5 Ways To Repurpose Old Tires Outdoors

Unlocking the hidden potential of old tires can breathe new life into your outdoor space while simultaneously reducing waste. Those unsightly piles of discarded rubber can be transformed into eye-catching and functional pieces that not only enhance your outdoor aesthetics but also contribute to a cleaner environment. If you've got old tires lying around your front lawn or backyard, repurposing them might just be the solution you need to transform your outdoor area and silence those judgmental glances from neighbors eyeing your cluttered lawn.

From playful swings to functional planters, the versatility of repurposing tires knows no bounds. Read on to unveil five ingenious ways to transform these discarded rubber relics into practical and aesthetically pleasing additions to your outdoor oasis. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a newcomer to upcycling, get ready to discover inventive solutions that not only rejuvenate your surroundings but also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. So, grab those old tires, and let's embark on a journey of creativity and eco-friendliness.

Create planters for your garden

Repurposing old tires into planters is a fantastic way to both upcycle and add character to your outdoor space. All you'll need are some old tires and supplies you likely already have on hand.

First, make sure the tires are clean by wiping or scrubbing them with a degreaser, then wash them with water and soap. Once they have dried, carefully cut along the tread of the tire to remove the sidewall. You can cut as much or as little as you want, depending on how you want your planter to be. Since tires are open on both ends, you'll need a base to hold the soil and contents of your planter inside. HGTV suggests using a large saucer. Alternatively, you can line one side of the tire with a plastic bag, according to The Gardener (via YouTube). Whichever method you use, be sure to drill or cut holes in to prevent water from pooling. Pooled water leads to excess moisture, which is a major gardening mistake that can lead to root rot or fungal diseases.

If you'd like to add a colorful touch to your tire planters, you can then paint them. After they dry, you can fill them. Start with a foundational layer of gravel or small rocks. Then fill the tires with potting mix, leaving enough space at the top for your plants. Choose your favorite flowers, herbs, vegetables, or shrubs to plant. Be creative with your arrangements, and consider mixing different plants for variety and visual appeal.

A play on playgrounds

Creativity can transform your old tires into a dynamic and engaging outdoor play space that will delight children and adults alike. Tires are versatile and durable materials that can be easily transformed into fun and functional elements for a backyard play area. The best part is, you hardly need to do any work on the tires themselves! So long as the tires are clean, and have been edge-proofed, you can use them as is. If you do need to proof the tires, Craft Ideas 2 Live 4 suggests using pool noodles or rubber edges to line the inner ideas of tires to prevent cuts.

A simple playground idea involves building an obstacle course on your lawn. Merely arrange tires in various formations such as zig-zags, hurdles, or stepping stones, challenging children to jump, hop, and balance their way through. For more complex ventures, you may need rope, tape, and beams to support your constructions. 

If you're feeling beachy, consider a DIY tire sandbox. Simply fill a large tire — like a tractor tire — with sand and add buckets, shovels, and toys for endless hours of imaginative play. Make sure to clean the tires thoroughly before use since kids might spend an extended amount of time inside the tire, and consider painting them with vibrant colors to enhance their visual appeal. 

Get creative with furniture

With a bit of ingenuity and some basic tools, you can transform tires into sturdy and unique pieces of furniture that are perfect for lounging and entertaining your guests on your patio. Begin by selecting the tires you wish to use, considering their size and condition based on the furniture piece you have in mind. Stack the tires on top of each other to create the desired height for your furniture piece, securing them together with a strong adhesive or rope. For added stability, you can insert a wooden or metal rod through the center of the tires and secure your DIY furniture project in place.

Once assembled, if making a table, attach a wood panel to create a rustic look. Alternatively, you can attach a glass top if you're feeling fancy. Just be sure it is sturdy. If you're making a chair or sofa, attach wood or something solid to sit on, and add some cushioning to make the seating and back more comfortable if you want. You can leave the tire stacks like this to create an ottoman or add paneling against the back to provide supportive seating. 

If you're going for a more industrial look, you can leave your furniture uncovered, showing off its tire parts. Otherwise, adhere linen or fabrics to your couches and chairs to create a more cozy vibe. With your DIY outdoor furniture complete, you'll have a one-of-a-kind addition to your outdoor space that not only looks great but also helps reduce waste by giving old tires a new purpose.

Make a splash with a tire pond

Repurposing old tires to create a pond is a creative and sustainable way to enhance your outdoor space with a unique water feature. There are different approaches to this undertaking but either way, begin by cutting out the top of your tires so that the pond is completely open from the top. Choose a suitable location for your pond, ensuring it receives adequate sunlight and is easily accessible for maintenance. Once you've chosen the location, make the tire as level as possible and remove some of the dirt where the tire hole is for extra water volume. Alternately you can dig a hole to put the entire tire into so that the pond is ground level. 

To prevent leakage, Ground to Ground recommends using concrete to seal the bottom of the tire and ensure your pond lasts a long time. Another option to hold the water is to use a pond liner, as explained on All Created

Once you're sure your tire is waterproof, fill the pond with water and add aquatic plants, rocks, and other decorations. Create a naturalistic and inviting environment by incorporating diverse forms of aquatic wildlife into your personal outdoor space, but keep in mind that a water pump will be needed if you are putting living things in your pond. With proper maintenance and care, your tire pond will provide a tranquil and eco-friendly focal point for your outdoor oasis, and maybe even become an outdoor update that adds serious value to your home.

The classic tire swing

Building a tire swing is a timeless project that can bring hours of joy to your outdoor space, and there are a lot of approaches from the simple throwing of a rope over a branch to chains and straps and eyebolts. To do it safely and keep it from damaging the tree, Family Handyman explains that you should start by selecting a sturdy tree branch as the anchor point for your tire swing. A solid choice of branch should be from a hardy, healthy tree, that's a minimum of eight inches thick and 10 to 20 feet above the ground. 

Choose a tire of appropriate size and condition for the swing seat, ensuring it's clean and free of any sharp edges or debris. With the help of a strong rope or chain, securely hang the tire from the chosen anchor point at a height that allows for safe swinging. One simple method is to suspend the tire vertically, allowing users to sit on one edge with their legs through the hole. Another option is to position the tire horizontally, securing both ends, which enables the addition of a wooden plank or cushion inside for enhanced comfort. 

Once everything is in place, your tire swing is ready for enjoyment! Just remember to inspect the swing regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and replace the tire or rope as needed to ensure continued safety and fun.