Walking through my Brooklyn neighborhood this past weekend, I spied an interesting structure on the sidewalk. Someone had lovingly converted an old rubber tire into an outdoor planter with undeniable charm.
That reminded me: With millions of cars on the road—and countless tires languishing in the corners of garages everywhere—it’s a good idea (environmentally, economically, and creatively) to reuse tires whenever possible. Here are five creative ways to incorporate them usefully into your home and landscaping.
1. CREATE BIKE STORAGE
This one applies whether you’re sharing a house with a handful of bike-loving housemates, or your children have a habit of carelessly leaving their bikes strewn in the garden. Take a cue from Lushome, and reuse tires to introduce organized bike storage for your friends’ and family members’ beloved two-wheelers.
2. CONSTRUCT A SEESAW
Over at Barefoot in Paradise, see how Lorren made a seesaw for her daughter using only basic tools and readily available, not to mention affordable, building materials. Best of all, there’s easily enough to go around, since one tire yields two seesaws!
3. MAKE AN OTTOMAN
Nikki from That Was a What?! obtained a large semi-trailer tire through Craigslist. Using rope and glue (and downright cleverness), she was able to transform the tire into a stylish and practical ottoman for her living room.
4. SET UP A TIRE SWING
As the saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The tire swing is an American tradition; help keep it alive in your family. Just make sure to pick a sturdy branch and a strong length of rope.
5. BUILD OUTDOOR PLANTERS
The tire planter idea is hardly novel. Mount them on the wall, letting plants cascade down. Or stack and stagger them in your backyard for a larger and more elaborate scheme. Alternatively, you can pursue a unique riff on the theme by building grass-cushioned seating, like the above, which were exhibited at Invasion Verde in Lima, Peru.
For more on repurposing, consider: