Making a


Felder Style

THERE IS NO NEED TO CUT AND INVERT A TIRE FOR IT TO MAKE A PERFECTLY GOOD PLANTER. If you choose to use it "as is" at least paint it to show intent - which can help you hold your head up high when uppity people look down their noses at you...


Tire planters in Disneyworld

Orlando, Florida

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Richmond, Virginia

Painted tire planter in Encinitas, California


THERE ARE ONLY THREE things you MUST to know, to make a planter out of a used tire. Skip any of these, and you will fail (with or without a hernia).

Cut tires in the back of Felder's truck

FIRST, choose your tire carefully. Tires can be found - usually free - outside tire shops, service stations, or car repair shops. Junk yards often have a huge variety from which to choose, which is important - because some tires simply cannot be inverted, because they are too stiff in a crucial spot.

NOTE: It does NOT matter if the tire is steel belted or not. The steel wires are only in the tread, which is not cut in this process.

There is a curve right where the tread - the part of the tire that meets the road - meets the all-rubber sidewall of the tire. Use your foot or hand to push this curve in a little way. If you can push this in easily, the tire will be easy to invert. If you cannot push this in easily, move on to another tire. You may need to check several tires bedfore finding one that is suitable.


Push the tire in right where the sidewall meets the tread. THIS IS THE MOST CRUCIAL THING YOU CAN DO!


SECOND, cut the tire - any sharp knife will do - in the sidewall. It is very soft and cuts easily. You may want to draw a pattern so the cut ends up where you want it to. Cut from almost to the tread (where the steel belts start) and almost to the center hole.

NOTE: cut AWAY from yourself in case the knife slips




THIRD - and this is kinda tricky - turn the tire inside out. Stand the tire up, cut side away, and push in the "soft spot" (remember step one) with your knee, while pulling back with your hands. If it doesn't invert easily, try again, putting your knee in a different spot.

Once the tire has started going inside out, take your time to pull and push the rest of the tire, all the way around. Do it a little at a time, and it will go much faster. Don't sweat it at first, just keep trying - it will work!




DONE! You can use the cut out part as a wall decoration, or as a mower or string trimmer guard around shrubs.

By the way, if the tire has a rim on it before you start, it will end up looking like an urn with pedestal. There is no difference in the steps taken to turn either inside out, just one is with and one is without the rim.


Tires without rims


Tires with rim still attached


If you want to paint your tire planter, degrease it first (with household degreaster, or at a car wash using the soapy spray and rinse (not wax). ANY kind if paint will work, but fast-drying spray paint is easiest.

And remember: Anyone who thinks recycled half whiskey barrels are okay as planters, has NO ROOM to criticize those of us who use other recycled materials - including tires. To do or say otherwise is simple hypocrisy. Practice arching one eyebrow and staring haughtily back at the ignorant critics.