Old car and bicycle tyres don't have to go to the landfill when they're no longer useful for transportation. If the tread on your tires is starting to get thin, a little creative thinking and elbow grease can keep tires useful around the yard and house. You can recycle them into flower planters, play equipment, fountains and even sandals and running shoes.
With relatively little work, an old tire can be turned into a planter box for flower beds and vegetable gardens. Clean the tire, place it in a sunny area, fill it with potting soil and your choice of seedlings, and watch your garden grow. A tire garden may appeal to people who have small yards or patios.
Several old tires can be painted and pieced together to resemble terra-cotta pottery. Find several nonsteel-belted tires of different shapes and, using a reciprocating saw, cut them into pieces that you can glue back together to form a pot. After the pot is assembled, paint it a burnt orange to resemble terra-cotta pottery. You can also try other colours to resemble other types of pottery.
Give an old rubber tire a second chance to meet the road by turning it into a pair of sandals. Start by drawing a pattern: Trace your favourite shoe on a piece of white paper. Using a hammer and chisel, or a reciprocating saw, cut out the pattern on a piece of tire---using nonsteel-belted tires will save you from having to remove the metal belts from the rubber. Punch holes for the straps at the edge of your sandals. Thread a dog leash through the holes to create a strap, and secure the leash to the side of the tire sandal with a screw. Cut and discard any excess leash.
Try a new approach to the old tire swing. You can cut and fold a single tire into a swing that looks like a horse. Draw a pattern of a tire on a piece of large paper. Then, between the inside and outside circles, draw a template of a horse. The horse should fill the entire image of the tire---the horse's nose should nearly touch its tail. Cut out the pattern and wrap it around the tire. Using chalk, outline the pattern onto the tire. Use a cutting instrument to slice the tire according to your pattern. Attach the sections back together using nuts and washers. Punch a hole in the tire to place an eye bolt, which will be used to suspend the swing from a tree with a rope.
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