Jonathan Fong
Jonathan Fong
  • Hometalker
  • Santa Monica, CA

Upcycled Rubber Tire Pet Bed


I'm always on the lookout for cute dog beds, even though I have plenty in the house, and my dogs would really rather sleep in my bed anyway. But here's one I made from an old tire.
upcycled rubber tire pet bed, painted furniture, pets, pets animals, repurposing upcycling
Painted with bright colors and a fun pattern, the adorable bed belies its humble origins.
upcycled rubber tire pet bed, painted furniture, pets, pets animals, repurposing upcycling
I started with a used rubber tire from the tire store. Did you know that tire stores give away their used tires for free? In fact, the store near me just leaves them out in the parking lot so you can take them any time of day, even when they're not open. I picked out the cleanest one and was on my way.
Give the tire a good scrubbing with detergent and a rag and/or brush. Get into the tire threads, and wash inside the tire as well. I washed it thoroughly, rinsed, and then repeated. Just like I wash my hair. There is some debate about the safety of using rubber tires for home projects given the toxic chemicals in tires. When ground up and used in playgrounds, the rubber can pose health risks. I'm not sure how dangerous it is sitting in my living room, with the dogs sitting in this bed perhaps two minutes a month. (Again, they don't really hang out in dog beds; they prefer human ones.) So if you're not comfortable crafting with a rubber tire, don't do it.
There's something satisfying about covering up all that black with bright orange spray paint. I used a combination primer + paint so I could avoid the primer step. I wasn't sure if the paint would stay on the tire, or if it would feel sticky. But you know what, the spray paint worked really well. I used Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2x in glossy orange. It took a lot of coats, though. I actually used 2 and a half cans of the stuff before the tire was completely covered. It helps to hold the can upright, so prop up the tire.
upcycled rubber tire pet bed, painted furniture, pets, pets animals, repurposing upcycling
After the paint was dry — I waited 24 hours — I let it air out for another day because it smelled like spray paint. Then I put blankets and a fleece pad inside the tire. Instant dog bed that looks great in the house.

Suggested materials:

  • Rubber tire  (tire store)
  • Spray paint  (Home Depot)

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Jonathan Fong

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

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Have a question about this project?

5 questions
  • Patti
    on Jun 29, 2016

    Cute! My new rescue pup looks just like your pup on the left. What breed(s) is he?

    • Jonathan Fong
      on Jun 29, 2016

      OMG, your pups are so cute! My two pups are rescues too. The one on the left (Fosse), we think, is a maltipoo mix, and the one on the right (Gershwin) is a Jack Russell mix.

  • Hhe6378054
    on Jun 29, 2016

    I wonder if I could make a few and partial bury on end and let my dogs run through. Don't know about holding up outside though. Any thoughts?

    • DeniseD
      on Jun 29, 2016

      I think if you were to seal it with spar urethane it would probably stand up to outside use. I have had good luck with it on outside furniture and decorations.

    • Jonathan Fong
      on Jun 29, 2016

      The spray paint was indoor/outdoor, so I think they would hold up pretty well, but an extra layer of polyurethane would certainly help.

    • Annie Medic
      on Jul 3, 2016

      Outside, I would also drill a hole or two in the bottom to let water drain...

    • Doreen
      on Jul 3, 2016

      We've spray painted a tire swing w/ no poly 3 yrs ago & paint didn't budge!!

    • Maude LaFountain
      on Jul 5, 2016

      I sprayed 2 tires with t he Krylon indoor outdoor paint in several different colors and put them at my driveway where my house number in on a post ....so now when some ones wants to know which driveway is mine on our road I tell them to look for the MULTI COLORED tires and you are there ....It really does help ..Oh and before I forget I painted these tires 3 years ago and they are still holding up nice

    • Grangie
      on Jul 6, 2016

      Be careful in checking the inside of the tire periodically for Wasp or Hornet nests. We've had several nests in our tire swing over the last year. We live in south Texas and they have been bad this year!

  • Gmmt@verizon. net
    on Jun 29, 2016

    Very cute idea, but pups may want to chew. Not sure if the paint is safe. Is it?

    • Jonathan Fong
      on Jun 29, 2016

      If the pups are chewers, I wouldn't risk it. Fortunately, my dogs don't chew on stuff anymore.

    • Daw3000588
      on Jun 30, 2016

      There is non-toxic paint you can buy. I would ask my vet about it.

    • Karen
      on Jul 1, 2016

      Clever idea, but it's your two cuties that caught my eye. They look so happy

  • Lori Rosenau
    on Jul 23, 2016

    Did you spray paint the tire inside! How do you get paint all around it. Do u spray half let it dry then move it.

    • Jonathan Fong
      on Jul 23, 2016

      I didn't spray the inside. For the outside, I put the tire on two bricks so it was elevated from the ground, then sprayed the top, and when it was dry, I turned it over and painted the other side. Then I turned it on its side against the wall and painted one side again, waited for it to dry, and painted the other side.

  • Kathy Fredenburg
    on Nov 19, 2018

    Are certain tires toxic to cats?

Join the conversation

2 of 70 comments
  • I have the same concern about the toxins, not good for you or your pet. Norwex added a new pet line to their site, cleaning and living without chemicals.

  • Arren Reed
    on Oct 30, 2018

    Pretty sure there only toxic after 10+ years or when grinded up

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