Easy DIY Toy Shelves Using a Tire

On our blog, Spaceships and Laser Beams , I came up with an idea that doesn't blow the budget and it is eco-friendly. Besides, according to the guys at our house, it's really cool.
We use our tire shelf for toy storage in our outdoor play area. I think it would be awesome outside on the patio with summer necessities, too. All you need is a leftover tire, a little wood, screws, primer and paint. And no, it's not difficult to make.
Give your old tire a good scrubbing first and let it dry.
For the middle board, measure the diameter of the inside circle and add 2" to each side. For the top and bottom boards, use the inside center circle diameter. Using a miter saw for cutting the shelves is a lot quicker, but you could use a handsaw.
Take your center board and wedge it into the tire. Repeat with the top and bottom boards.
Use a metal drill bit and predrill through the side of the tire and into the boards, using a bit slightly smaller than the screw size. This will keep the wood from splitting.
If you want the shelves and tire the same color, you can assemble now. If you would like the shelves a different color, disassemble and prime everything separately.
Spray tire and shelves with primer (do two coats). Once it is dry, spray paint the tire and shelves (ours needed two coats).
When paint is thoroughly dry, reassemble.
That's it! You're ready to do a little organizing now. Or maybe you'll gift it. Wouldn't this be a super present for that grad who is asking for a set of wheels? :)

Suggested materials:

  • 1 auto tire
  • 1 8' 1X6 pine board (not pressure treated and if you have wood scraps that are the right size for
  • 12 #6X1" panhead screws
See all materials

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Carol Brunies
    Carol Brunies
    on Apr 3, 2016

    Does it smell like rubber if in the house ?

  • Margsim4
    on Apr 3, 2016

    What type of primer and paint did you use? Is it a special paint for rubber?

    • Jennifer
      on Feb 24, 2017

      I use spray paint for plastic for painting tires. I hang them outside and put a little dirt and a small plant inside. But I have brought them in the house, and after a good painting, no odor at all.

  • Roger Dill
    Roger Dill
    on Feb 23, 2017

    How do you keep dogs from peeing on in?

    • Lori
      on Feb 24, 2017

      Just keep it off the ground and high enough that even a great dane can't pee on it.

Join the conversation

2 of 90 comments
  • Jaelene Huffman
    Jaelene Huffman
    on Dec 30, 2018

    I would be concerned about the toxins from the tire. They don't allow tires in landfill due to toxins. Its also illegal to burn tires. Using tires to plant in allows toxic chemicals to leach into the dirt & plants. I think I would be to concerned about toxins to use for a shelf for toys or anything else. Its a cute idea but when it involves items that have toxins in them I avoid using in any manner but recommended.

  • Miss Denise
    Miss Denise
    on Jan 23, 2019

    looks great! Very cleaver ingenious mind! Thanks for sharing...

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