Making Tire Planters

Old tires have been used for years to make inexpensive and creative planters. This is a guide about making tire planters.


May 10, 2007 Flag
1 found this helpful

Information on making recycled tire planters.

Christopher Lowell's Tire Planter

I have instructions for a tire planter from the Christopher Lowell Show. (Outdoor dynamics for Dummies show).



Draw pattern with chalk along side wall on one side of tire. Space scallops/ or ^^^ evenly around tire. Start at tread and end close to rim. Cut out with knife, using straight up and down motion, pointing blade away from yourself. This wil separate the tire into two pieces. Place your foot in center of rim and pull one scalloped edge toward yourself, this turns it inside out. Continue until it forms planter with pedestal. Fill with potting soil. Can spray paint planter to jazz it up.

Good luck, I am going to make mine this week.

By Claudia

Editor's Note: Here is a link to Christopher Lowell's instructions, including photos.

Felder Rushing Style Planter

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences has great insturctions for making a tire planter: "Finding the right tire is essential in making a tire planter. The tire you select should be well worn, and pliable in the shoulder area of the tire (what Felder calls the "sweet spot"), just below the tread. You can tell if the tire is a good candidate by pushing in on the shoulder area with the palm of your hand. If there is plenty of "give" in this area, the tire should be easy to work with. If not, you should find another one to use."


Swan Planters

You can make a swan planter out of a tire. At they have a PDF with step by step instructions. They recommend using a scooter tire:
Type of tyre
The kind of tyre you use is important. An ordinary car tyre has steel belting so is near impossible to cut and will have sharp edges. I made Ron from old Vespa motor scooter tyres as they are easier to cut. If you could source some very old car tyres which are textile belted, they would be suitable, but still very hard to cut by hand.

To downlod the PDF go to Download PDF

June 4, 20080 found this helpful

I have been rolling around on the ground for 4 hours trying to turn a tire inside out. I have cut 2" back from the bead on both sides. I want to use this as a pedestal for a rain barrel. Looking at some of these, I must be missing something.

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February 24, 20090 found this helpful

I would like to find out more ideas for tire crafts?

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December 9, 20130 found this helpful

The new place for the how-to-make-tyre-swans tutorial is

We love having tyre swan image contributions too.


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April 2, 20140 found this helpful

I would like the parrot pattern if possible.

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April 4, 20140 found this helpful

January 29, 2012 Flag
1 found this helpful

Small raised garden beds save energy, water, and growing medium! Looking for ways to conserve energy and not dig more than I have to, I covered a large rectangular area with old garden cloth, large pieces of corrugated cardboard, etc.

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April 5, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Old tire gardening again, not getting much feedback yet. I thought of using a pool liner, but after looking up PVC, which I think it's made of I decided the rubber might be safer. But I just might do heavy aluminum foil. It is not very tough, but you don't have to touch it after placing. I don't do any cooking in it, but what's wrong with it as a liner? I've got 23 lovely planters set up and hidden with some pretty fancy stone wall, I need to get them planted soon! Please help.

By Ray from Mayer, AZ

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

This is from

Using Tires as Raised Garden Beds?

by Margaret


Can old rubber tires be used as raised beds for vegetable gardening? If so what sort of preparation would they, or lining? I like to recycle where possible and I have access to quite a lot of tires.

P.S. These beds would be used for vegetables and fruit...thanks.


Yes, many a gardener has successfully used old tires for vegetable gardening.

If the tires are dirty, you can clean them with soap and water. You do not need to line them.

Tires filled with straw are an especially great way to grow potatoes! You put a thin layer of straw on the ground, then lay the seed potatoes on the straw. Cover them with a layer of straw. As the plants begin to grow, add layers of straw half-way up the foliage until you reach the top of the tire with the straw.

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

This is from website

Tires for gardening

To the Editor:

I read in the article, Garden Spaces For Small Places, By Dorothy Ainsworth, about making used tires into small beds for vegetables or flowers.

The only problem is that mulch made from shredded tires leaches chemicals into the soil. A study in an organic gardening magazine mentioned zinc in particular, and suggested that other heavy metals might also be found in quantity.

It would seem to me, that the only difference between tires, and mulch from tires, is the increase in surface area. Shredded tires would leach faster than whole ones. Still, how much faster? Better safe than sorry.

Thank you for your time,

Ben Homer

I googled: "Are tires safe for gardening?" and found mostly positive answers and why.

Shredded tires for mulch do tremendously more surface area for leaching, so I would not recommend that, but whole tires are chemically stable. They have been run at high speeds and the inner surface has oxidized so the surface molecules have formed a seal. If worried, a person can always line the tire with gardening plastic.

I personally am not worried at all, especially for short term use, but to assuage any trepidation, simply google the same question I googled and read the answers. Many of the answers are from scientists and they aren't worried either about the use of whole tires.

The main culprit

would be zinc but in whole tires it doesn't leach out fast enough to do any harm according to most of the reports I read. One report said the plant will only take up what zinc it needs and that's it. Our bodies use zinc, so it's not like a toxic poison, unless we overdose, but that goes for any vitamin or mineral.

True, it IS better to be safe than sorry, and Ben Homer's question was a good one, but by doing some extra research I still feel secure in using tires for gardening. But after reading all the reports yourself, you are free to draw your own conclusions and make your own informed decision "to use or not to use" tires.

Dorothy Ainsworth

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

Hope these two articles help you. You might look up the article online, Garden Spaces For Small Places, By Dorothy Ainsworth

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Anonymous Flag
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

I use old tires for planters. Before placing dirt in them, I cover the ground in the inside with cardboard then add the dirt. An old tractor tire work perfect for planting potatoes and onions. Just lift the tire in the Fall and the potatoes fall out. I am concerned however after reading a comment about chemicals leaching out of the tire.

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July 12, 20160 found this helpful

April 20, 2013 Flag
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If I use regular paint (lots left over from reno) on the tires, how do I seal them to protect against the elements?

By Baer

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June 23, 20140 found this helpful

I bought some Kilz and painted the tires. This seals them and makes the color more vibrant.

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April 27, 2003 Flag
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Looking for info on how to make planters out of old tires. Thank you.

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August 29, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a great site telling you how to make these planters.

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