— Tire Business reporter Jennifer Karpus grabbed this question and rolled with it: "Since I started my position at Tire Business, I have had to go to my local tire/automotive aftermarket repair shop twice. The first time I walked in, I had the print edition of Tire Business in hand as I gathered up what I needed from the car before leaving it overnight. "The man behind the counter looked at me and asked, 'You read Tire Business? That's not the normal reading material for a woman in her 20s.' So you could imagine the look on another employee's face the second time I visited the shop and asked to keep my old tires for a project. "All across social media, I have seen beautiful tire planters. What a great way to help the environment by reusing tires that normally might get tossed in a dump. Making one also gave me an opportunity to try out my 'green thumb.' "I decided to start with two planters because I am really not that crafty of an individual and did not want to bite off more than I could chew. So here are the steps for making a tire planter: Getting the tires "The clerk told me I could take as many scrap tires as I wanted to make tire planters, so I grabbed two of my old tires and headed home. "After realizing that my process was going to involve cutting the tire with a knife and turning it inside out, I enlisted the help of my boyfriend, Doug, because not only am I not the 'craftiest' person, but I am also very accident prone. I am NOT saying a woman could not do this herself—but how else would I be able to take photos of the project? Prepping the tire "There is a simpler way to make a tire planter—just paint it and plop some dirt in it and plant whatever you want. However, making it fancier requires a few more steps. "Make sure to wash the tire so it's easier for the paint to adhere. Then mark up the tire so you know where to cut. You can make any kind of design you want. We basically drew half circles all the way around the bead of the tire using a paint marker and an old wonton soup container. Cutting "My boyfriend opted to use a box-cutter knife to do the cutting. It is harder to cut toward the inside of the tire—by the bead—because the rubber is thicker. You will cut this all in one piece because the bead part of the tire can become a base for the tire planter. When the cut portion comes out, it sort of looks like something a little kid might draw—with little sun beams coming out. Flipping "This is where things can start to get a little tricky. You need to flip the tire inside out so that the tread is on the inside and the nice flat surface is on the outside—where you will eventually paint. "The first tire we flipped one inside out, it was done on a nice, hot day. That made it much easier to manipulate the rubber—rather than when we tried it for the second tire on a rainy day. We waited until a nicer day but still had trouble flipping the second one. Ultimately, we decided to cut the bead part out on the bottom, too, so that it was easily 'flippable.' Painting "Once everything is flipped and ready to go, it's time to make it your own! We opted to use spray paint, figuring it would be easier. I have seen some awesome tire planters, though, that are intricately designed to the minutest detail. Since I did the majority of the painting, I went with one that was hot pink and bright green, then made one light blue with yellow polka dots. "Things to note about the paint: Use non-toxic paint—you will be planting things in there so you want to give them a fighting chance; use a primer, keeping in mind the same concept as when you are painting dark walls—if you want the colors you are choosing to show up on the tire, then you need a primer coat; and choose light colors—black tires absorb sunlight, so they can get really hot, which is not good for the plants that will be growing in them. Finishing touches "Once the paint dries, you can get your tire planter settled in for its new home. I have a courtyard area at home where I have put my two tire planters. I planted hot and bell peppers in one and parsley and basil in the other. Keep checking out Tire Business' Facebook page to see how they turn out! Already have tire planters? Post them to Tire Business' Facebook wall. — Have questions for Ms. Karpus? Call her at 330-865-6143 or email [email protected]. More of a visual learner? Check out Tire Business' Facebook page for a photo gallery.
How do I make a tire planter out of scrap tires?
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