6 Smart Ways To Repurpose Tire Rims

Old tire rims are the corner stone of any self-respecting scrapyard! Have you ever wondered what happens to the tens of millions of old car rims? Most of them get melted and recycled, but lots of them rust quietly in the shadows, doing nothing important, wasting their second lives and serving no practical purpose. And that’s not cool in my book.

As a hard-core prepper with the proper mindset, I cannot stop thinking about the myriad of useful things you can do using old tire rims. Have you ever asked yourself what can be built using tire rims as building blocks? For a couple of the projects, you may have to learn how to weld, but that’s too not bad; learning new skills as you go is always a good thing. Today’s article will focus on a few smart ways to repurpose old tire rims.

To begin, let’s talk about something simple and useful so you won’t get discouraged. How about DIYing a nice wood stove using old tire rims?

{adinserter backyardliberty}This is a fairly easy and pretty straight forward project, perfect for our first episode in the “How to repurpose Tire Rims” article. To build a stove, all you need is a couple of old tire rims and a welder. You can always borrow what you need from a friend if you don’t already have it in your garage.

Oh, and you must know how to weld stuff, but don’t worry; what we’re dealing with here is a simple welding project, so it’s a good project for your first lesson in welding. Consider it a crash-course. Learning new skills is the salt and pepper of a prepper’s life, right?

Anyway, here’s a video with an old-school dude explaining in detail what’s up with welders, old tire rims and old whiskey (after the job is complete, obviously. Don’t drink and weld kids!).

Video first seen on The Poultry People

The principle behind building a wood stove from tire rims is to weld two of them together, creating something that looks like a…well, stove and after that to cut a small hole in the side for feeding it with chopped wood. That’s basically all there is to it.

The end result looks pretty cool, rustic even, and it’s 100% functional; you may use it when you have to work outside in the cold and what not, or even for barbecues if you’re handy enough to put some handles on it. The guy in the video did it and at the end he even fried some bacon strips to celebrate victory with his cat.

The second project obviously includes old tire rims and fire, because fires outdoors are as cool as it gets. Enter the rim fire pit, also known as “how to build a fire pit using old tire rims”. The general idea is to take two truck rims and weld them together in a fire pit form.

Here’s the video which explains it better than I could possibly ever do it; you know that  a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a YouTube video is worth a thousand pictures. Essentially, the rim fire pit is filled with wood and coal and set afire.

Video first seen on Big Jerms Garage

Project number three is fire-free, finally. I didn’t mean it to rhyme, just take it as a bonus. And not only is it fire free, but it doesn’t include welding or other difficult skills. I almost forgot, this is also beautiful! So, the idea is to recycle old tractor rims – the rustier the better – and use them as planters.

Basically, you recycle old, rusty rims into something beautiful. All you have to do is fill them with earth and grow plants inside. Your garden will definitely appreciate the rim-input. Just take a look below; there are a couple of pictures depicting the tire-rim garden. It’s a really cool project that doesn’t take much time or effort.

Tire Rim planter

Source: Home Talk

The next project is again about an EPIC fire pit using something that resembles a tire rim but it could just as well be a Sauron’s ring. What I can tell you definitely about the structure is that it certainly looks like a giant tire rim, but I can’t vouch for that; it may well be just a huge metal ring of mysterious origin.

At any rate, these folks did a helluva job building an awesome fire pit in their backyard. They used the metal rim-like object to contain the fire so it doesn’t spread around in the dry grass on their property. Also, they built a sort of brick wall around the metal ring to prevent burning accidents and things like that.

Tire Rim fire pit

Fire Pit

Source: Bower Power Blog

Just check out the pictures and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you think I am off topic with this story, just give me a little latitude. You don’t have to build a GIANT pit like the folks with the aforementioned blog. You can just use a regular old tire rim, as big as it gets, and build your own fire pit, but on a smaller scale.

