Amazing Repurposed Rubber Tires

Rubber tires are so problematic to landfills that 11 U.S. states ban tires from landfills, and all but eight states have some sort of restriction on how tires can be disposed. Not only are they slow to degrade, but they also tend to rise to the surface, which causes a problem with landfill covers. In 1990, only 17 percent of Americans’ waste tires were put to better use while the rest filled landfills. Today, the EPA estimates that 80.4 percent of tires can be recycled or repurposed as asphalt, playground covering, fuel — and functional art.

Art Rolls On

Creating sculptures with re-purposed items is all the rage at farmers’ markets and craft shows this year. You can take your old tires and make something that grabs the attention of anyone passing by. Removing the tread is part of the process, known in artistic circles as tire carving, explains

Professional artists have fancy tools to get the job done, but the average DIY project planner can simply use a screwdriver or sharp tool to pull the tread off. This leaves you with a clean rubber canvas. What you do with it is up to you, but the more artistic, the better.

  • Use stencils to paint interesting patterns on the tire.
  • Slice up the sides of the rubber and paint complementary colors bursting out of the tire frame.
  • Pull out the tube and cut it into sections. Fold each piece together and glue them to create eclectic vases.
  • Don’t throw way the tread you remove either – use it as part of the project. Weave strips together to create coverings or cut sections into flower petals or tree fronds for large yard sculptures.

Used Tires

Image from Flickr user Paul Garland

Clever Seating

Forget the old tire swing hanging from a tree. Expand on that concept by creating lawn furniture that will get your neighbors talking. The key to making a tire chair is building on a strong base.


Photo from Flickr user suvajack

Slice the tire in strips, for instance, and use the tread as a decorative edge for an old, beat-up patio chair. Try a weave or patchwork pattern out of the rubber to replace torn seating. Redecorate an ugly metal chair with something that says you are not only stylish but practical.

Add an ottoman to the tire chair to create a full seating arrangement. This is a sensible way to reuse motorcycle tires. Cut two pieces of plywood to cover the top and bottom of a tire and then attach them with screws. Now, glue rope over the outside edge and create a circle pattern on the boards. Screw in furniture legs, and you have a faux wicker-style ottoman, explains

The Blooming Planter

Tires have made suitable planters for years, but you’ve never seen blooming tires like these. Clean your tires with an environmentally friendly de-greaser and then put them into place in the yard or garden.

Planters made from tires, metal

Image from Flickr user creativedc

Take a coffee cup, or anything with a round edge, and draw chalk circles on top of the tire to create petals. Using a sharp utility knife, you will cut around the inner edge of the circles – this is the section facing the opening of the tire. Pull back on the rubber to flip your petals outward and create a blooming flower. Now just paint it a bright color and fill the tire with something green. Thank you

Repurposing allows you to take what once was litter and make it into something unique. Instead of tossing the old tires, turn them into a masterpiece using your hands and a little imagination.

Tire planters in Amite, LA

Photo from Flickr user shawnzrossi

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.