We have been looking for ways to add a little color and charm to our gardening. I hate being limited to a traditional garden space so we incorporate a variety of vertical techniques to spice it up. However, my husband recently ran across the idea of using old tires for potters online and we thought we would give it a try.

Let me tell you … they are beautiful and were a very fun craft to do with the kids. Old tires are incredibly easy to come by since they are a huge source of landfill contamination and space consumption. We went to our local junk yard and had a truck load of tires from just one pile. There were plenty of other tires there and they said we could help ourselves whenever we wanted more.

The tires are completely free, they just require pick up. You can ask a junk yard, salvage yard, or auto body shop if you can have their old tires and most will say yes.

Once you get your tires it is very easy to turn them into a potting masterpiece. We purchased some terracotta colored exterior home paint as a base for all our planters and then used standard acrylic paints to add designs. You can buy these at any craft store or probably have them lying around at home.

Pick Your Style

First you will want to pick the style of planter you want to make. If you are going to plant trees you should stack two or three tires on top of one another and fill them with soil to create a tall tree stabilizer and planter. Or you can use a single tire as a planter for leafy greens or herbs.

You can leave the tire as is, or for an “official non-tire” look you can turn the tire inside out. Either way, you will want to cut the top portion of the tire off with a box blade. Just cut inner portion of the tire off to the side. This will leave you with a bowl shaped tire.  If you don’t have a box blade you can use a kitchen knife rather easily. Here is a great YouTube video showing one being made with simple kitchen items.

After you have cut the tires you can paint them and it is really as simple as that. The kids loved painting the tires and were very impressed with the finished product.

Using old tires will keep them out of the landfill and it also helps boost growth in your garden. The tires help keep the heat in the soil and can help increase growth speed. Have you used old tires in your garden?

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