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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures

Upcycle your spare tire

By Wendy Becktold

Lori Eanes

I am going to sing the praises of the bicycle, but not how you might think. Our two-wheelers can be repurposed in so many ways once their traveling days are through. Bikes (or their various components) have been upcycled into pot racks, bar stools, basketball hoops, candelabras, and more.

The most incredible example is the prosthetic finger that Colin Macduff, a former bike shop mechanic, made out of handlebars after he lost his own finger in an accident four years ago. "It just made sense," he told me. His metal digit served as the prototype for a plastic version that he patented and now manufactures for other amputees. (See bit.ly/macduff)

Constructing prostheses is out of my league, but I did fashion a belt from an old bike tire I found in my garage. After thoroughly washing the tire, I cut it into a strip and trimmed the width and length to fit my waist. Then, I drilled a hole through it, attached a buckle, and fastened it with rivets. Finally, I drilled a few more holes at the other end to secure the strap. It was a cinch.


You need to know how to use a riveter.

What You'll Need:
  • Bike tire
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric drill
  • Belt buckle
  • Hand riveter
  • 1 to 2 rivets (at least 3/16 to 1/4 inch in grip range)
  • Multipurpose snips
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Awl
  • Clamps
  • Paper clip
  • Hole punch
  • Box cutter

Based on a project by opendesignclub at instructables.com/id/tread-belt.


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