What to do with recycled tires? Tires are actually the perfect size to use as a planter in your garden. This guide teaches you how to make both simple and inside out DIY painted tire planters. All of your questions will be addressed. From sourcing tires, painting them, and making a planter, you will find plenty of inspiration to get your creativity flowing.
How to Make Easy and Unique DIY Tire Planters
Please note – you don’t have to paint your tires. The non painted planters also look great when done right!
Regardless of the size of your yard, there are many ways to fit a tire. This guide will provide you with a wide range of ideas for all sizes and budgets. Lots of tips and tricks will be shared to successfully make your DIY planter.
Learn to make a Simple Tire Planter. Using car or tractor tires is the most common way to make one. Find out where to get used tires, what paint works best, and how to construct your own. We also answer questions you might have about health risks when using tires in your garden.
Learn to build an Inside Out Tire Planters. They are a fun twist on the classic style. We will get into detail about how to make these and any equipment you might require.
Build a DIY Tire Vegetable Garden. It’s a great way to get extra use from your planter. Use the tires to make raised beds and to keep your crops separate.
Jump to Ideas and Inspiration – 70 beautiful photos and ideas for your project have been gathered so that you can deck out your planter.
Jump to Creative Tire Planters that are anything but ordinary add a nice touch. Read on for ideas like how to turn your tire into a teacup planter!
Build a Simple Tire Planter from a Car or a Tractor Tire
Tires can be used in an assortment of ways to make the best planter for your needs. Be it a single tire with one large plant, many tires stacked together, or even a hanging tire, the options are endless! Let’s take a step back from the final product and answer some common questions.
What tires can you use for planters?
For the DIY projects we will explain, the best tires to use are those from cars, tractors, ATVs, and motorcycles. Keep in mind what your purpose is when choosing a tire.
Where to find recycled tires?
The easiest recycled tires to access are your own. Most tire shops sell used tires at reduced prices, and if you don’t need road safe tires they might have some to give away. If you live in a big city, search for a tire dump or junkyard. Since tires are hard and expensive to dispose of, chances are you will be able to take as many as you like at no cost.
As well don’t underestimate online platforms such as Facebook and Craigslist. One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure, or tire planter! Keep in mind that worn tires will work best as they will be easier to cut and maneuver into shapes.
What type of paint should you use on tire planters?
It is not necessary to paint your tire but it is a great way to add a splash of color to your garden, especially when your flowers aren’t in full bloom! If you choose not to paint your tire, note that black rubber will absorb far more sunlight and can get quite warm.
Before you begin to paint, hose down your tires to remove any dirt or dust. Once they are dry, the paint should have no problem sticking. For maximum results, use a white primer appropriate for rubber as a base coat. This will also make it easier to layer on a lighter color. Some spray paints will have a primer included in the product so double-check what kind of paint you have.
When choosing the paint, make sure to choose a non-toxic outdoor paint. Materials for industrial and marine use will be durable, but any outdoor latex or acrylic paint will work.
While you can use large brushes to paint your tire, spray cans are the easiest way to spread the paint evenly. When deciding on a color to paint, think about where you will be placing your tire and whether it matters if it heats up in the sun. For warm locations and delicate plants, lighter colors are the best option to keep the temperature of the soil consistent.
Can I use acrylic paint on a tire?
You can use acrylic paint as long as it is made for exterior use as your tire will constantly be faced with the elements. Regular acrylic paint is not entirely waterproof and requires a sealant. Keep it simple and avoid the extra step by purchasing paint meant for outdoor use. While acrylic paints can be more expensive, they maintain greater flexibility when they dry, making them more resistant to cracks and flaking over time.
Once your tire is painted you are one step closer to having a nice looking planter. Decide whether you want a single tire in a permanent location, stacked tires, or a raised tire planter. Depending on your choice, you will want to put something on the bottom of the tire.
If you plan to leave your planter in a fixed spot where there is already earth, you do not need to put anything in the bottom. If the planter will remain in a spot with no earth beneath it, you can place some straw or cardboard at the bottom before adding dirt. Poke some holes in the cardboard to ensure airflow and water drainage.
If you plan to stack multiple tires to make raised beds, you will need to have a sturdier base. A plywood plank cut into a circle and drilled to the tire is a good option for a secure foundation. Once again drill holes into the plywood so that water does not accumulate. If you plant to stack many tires, it is a good idea to screw them together to avoid accidents.
How to Make a Simple DIY Tire Planter?
Now that we’ve looked at some common questions about appropriate materials, it’s time to dive into this DIY project.
