So you just installed brand new tires on your vehicle and now you have four old ones with no idea of what to do with them? Normally, old tires are thrown out, taken over to the auto shop for recycling, or at the very least end up taking up space in the garage or yard collecting dust and dirt.
Rather than throwing them out or allowing them to sit there making your garage or yard look cluttered, or becoming a breeding and hiding place for bugs, how about we figure out some uses for those old tires?
Doesn’t matter if you have one, two, or hundreds of tires; with a bit of imagination, and at least an entry-level craftsmanship, you can always find something to do with them that will repurpose the tires as well as improve your interior and exterior décor. What are the uses for old tires? Well, this handy rundown is for you.
1. Start a Beautiful Garden
Need a planter or flower pot? Then use a tire. You’ll have to close one side of the tire with a plastic or metal sheet and fill up space inside the tire with soil and a suitable fertilizer. You can change the dull look by painting them bright, lively colours to upgrade the appearance. It’s also quite easy to create a hanging garden by suspending a couple of them from hooks or mounting them on the wall.
2. Craft a Hose Caddy
If you have a garden hose, you know that keeping it organized all the time is quite a hassle, but if you throw an old tire at the problem, you can finally keep the hose away from the open where anyone can trip over or damage it sooner than expected.
Keep the tire in a standing position and cut it into half horizontally. If you want to make it look nice, you can paint the tire before using it as a caddy. Now you can simply coil your hose inside the caddy and put it away in a safe place.
3. Tire Swing
I doubt a list of uses for old tires would be incomplete without a tire swing. A tire swing is a classic childhood entertainment that takes nothing more than tying a used tire to a tree branch or solid frame. Plus, it’s an insanely cheap way to keep the kids entertained.
4. A Sandbox
Making a sandbox for kids is a use for old tires and one that thrills the kids. Tractor tires work best here because they are larger than regular car tires, but if you have a couple of car tires, you can put them together to form a really neat sand area. Now you just finish the project by painting them and adding fine sand. If there’s no shade around, you can tie an umbrella to a pole and stick it in the sandbox for a real beach setting.
5. A Tire Climber
Those that have kids or grand-kids know that outdoor play equipment is quite costly. So why not convert those used tires into a tire climber instead of shelling out cash for a jungle gym. With old tires, you simply need to paint and stack the tires any way you want the climber to be. You’ll have to bolt the tires together to make them safe for use, but trust me, this is something you can create at minimal cost if you already have lots of old tires and bright coloured paint.
6. A Great Table
Got basic DIY skills? With some rope, an old tire, and a few pieces of wood for the legs, you can create a beautiful table that you could display indoors or outdoors. You’ll need two flat and round materials to cover the big gap in the middle of the tire. You could go with plywood for the bottom (this is where the legs will be attached, so choose a strong one) and thick, transparent glass for the top, or use plywood for both sides. This is a really quick project and there are lots of design ideas for those that want to make something that catches the eye.
7. A Stool Chair
A stool chair is another good DIY project for old tires. Take that old tire out of the garage, apply some paint and cushioning, and you have one nice stool for outdoor use. You’ll have to make the center cushioned to enjoy this seat on decks or around a fire pit. Just like the table project above, you’ll need a circular board for the center and just cushion the top of the board. If you’re good at picking colours that go together, then you’re free to mix-match the way you like, for those of us that aren’t colour-savvy, we’ll just stick with one coluor.
8. A Swing Set Ladder
If your little ones love the swing set but don’t fancy the traditional way of climbing onto the slide, you can use old tires to create a really cute ladder that they are sure to enjoy climbing. Here you’ll need to use old tires that are of the same size or very close and paint them matching colours with the swing set or just leave them plain. Kids are sure to enjoy climbing to the top of the slide on their new tire ladder and this project will only take a few hours or more, that’s if you choose to paint the tires first.
9. Teeter Totter
Teeter-totters are hard to come by in many playgrounds, but you can make your version of this by cutting a tire in half (in the shape of a semicircle) and attaching a board over the sliced part. Ensure you use strong, durable tires that are rated as heavyweight so it won’t compress when the kids sit on it. Or conversely, you can beef up the inside with smaller boards to help it stay in shape.
10. Build an obstacle course
I bet you’ve seen this in at least one war movie, and the horizontal version used in football movies. Trust me, if you have an energetic and active dog that exhausts you, this right here is your chance to build your dog an agility course it’ll never get tired of.
If you’ve always imagined having a pond, then this might be your chance to get one. Since rubber is waterproof, an old tire has the perfect shape and support for a mini-pond or two. Old tires are easy to stack, bury, or tier to create small tranquil ponds or bubbling brooks. The hollow part of the tire can be used as a place to tuck the root of your water plants to help control how they grow. You could also stack the tires to create an interesting fountain.
There are many more uses for old tires, but be sure not to use them to grow edible plants because the rubber in car tires are laced with cadmium to help prevent the black colour from fading and cadmium is a toxic metal. You should avoid growing plants like peanuts, potatoes, lettuce, and carrots because they will absorb the cadmium, so if you’re planting in an old tire, it should be strictly for growing flowers and non-edible plants.
One more thing, do not turn an old tire into a dog kennel. Though old, these tires give off a few harmful gasses, which, long term, aren’t safe for pets to breathe.
The rubber used in making car tires is very durable, soft, and elastic which makes it easy to work with and craft out some amazing DIY projects. The next time you replace your tires, ask to keep the old ones, you might be hailed as a genius by all your friends and family when they get to see what you made.
Oh, before you go off to work at your DIY project, here’s how to get the most mileage out of your new tires