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Uses for Old Tires

Finding creative ways to use worn out tires can save them from the landfill. This guide contains uses for old tires.

Uses for Old Tires
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March 26, 2016 Flag
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Is it possible to take an old tire and make it into a bird bath? If so what would be the steps to take in making one?

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    March 26, 20160 found this helpful

    Some people make bird baths, veggie gardens, etc., from old car tires, however, tires contain extremely toxic chemicals that can leach into the water of a bird bath and into garden soil-e.g. arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, chromium, manganese, mercury, lead, sulfur, and zinc. I wonder about the poor birds who have happily used a bird bath, only to become ill and die.

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    March 27, 20160 found this helpful

    I agree with DCA. If you really care enough about the birds to want to make a bath for them, use your imagination and come up with something safer. There are articles here on ThriftyFun for making containers from Hypertufa. You might like the craft and I'm sure your bird bath would be much prettier than one made from a tire.

    If you do make one from Hypertufa, be sure to post a picture of it. We'd all like to see it!

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    September 29, 2015 Flag
    4 found this helpful

    My dog Bashful and I took a little El Paso hike and found/adopted a tire for my cactus. It was a fun recycle art/craft project/activity. Using one less tire dumped in nature we turned it into something cute for the garden. At least we think so!

    Recycled Tire Desert Garden

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    September 2, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Getting Rid of Old Tires

    Getting Rid of Old Tires

    We have a barn full of old tires that we "inherited" when we purchased our property. We have called around to tire recycling centers, but they want so much per tire. Does anyone know how we can dispose of them safely and economically?

    Stephanie - Saline, Michigan

    Editor's Note: Here is advice from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own tips here. Please do not post your personal information as this is not a resource for finding or getting rid of tires, just an information source.



    A friend of mine brought hers to Costco and they took them at no charge.

    By Denyse


    They make great containers for container gardening flowers and veggies. Also line the inside and make a great birdbath or bird feeder. Use them as edging around trees. If they are truck or car tires, try putting an ad in the paper. Many people (myself included) would love to have a few of those huge things for planters.

    Erin - Toledo, Ohio

    Grow Potatoes

    If you lived near me, I'd have you bring me a bunch of those old tires! They make great potato towers! Stack up two or three, fill with layers of straw, compost, soil, newspaper, etc, and plant you potatoes there. At harvest time, you just pull down the tires, and there are your potatoes, no backbreaking digging. Then, mix the composted material into your regular bed. (I'm working toward having mounded beds, rich in humus.)

    The towers also make convenient places to sit in the garden, and let your back unkink after hoeing or hand-weeding. It is so nice to relax and enjoy looking at the fruit of your labors! I plant some flowers right next to the potato towers. (I choose marigolds, which are known to deter many garden pests. When I am resting, the marigolds are far enough below my nose that I don't get overwhelmed by the smell.)

    If you put the towers at the corners of small beds, you can use them to support a fence. Just wrap the fence material around and use a stick or something to hold the overlap closed. You open the gate when you want in, and close it to keep out rabbits, dogs, small children, etc.

    Rose B, in North Carolina

    Beautiful Hanging Planters

    I was in Curacao several years ago and they made beautiful hanging planters for the patio or deck out of old tires. They cut them and then painted them to look like a parrot. They were great. I wanted one so badly, but due to the weight of the tire they were quite heavy to hand carry on airplane trip home and I didn't have a container to put in so I could ship. If she could get the pattern and make them I would be the first to buy one.

    Recycling Helpline

    Here'a a number for RecycleNet Help Line: (519) 767-2913. They may offer you some help with finding someone in your area who will recycle them.

    Here's a link for making a Tire Planter:

    I looked for uses for old tires and could find lots of articles about using them for repaving work but only the above link on crafts. If anyone else has some good uses, please send them in.

    Susan from ThriftyFun

    Kids Play Space

    If you have a barn full of tires than my suggestion will not be practical for getting rid of most but it could get rid of at least one (if you have children or grands, that is)! Growing up, some of my fondest memories were of swinging on a tire swing!

    You can hang it sideways or up right. All you need is a tree with a limb large enough to support the tire and the children's weight. Place a small board inside the rim where you would want it to hang from, drill through the tire AND the board. But a large eye hook type bolt and screw it through the tire and board (the boards purpose is to keep the bolt from pulling through. This should help you to understand what I'm trying to explain).

    Then tie a long sturdy rope onto the end of the bolt. Throw the other end of the rope over the limb and secure it. Or just tie a rope completely around the tire and then tie the other end around the limb. Bound to provide hours of enjoyment!

    Other ideas could be to bury several of the tires just a little and making a "tunnel" for kids to crawl through. We have a park around here that even has picnic tables made with the big tractor tires!

    Yard Sale

    If there are any good ones, I would suggest yard-saling them, cheap. This would be tires that have some tread on them and no holes or cords hanging out etc. If you live in a rural area, farmers or ranchers might take some of them off your hands for tires for wagons, hay sleds, etc. that they use around the place. This would be those that had some goody in them, of course.

    Another thing ranchers in our area use them for is salt-box tires. They cut the bead off one side and then turn the tire inside out. This is then nailed to a board to close the other side, and then they are used out in the pastures for salt or mineral for the cattle.

    By Mcnare

    Obstacle Course

    My wife and I bought our dilapidated house full of junk and there were over 20 tires around the property. Well, we painted them red, white and blue. Screwed them together and made an obstacle course for my sons to run through

    By Dave

    Recycle as Playground Ground Cover

    A lot of companies have permission from the EPA to shred old tires to use for playgrounds. The soft spongy rubber is better on little knees than gravel. I would call around and see if anyone would come get them!

