Old tyres can be mighty useful, but, warns Chris Lett, proprietor of Branigans Tyres, don’t let them pile up while waiting to get around to a DIY project. “If people would like to make something out of their used tyres, there are plenty of great ideas out there, but a pile of old tyres is a place where mosquitoes can breed. It’s also a great haven for rodents and snakes, and if it does ever catch fire, a tyre pile can turn into a disaster area pretty quickly.”
With that piece of advice duly noted, it’s time to look at the fun and useful things that can be made with old tyres. “Do be careful,” says Chris “especially with projects that require cutting of tyres – they’re pretty tough, and a slip could result in a nasty accident. Use a heavy-duty drywall knife or utility knife to slice the rubber, and when encountering steel reinforcing wires, use a hacksaw.”
Old tyres have long been a standby for making playground equipment. From tyre obstacle courses to swings and jungle gyms, all it takes is some ingenuity, a few bright paint colours, some wooden poles, and a few fasteners. “Remember to make some holes for water drainage,” says Chris “and use strong fasteners so that there are no accidents.”
Whether it’s tyre play equipment made to swing, scramble, jump, or climb, most people will have fond memories of old tyre playgrounds. There are some super-creative ideas out there, so it’s possible to have plenty of fun deciding what to make.
While making a hose caddy might not be as amusing as planning a full adventure playground, it’s a handy project that will save people from tripping over hose pipes in the yard. “A lot of people use old wheel rims as hose caddies,” says Chris, “but a hose pipe can be wound up inside an old tyre too. Just cut off the tyre’s sidewalls and add an optional layer of paint to pretty it up.”
Tyre Walls and Staircases
It’s possible to use old tyres in the same way as the blocks from which retaining walls are made, building staircases or walls depending on personal needs. “It is probably unwise to use tyre retaining walls on the steepest sites,” says Chris, “but they’re very good for stabilising slightly gentler slopes. When building staircases, DIYers may need some wood or steel droppers to help keep the tyres in place despite erosion and traffic, but they can be quite effective and look good.”
Pretty or Practical Planters
Most people will know that one can grow a good crop of potatoes in tyres, piling them up and filling in with soil as the potato plants grow for a bigger harvest. Paint the tyres and mount them on a garden wall, and an unusual and attractive vertical garden can be created. The stacked tyres trick can be quite attractive when using painted tyres, or one can get even more creative and cut them into interesting shapes.
Even Indoor Furniture: Get Imaginative
Depending on how much time homeowners have on their hands and how imaginative they are, there are tons of things to make from old tyres. “It’s incredible what people dream up,” says Chris. “There are quite attractive-looking chairs, coffee tables, and ottomans made of old tyres. People paint them, glue rope around them to make them look like woven baskets, and turn them into all kinds of furnishings for use both indoors and out.”
Repurposing Tyres is Fun and Green
Branigans Tyres disposes of old tyres using the most environmentally friendly methods possible, but Chris admits that repurposing old tyres offers the most room for fun and creativity. “If people have a bright idea for reusing old tyres, they should go ahead! It would be great if they would share their pictures with Branigans on social media and inspire the community. Being ‘green’ can be more fun than most people realised!”
For further information, visit or call Chris and his team at Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres by contacting the Service Centres in Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.