Monday, October 10, 2011

Tire Rocker and See Saw

I love creating and making toys for my kids, especially when I can use things around my house to make awesome and fun toys!

Using an old tire, I wanted to create a seesaw/rocker for Pumpkin. She loves her brother's toys, even though she has a ton of her own. I often hear him fussing because she is playing with his toys. My thought was if she had something that was made just for her, she might just play with it. 

Here is my semi-finished product: I haven't decided what I want to do with the top, I think I might cover with fabric, but I want to see how it holds up first! (Pardon the mess, we are moving again and things are everywhere!)

semi-finished product! 

I just love how it turned out. First, I had the tire cut in half! Wow, what a feet that was, took forever to find a tool that finally cut through the metal in the tire.  Ended up using a circular saw! 

After it was finally cut in half, I mean this took forever, three different tools and about 20 minutes of sweat! It was fithly! I used the utility tub from the washer and some dish soap. Scrub scrub scrub and oh yes some more scrubbing!

my tire, before it's bath!

Once I felt it was clean enough, I took it outside and sprayed it with spray paint! I purchased a can of spray paint on sale and Michaels and used a 40% off coupon, so I got it for $2.17! Talk about excited. I choose Krylon indoor/outdoor paint in Banner Red. 

At first, I laid it on it's side to paint thinking it would be easier to see but I wanted to make sure the paint was even so I did a light layer and then flipped it over. The awesome thing about spray paint is it dries pretty quickly and this can said it dried in 10 minutes. After a few minutes, about 15 (wanted to give it a few more just in case) I went out and painted it again. Two coats was perfect!

At this point, I was hoping to use a piece of wood, nuts, and bolts that I had laying around but of course it didn't work out that I had enough of one size. Off to the hardware store, we went!

The good part, I got all of the pieces for $11.00, a little more than I wanted to spend but still within in my $15.00 budget for this project. Could you do it cheaper, heck yes, just use what you have around the house.

screws and nuts, along with my scrap wood

two pieces of two feet of rope
I found a piece of wood, I wanted three feet, so I had an employee cut it. My advice, go to the scrap bin first,  usually they will not charge you the full price if it is a reminant from another piece and you can usually find great pieces. Mine was 3 feet of 1 x 8 for $.55, yes that's right, 55 cents! Score!

I got two pieces of rope, two feet each for $.38 a foot. I had the guy cut it and burn the edges for me so that it wouldn't fray. You could buy the cheaper stuff but I wanted to make sure Pumpkin wouldn't get splinters when she was rocking.

Next the nuts and bolts and L brackets.
I plan on painting the bolts red to match and help blend in but I have to figure out the top first. 

Once you have all of your hardware, you can figure out how you want the wood to sit on the tire, I choose to have it with three bolts on each end.  I figure this would help to keep it stable and not wiggle.

Using a drill, I drilled a hole through the tire and place the bolt through, securing it with a bolt. Repeat five more times, then using the L brackets I attached them to the wood, again securing them with a bolt to help make it secure.
screws from above with my markings for the leg spaces. 

At this point, I could have been done but I wanted to make it a little more fancy, so I decided to sketch out  an edge to give pumpkin a place to put her thighs and not hurt her legs.

After cutting and sanding out the leg spaces, I reattached the wood to the tire to check if Pumpkin could sit comfortably! Then check the spaces for her hands to grab the rope.

Finally, I cut four holes in the top for the rope handle. I slid the rope from the top down, making a loop and secured underneath with a zip tie, I wanted to be able to adjust the length if necessary as she grows.

I love how this rocker turned out! Peanut and Pumpkin just love to ride on it together. The neat part about it is, if Pumpkin wants to use it as a rocker and ride by herself, she can sit in the middle and use one of the handles to hold on!

Now to figure out what I am going to do with the top, fabric or paint? What do you think?

Update: You can read the updated tire rocker here.


  1. This is a great idea! I'm definitely doing this for a Christmas gift.

  2. This is awesome, thanks for sharing we linked up to this post over at

  3. great idea. found this on pinterest :)i think i'll have to try this..though i think i might cover the wood with batting and fabric so my little guy doesn't bonk his head on it when he tries to join his siblings :P

  4. Very cool idea...found it on pinterest also!

  5. Thanks everyone! I have actually made some changes to the original designs and cannot wait to post about them!

  6. Would love to read about your changes in time to make this for my kids for the holidays. All of the gifts from us to the kiddos are handmade - mostly by us - so this is a perfect fit! Great idea!!

  7. Planning to make this soon! Would LOVE to see the changes you've made before we get started. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  8. We linked up over at Such a fabulous idea!!!

  9. Shared this on my Facebook page great tutorial.

  10. Husband is worried it might be top-heavy and fall over when grandkids are on it. Does it tip easily or fall over when they are getting on and off of it.

  11. Hi Sheryl! First let me say thank you for visiting barefoot in paradise! My children have used it for just about two years now, my middle child was 18 months when we built and she was able to get on and off easily. As far as tippig over, we did not experience that but I will say it is most likely going to depend on how well the children using it can support themselves. Hope that helps and let me know how it turns out!


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