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8 Awesome Uses For Old Tires

There Are More Uses For Old Tires Than You’d Think!

Shed Made of Recycled Tires

Everyone seems to have a least a few used tires lying around. You don’t want to pay to dispose of them. Instead, save money by reusing them in other ways. If you’re looking for some tire recycling tips, we’ve got you covered. Need a new coffee table? Don’t buy one, just build one! What about a new tire garden feature? Get your hands dirty and make something. Unleash your inner product design guru and start working on your own DIY ideas and creative ways to deal with your old rubber and give those tires a new life. Tires make excellent building blocks and can be refined into into anything from patio furniture, tire hammocks, DIY home decor and more! Here are some great “reuse and recycle” used tire ideas…!

Check Out These Used Tire Ideas!


Used tires make great instant outside planters for your flowers. My can transfer potted plants into them, or you can plant seeds. Just lay the tire on the ground, and fill in the middles fill potting soil and mulch to support your flowers. A recycled tire garden planter can be a versatile piece of garden decoration. Painted tire pieces can look chic, hanging planters can transform your garden landscape, and these tire planters can be incredibly versatile too. It’s one of the best ways to reuse old tires with minimum effort, but for maximum effect!


Surely the most classic use for used tires is making a simple tire swing. Just a add a rope and a tree, and you’re in business: one DIY tire swing! Even if you don’t have kids, put up a tire swing for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll come to enjoy it once you have one. Go swing into the sunset; it’s an amazing experience! If  classic swings don’t appeal to you and you fancy a bigger challenge, you could try weaving tire hammocks from shredded tire parts. It’s one of the more creative ideas, and tricky to execute, but totally worth the effort.


Used tires can be used to make wing walls, or decorative garden partitions. This a perfect project for someone who have a lot of used tires to make use of. Line up a row of tires along the ground where you want your wall to be. Then add a second row with each tire laying across two tires from the first row. Keep adding rows until your wall is as high as you want it. If you have a sloped garden, you can employ a similar tactic to build tire garden stairs. Since it’s difficult to recycle old tires, it’s better to try and use them practically for structural projects like these. Rubber recycling isn’t easy – but thankfully, rubber upcycling offers plenty of creative ideas and interesting opportunities. Even rubber mulch is a thing, but there are a few cons that could outweigh the pros of putting this down on the ground.


Lie your used tires up as described above for ‘walls’, but arrange the first row in a square or rectangle instead of a straight line. Used tires are naturally weather resistant, so they make great building walls. You’ll still have to add a roof, but you’ll have saved a bundle in material costs by using used tires for most of your structure. DIY home builds rarely use old tires, but for an outdoor structure (for weird architecture art mash ups), they’re the perfect material. It’s one of the bolder ideas how to reuse them but if you’ve got an abundance of tires and a serious waste management problem, this is a great way to re-purpose them.

Furniture Ideas

There are plenty of DIY projects you can do with car tires, and one of the most practical is to build yourself some outdoor furniture. Tire chairs can be made by either stacking tires and using shredded tires to weave a seat base, and you can match your new tire chairs with an awesome tire table like in the picture below! They might be a bit too industrial for the average living room, but they’ll look right at home in the garden! Who wouldn’t want a weather-proof car tire coffee table? Garden furniture and garden decoration like this is one of the more exciting upcycling ideas we’ve seen.


You can create a nice edge border to you driveway or garden with used tires. Cut each tire in half, so that you have two half-circles. Dig a shallow trench as wide as a tire, and line up your tire half-pieces with their cut ends downward in the trench. Fill in enough dirt to keep them stable, and tamp it down firmly. You can even paint them in a color to match your home and landscaping.

Raised Bed Garden

If you’ve ever thought about making a raised bed garden, you should consider using used tires to make your beds. Raised bad are perfect for rocky soil, because you don’t have to dig at all. Just lay out something to be your boundary and fill it in with quality soil. Used tires are perfect for this. No nailing together boards. Nothing to measure or cut. Just lay them out, fill them up with soil, and start planting. Built tire planter and raised bed gardens is one of the most popular tire recycling DIY ideas. Why stop there though? Why go for just a raised bed for your garden, when a bed for your animal could also work? Yes, tire-made dog bed projects are a thing, and they look cool too.

Tireman Sculpture

Here’s a whimsical idea for your used tires. Make yourself an all-weather snowman. Stack up different sizes of tires to form a tire-man like you see in the tire advertisements, and pose him waving to passing drivers. If you have enough tires, you can man an entire tireman family – or build a tire swan, which seems to be a popular thing to do!

What About Interior Design Ideas?

Can you use tires indoors? Absolutely! While the material is more associated with outdoor creative ideas, there is a growing trend in using tires indoors in the United States. Using the same principles in many of the steps listed above, you can come up with thousands of cool decor ideas. The only limit is your imagination! Check out this image below for a few cool ideas how to reuse old tires in the home!

If you need more car tire DIY ideas, or need to upcycle other car parts, check out this cool article on upcycling motorcycle salvage. There’s more DIY projects to be undertaken from other vehicle scrap, but waste tire recycling projects are still our favorites. Do the Environmental Protection Agency a favor by recycling and reusing your old products rather than trying to throw them all in the trash.

Do Tires Get Too Old To Use?

It’s all very well having a bunch of ideas about what to do with used tires but how do you know when a tire is on its last legs? Of course, when the tread is no longer legal for the roads is a good indication, but what about when your tread is good but your tire is just…old?

There are many stories about failures occurring with older tires, often tires that appear to be in great shape. And, unfortunately, many have resulted in fatal injuries. Perhaps the most recent to consider the horrific accident that killed the actor Paul Walker in 2013. It has been revealed that the Porsche Carrera GT in which he was riding had nine-year-old tires. The California Highway Patrol noted that the tires’ age might have played a factor in the accident.

For years, people have relied on the tread depth to judge a tire’s condition. But the rubber compounds in a tire deteriorate with time, regardless of the condition of the tread. An old tire is quite capable of being a safety hazard. For most of us, old tires will never be an issue. If you drive somewhere around 12,000-15,000 miles annually, a tire’s tread will wear out in three to four years, long before the rubber compound does. But if you only drive 6,000 miles a year, aging tires could be a real issue.

Common rubber bands can illustrate the point. Everyone knows that rubber bands age poorly and can get brittle and develop cracks within a few years. That’s essentially what happens to a tire. Cracks in the rubber begin to develop over time. They may appear on the surface and inside the tire as well. This cracking can eventually cause the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire.  The scary part is that this may not affect a tires performance during ordinary use but it could lead to failure under extreme circumstances

So how do you determine the age of a tire?  Tires made after the year 2000 have a four-digit DOT code. The first two numbers represent the week in which the tire was made. The second two represent the year. So, a  tire with a DOT code of 1207 was made in the 12th week of the year 2007.

So how long does a tire last? The guys at Urse Honda explain that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has no specific guidelines on tire aging. Some carmakers such as Nissan and Mercedes-Benz tell consumers to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Some tire manufacturers, such as Continental and Michelin, say a tire can last up to 10 years.

In summary, of all your vehicle’s components, its tires have a huge effect on the way it handles and brakes. So keep your eyes on your tires, your life could depend on it.


About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them, but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. I founded GearHeads.org and then built and ran AutoWise.com until selling it to Lola Digital Media in 2020. I look forward to watching AutoWise grow as part of the AllGear group.