spray paint the nylon rope.  I did leave the jute natural for some added texture.  I also did not tape off the tire or the jute, allowing the spray paint to go on it’s own.
  • Once the top half of the rope and tire where try, I flipped over the tire and repeated on the underside.
  • After all is done, remember to allow plenty of dry time for the paint (if you are bring it inside for everyday use) and allow the fumes from the paint to air out.
  • Once completed, place next to your favorite chair as a foot rest or near a coffee table for extra seating and enjoy your new creation!  It will be the perfect complement for a summery touch around the house (or apartment).