Repurpose and Reuse: How to Make a Chic DIY Tire Planter from Scrap

Paul West/ Backyard Gardening, Backyard Ornamental

Upcycling and repurposing items destined for landfill is a rewarding way to be eco-friendly. With a little creativity, you can give new life to an old tire by turning it into a unique DIY tire planter. This easy backyard project is perfect for sprucing up your yard or creating an urban container garden.

Key Takeaways

  • With simple tools, you can easily transform used tires into unique garden planters.
  • Adding drainage holes and gravel creates a healthy container environment for plants.
  • Get creative decorating the outside of your tire planter with paint, tiles, stones and more.
  • Quality potting mix and proper planting ensures your tire garden thrives.
  • Repurposing tires keeps them out of crowded landfills and benefits the environment.

What You’ll Need

Transforming a tire into a planter is simple and budget-friendly. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:

  • Used tire – thoroughly cleaned inside and out
  • Utility knife – for cutting tire sidewalls
  • Drill with assorted drill bits
  • Gravel, rocks, or pebbles – for drainage
  • Spray paint and/or acrylic craft paints
  • Paint brushes and rollers
  • Stencils, stamps, or stickers for decoration
  • Adhesive and embellishments like tiles or stones
  • Quality potting soil
  • Herbs, vegetables, or flowers to plant

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to create your own DIY tire planter:

Prep the Tire

Start by washing the tire thoroughly inside and out with soap and water. This removes any dirt, debris, or oily residues.

Use a sharp utility knife to carefully cut out the inner sidewalls of the tire. Remove this excess rubber to leave you with a single ring or cylinder. Wear gloves for safety.

Sand any rough edges left from cutting if desired. This helps create a smooth inner surface for your future plantings.

Add Drainage

Proper drainage is key for a healthy garden. Use a 1/4” drill bit to make 5-10 drainage holes evenly spaced along the bottom of the tire.

You can optionally coat the holes with silicone or other sealant before adding gravel. This prevents soil from leaching out.

Fill the bottom 2-3 inches of the tire planter with pebbles, gravel, or other rocks to create a drainage layer.

Paint and Decorate the Exterior

Now comes the fun part – decorating the outside of your tire planter!

Spray paint provides a smooth, even base color. Do 2-3 light coats allowing drying time between each.

Use acrylic craft paints and stencils or stamps to add patterns and designs. Get creative!

Embellish with mosaic tiles, river stones, sea glass, or other items using a strong adhesive like E6000.

Add a final sealant spray if desired for extra weather protection.

Plant Your Tire Garden

Start by filling your tire planter about halfway with a quality potting soil mix.

Place herb plants, vegetables, or flowers in the soil, filling in gaps with more potting mix.

Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil. Check drainage.

Caring for Your Tire Planter

Colorful collection of tire-based planter designs

Tire planters need the same general care as any container garden:

  • Water 1-2 times per week, taking care not to overwater
  • Apply compost or fertilizer occasionally
  • Repaint periodically to maintain its luster
  • Prune and weed as needed

Rotate the tire to encourage even sun exposure and growth.

Replenish potting mix annually. Repot root-bound plants.

Enjoy your eco-friendly upcycled tire planter for years to come!

Creative Ways to Use Tire Planters

Tire planters are incredibly versatile. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Vertical herb garden attached to fencing
  • Whimsical fairy garden with mini tire planters
  • Strawberry patch tire planter
  • Succulent or cactus tire planter
  • Colorful annuals for curb appeal
  • Edible flowers and greens

Place a single tire planter as a focal point or use multiples to form edging borders. Match your home’s color scheme or decor style.

The options are endless when you repurpose tires into unique garden planters!


Creating your own DIY tire planter is easy, budget-friendly, and eco-friendly. Simply follow the steps to transform an old tire destined for the landfill into a beautiful and useful addition to your yard or garden.

Tire planters allow you to upcycle items in a creative way while adding a modern, urban flair. Get the whole family involved and make it a fun weekend project.

Be sure to share photos of your finished tire planter creations and inspire others! The only limit is your imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of tires work best for making a planter?

Look for used tires free of major damage, cracks or tread separation. Avoid very heavy truck tires. Standard car, motorcycle, ATV and light truck tires work well as they are easier to maneuver when decorating and planting.

How long does it take to make a tire planter?

With gathered materials, creating a basic tire planter takes 1-3 hours including cleanup and drying time. Allow more time for painting, embellishing and planting for an elaborate planter.

What can I grow in a tire planter?

Herbs, vegetables, flowers and succulents suited to container gardening all thrive planted in tire planters. Choose smaller sized plants with shallow roots.

Where is the best place to position a tire planter?

Place tire planters in a sunny spot with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Against a sunny wall or fence works well. Rotate for even sun exposure.

How often do I need to water a tire planter?

Check soil moisture frequently, at least every other day in warm weather. Water thoroughly 1-2 times per week, taking care not to oversaturate as tires dry out quickly.

How can I prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the tire planter?

Allow soil to dry out between waterings, drill ample drainage holes and use mosquito dunks. Remove any standing water immediately to deter mosquito breeding.

Further Reading

Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!