DIY: Tire Planters

Here’s how you can make your own tire planter out of discarded car tires.

Things You’ll Need:
3 or More Rubber Tires
Sharp knife or cutting tool
Scrap Wood in 1X2′ Planks
1 1/4″ Screws or Beer Bottle Caps
Tarp or Coffee Bag

Tires can be used individually or stacked on top of each other to create a taller planter (we used up to 3).

If using multiple tires it’s important to select tires that are the same diameter (or at least VERY close). If they are not, then it will be impossible to stack them on top of each other.

The side walls must be cut out of the tire, but care should be taken to leave a ‘lip’ so that the tires can more easily stack on top of each other.

To cut the side walls out, start with a 2-3 inch incision (parallel to the circumference of the tire) using a strong, sharp knife or other cutting tool. Once the initial incision is made, if you have access to a sawzall (which is what we used) you can use it to cut around the tire to remove the entire side wall (see pic). If you do not have access to a sawzall, the side wall can be taken off using the tool that was used for the original incision, but it will be pretty hard work. This should be completed on both sides of the tire.

If using multiple tires, you will need to fasten the tires together – especially if you intend on moving the tire planter at any point. We used scrap wood in the form of 1×2 inch planks to stabilize the structure. To do this, we cut three planks whose height was just less than the height of the stack of tires (i.e. if the three tires stacked up measured 24 inches, we cut the planks to about 22 inches). Each plank was placed vertically against the stack of tires on the outside leaving equal distance on the top and the bottom (i.e if the stack measured 24 inches and the plank was 22 inches, the plank was placed such that there was an inch above and an inch below). We then used 1 1/4 inch screws to attach the planks to the outside of the tires. The screws grab wood more easily than rubber, so we started the screws from the inside of the tire, going through the tire and then into the wood. We used a flattened bottle cap as washer for each screw between the screw and the tire to keep the screw from sliding though the tire. The planks were placed evenly around the tire so that if you were looking down on the planter the tops of the planks formed an equilateral triangle. If using 2 tires, 3 screws should be used per plank – 2 in the bottom tire and 1 in the top tire. If using 3 tires, 4 screws should be used per plank – 1 each in the top and bottom tire and 2 in the middle tire. This is to ensure that the tire cannot rotate and twist the planks (2 screws in any 1 tire will keep the plank vertical.

If you are planing on using a tarp or other lining (which we did) you will want to attach the lining so that it forms a bucket within the tires. Wrap the lining over the top of the tires and fasten the lining by placing it between the tire and the plank and then drive the screw through the lining.

In other words, the top screws would go through tire -> bottle cap -> lining -> plank.