Thursday, January 23, 2014

Uses for Old Tires

One interesting thing about living at Grouse Creek is its junk pile.  My Grandpa never liked to throw anything away.  He had the, "I might need it someday" attitude that many people who survived the Great Depression shared.

And so our property has a nice area of...junk!  Old fridges, old cars, an old bathtub, oodles and oodles of miscellaneous screws, nuts and bolts, and more are nestled in a wooded area or stored in an old storage building. Though I'm very thankful it's not visible from the house, this junk pile has come in handy on more than one occasion.  We were able to grab some chicken feeders that just needed some hammering to straighten up;  and some random odds and ends that were the perfect fit for various low cost building projects.

When the kids and I were bored one day and in need of adventure a few years back, we decided to venture to the junk pile and count the tires.  We reached 100 in just a couple minutes and kept going.  The final number has since been forgotten, but it was in the range of 150.  That's a lot of tires!

I've been pondering on those tires lately, and really wanting to put them to use.  The rubber is in decent condition, and I knew there had to be a way to reuse them.  After turning to Google, I was rewarded with some great possibilities.  As soon as the ground thaws enough for me to pull them out, I have a couple of projects in mind.

I'm hoping the kids and I can work together on some of these ideas.  It'll be a great way to teach some new skills!


I don't want to grow any edible food in tires, just because of the chemical leach concern.  I've read both sides of the argument, and decided that since I have plenty of other ground to grow in, I don't need to use the tires.  But...they look really cute as planters.  So I think I'll give flowers a try for the first time ever.

I plan to follow this tutorial, and paint them in vibrant colors.  We need some beauty in our yard!  Any recommendations for easy flowers to grow?  I don't exactly have a green thumb, but I'd love to give it a try! I think annuals will be the way to go...

Play Equipment

Memories of jumping over tires that'd been half planted in the ground fill my thoughts of elementary school recess.  I also remember some tire swings.  I know that tires can be very useful in play.  Here are some of my favorite ideas.  I'm hoping to give one or two a try.

This article has some great details about building all kinds of play equipment.  I really like the sound of the tire log.  You basically attach a bunch of tires, and someone can climb inside and get rolled around.  I'm thinking this might be a great way to meet some of Owen's sensory needs! 

On this site, you can see pictures of an entire playground filled with tires.  I love the jungle gym type structure, and really think our backyard needs one.  Well, once we relocate our chicken flock...

Finally, I will attempt to make a couple of these rockers.  We have most of the materials on hand, so I'm excited! I'm hoping to make three of them, though since I'll have to cut two tires, I might just make four.  I'll have to check the scrap lumber pile and see how much wood there is!

 Other Ideas

A bike rack...

An ottoman...thinking of using some of the new spools of natural colored bailing twine we have...

I really want to try making some seating for around the fire pit Bryan installed last year.  I've seen some great pictures online, but no tutorials.  Any ideas?

What would you do with a bunch of tires?

Linked up to: Raising Arrows

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