A year or two ago it was fresh and new and cool to crochet with plastic bags. It’s still cool but it’s no longer the hot new thing. Right now the hottest way to recycle and save the earth with crochet is to crochet using bicycle tire tubes.

Crochet Rugs from Bike Tire Tubes

The inner tubes from bicycles can be crocheted into thick items like rugs. I learned about this from a great post over on Care 2, which got the information from We Upcycle. You can get the details about how to do it there but basically here’s the process:

  • Cut the bike tire’s inner tube into strips.
  • Clean thoroughly.
  • Sew strips together to create “yarn”.
  • Crochet a rectangular rug or mat.

Benefits of Crocheting with Inner Tube Yarn

I would imagine that crocheting with inner tube “yarn” would be a little bit tough and it involves the process of cleaning the rubber and sewing the yarn together. So it’s a bit intensive but there’s a good reason to do it – saving the earth. Inner tubes from bicycle tires fill up landfills and wreak havoc on the earth so upcycling them into a usable item is a smart and earth-conscious thing to do. And I would imagine the rubber mat would be a really convenient item to have in mud rooms and near exterior doors since it can be hosed off.

Tarn, Plarn, Rarn?

If crocheting with bicycle inner tubes catches on, what are people going to call this type of “yarn”? T-shirts that are torn up to make rugs are usually called T-shirt yarn or just tarn. Plastic bags that are used to make mats and other crochet products are called plarn. So if it’s made from rubber … maybe rarn? What would you call it?

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Pingback: Why not recycle those old bicycle inner tubes into a crocheted rug · Recycled Crafts | CraftGossip.com

  2. this is really cool. i am wondering about how many tires does it take to make a, say 3×2 rug? and what size hook? oh and is that a typical hook you are using??? I looks more like a piece wire that has been bent to make the “hook ” part.
    thanks for sharing!

    • Kathryn Reply

      Great questions @Lori. I’m going to try to learn more about it and provide an update to let you know. I do imagine that you could crochet with a regular hook in a large size like an S.

  3. lol, we just had 2 flats this week and it always seems such a waste (problem at the stem so they can’t be patched). I’m not sure I could stand to do this, but I might give it a try. It would make a great doormat.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Shadygrove … A welcome mat is totally what I picture as well!

  4. trainer, crafter, kristin Reply

    I was dreaming of crafty reuses for bike tires and wondered if anyone had crocheted with them. I’m getting back into crocheting after years of only remembering how to do the single crochet stitch. Thanks and great blog.

    • Kathryn Reply

      Thanks Kristin!! I love what people are doing with upcycled crochet.

  5. JulianaPollard Reply

    We’ve been doing this to make sleeping mats for camping to provide extra squish between us and the ground.

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