The first thing to do is to get a tire for your project from one of the options suggested above. Clean your tire properly, and make sure it is dry before you start to paint. If needed, use a primer. Once the primer is dry, paint the tire with your preferred color. Feel free to add patterns and designs.
Decide if you want your planter to be in a permanent spot on the ground or if you want to raise it on a platform. The advantage of a platform is that you can move the planter around as you please. If you use a platform place a layer of cardboard or plastic with holes so that water can drain out.
Next, simply add soil and decide what you will plant in your new planter!
For an extensive description with photos of each step, check out this great guide.
How to Make a Hanging Tire Planter?
Now that we’ve gone through how to make a basic planter, it’s time to look at some variations. How about hanging your planter? If you have a sturdy tree or railing this could be a good place to hang it. Of course, you can also drill hooks into a wall. For a rustic look, you can use a rope tied to your tire. However, for something more secure, a chain is ideal.
The same initial steps to make a basic tire planter must first be followed. Find a tire, clean it, and choose if you want to paint it. Depending on where and how you want to hang your planter, choose the tire size accordingly. This is a good place to use smaller motorcycle or ATV tires.
When your tire has been cleaned and painted, drill some holes in the bottom half so that rainwater does not accumulate. You can put a layer of porous material such as cloth so that the soil does not fall out.
Next, drill a hole in the center at the top of the tire to insert an eye bolt, securing it with a nut on the inside. If you plan to use a rope and a solid knot, you can skip this step. From the eye bolt, attach your chain which can hang from a hook or railing as desired.
Once your tire is hanging in place, fill the bottom with topsoil. Then, plant your flowers and your hanging tire planter is ready!
Also, see this guide for making a hanging planter.
Is it safe to use tires as planters?
Rubber tires are made up of a large number of components, many of which are indeed toxic. This is why it is difficult and expensive to dispose of old tires. Therefore, using tires for DIY projects has lots of benefits since they do not need to be brought to a dump where they will be burned, leaching toxins into the air.
Both sides of the debate have many arguments and are ultimately inconclusive. While you can surely find many people who would refuse to use tires to grow edibles, there is no straight evidence that they are harmful. Accordingly, it really is a personal decision and risk assessment.
Tires do eventually begin to leach certain components into the soil. However, these chemicals would end up in the air if the tires were to be burned during disposal. Generally, it is understood that it would take decades for the tire to really begin to degrade. At that point, it is also not certain whether the molecules released would actually make it into the plant.
A good compromise if you plan to use your planter for edibles is to rotate them for flowers after a few years. However, if you want to be as safe as possible, simply avoid using tire planters for food plants and stick to decoration!
Build an Inside Out Tire Planter
If you want your tire to look a little less like a tire, inside out planters are a unique twist on the standard. Just as the name says, these are made from tires that have been inverted. When choosing a tire to invert, there are a few extra details to consider.
How to Make Inside Out Tire Planters?
Not all tires can be used to build an inside out tire planter. Older tires will be more flexible and are better suited for this DIY project. Tires can be tested by pushing the curve where the tread meets the rubber sidewall. If it pushes in easily your tire will be less challenging to flip. If not, keep on looking!
Inverted tire planters require the additional step of cutting the tire. To facilitate the process, draw a line where you want to cut. Since you are just cutting the softer inner wall, any sharp knife will do. Make sure to keep safety in mind – gardening gloves are a good idea at this stage.
Once you have cut through the tire, it is time to invert it. Find the soft spot where the curve meets the tread from the first step and push. At the same time, pull the inside cut wall towards you. It might take a few tries but once the tire starts inverting it is just a matter of making it around the circle.
All of these steps can be done if your tire has a rim. You will simply have a pedestal for your planter! Given the force and handling required to invert your tire, wait until this step is complete before properly cleaning and painting it.
Visit felderrushing.net to see detailed photos of each step to make sure everything goes smoothly!
DIY Tire Vegetable Garden
Not only can you use tires to make decorative planters for flowers, but you can also use them to set up a vegetable garden. As mentioned above, since the tires are not being burned, the likelihood of toxic elements entering your vegetables is very low and would take decades. Rotating tires for different uses as well as lining them can be good ways to eliminate any risk.
There are quite a few benefits to using tires for your vegetable garden, as well as some considerations to keep in mind for maximum results.
Building raised vegetable gardens from lumber can be quite expensive so recycling tires is a great way to save some cash. As well, by raising the planters, you will avoid some ground pests and reduce weeds. Raised tire planters are especially useful for gardeners with back issues or decreased mobility as they don’t require constant bending or kneeling.
