DIY Animal Shaped Tire Swings

Written by amy lea
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DIY Animal Shaped Tire Swings
Recycle old tires to make a tire swing. (big tire and weeds image by Allen Penton from

Tire swings were rural swings that farmers built for their children when there was not much for entertainment around the farm. Since then, the tire swing has moved into towns and urban neighbourhoods. Many children enjoy the tire swings that are shaped like animals. Horses, dogs, and even dinosaurs are hanging in backyards across the country waiting for a child to ride them. It is cheaper to make an animal shaped tire swing than to purchase one at a store.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Used cross-ply tire
  • Industrial shears
  • Poster board
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • 7 bolts
  • 3 foot bolt
  • 8 bolt caps
  • 2 lengths of chain

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Place the tire on top of the poster board. Trace the inner and outer circles of the tire.

  2. 2

    Draw the shape of a horse, dog or dinosaur inside the two circles. The animal must have a tale and a nose, which almost touch at one side of the circle. The back of the animal is drawn on the opposite and outer side of the circle. The circle will look as though the animal is touching its tail, not bending backwards.

  3. 3

    Cut the poster board along the lines of the animal. The animal and the middle circle are the only parts of the poster board left. The middle circle is attached to the belly of the animal, as this is the stirrup.

    DIY Animal Shaped Tire Swings
    Gone are the days of the boring tire swing. (Tire Swing image by Luke Haverkamp from
  4. 4

    Tape the template to the middle of the tread of the tire edging to one side. Trace the template with the chalk. Repeat this on the other side so the two tracings touch in the middle of the tire tread.

  5. 5

    Cut the shapes out of the tire.

    DIY Animal Shaped Tire Swings
    Make sure the used tire does not have a weak middle. (tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from
  6. 6

    Turn the tire inside out.

  7. 7

    Score the joints so they bend correctly.

  8. 8

    Bolt the tire in specific places. For the horse, bolt the tire under the nose, at the jaw, along the neck, at the front of the stirrups, behind the stirrups, at the haunches and the tail. Use about the same places for other animals.

    DIY Animal Shaped Tire Swings
    Strong bolts can be used as decoration on the tire swing. (bits and bolts image by davidcrehner from
  9. 9

    Tie the animal through the head and the tail with the chain. Either loop the chain at both ends so it is able to swing with head forward or simply attach the chain to the head and tail to make it swing side first.

Tips and warnings

  • This is a project that requires strength. The tire will not cut easily nor will it bend without a massive force.
  • Heat the tire at the areas which need to bend. This will help make it more flexible.
  • Some tires have metal wires in the tread. Be careful to either choose a tire without the metal wires or to trim them to keep from getting scratched.

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