How to make a recycled tire horse swing

Updated February 21, 2017

Horse tire swings are a popular and fun way to recycle used tires into an item which children and adults can use and enjoy for years to come. Building a horse tire swing can be a challenge, but it should provide an entertaining project for the entire family.

Locate a cross-ply tire. It is uncommon to find a passenger vehicle in the United States with cross-ply tires. The worn out spare tire you might have in your yard is likely to be a steel-belted radial and will not work for this project. You might be able to locate a cross-ply tire by checking with your local junkyard or searching online.

Find or design a horse tire swing pattern to use in creating your horse tire swing. Patterns are available online or you can attempt to design your own horse. If you decide to make your own pattern, note that the horse should take up most of the tire.

Attach the pattern you have selected on to the tire using tape. You can either cut out the pattern with the tire or trace the pattern onto the tire and then cut out the areas you have traced.

Use the heavy-duty shears to cut out your pattern on the tire. Be sure to use the drill to cut out any bolt holes in the exact location where they were located on the pattern. If your bolt holes do not line up, your horse will not fit together properly.

Separate the horse’s nose and tail by cutting the tire in the area between them then turn the tire inside out.

Use the bolts and accompanying nuts and washers to attach the sections of the tire horse to one another in the correct positions. Use wrenches to tighten bolts and nuts. You will probably want to cover the ends of the bolts with caps to keep the edges smooth. At this point, your tire horse swing should be easily recognisable.

This step is optional, but if you would like to decorate your tire horse, you can use yarn, hot glue and whatever decorations you please in order to give your tire horse a unique look.

Attach the eye bolts to the top of the tire swing with the bolt end on the underside of the tire. Once this is completed, attach your chain or rope to the eye bolts and find a sturdy location to hang your new tire horse swing.


An improperly assembled or hung swing could cause injury or death. Improper use of tools can cause injury or death. Children should not attempt this project without the help of a responsible adult.

Things You'll Need

  • cross-ply tire
  • horse pattern
  • tape
  • heavy-duty shears
  • bolts with nuts, washers, and cover caps
  • eye bolts with nuts and washers for support and mounting
  • wrenches
  • drill
  • chain or heavy-duty rope
  • decorations (optional)
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About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.