Wondering what to do with your old car tires? How about turning them into an outdoor sofa? This unusual piece of furniture is a great way to recycle and repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, while also filling a basic need.
It’s not a high-class furnishing, for sure, but a tire sofa makes for a durable, unique patio piece. It’s great for people of any age, but it could be just what you want if you have teens or tweens whose friends might be a little rough on “regular” furniture.
We’re going to discuss what you need and how to put your tire couch together. It’s not a tough job at all, so let’s get started!
Why Recycle Tires
Recycling tires is important for several reasons. Tires consume large amounts of valuable space and pose various threats to the environment. When burned, tires can smolder for days or even months, emitting toxic pollutant gas in the process.
Recycling helps to reduce the number of tires in storage and reduces the risk of tire piles providing harborage for vermin and breeding grounds for mosquitoes that may carry diseases.
Recycling also saves impressive amounts of energy, which ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions. For example, recycling four tires reduces CO2 by about 323 pounds, which is equivalent to 18 gallons of gasoline.
Not only that, but you’re getting something out of it – a useful new place to sit in the yard!
What You Need For Your Tire Couch
To build a three-seat couch with a back and arms out of old car tires, you will need several materials.
Most importantly, you’ll need tires! For a couch that can seat 3 adults, we suggest at least 6 tires or possibly 8 so you can spread out a bit more.
You also want plywood for the base and back of the couch, nuts and bolts with washers, screws, and outdoor cushions.
For tools, be sure to have a drill, staple gun, glue gun, and screwdriver. You may also want to use paint or spray paint if you plan on painting the tires.
Assembling Your Tire Couch
Before starting the actual work, clean the tires. With a hose and scrub brush, get all the dirt out of the treads.
Spray water inside the hose, too, to remove cobwebs, bugs, and dirt.
Be sure to remove the water from inside; dump out as much as possible and let them dry for a few days to be sure nothing is left behind.
We recommend assembling your tire sofa as close to its final destination as possible. One tire can be a bit heavy; your entire piece of furniture is going to be very hard to move!
Arrange your tires along the ground. Then drill from the inside of the first through the outer edge, right through the second. Make two holes like this and pass bolts through one, and add the washer and nut through the other. Repeat this process to connect all the tires.
Add the second layer directly above the first. This time, you’ll want to drill through and bolt the tire to the one beside it and the one below. To connect to the lower tire, drill two holes down from the inside of the top to the inside of the lower tire. We suggest two toward the front and two toward the back of the sofa to provide more stability.
If you’d like, you can add a tire to either end of the sofa as an armrest. Stand the tire up against the side of the assembled unit, and attach it to the tires on the end. It will be easy to attach at the bottom, but you may have to improvise a way to connect the upper part, depending on the size of the tires.
If you want to paint the tires and didn’t do it earlier, this is the best time to do it.
Once you’ve connected all the tires, place a sheet of plywood on top. Carefully drill through the plywood into the tire below. Bolt these pieces together – be sure to insert the bolts from the top down; you don’t want to sit on the wrong end of the bolt!
Toss your cushions on top and you’re all set to go! It’s not fancy but it’s durable and makes a great conversation starter!
Building an outdoor sofa out of old car tires is a great way to recycle materials that would otherwise go to waste. With some basic materials and tools, you can create a unique piece of furniture that is both functional and environmentally friendly. Remember to take precautions when building your sofa and have fun decorating it once it is complete!