My garden is a scrapyard, there – I said it. On a day to day basis this is far from ideal or visually appealing, but when looking for something to make something else out of, it does have upsides.
I was looking for a large planter. My long serving half barrel had truly rotted and large planters are actually harder to come by than I realised. Medium sized abounds, but large ones are rare. My eyes fell on two abandoned tyres sitting on a patch of grass in my front garden, with an empty hole in the centre that looked just right for holding a shrub.
Thinking it would be great to get rid of them and gain a planter in the process, a quick google produced heaps of options from minions, to cute disney-esque cups, to swans. (Google it, you’ll be amazed). But it was the inside out version which captured my heart as soon as I saw it.
So armed with a piece of chalk, a carpet knife and a breakfast bowl to draw a pattern with, I started. The chalk marking took about 2 minutes, the cutting was easier than I expected and done in 20 minutes easily, and then came the hard part.
A circus strongman might have made short work of turning a tyre, but there were none of those hanging around my house that day. So I roped in my husband, a brick and a few levers, and between us with a lot of pulling and pulling, we finally edged the tyre inside out.
The balance both physically and aesthetically that this planter has is amazing. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise given that tyres are indeed precision items by nature, but I’m just blown away by the elegance of this.
Given the obvious toxicity of tyre rubber, planting herbs or other edibles in this really is a no-no. Aside of that however, the rim provides perfect drainage, the planting area is an excellent size, it can be painted or left as is and my drive looks a teeny weeny bit better – WIN!
Here’s how to make it:
- 1 old tyre with or without rim - the more worn the better
- A piece of chalk
- 1 carpet or other very sharp knife
- A strong pair of hands, and some blunt tools to help turn tyre
- Using a bowl or freehand, chalk out the pattern on the tyre around the rim.
- If tyre is punctured already, make initial cut with knife.
- If tyre is not punctured already, it's a good idea to puncture gently with a nail first and let air out before making first cut.
- Cut along the chalk lines with knife.
- When the full circle is cut, the pattern will be detached from the rim of the tyre.
- Grab any piece of the newly cut edge, and start to pull it away from the rim.
- At this stage, help really is essential, the stronger the better.
- It may help to stand on the rim, and push the tyre away outwards and downwards.
- When the first piece turns, push from inside the tyre to make sure it turns fully.
- Use chisels or other blunt instruments to poke the tyre outwards.
- Turn the full tyre (it will happen eventually, trust me).
- Turn to use the wheel rim as a base.