Upcycled Rubber Tire Pet Bed

2 Materials
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.
Painted with bright colors and a fun pattern, the adorable bed belies its humble origins.
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.
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)

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