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make your own outdoor ottoman

From Habitat magazine - issue 31, step by step

An old tyre gets reimagined as functional furniture.

An old car tyre is unrecognisable after being upcycled into an outdoor ottoman, which is painted Resene Double Pravda. The v-grooved wall is in Resene Half Villa White, the deck is stained Resene Woodsman Mid Greywash, the side table is in Resene Double Pravda, the tray is in Resene Peace, the vase and small pot are in Resene Bi Hoki and the large plant pot is in Resene Kandinsky.

  Stockists: Artwood Marbella Single Seater Chair from Johnston Imports. All other props are stylist’s own.

Top tip: Create a “tufted” effect on the top of your cushion by using a staple gun to create an “X” in the centre with staples, then glue or stitch on a button.

You will need:

  • An old car tyre
  • Rope (50m long x 10mm wide)
  • 2 round MDF or wooden panels (precut to 600mm diameter x 20mm thick)
  • Power drill/screwdriver
  • 8 wood screws
  • Square of foam or thick quilt batting (at least 600mm2 x 30mm thick)
  • Square of outdoor fabric (at least 700mm2)
  • Marker
  • Fabric shears/scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Industrial strength glue
  • Resene Lustacryl in your choice of colour to complement your patio furniture – we used Resene Double Pravda
  • Testpot brush and small artist’s brush
  • Low-tack masking tape


Step 1 Step one
Step 2 Step two
Step 3 Step three

Step 1: Wash the tyre thoroughly with hot soapy water then let it dry completely.

Step 2: Trace your round MDF panel with your marker on to the foam or batting then cut out the circle with fabric shears.

Step 3: Trace approximately 4-5cm larger than your round MDF panel with your marker on to the back of your outdoor fabric then cut it out with fabric shears.

Step 4 Step four
Step 5 Step five
Step 6 Step six

Step 4: Centre the MDF panel on top of the tyre and secure it in place with four wood screws. Flip the tyre over, then centre and attach the second panel on the other side using another four wood screws.

Step 5: Using a hot glue gun, start affixing the rope to the bottom rim where the tyre and the MDF panel meet so that it coils from bottom to top until the surface has been covered almost completely, except for the last one or two coils. If you have trouble getting the first bit started, use industrial strength glue that’s suitable for rubber and your chosen rope fibre to affix the first coil.

Step 6: Glue your circle of foam or batting to the top panel.

Step 7 Step seven
Step 8 Step eight
Step 9 Step nine

Step 7: Secure the outdoor fabric to the bottom of the top MDF panel by hot gluing small sections at a time around the edges, tucking the excess fabric underneath as you go and keeping the top smooth and taunt.

Step 8: Finish gluing the last of the rope around the tyre so that it covers up the edges of the fabric. If your rope is too long, trim it just before you finish coiling and then use hot glue to tuck it underneath the bottom of the cushion so that it’s hidden.

Step 9: Mask the edge of your cushion with low-tack masking tape to protect it from paint.

Step 10 Step 10
Painting rope Adding character

Step 10: Paint the entire surface of your rope in Resene Lustacryl in two coats using a testpot brush. Use a small artist’s brush to get into any tight spots. Leave it to dry overnight, remove the masking, then pour yourself a cold beverage and put your feet up. You’ve earned it!

Adding character: Add character to an outdoor cushion with a bit of masking and Resene testpots. We painted the pluses on our cushion and ottoman with Resene Peace and Resene Kandinsky.

Resene Woodsman Mid Greywash

Resene Peace

Resene Bi Hoki

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Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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