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Inspired by her years living aboard a fishing boat, TOH reader Denise Rodriguez of Seattle wanted to add a coastal element to her living room. "I fell in love with an abaca ottoman, but it was too expensive, so I made my own," she says. With a little patience and a lot of glue, Denise created a statement piece from a used tire she got for free (you may want to rinse off yours with diluted bleach) and ⅜-inch manila rope. For her how-to, read on.

• Cut two circles of plywood 1½ inches smaller than the diameter of the tire. Using six flathead screws, affix the plywood to the tire. Taper the wood's edges with a palm sander.

• Fill in the treads with caulk to create a smooth surface for the rope; let dry.

• Spread a layer of construction adhesive on the plywood, then use a hot-glue gun to secure the end of the rope to the center of the plywood and begin coiling. Wind the rope, gluing as you go; let dry.

• Screw in wood furniture feet (about $6 each at home centers) to elevate the ottoman to coffee-table height.