Large enough for container gardening and pretty enough for display, making tire planters is a wonderful way to make your own eco-friendly flower pots while adding a distinct and unique look to your garden. And making a tire planter is easy—it just takes an old tire, some basic tools and a bit of elbow grease to recycle a tire into a big, beautiful flower pot.
Not sure how to decorate a recycled tire planter? That’s easy too—just paint it. Have a shabby chic garden? Paint it white crackle and plant it full of English lavender and thyme. Have a whimsical garden, full of color? Make a couple of tire planters and paint them different colors—it’s all up to you!
How to Make a Tire Planter for Flowers
DIY Tire Flower Pot Tools and Materials
- an old tire (with or without a rim)
- a sharp non-serrated knife, hacksaw or jigsaw
- a cup or cardboard cut-out for the pattern (round, v-shaped or any other shape of your choice)
- paint (one or more colors, optional)
- all the muscle you can muster
Tire Planter Directions
- Place the tire on flat, steady ground.
- Using a cup or cardboard cut-out, use the chalk and draw a repeating pattern along the side wall of one side of the tire.
- Starting at the tread and ending near the rim, use the knife (or saw) to very carefully cut along the pattern until you’ve cut all the way around.
- To start inverting the tire, place your foot in the center of the rim and pull one edge (a petal) towards you.
- Continue pulling each adjacent petal towards you until the entire tire is inverted. (Note: This part isn’t easy, so don’t be ashamed if you need to get a second person to help.)
- Paint and decorate your tire planter as desired.
Tips and Considerations When Making Planters Out of Tires
- Tires with rims will turn into pedestal planters and those without will lie directly on the ground.
- Because chemicals in the tire could possibly leach into soil, before you plant anything in the planter, line it with a plastic bag or another sort of seep-proof liner, especially if you’re planning to use it to grow fruits, vegetables or edible herbs. Cut a hole in this liner and align the hole with the hole in the rim. This is where water will drain from the planter.
- Another option is to put a smaller, food-safe planter inside. Cover the entire planter with soil and it won’t be visible but it will still protect your soil from contamination.
- To keep soil from falling out of the bottom of the flower pot, use a piece of screen to block the hole in the middle of the rim. If desired, weigh the screen down with one or more rocks (making sure that water can still drain through the hole).
Where to Find Tires For Your Recycled Tire Planters
If you’re eager to make your flower pots but don’t have any used tires of your own to use, consider contacting a local garage or tire shop to see if they have any that they’re willing to give you. Another great place to find old tires (and other random garden supplies) for free is Craigslist. People often give away old tires and gardening tools in the “Free” section. (Seriously, Craigslist is practically my first-stop-shop for everything. Check it out!)