Recycling isn’t just about taking something to a recycling center. You can turn one thing into another on your own with the right tools and a little inspiration. That’s the beauty of DIY, and it’s what makes it a fantastic way to reuse things that would otherwise go to waste.
Since scrap tires are a big waste problem, every little bit helps. And they’re extremely versatile in projects, not to mention easy to come by—after all, chances are you’ll need to replace tires on your vehicle(s) at some point.
So instead of paying a retailer a disposal fee to get rid of your old tires, give those tires a new life and a new purpose. Tire recycle doesn’t have to mean going and turning tires into crumb rubber.
Check out these incredible ideas people have come up with for reusing old tires:
Many people have decided to use old tires to create whimsical garden art, usually turning them into colorful animals like fish, frogs, and roosters. Others have stacked and painted tires to make the base for a decorative well.
And for your very own Alice or Mad Hatter, you can stack two tires, paint them, and add a handle for a colorful giant teacup!
One of the most popular DIY tire projects is an outdoor planter. Some wrap the tires in rope first, others simply clean and paint them before lining, adding soil, and planting beautiful flowers inside.
For a fun twist, we’ve also seen tires hung vertically on a wall or fence with soil packed in the bottom for a hanging planter that’s certainly unexpected.
Some have made even larger planters by cutting tires into half-moons and arranging them in a circle to give as much space as you need for planting.
Another popular use is to turn a scrap tire into a coffee table. The process involves washing and then usually wrapping the tire in any number of materials, from fabric to yarn to rope. Then add a top to cover the empty space, add legs if you want, and you have a table!
These usually look very similar to the coffee table option, but instead of topping with something flat, then either fill the center of the tire and cover the whole thing, or else add an upholstered top for cushioning and comfort.
Seats and Chairs
One crafter wove reeds and yarn around a tire to create the base of a DIY chair, then added legs and a back for a seat you’d never guess was made from an old tire. Others stretched lengths of cut tire over a wooden chair frame for a beach-style chair.
Artists like Yong Ho Ji have created spectacular sculptures by cutting and arranging strips from scrap tires into anything from werewolves and jaguars to suits of armor.
Rugs and Mats
Strips of recycled tire rubber woven around metal frames make a perfect doormat. Others have woven thin strips into full area rugs.
What will you do with your old tires?