Up-cycled Tire Planters

Colorful planters I have made.
Colorful planters I have made. | Source

Getting Started:

Cut around the rim of one side in a semi-circle pattern with the bowed part toward the inside of the tire.

Use your utility knife or drywall knife to poke holes in the direction you want your jigsaw to go.

The first few tires I made, I didn't have a jig saw. I cut them entirely using the drywall knife, which takes a lot more time and a lot more elbow grease.

Flip the tire over and cut in a circle between the inner and outer edges of the tire to remove the hard ring that hold the tire on the rim when it is being used as a tire, this will allow you to flip the tire inside out more easily.

What You Need:


  • Old Tire
  • 2 cans of Spray Paint (white & another color)
  • Jig Saw
  • Drywall knife or utility knife
  • Degreaser
  • Soap and Water
  • Plastic to cover your work space
  • Ventilated area to work in
  • Time


A tire planter I made
A tire planter I made | Source

Step Next:

Flip your tire inside out. This part is the part that takes the longest if you don't include drying time. I have found that if you smash two sides down with your knees while flipping over one side, then turning around to repeat the process at the other end, it moves quicker and easier.

The more firm the tire, the more difficult to turn inside out. Be sure when you choose your tire that it is flexible at the tred-line on the outside points of the tire.

Cleaning Your Planter:

Once you have it all flipped out, it is time to clean your tire. Use a degreaser on both the inside and outside of the tire to remove any film that will prevent your paint from sticking to it.

Scrub the inside and out of your tire with soap and water, rinse and let air dry.

This step is very important if you want your finished tire to look good.

I've made a few planters with my children's help. They didn't scrub with degreaser as thoroughly as needed and the paint ended up looking terrible.

Blue Planter I made
Blue Planter I made | Source

Prime And Paint Your Planter:

It is highly recommended that you paint your tire white first. This will allow the top color to appear more vibrant and bright. Without the base paint of white, your color will be darker than you may intend due to the black underneath.

Be sure to read your paint and allow the proper dry time between coats for best results.

It generally takes an entire can of white and entire can of colored spray paint to cover a single car or truck sized tire.

There are many different types of spray paint out there, choose the one that is right for your needs.

Uses For Tire Planters:

Up-Cycled tire planters aren't just for flowers! You can use them for garden vegetables too. They are great for planting root vegetables like potatoes, beats, carrots, or radishes. They are also wonderful for your larger squash style plants. As the squash fans out, there will be a ledge between the base of the plant and the ground, making it easier to pick the produce when it is ready.

Planters are wonderful, useful tools for any garden, flower or vegetable! They add a splash of color and beauty that you can be proud of.

Duel Colored Planter I made
Duel Colored Planter I made | Source

Where to get tires:

If you don't have any tires laying around, don't worry. Auto shops that work on tires have plenty to spare, for free!

Shops need to pay to get rid of tires that can no longer be driven on. Most will be more than happy to part with a few if you ask. It saves them money and provides you with the tires you desire to make your planters.

It is a win-win situation for all. The shops save money, you get free tires, and you help the environment in the process.

The reason the tires have a disposal charge is because they are not biodegradable (at all). Tires will never decompose, which makes them one of the worst items to find their way to the land fills and dumps. By re-purposing them we are helping the planet.

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5 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Brilliant ideas here and the Tire Planters look great.


kristyleann profile image

kristyleann 2 years ago from Oceana, WV

My dad used to make these for me when I was a kid but we painted them silver and we always planted sunflowers in them. =) I forgot all about these planters though. I'm glad I came across this. Brings back good memories. =)


Nikki D. Felder profile image

Nikki D. Felder 2 years ago from Castle Hayne, N.C.

I'm from down south and I've seen these flower pots many many times, but not as decorated as those featured above. Great hub!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

My grandma always had these. She didn't usually paint them, but yours are gorgeous! About a year ago, I purchased new tires and asked to have the old ones. Why pay a fee to have them disposed of? I had in my mind making planters and even a tire swing like I had when I was a kid! Thanks for this hub. I'm pinning this one!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Great ideas for old tires. I have a couple, but no chain saw!

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