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Thanks just got to sort out what to plant in the tyre.

If anybody wants to help out with the 2 tyres, I am going to take the tyres and a crow bar with me and my mum on sunday 25th november, this coming sunday, at sholing study centre in southampton.

This is for plant a tree day 10am - 3.30pm, planting saplings at milliers pond -  refreshments available throughout the day and tools provided.

I asked if their volunteers could help and they said may be after lunch before starting the second part of planting.

So if anybody wants to help, then come along, if you can and join in.


Did you not ask at the garage if they could turn the tyre for you? They've got the machinery and if they have a slack 10 minutew - and what business doesn't at the moment...I'm sure if they were good enough to give you tyres, they would be approschsble - good customer relations etc

I did phone and ask if they had a machine to turn the tyres inside out but they said no and another garage said no machinery for turning tyres inside out.

I only think they have a machine to take out the wheel rim from the tyres.

I did try- that would have been good if they did it would of been easy and quick less pain.

If it does not work out on sunday I will have to ask nicely at the garage if they are strong enough to help out.

Hi have managed to have a go at another tyre, took a lot just to cut out the petals of the flower.

I think the easiest part is to mark out the lines of where to cut out.

This tyre was very thick took more like 5 hours to cut out lots of pain bad hand and wrist.

Here's how thick


 Middle part a lot thicker to cut through.

These are the tools I used, stanley knife and a hacksaw

I used the hacksaw just to cut out the bottom circle.The hacksaw blade got nice and bent.

As we tried to turn the tyre inside out with the bottom circle still on, it would not bend and let us turn it I think it was too tough, we had several attempts. 

  You can see the bottom circle in the photo- it looks a lot smaller than the tyre does.


Hooray another tyre finished.

Shame we didn't manage to have the underneath curve like the first one  making it more of a planter.

Will paint this one, think it looks more like it could do with it.

Not sure which colour though any suggestions?

Is it ok to use outdoor wood colour paint?

Do you think I would need to do 1 coat of paint or 2?





I've worked with paint all my life and have always found that the technical people in paint companies are very helpful and really pleased that customers want access to their knowledge. Either email or phone the technical people at Dulux and Cuprinol and possibly Rustins, I'm sure someone will be able to advise you. If they all say that there is no paint that will last a long time then you may just have to repaint every couple of years.


Good idea didn't think about that - will have to phone paint places see if they know what to use, they might not have made tyre planters before but might have info on what sort of paint to use for tyres.

I think bright and pastel colours would be nice to use.

One colour per a planter or maybe two or a splatter of a few colours not sure yet.



Stripes? Spots? Writhing leaves?

Caz W

Well done gardengirl - such determination.  I don't know about painting tyres but I have found that masonry paint works on just about everything I've tried outside - old garden chairs, terracotta plant pots, metal shelves and walls of course.

I emailed Cuprinol and they gave me a number for Technical Paint Services which could give me advice on suitable paint products to use on the tyre.

Phoned them and they suggest using house paint (masonry) there is a paint for rubber but it would be really expensive to use.

The paint must be water based and not solvent as would melt the rubber- not good, the paint might last a while- but as rubber can expand in heat it could eventually crack but as long as it lasts a year or 2 will be fine.

If you live in southampton and have any spare house paint -I have put an add on freecycle.


I have grown flowers in tyres for years--actually terraced a slope with them. They take a lot of compost to fill them--mine were not on rims.I put perforated plastic on the bottom. I didn't paint them, though-just had trailing plants over the sides.

I made a pond in the kid's garden  at school out of a huge skidder tire-placed plastic first, then cemented the bottom with ready-mix cement-it took 7 bags! It lasted for more than 10 years, complete with goldfish which grew to almost 12"--and water lilies.

The kids loved it-even though they stood on the tyre, it never leaked, surprisingly.

That must of taken a lot of tyres to make a slope out of them?

Was that by stacking them?

Thats a good idea to have plants that trail over the side of the tyres then you get the colour that way by the flowers.

Anybody know what plants to put into the tyres?  I was thinking something like spiky looking grass and some sort of colour.

