27 Inspiring DIY Tiny Homes Built With Recycled Materials

Updated: Nov. 15, 2023

The DIY tiny house movement is all about reducing consumption. Check out some tiny homes that took it a step further by building with recycled or reclaimed materials.

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Going to School

School buses are a favorite for DIY tiny house builders because they already have wheels. But what’s more amazing is the amount of space a school bus can offer, including room for a separated bedroom and living area like in this school bus conversion. Plus we love how the knives are magnetized for easy storage on the refrigerator.

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Chill Out

You’ll stay cool in this old refrigerated truck. The conversion made it completely solar-powered, so it’s an especially eco-friendly option.

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Back to the Future

This 1967 Airstream trailer has been overhauled to look like a country cottage, complete with a roomy kitchen and a clothes washer. We love the white mini subway tiles in all the wet areas.

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Ship Out in Style

Shipping containers have become a viable option for conversion into tiny homes because of the low cost of the containers and the amount of space they can provide. This 20-foot container spills melds indoor and outdoor space and makes excellent use of reclaimed wood.

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The Boulder model tiny home from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses uses reclaimed corrugated tin and cedar boards prominently as siding. Inside portions of the home use old barn wood. This model with recycled house material starts at $35,000 and is available in 16-, 18- and 20-ft. trailers.

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Macy Miller started building a tiny home in 2011 and it has since expanded to include a family. She and her husband utilized shipping pallets for siding originally and reclaimed windows. Tiny homes are great for those motivated to downsize.

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Pocket Shelter

Aaron Maret’s Pocket Shelter DIY tiny home puts an emphasis on using recycled and reclaimed material, from the pine floor to the barn wood siding. The entry doors are also reclaimed material. Love the look of a rustic barn door?

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Borrowing heavily from an old barn design, the Bitterroot model from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses has its share of reclaimed corrugated metal for siding. The barn-designed roof actually helps create more loft space in the home. And check out all the built-in storage!

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The Rustic Modern Tiny House

Get an authentic tiny home experience by staying in this tiny home via Airbnb in Portland. Building materials for this recycled house include pieces salvaged from construction jobs, windows that come from an old horse farm, and a kitchenette stove/refrigerator from a history museum.

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Lifehaus is a prototype home with recycled tires as some of its material. Pallets and old utility poles also get thrown into the mix as building material for the house, which seeks complete self-sufficiency. It recycles water and incorporates wind and solar power. It’s an ambitious project for founder and architect Nizar Haddad, who is determined to reduce the carbon footprint of humans with the home.

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Curved Roof Tiny House

Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses uses reclaimed corrugated metal and cedar for the siding of this tiny, recycled house. But the curved roof really makes it stand out. The additional headroom leads to a storage area/guest loft, in addition to the main sleeping area is on the main level.

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AA Tiny House

This DIY tiny home utilized reclaimed, repurposed and local materials for its construction. Its interior features beetle kill pine, barn wood and a salvaged kitchen sink. One of the biggest adjustments with a tiny home is figuring out to cook with less space.

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Red Mountain

This behemoth, relatively speaking, 34-foot tiny home takes the name Red Mountain and is the largest created by Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes. There’s even a fold-down porch as an entryway, and two sleeping lofts. Much of the cabinetry is made of beetle kill pine, from dead trees decimated by beetles.

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Into the Sticks

Over in the UK, Andy Gill and Kate Fox have a tiny home tucked away where they’ve watched otters, badgers, kingfishers and foxes. Inside and out, much of the building material came from recycled and reclaimed sources. If you want to try out tiny house living, it’s available as a vacation rental.

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House Alive

House Alive pre-dates the latest small home craze, taking its start back in 2002 with a mission to build natural homes out of cob, which is a mixture of sand, straw and clay. House Alive says on its site that a cottage for a small family can be built for as little as $5,000—and some have spent less than $1,000 on a home.

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Tall and Airy Guesthouse

Designed and built by Nanostead tiny home builders, this woodsy guesthouse offers just over 400 square and is bright and airy, thanks to ample windows and a loft design. There’s storage tucked away everywhere and by tiny house standards, the kitchen is huge.

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Reclamation Project

Todd and Pemly Fink downsized from a 1,800-square foot home to build a tiny home filled largely with reclaimed pieces. By using reclaimed wood and other salvaged building materials, the Fink’s created a home that works well for their individual needs. However, the 20-inch stove is not the place to roast a large Thanksgiving turkey. But it works perfectly for these two empty nesters.

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Content with a Container

This lean and well-designed shipping container-turned-tiny-house sleeps up to four people, thanks to bunk beds and a futon that folds out—once the folding dining table has been tucked away. It’s currently parked in Arizona.

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Up, Up and Away

Tiny house builders can rely on a variety of materials and this Oregon tiny home incorporates windows from a Boeing airplane. The 8-foot-6 wide, 20-foot long, 13-foot-10 tall tiny home also has a skylight to view those airplanes flying by.

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Choo-Choo Home

You won’t believe what this tiny house used to be prior to renovation. The adventurer will love living in these old caboose train cars that have 330 square feet of living space.

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Louisiana Saturday Night

This Louisiana tiny house is Louisiana in a lot of ways. From the cypress wood to the antique New Orleans corbel brackets, this tiny home was made from recycled house materials that capture the spirit of the Bayou State.

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Barn Wood Elegance

B & B Micro Manufacturing has created a tiny house that is closer to a high-end RV than a tiny home. This model, “The Arcadia” includes three skylights and a reclaimed barn wood ceiling. Making a skylight leak-proof would be especially important in a tiny home.

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Road Less Traveled

Tiny house enthusiasts often turn to old school buses to construct their abode, like this one in Nebraska. Once inside it hardly looks like a school bus with wood floors, a wood stove and a great looking wood table. You can’t go wrong using recycled house items even if you’re in an old bus.

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Industrial Chic Containers

We love the industrial-chic feel of these container homes from Container Building Group in Australia. They’ve come up with some genius space-saving tricks, especially in the fold-down beds and generous storage.

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Semi Suite

This Oklahoma DIY tiny home combines new with old by using old wood from semi-truck trailers and galvanized steel from a 50-year-old barn. The result is a cozy, country feel.

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At Home On the Road

Take your show on the road with this school bus conversion that sleeps up to five people. We love the bright white interiors, ample light from those old bus windows, and the cozy raised beds tucked behind curtains.

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The Little House

Reclaimed Space has inverted the notion that everything is a little bigger in Texas with The Little House. The home features board and batten reclaimed from an 1830s whiskey refinery. Inside, reclaimed wood from Texas farmhouses makes up the floor, and beadboard from a Texas church went into the ceiling.