How to Make a Tire Planter

Last Updated on August 24, 2019 by Kimberly Crawford

Making your own flower pots from recycled tires is a great way to make your lovely garden greener. Learn how to make a tire planter.

Large enough for container gardening and pretty enough for display, tire planters are a wonderful way to make your own eco-friendly flower pots while adding a distinct and unique look to your garden.

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How to Make a Tire Planter 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)
  • chalk
  • paint (one or more colors, optional)
  • elbow grease (and lots of it!)


  1. Place the tire on flat, steady ground.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and the tire splits into two parts.
  4. To start inverting the tire, place your foot in the center of the rim and pull one edge (a petal) towards you.
  5. 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.)
  6. Paint and decorate your tire planter as desired.

Tips and Considerations for Making Your Own Tire Planter Flower Pots

Before you start making your planters, consider the following:

  • The wider the tire you use, the harder it will be to invert.
  • Use old, flexible tires and make sure they have pliable shoulders (called “sweet spots”). Newer tires will be less flexible and harder to invert.
  • 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.
  • To keep soil from falling out of the bottom of the planter, 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 Used Tires to Recycle For Making Your Tire Planter Flower Pots

If you 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 for free is Craigslist. People are constantly giving away old tires in the “Free” section.

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