My mum had one of those tyre planters that was made out of the whole wheel in the early 80's, she bought it though, so not sure of how it was made.  I use a couple of tyres for planting potatoes in, it's easy to earth them up as they grow, and the bonus is there is virtually no digging to harvest the potatoes, just lift off the tyres.

I have a couple of ideas of how to turn the tyres inside out, the first you can try yourself, the second you will have to find a friendly 4X4 owner that actually takes their car off road.  Firstly, you can try softening the rubber by putting the entire thing in the bath and filling the bath with VERY hot water, boiling if you can manage it.  Then you and a friend stand on the smaller of the cut edges, and use a crowbar apiece to try and lever the thing up.

The second one needs a friendly 4X4 owner that has either a turfer or a winch (both are used for recovering vehicles stuck in mud, I've used both during my time as navigator/spotter/gate bitch/dogsbody).  Attach smaller end of tyre to immovable object (such as recovery point on ordinary car using a strop).  Attach other end of tyre to winch/turfer, using strop inside bit of tyre that you want to turn inside-out.  Start to winch or start working the turfer (very hard work but you won't get bingo wings doing it regularly!!).  Do this SLOWLY, as when the tyre goes, it will go with a pop, make sure that the person helping is experienced in using the equipment, as this will be easy compared to unsticking a ton's worth of car from mud.  Recovery equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly.  Some beer usually goes down well with the off-roading fraternity.  That or offer to be a gate bitch next time they go out (you will enjoy it, as it's not as bad as it sounds, and you will get to see some fantastic sights, and the banter that goes on via the CB has literally reduced me to tears of laughter sometimes).

Interesting idea to put the tyre in the bath. Will see on sunday at Sholing study centre in Southampton if any of the volunteers can help out first before trying that method.

As I have not got house paint just yet. Do you think it is best to put the tyre in the right place fill with compost/ top soil and some plants them paint it when weather is warmer as the tyres needs to dry?  Or is it best to paint them before filling with the compost/ top soil they are in a dry place?

Any idea which way is best?

Personally, I'd paint it before filling it, as you wouldn't want to get paint in the compost.  I'd also paint inside it to stop some of the stuff used to harden the rubber from leaching out.  Not sure, but I think the paint would be less harmful to plants than some of the grot that goes into making tyres.  You might also need two coats to get the depth of colour you want (a bit like doing your nails).  I'd also have a look and see if you can get something to waterproof the finished article, or try washing the paint off with a hosepipe, just so you know it's OK - you don't want to get back from the garden centre in the spring with a load of plants to put in there, and find the colour's run all over the drive / patio.  I've found paint has a habit of not sticking where it's supposed to and staining bits where it's not supposed to be!



If you are using masonry paint in bright pastel colours, you will probably need 2 or even 3 coats; the more solid the colour the less likely it is to look patchy in 9 months time, just when you want them to look their best. If someone on freecycle has some Acrylic (not solvent or polyurethane )clear varnish, you could slap a layer of that on top of the masonry paint. But I think you will be ok; you can always put a new layer of paint on each spring. Would certainly paint them initially without compost in; so much easier to handle. Just lay out some plastic sheet first. Am looking forward to seeing finished product.

Hi all

So went to Sholing study centre and planted lots of tree saplings and after lunch managed to ask for help with the tyre planters.

Had a number of men with muscles and brute force and between us we managed to turn the tyre into an amazing planter.  It did take quite a while and several attempts but success at last!  

So big thanks to those guys for helping.

Here's how it look now!

  The top view and then the main side view.


That is one amazing planter - giant size what a lot of space to plant up and fill with compost/ top soil.

Will give a good wash to make look better/ cleaner than with dirt patches.

That has taken a lot of effort to get one tyre done but sure worth it.

Can I ask if anyone knows what paint was used on the bright and pastel coloured tyres in the pictures I posted before?


Any help


This planter is really elegant; a modern take on a classical stone urn. I especially like the fact that it has dictated it's own shape. (stop before you get too pretentious artjak)

hollie hock

Well done on your project looks really good. My grandad has something similar in his garden, it was packed with grape hyacinths