repurposing auto parts three ideas to turn trash into treasure

In the era of sustainability and environmental awareness, the concept of repurposing and upcycling has gained significant traction. This not only helps in reducing waste but also brings forth creativity and innovation. One area where repurposing can have a remarkable impact is in the realm of auto parts. What might seem like junk can be transformed into functional and aesthetically pleasing items. Here, we explore three inventive ideas to turn automotive trash into treasure.

1. Engine Block Coffee Table

An old, discarded engine block might look like a chunk of scrap metal to some, but with a little creativity and effort, it can be transformed into a stunning centerpiece for your living room. Engine blocks, particularly from classic cars, possess a unique and rugged aesthetic that can be repurposed into a sturdy and stylish coffee table.

Materials Needed

  • An old engine block
  • Glass or wooden tabletop
  • Clear coat or paint (optional)
  • Table legs or casters
  • Tools for cleaning and assembly

Steps to Create

  1. Cleaning the Engine Block: Start by thoroughly cleaning the engine block to remove grease, dirt, and rust. You can use degreasers and rust removers for this purpose.
  2. Adding a Finish: Once cleaned, you may choose to leave the engine block as is for a raw, industrial look or apply a clear coat or paint to match your d├ęcor.
  3. Attaching Legs or Casters: Securely attach table legs or casters to the bottom of the engine block to provide stability.
  4. Adding the Tabletop: Place a glass or wooden tabletop over the engine block. Glass is often preferred as it allows the intricate details of the engine block to remain visible.

Final Touches

Customize your engine block coffee table with additional features like lighting or storage compartments. This unique piece is sure to be a conversation starter and a testament to the ingenuity of repurposing.

2. Tire Ottomans and Garden Planters

Old tires are among the most commonly discarded auto parts, often ending up in landfills and taking years to decompose. However, with a bit of imagination, they can be given a new lease on life as ottomans or garden planters.

Creating Tire Ottomans

Materials Needed

  • Old tire
  • Plywood
  • Foam padding
  • Fabric or upholstery material
  • Screws and tools

Steps to Create

  1. Prepare the Tire: Clean the tire thoroughly and let it dry.
  2. Cut Plywood: Cut two circles of plywood to fit the top and bottom openings of the tire.
  3. Attach Foam Padding: Glue foam padding to the top plywood circle and cover it with fabric or upholstery material.
  4. Secure the Plywood: Attach the padded plywood to the top of the tire using screws, and secure the second plywood circle to the bottom to create a stable base.
  5. Finishing Touches: Add decorative elements or paint the tire to match your interior design.

Creating Garden Planters

Materials Needed

  • Old tires
  • Paint (optional)
  • Soil and plants
  • Tools for drilling drainage holes

Steps to Create

  1. Prepare the Tire: Clean the tire and, if desired, paint it with weather-resistant paint.
  2. Drill Drainage Holes: Drill several drainage holes at the bottom of the tire to prevent water accumulation.
  3. Fill with Soil: Place the tire in your garden or on a patio, fill it with soil, and plant your favorite flowers or vegetables.


These tire ottomans and planters are not only eco-friendly but also durable and versatile. They add a rustic charm to your home and garden while promoting sustainability.

3. License Plate Art and Furniture

License plates, with their vibrant colors and unique designs, offer a fantastic opportunity for repurposing into various art and furniture pieces. From wall art to furniture accents, the possibilities are vast.

License Plate Wall Art

Materials Needed

  • Old license plates
  • Wooden frame or board
  • Screws or nails
  • Tools for cutting and securing

Steps to Create

  1. Design Layout: Plan the layout of your license plates on the wooden frame or board.
  2. Cut and Shape: If necessary, cut and shape the license plates to fit your design.
  3. Secure Plates: Attach the license plates to the frame or board using screws or nails.
  4. Hanging: Mount the finished piece on a wall as a vibrant and eclectic artwork.

License Plate Furniture Accents

Materials Needed

  • Old license plates
  • Furniture pieces (e.g., chairs, tables)
  • Screws, nails, or adhesive
  • Tools for cutting and securing

Steps to Create

  1. Prepare Furniture: Choose the furniture piece you want to enhance with license plates and clean it thoroughly.
  2. Cut and Shape Plates: Cut and shape the license plates to fit the areas of the furniture you wish to cover.
  3. Attach Plates: Secure the license plates to the furniture using screws, nails, or strong adhesive.
  4. Finishing Touches: Sand any rough edges and add protective coatings if necessary.

Creative Possibilities

License plate art and furniture pieces bring a playful and nostalgic touch to any space. They celebrate automotive history while repurposing materials that might otherwise go to waste.


Repurposing auto parts not only contributes to reducing environmental waste but also allows for the creation of unique and functional items. Whether transforming an engine block into a coffee table, turning tires into ottomans or garden planters, or crafting art and furniture from license plates, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. By giving new life to these discarded items, you can enjoy bespoke pieces that are both eco-friendly and stylish, demonstrating that one person’s trash can indeed become another’s treasure.

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