How to Upcycle an Old Tire Into a Hanging Planter
Upcycling old materials into new, functional items is a great way to repurpose things that would otherwise end up in the landfill. An old tire is one such item that can easily be transformed into something new, like a hanging planter. Hanging gardens are an attractive way to display plants, herbs or flowers, and a tire planter makes for an especially unique conversation piece.
In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide to upcycling an old tire into a decorative and functional hanging planter.
What You’ll Need
To upcycle a tire into a hanging planter, you will need:
- An old tire (car, bike, etc.)
- A drill with various drill bits
- Sandpaper or wire brush
- Scissors or utility knife
- Twine, rope, or hanging chain
- Moss, coconut coir, soil, etc. for filling the planter
- Spray paint and primer for coloring the tire
- Waterproofing sealant
- Decorative accents – beads, gems, etc.
Make sure to thoroughly clean the tire of any dirt and debris before beginning the project.
Steps to Make a Tire Hanging Planter
Follow these steps to upcycle an old tire into a hanging planter:
1. Clean and Prepare the Tire
Use a wire brush or sandpaper to thoroughly scuff up the interior and exterior surfaces of the tire. This will help the tire better adhere to paint if you wish to color it.
Clean all dirt and debris from the tire using soap and water. Allow it to fully dry before moving to the next step.
2. Decoratively Paint the Tire (Optional)
If you want to paint the tire, begin by spraying a coat of primer onto the interior and exterior surfaces. Allow the primer to dry fully.
Next, spray paint the tire in your color of choice. I chose a cheerful bright yellow to contrast against the black rubber. Do multiple light coats, allowing each coat to dry in between.
Finally, seal the paint with a clear waterproofing spray. This will help protect the color from sun exposure and moisture.
3. Cut a Large Circular Hole in the Tire
Use a utility knife to carefully cut out a large circular chunk from one side of the tire. Try to keep the hole centered.
The hole should be large enough to allow you to easily insert and remove plants, but small enough to still retain the tire’s shape. Around 8-12 inches in diameter is ideal.
4. Drill Holes for Drainage
Flip the tire over so the open side is facing down. With a drill, make several drainage holes in the bottom of the tire.
Space the holes evenly throughout. This will prevent the soil and roots from getting overly waterlogged.
5. Drill Holes for Hanging
Decide how you want to hang the planter. For versatility, I drilled three pairs of holes near the top edges so it could be hung from hooks, chain, rope or twine.
Make sure to reinforce the holes with grommets so the weight of the soil doesn’t cause them to tear.
6. Add Hooks, Chain or Rope
Based on your hanging preference, add hooks screwed into the ceiling or wall, chain, rope or twine threaded through the top holes to create a hanger.
Make sure it is securely fastened to comfortably hold the weight of the soil-filled tire.
7. Fill With Soil
Place a layer of burlap, landscape fabric, or moss over the drainage holes inside the tire to cover them up. This will keep the soil from leaking out.
Fill the planter about 3/4 full with a well-draining potting mix or coconut coir. Don’t pack it down too firmly. Leave space for water to flow through.
8. Plant Flowers, Herbs or Greens
Decide what you want to grow in your upcycled tire planter. Consider cascading flowers for visual appeal, herbs for cooking or leafy greens to snip fresh salads from.
Make holes in the soil to insert the root balls of the plants. Gently firm the soil around them. As the plants grow, use plant ties to train their growth in the direction you prefer.
9. Display Your Tire Planter
Hang your recycled tire planter in a spot that will allow the plants to get adequate sunlight and ventilation. Water sufficiently as needed for the plants you chose.
Step back and admire the handy-work that went into upcycling an old tire into a beautiful and functional hanging planter!
Ideas to Personalize Your Tire Planter
There are many ways to make your upcycled tire planter uniquely your own:
- Paint a fun pattern – stripes, polka dots, stenciled designs
- Add decorative accents – beads, gems, buttons around the hole’s edges
- Use as vertical planter – hang it or place on ground and plant flowers all the way around
- Plant succulents or cactuses for a cool, desert vibe
- Mix trailing vining plants with edible herbs for a culinary planter
- Attach water catcher – hang a vase or bucket under drain holes to recycle water
The possibilities are endless! The most important thing is to let your creativity shine through.
Upcycling an old tire into a hanging planter is a inexpensive, eco-friendly way to creatively reuse something that would otherwise go to waste. Not only is a tire planter unique, but it also adds visual interest and greenery to any space.
With a few basic materials and following the steps above, you can easily transform an old tire into a functional planter. Customize it with paint, accents and your favorite plants. Get creative and enjoy growing your very own sustainable hanging garden from a recycled tire.