    By Sarah

    Donate To Schools

    You might try calling High School football coaches. They use old tires as an obstacle course for practice.

    By Cathy

    Try Selling Them to a Used Tire Shop

    My parents owned a used tire shop and have now passed it to me and my husband. It's been in business for 20 years. If you know of a used tire shop in your area some are willing to give you a certain price for decent threaded used tires. We give $5.00 a tire for good 14' sized tires. I recommend looking in your phone book for a used tire shop. There are also waste companies that except used tires for free.

    By Kim


    You can put ads for free in: or picks up some local papers. You can build HOUSES with tires. Yes, you can. I think the link is something like

    By the Oracle

    Go Kart Tracks

    You can use them on go-carts tracks. They use old tires for bumpers to keep the carts on the tracks. Also, being from a farm community, farmers use tires to hold huge plastic tarps on their silage. They love used ones for their hay wagons and/or machinery. There are so many ways to recycle old tires. If you have any of these options around you give them to the go-cart tracks or farmers or sell the tires to them for barely anything and you will get rid of your tire problem!

    By Brandon

    Football Drills

    This may be kind of late, but I know as a former athlete that flipping the big huge tractor tires are a real good work out for explosiveness. So if you have tires like that to get rid of, I would talk to track and field or football coaches to see if they want any.

    By Wallace

    ire Planters

    You can use them to grow your garden. Really! Using tires, like planting pots, allows you to get a jump start on Spring planting because it keeps the soil much warmer.

    I have an entire garden plan of tires. Some cut into designer planters. Surround the "tire garden" with a small garden picket fencing to keep neighbors from seeing it. Just search the internet for "gardening in old tires" for numerous ideas and photos.

    More Uses For Old Tires

    Here is an article on that topic that is already on ThriftyFun. Check it out!

    Feel free to post additional ideas below.

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    April 9, 20130 found this helpful

    This one should work for all of them, if you live near a big city. Call tire shops to see who retreads tires, then take the tires to that shop. They may even pay you for each tire that is; not down to the cords; and that do not have big holes in them; and are not cut through.

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    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

    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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    July 12, 20160 found this helpful

    we stack 3 tires and fill with good sandy soil and plant potatoes,carrot,onions, and radishes,onions and radishes you only have to do 2 or mabie one depending on the width of the tire,one for radishes r fine,but at least a wide tire for onions,you will be amazed at your results ,and this is great for people with a bad back that wants to garden, they even look pretty with flowers and herbs growing in them,i use miracle grow every day,just a few drops so as not to over do it

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    January 14, 2013 Flag
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    I would like to know how to use car tyres in another way?

    By ramyamaddali

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    January 14, 20130 found this helpful

    We use them as a base for stacking lumber to be air dried. Also if you have a way to cut them and drill holes in them, sections can be used as planters, esp. for annuals. Cutting steel belted tires can be a problem. I have also seem them made into outdoor mats, but I don't know how they are cut. Makes a great door mat though as they are water proof and very tough. There was a man at Cincinnati's Summer Fair who strung colored beads between the mat strips, but I haven't seen him there for a couple of years.

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    January 16, 20130 found this helpful

    I dont know where you live but if you have very hot summers, you can make a solar oven with a tyre to actually cook food - for free - by just using the sun. There should be plenty of instructions on the internet.

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    March 14, 2014 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    How can I remove the rubber smell from tires so that my son can use them for decoration in his bedroom? The theme is a car/truck shop.

    By Karen K.

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    March 16, 20140 found this helpful

    I read some of the tips that Sandi found, but, in my opinion, the easiest thing to do would be to find old tires that have been sitting out in fresh air and sunlight for some time. They will smell less.

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    July 23, 2007 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Where would be the best place for me to find old used tractor or truck tires free? I am not sure if this should go under crafts or gardening or other as I am using them for a few things.

    Peggy from Endicott, NY

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    July 30, 20070 found this helpful

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the great ideas. I will be trying them all. I have gone around the area and have been looking for a few Tractor Supplys and also a few places where we saw old tractor tires but it was the weekend and all was closed. This is a new week and yes i will be posting on FreeCycle too. Everyone cross your fingers for me.......and thanks loads. God Bless.....Peggs

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    May 7, 20100 found this helpful

    Try Craigslist!

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    May 15, 2012 Flag
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    I have 4 used car tires and am trying to find a way to use them. I am thinking of maybe something like for a craft or yard ornament. Any ideas? Thank you.

    By Donna

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    May 15, 20120 found this helpful

    Do you have any children or grandchildren? A tire swing is the ultimate thing for kids. They would love it. Another idea would be that you could paint the tire, bright colors, designs or whatever you would like and make it into a flower bed.

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    May 17, 20120 found this helpful

    My suggestion isn't a craft, but a gardening use.

    Hubby cut old tires down one side, so you could open them up, then placed around base of trees. They will hold the mulch in without letting it get all over the place, and provide a bumper to keep the mower, weed eater from harming the trunks.

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    October 13, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Use those old tires to build a rammed earth project, ie storage building, play house, dog house or add on a new addition to your house!

    By The Recycle Queen from Zionsville, IN

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    June 17, 2013 Flag
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    What sort of tools are needed to cut old tires to make ornamental objects?

    By Bobbi

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    June 17, 20130 found this helpful

    If you are talking car tires you are in for some work. Xar tires have steel going through them so you are not just cutting rubber, you are cutting steel. If you had a big enough pair of steel shears that might work, if you are strong enough, but you are probably going to hurt you hands.

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    April 20, 2013 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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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    June 7, 2010 Flag
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    How do I make a parrot planter from old tires?

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