Uses for Old Tires

September 19, 2007

Ways to reuse old tires as posted by the ThriftyFun community.

Mosquitoes Love Tires

Please don't leave old tires laying around, they are mosquito breeding grounds if they are allowed to catch rain water. Store them indoors somewhere until you figure out what you want to do with them. If you do choose to discard them, check around. Where I live, you can't just put them out with the garbage, but the city offers an annual "tire amnesty day" (usually around Earth Day) where they will take them at no charge, and they are recycled.

By Becki in Indiana

Beware of Cadmium Poisoning

Just a caution about growing food in tyres. Tyres contain cadmium which fixes the colour in rubber. Cadmium, though little talked about, is one of the more poisonous of the metals in our environment. Potatoes are known to accumulate cadmium, as do cabbages, carrots, radishes, lettuce, turnips, tobacco, cocoa and peanuts. Obviously potatoes are a concern because they form a large part of most people's diet. As is the case with all heavy metal poisoning, the early symptoms are not noticed until it is too late.

By Aussieluci

Old Tires Are Safer

I was reading about using old tires and they discussed chemical leaching. One thing they said was that the tires *were* old so that they had had lots of time under adverse condition to oxidize and vent harmful gases and chemicals. That is why new tires smell bad and old ones typically do not. I found this info and a lot more on tire houses at This was in the FAQ section. I'm quoting:
"The surface of used tires has been subjected to years of exposure to oxygen by high speed rotation in the atmosphere. This exposure causes a phenomenon called oxidation. Oxidation 'interlocks' the surface molecules with oxygen and 'out-gassing' (fly-away molecules of synthetic rubber) is considerably limited, if not stopped completely. It's the new tires that stink/outgas, they just need to "rust" for a while, before they are suitable for use as a building material."

By Jennie in MT

Hanging Table or Planter

I made a hanging table with a tire. I bought a wood round the size of the tire. I drilled 4 holes through the wood and the tire. and hung it with heavy duty chain. I then hung the chains over a strong tree branch and bolted the chain together. I cut small holes in a couple of places in the wood for cup holes. I painted and sealed the wood. I now sit under the tree and even with the wind the glasses of iced tea don't slip off. I'm going to make another one as a hanging planter for shade loving plants. Same idea but smaller round of wood inside the tire to cover the bottom, a few drain holes and plant. Hang the same way as the table.

By Stanlie E. Wykoff

Fishing Uses and Recycling

The fishing fleets use them as bumpers for boats, tied off short and thrown over the port or starbord side they prevent boats from slamming into each other or the dock when tied to them. Draggers and trawlers use Cookies; small donuts of tires and tire casings whole to make cod ends for fishing on the bottom of the oceans. In California and more and more states, they are starting programs to recover energy by burning them instead of coal. The most common use now is ground up for asphalt fillers.

By James

Build With Tires

Tires filled with earth and plastered over to create a walled enclosure with a roof will ensure the room made will take excess heat away from the room and, in times of cold, bring extra heat into the room. Such is the power of the tyre, no more lengthy power bills.

By Moore

Horse Tire Swing

I don't know how they do it, but I have seen where they take an old tire and cut it to make a tire swing that looks like a horse (complete with stirrups). It was at our local petting zoo.

By Khickman

Planters With Inside Out Tires

In Spain, I saw beautiful displays of geraniums in planters that were made from old car tires. They just cut through the middle all the way round and turn them inside out so they look like old fashioned egg timers. Paint the outside white, line the top part with plastic, stick in some soil, plant up and away you go!

By Sandra Craig

Strawberry Planter

I've seen a beautiful strawberry planter made of tires. Stack them pyramid-style, so that they overlap leaving sections of the insides of the tires open for planting strawberries. Yum! The one I saw had the outsides of the tires painted bright colors.

By Shaunta

Retaining Walls

You can use whole tires, just like block walls staggering them. Start off with a level surface, dig down if you have to and start your first row, making sure it is level from one end to the other. Now comes the hard part, you have to pack each tire with soil and I mean tightly. I use a short handled sledge hammer. When you get the first row, done drive a 24 inch piece of 3/8 rebar at the back of each tire. Start your next row, staggering the tires so the lines do not match up and do the same thing all over. I have done one wall 90 feet long and 12 feet high 8 years ago and it is still solid as a rock. You need to plant a high fibrous root plant in each tire, I like red honey suckle as it cascades and hides the tires and the wall but monkey grass lariope does well also.

By Stanley

Tire Table

We found a picture and want to replicate it. You take 2 or 3 old tires and place them one on top of another with a round of different shaped wooden board and either paint it or cover it with faux diamond plate. Use it as a nightstand or table top stand for a room or guys area.

By Canadian Momma

Making a Planter

I have used old tires for planters and it works good. Just scallop around the tire and turn it imside out.

By joanne

Sand Box

When I was a little girl, my mom got a hold of a huge tractor tire, laid it flat on the ground and filled it up with play sand and we had a fun sand box! You can put a tarp over it when not in use to keep it from being the local "kitty box".

By krista

Tire Sandals

I don't know where to find instructions, but I remember some kind of sandals where the soles were made from old tires.

By c. nelson

Here is a site I found to make the sandals.

I also came across this other website that shows different uses for tires. Scroll to the bottom for different links. Hope this helps!

By Jackie

Several Outdoor Uses

Regards Jo Bodey

More Ideas

More of this sort of thing can be found at

By June

Brainstorming On Used Tires

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is your ever friendly tire swing. You could also make your kids a tire wall to climb or an obstacle course. Of course these are rather obvious choices so here's some not so obvious choices:

By Debra in Colorado

Use As A Base

I have some suggestions for the use of old tires, if this is the proper place to offer them:I'm sure there are many more possibilities and refinements possible: have at it, folks!

By Loy

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12 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 14, 2013

I would like to know how to use car tyres in another way?

By ramyamaddali


January 14, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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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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


May 15, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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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March 26, 2016

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?


March 26, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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December 8, 2016

My question regards cutting radial tires. How thick is the rubber on an automobile radial tire? I am interested not in the sidewall thickness, but where the road threads are.


December 11, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

That would be depending on the tire brand, size and type, as well as how many plys it has. My husbands radial tires on his truck are much thicker than those on my car, as they are a heavier duty tire. Get the info off your tire sidewall and call and ask a tire store.

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March 14, 2014

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.


March 16, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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June 7, 2010

How do I make a parrot planter from old tires?

By Dee


June 8, 20100 found this helpful

Just stack them & put composted manure in them, good luck.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful


I had no idea what you were talking about so I googled "parrot tire plant" and behold, pictures came up of tires being cut to look like parrots and having plants placed inside them! What a cool idea! So I have no idea how to do that except I would pick a planter that looked the most desirable and cut away. Try to see how that tire artist did it and just go for it. Good luck!

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December 1, 2013

I'm trying to find someone who can make one of these planters that are made from a tire. This is a parrot shaped planter and is painted in very cheerful colors. If you do these, or know anyone who does please let me know what you charge. I need one before Christmas. I have a picture of what this looks like and can email it to you.

By Donita

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December 12, 2016

This is a page about making a tire snowman. Old tires can be repurposed to make a fun snowman for an outdoor holiday decoration.

Making a Tire Snowman

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December 11, 2016

This is a page about using tires for rammed earth project. When tires are no longer safe on the roadways, they can be repurposed for a building project.

Tall stacks of used car tires.

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April 21, 2013

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

Tire planter with flowers in it.

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February 12, 2013

Whether you are trying to dispose of your old tires or using them in a project, you may be looking for a way to easily cut them to suit your purpose. This is a page about cutting tires.

old tires

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