Tire planters can be a huge advantage if you live in a place with hard-packed soil. Plants can have difficulty extending their roots into these soils, whereas you can fill your planter with topsoil and compost and raise it to the height you desire by adding extra tires.
If you are painting your planter, it is important to use lighter colors if you want to plant vegetables that require cooler soil. Black tires will absorb the sunlight and heat the soil, which is a benefit for crops such as potatoes, peppers, and carrots but can easily ruin others. Since the soil will remain warmer than ground soil, tire planters are a great way to start planting earlier in the season. Common gardener frustrations such as frost won’t be an issue as your soil will stay protected.
Besides using your tires for DIY planters, a stack of tires can make a great compost bin. Stack tires until you reach the height you want. Once your bin is full, remove each tire one by one while you use the compost and begin stacking your next bin.
Paint your planter light blue to hold more delicate crops such as lettuce.
Separate your vegetables and herbs to make watering and picking extra simple.
Ideas and Inspiration
Simple Car Tire Planters
Layer your DIY tire planters to create a tiered look. Use bright colors to complement your flowers.
Tread marks can add an extra pattern to your painted tires.
Tiered tire planters can also create low wall partitions between separate parts of your garden.
If you have plenty of tires, create this fun pyramid shape. Make sure to leave space for your flowers to grow and receive sunlight.
Think about using different sizes of tires to create a quirky look.
If you want to keep your planters low to the ground, lay them side by side with different flowers showcased in each.
A single tire planter can brighten up any corner of your garden if you fill it with colorful flowers.
Low maintenance flower pots can be filled with small rocks to add a unique look.
No need to stop at flowers – succulents are a great choice for filling your DIY planter.
Tractor Tire Planters
Large tractor tires make the perfect base for small bushes.
Smaller tractor tires are great to use as individual flower pots.
If you have a large tractor tire, fill it with plants and make a flag stand.
Inside Out Tire Planters Ideas
Place inverted tire planters on top of regular tires to create a cool look.
A simple inverted planter painted in a solid color looks like a star-shaped pot.
Get creative by painting your planter in different colors for a petaled look.
Inverted tire planters can also be stacked to create layers.
No need to worry if your tire still has a rim. Your inside out planter now has a pedestal!
Stacked Tire Planter Ideas
Stacking tires for your DIY planter is a great way to make all your plants visible.
A single stack of tires can make a great focal point for your entrance.
If you have lots of tires, why not create a wall?
Stacked tire planters near your balcony make it easy to water your plants from above.
If you’ve always wanted your very own wishing well, look no further! A few stacked tires with the right paint job will do the trick.
Patterns and designs are a great way to add life to your recycled tires.
Hanging Tire Planter Ideas
Anywhere you can attach a hook makes a good home for a hanging planter.
Decorate stone walls with brightly painted hanging tire planters.
Bring a brick wall to life by painting it in pastel tones and hanging planters.
As long as your plants are happy, you can fill your new DIY planter to the brim!
No need to go overboard with different flowers. A simple plant will look great.
Make sure to have some fun while doing your DIY project!
Black Tire Planters – Unpainted
Feel free to leave your tire paint free and natural, the bright flowers are sure to compensate.
A solo tractor tire is a great piece to display some blooms.
Bamboo walls make a great spot to hang your tires. Fill them with flowers and greenery to brighten up your space.
Simple stacked tires make a great home for creeping plants.
Creative Tire Planters
If you are motivated, the options are truly endless. Tires decorated as sushi rolls, animals, teacups, and wishing wells are just some of the multitude of DIY projects you can do with recycled tires.
How to make a teacup tire planter?
Depending on the style of teacup you want to make, you can use an inverted tire with a rim, or stack two tires to make your base. You can get creative with the handle; for example using strips cut from a tire, plastic, an old garden hose, or a hardened rope. Simply screw the two sides at the level you prefer.
Check out these two videos for different takes on teacup designs.
A very detailed approach using stacked tires.
A simpler teacup using an inverted tire with a rim.
How do you make flower pots out of old tires?
If you want to create a design that resembles a pot instead of a flat tire, be sure to use a tire with the rim still on. Then, follow the same steps as for your inverted planter with the rim acting as your stand.
Even More Creative Ideas for Your Inspiration
Bring the tropics to your garden with these DIY hanging parrot and toucan tire planters.
Who knew what a knife, some green paint, googly eyes, and determination could accomplish?
Make sure you have a sharp knife and draw your cutout lines when attempting these floral designs.
Stone walls can be the perfect backdrop for your tire wall. Secure everything in place to avoid any mishaps.
Did someone say swan lake?
Cut your tires in half to make this flower-shaped bed.
It’s tea time!