She’s Crafty: Tired Out

So you may or may not remember a long, long, long, long time ago, I mentioned I was doing a special project with this:

Well, with a little inspiration from this photo:

 I turned that tire into these:

Here’s what we did:

The absolute first thing that needed to happen was cutting the tire in half. After some serious Google searching we came across this video that makes it look soooo easy:

What you need to take away from that video is that the hardest part is getting the tire cutting started, hold the sawzall at a 45° angle – it will cut much faster, and get a pair of bolt cutters to cut through the metal ring towards the inner portion of the tire – your blade will not go through it.

Of course, it wasn’t helpful at all for me since Jer was the one on tire cutting duty:

Do you love the socks with sandals?! So hot. :p As you can see in the above picture, we marked off a straight line with a chalk line. Jerry is nothing if not a perfectionist. Once he was done I cleaned those tire halves within an inch of their lives to ready them for the painting process.

Meanwhile…Jerry was also in charge of cutting some seats and braces to size for me.

We used a 1×10 and 2x2s. The 1×10 is clearly going to be the seat of this seesaw for one and the braces were used to hold the seat to the tire…more on that in a bit. It’s time for spray paint. It’s also important to note that I sanded all sides of the wooden pieces until they were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. We don’t want any splinters to be gotten from a homemade toy. I used the braces as lifts so I could easily get around the top and sides of the seat with the spray paint.

Since I was leaving the inside of the tires black, I wanted to paint the underside of the seat black, too. Keeping it uniform and not allowing every speck of dirt to show up.

I considered it a bonus that it was metallic. :) The braces also got a nice coat of the black paint so they would be somewhat invisible to the overall design. Speaking of design…

It was then time to turn the yellow tire into a bumble bee! I measured around 3 inches wide for the black stripes. I had to fudge the last two since I didn’t actually measure the entire length and use math to figure out how wide the stripes should be to be even but I think it turned out pretty sweet anyway.

For the base of the bee, I followed these stripes straight down the sides of the tire from the top so it was more of a continuation of these lines then a whole set of new ones…which may have ended up looking cuter but what’s done is done.

As for the lady bug, I took my handy dandy sponge brush and simply swirled.

The same method was used for the tire portion of the lady bug as the top (which sadly, you cannot see in any of my photos).

Once all of the pieces were dried, I sprayed them with a coat of poly to make them a little more weather proof.

NOTE: I took this photo before I realized I wasn’t done painting the tires. Fail. However, it seems I was too lazy to take another picture once the bottoms were complete. Sounds about right.

Finally it was time for assembly! I let the Jer Bear take over on this one again and he used really long wood screws to go into the sides of the tires and held them more securely with a washer – just to be safe.

He used three of the same wood screws through the top of the seat, too. We tested them out…they’ll definitely stand up to a couple of toddlers. 😉

UPDATE: I would highly recommend adding some handles to these bad boys to make them easier to rock. My nieces were smart enough to ask for them the first time they tried them out. Doh! Outsmarted by 3 year olds!

Another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that these built for one rockers are a bit too big for their 3 1/2 year-old owners. Maybe we should have stalled on making them a bit longer. Ah, well. They have plenty of time to grow into them! :)

In case you find yourself wondering, our insect obsessed nieces LOVED their new toys…they’re just not sure how to use them yet. :p

Make something you’ve pinned lately? You should link up, too! :)

This entry was posted in Pinterest, She's Crafty, Surprise Surprise. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to She’s Crafty: Tired Out

  1. Pingback: 17+ Ways to Reuse Tires! - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

  2. Cidzz says:

    Hi can you plz elaborate on how and where did you put those 2×2’s?

    • admin says:

      Hi, there!

      The 2x2s were screwed to the inside tops of the tire rings and then the board the kids sit on was screwed down into them. I hope that helps!


  3. Misty Allen says:

    What keeps them from rolling forward

    • admin says:

      Hey, Misty!

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this but, in my sister’s yard (these were a gift for my nieces), she kept them by their swing set and when the girls wanted to play with them they would just pick them up, sit on them and rock or place them on the flat part and use them to jump off of. I do recommend if using this for a seesaw that you add some sort of handle. I mentioned it further in the tutorial – I didn’t think of it until I gave them to my nieces and within 3 seconds of playing with them they asked for handles. Whoops! I hope that this is helpful!


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  6. Dana says:

    What are some types of spray paint I can use on some tires I am using for my home gym please any suggestions ?

    • admin says:

      I used Rustoleum on these but I think you could probably use any so long as you scrub those tires really well first! Good luck!

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  26. Sevena says:

    These are toooo cute!! I have 3 yr old twins, a 5 yr old and an 8 yr old. So I think my van needs some new tires and my husband needs a couple new blades for his chop saw for Father’s Day ;-). Thanks for this fabulous idea!

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  29. Renee says:

    Would you think adding a handle would be smart? I’m wondering where the child would hold onto to rock….

    • Miss Em says:

      YES! I thought I added that as an update to this post – looks like I forgot! Absolutely add a handle! My nieces informed me that they would love to use them but they don’t have handles. Even at 3 they’re outsmarting me. :p

      I’d suggest putting the handle more towards one end or the other unless the kids are tiny enough to rock together (my nieces are). Then you could put the handle in the middle. Either way, put a handle on it!

      Have a wonderful day!

      • Manjula Goel says:

        Hi, My son is 5 year old. So where do you suggest to put the handles, at the end or in middle. Also what you suggest to increase the length of the platform so that it become more like a see saw. If you suggest what should be the length and I like to know what thickness tyres will be suitable for this activity

        • admin says:

          Hi there!

          I’d probably put the handles at one end or the other. The way we made them, they’re kind of like a one-child see saw. If you increase the length of the board it may be doable for two children but I’d worry it would make it a bit unstable so I don’t know if I’d recommend it. The tire we used here was an 18″, I believe. It was a used one from my husband’s car that we washed up. I hope this helps!


  30. mmscrapshoppe says:

    This is SO fun!! I have that project pinned, too, but never thought I would be able to do it. I love all the details you added to the instructions!! This totally makes me feel like I could make one (or two!). Fantastic project. :)

    • Miss Em says:

      Thank you! It really is quite easy (I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t)! Mostly painting once you get all the pieces you need. I’m glad you find my project helpful! :)


  31. genamom says:

    Those are absolutely adorable! I don’t like making anything I have to paint, but these might change my mind!
    –Gena at

    • Miss Em says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Gena! I’m actually the exact opposite – if I can paint something, sign me up! I love the near instant transformation paint can give to items…like tires. 😉


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