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I originally wrote this post back in January of 2014. Since it’s been five years, and I’ve found some fun ways to upcycle old car tires since then, I wanted to update it!
One interesting thing about living at Grouse Creek is its junk pile. My Grandpa never liked to throw anything away. He had the, “I might need it someday” attitude that many people who survived the Great Depression shared.
And so our property has a nice area of…junk! Old fridges, old cars, an old bathtub, oodles and oodles of miscellaneous screws, nuts and bolts, and more are nestled in a wooded area or stored in an old storage building. Though I’m very thankful it’s not visible from the house, this junk pile has come in handy on more than one occasion.
We were able to grab some chicken feeders that just needed some hammering to straighten up; and some random odds and ends that were the perfect fit for various low cost building projects. Some days I think there was definitely something to the reuse and repurpose attitudes that used to be so prevalent.
It definitely taught a sense of ingenuity that isn’t as common today.
Counting the Tires
When the kids and I were bored one day and in need of adventure a few years back, we decided to venture to the junk pile and count the tires. We reached 100 in just a couple minutes and kept going. The final number has since been forgotten, but it was in the range of 150. That’s a lot of tires!
I’ve been pondering on those tires, and really want to put as many of possible to good use. The rubber is in decent condition, and I knew there had to be a way to reuse them. After turning to Google and Pinterest, I was rewarded with some great possibilities. Over the past several years, my husband has helped me upcycle old car tires into many projects.
Projects We’ve Done to Upcycle Old Car Tires
Old Car Tire Planter
A couple of years ago, I picked out an old car tire and turned it into a planter. You can see the directions I used in this post.
I don’t want to grow any edible food in tires, just because of the chemical leach concern. I’ve read both sides of the argument, and decided that since I have plenty of other ground to grow in, I don’t need to use the tires.
But…they look really cute as planters. Since I don’t really have a great desire to grow flowers, I gave my planter to my mom. She has it sitting on her deck and I love how it looks!
Old Car Tire Seesaw
Tires make a fun addition to our backyard! The kids enjoy playing on them, and it brings back memories of elementary school recess when I loved playing on the half-buried tires.
A few years ago when money was really tight, we made this seesaw for our daughter’s birthday. She loved it, and it still gets played with! (Tires definitely hold up!)
We recently gave it a new coat of pink spray paint on the tire. That wore off. The board used to be purple, but our daughter liked the worn look of the board so we didn’t respray it.
To create the seesaw, we cut a tire in half. Then we attached a board to it with lag bolts. We fastened the handles through drilled holes. This was a really simple project, and it gets so much use.
Upcycled Old Car Tire Tractor
This is a favorite backyard addition for my younger kids! They are constantly playing on this thing.
We saw something similar on Pinterest and were inspired to make our own. Basically, we buried three tires partway. Then we set another down. The seat is off an old tractor. We just updated the paint on it. The seat is just resting there – we can take it out.
The steering wheel is off an old broken riding lawnmower. It’s attached through a hole in the front tire.
Another really simple project that gets lots of love.
Upcycled Tire Tetherball
The majority of the family puts this old tire to use. We challenge each other to tetherball games frequently.
We used a bag of cement to set the pole. The we used a drill to put a hole in the top of the pole to attach the tetherball to. The pole was found in the junk pile.
The ball was purchased on Amazon. It’s held up well and is still working! We’ve been playing since the summer of 2017, so I definitely recommend this specific tetherball!
Tire Bike Rack
This was our first tire project! My husband and kids helped bury several tires halfway. They can park their bikes between them and they aren’t constantly falling over.
Old Car Tire Seat
If you take an old car tire and wrap it in bailing twine, what do you get?
A portable seat the kids can push around. Here’s Bryson sitting in it when he was younger:
The bailing twine we used was still on a roll. It was sitting in our basement and we wanted to find a way to use it.
My husband was the best at figuring out how to wrap the tire. When I tried, it kept bunching up funny and I finally got frustrated enough to ask for help…(memo to self – ask sooner next time!). He came up with a great system.
Free Tire Play
We spray painted two tires and added them to the backyard. I love watching the kids play creatively with them.
They’ve turned them into tables, jumped into them, and had contests to see who could make them roll the furthest.
Plans to Continue to Upcycle Old Car Tires
Those are some of the ways we’ve begun to put our stack of old car tires to use. I’m excited to try more projects in the future!
Do you have a favorite way to upcycle old car tires?