It will certainly look awesome in your backyard and you’ll have a nice story to tell to your kids or to your neighbor’s kids. Or maybe to your cat; I’m not judging and note that the dude in the first DIY project was talking to his cat throughout the whole episode. I don’t have a problem with cats. They’re good listeners and they love bacon, like yours truly. Bottom line, I found the end result outstanding, so check it out for yourself.

Here comes project number five which involves bike tire rims, trellis and lots of beauty. And cats again! Just take a look below and see how to transform your already beautiful garden into a unique work of art. You can create an outstandingly beautiful garden with just a couple of out-of-service bicycle wheels and a little bit of elbow grease.

tire trellis Source: The Family Chapters

The end result will be a handy trellis for your garden. Besides its practical purpose, this fairly easy and straight forward DIY project may involve your kids and is a great way to introduce them to the art of recycling, not to mention instilling in them the love for all things that grow such as veggies, herbs and flowers.

Project number six and the last of the bunch turns old tire rims into works of art. I mean, just take a look at these pictures and you’ll see what you can do in your spare time if you have the eyes and the hands of an artist and loads of imagination.

Old Wheel Flower Pot

Source: iCreative Ideas

These guys transformed old, rusty tire rims into beautiful planters by painting them and DIYing afterwards a mosaic job on them. The end result is simply magnificent; an exercise in simple art or whatever you happen to be into. The impact of these DIY tire-rim planters in your garden will be ravishing to your friends, believe me.

And that concludes our show for now. I hope you had as much fun as yours truly, and stay tuned for more DIY projects!

If you have other  ideas about how to smartly re-use old tire rims, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. I’d love to hear them.


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia

Written by

Chris Black is a born and bred survivalist. He used to work as a contractor for an intelligence service but now he is retired and living off the grid, as humanly possible. An internet addict and a gun enthusiast, a libertarian with a soft spot for the bill of rights and the Constitution, a free market idealist, he doesn't seem very well adjusted for the modern world. You can send Chris a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • I love a good reuse of something. Most of these ideas look so nice, they don’t feel like recycling and one wouldn’t mind having it in their backyard. I think the fire pit with block around it turned out particularly well.

  • Good ideas. Here’s another one.
    Frequently, remote locations are blessed with rutted roads, be they sand, gravel or mud. Draw a picture here. put three circles in a triangle. These are your rims. Up to a point, the bigger – the better. Now, go measure your rutted road. There will probably be three humps, one on each side and one in the middle. Bolt or weld two rims with a piece of angle iron between them so that their centers correspond with the distance between the outside humps. Now complete the triangle by welding or bolting the third rim between the other two and a couple of feet behind. Now bolt or weld a chain or cable harness to the two rims at the bottom of the triangle so that it forms a rather long loop. Drop the loop over the trailer hitch on your truck and you’re ready to go. Drive down your rutted road. The two widely spaced rims will scrape material into the ruts and the center one will shave down the high center. Depending on conditions, you may, or may not want to add weight to the contraption, especially on the rear end. Believe me, it works.

  • Hi Chris great article I am a great believer in recycling things my partner reckons I would recycle my own poo I haven’t told her about the methane digester I will build just yet cheers michael

  • How about a pulley system for lifting heavy objects in the barn? Granted, it would be big, but sometimes the bigger the better.

    • Where do I find more info about project 5, the trellis!?

  • If you alternately stack 15″ and 14″ rims, you can build up pretty high with stability as the 14″ outer edge fits nicely inside the lip of the 15″and with say 3 spots of weld 120 degrees apart, it becomes very stable, and with only 3 spots of weld, can be disassembled easily with a cutting torch.

  • If you alternately stack 15″ and 14″ rims, you can build up pretty high with stability as the 14″ outer edge fits nicely inside the lip of the 15″and with say 3 spots of weld 120 degrees apart, it becomes very stable, and with only 3 spots of weld, can be disassembled easily with a cutting torch.
    (email addy corrected)