The Squealing Tire

Tire Talk from the Experts at Discount Tire Company.

The Squealing Tire - Tire Talk from the Experts at Discount Tire Company.

How To Make A Tire Swing: Drill, Cut, Sew and Burn?

How to make a Tire SwingDrill, Cut, Sew and Burn? – How To Make A Tire Swing

Tire Swing Challenge (part 3)

If you want to know “How to make a tire swing” you’ve come to the right place.  An old tire, some strong rope and a tree is really all you need to make a traditional tire swing but you’ll need a few more items if you want to make one of these Unique Tire Swings.  After challenging each other to a tire swing build off Don, Matt and Travis came up with some not so traditional tire swings that are sure to make your neighbors jealous.   Don’s “Tire Sling” may be the most fun to swing and spin around in.  Matt’s “Tire Fighter” demands all of the neighborhood kids to pile on and Travis’s “Comfort Lounger” will let you kick back and remember your favorite summer nights.

So how do you make one of these awesome tire swings?  Don, Travis and Matt, show us how.

How to Make a Tire Swing

How to Make a Tire Swing  Don's Tire Sling How to make a Tire Swing: Don’s “Tire Sling”

Don’s simple “Tire Sling” will have you and your kids twisting, spinning and laughing the day away. You can build one of these in about one hour and for under $20.00.  Click here to make your own “Tire Sling”.


 How to Make a tire swing Travis's Comfort Lounger How to Make A Tire Swing: Travis’s “Comfort Lounger”

Travis’s “Comfort Lounger” invites you grab a cold beverage, kick back, and enjoy the summer afternoon.  In about 3 hours and for under $20 you too could make your own “Comfort Lounger”.


How to Make a tire swing Matt's Tire FighterHow to Make a Tire Swing: Matt’s “Tire Fighter”

You don’t need a team of Star Troopers in order to build Matt’s “Tire Fighter” but you will need about $40.00 and around 3 hours to make it.  Blast your kids into outer space and make a “Tire Fighter” of your own.


Why did our editors decide to build tire swings?  Click below to get caught up on Part 1 and 2 of their Tire Swing Challenge.

Tire Swing Challenge: Building an Awesome Tire Swing (Part 1 of 3) 

Tire Swing Challenge: Unique Tire Swing Concepts Revealed (Part 2 of 3) 


How to Make Matt’s “Tire Fighter” Tire Swing

Matt's Tire Fighter

How to Make a Tire Swing: Matt’s “Tire Fighter”

Ready for battle, Matt’s “Tire Fighter” aims to shoot down Don’s “Tire Sling” and Travis’s “Comfort Lounger”.  Matt’s appropriately named Tire Fighter design was inspired by Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter Advanced X1.   Hang one of these in your front yard and all other tire swings may run for cover.

What you will need: Materials: (2) Large diameter tires  (1 for main body, 1 to cut for wings), (4) Eye bolts, (6) lock washers, (4) Threaded chain connectors (optional), (18) Large washers, (4) 10″ threaded bolts, (12) Nuts,  (1) 4′ PVC pipe, (1) Lug cover or hub cap, (4) Zip ties. Tools: Safety glasses, Gloves, Utility knife, Electric drill, 3/8″ drill bit, Jig Saw with appropriate cutting blade, Impact drill, and 3/8″ socket.

Matt selected (2) used 305/75R16 tires.  The large diameter would create a spacious base and the wide tread would provide plenty of mounting surface for the Tire Fighter’s custom wings.

Steps to Make Matt’s “Tire Fighter” Tire Swing

  • Matt started by gathering all the necessary hardware needed to hang his swing.

Tire Fighter Hardware

  • The first step before any construction could begin was to clean the tire thoroughly.  Michelin Man approves!


  • He then drilled large holes along the base of the tire to allow water to drain.  No mosquito breeding going on in this swing!

Water drain holes in Tire Fighter

  • Next he measured, drilled and installed the (4) 3/8″ eye hooks. Matt used large washers above and below the eye hooks and secured them in place.  He also added the threaded chain connectors.

IMAG0899Tire Fighter tether hardware mounted

  • Now it was time to build the wings!  Matt took a second used tire and cut out both sidewalls using a Jig Saw.

Tire Fighter Wings

  • He then measured the tire into quarters and cut two 1/4 diameter tread sections to be used as wings.


  • Next Matt drilled two holes at the center of each wing about 2″ apart. He also marked and drilled holes in his base tire so he could mount the wings.


  • He then installed the 10″ threaded bolts and used 8.5″ of 3/8″ PVC to space the wings out, away from the base.  While flat on the ground, Matt was able to align the wings and bolt them to the base. He then tested the durability of the hardware by lifting the tire by its tether.

20130716_200150_HDRUnpainted Tire Fighter

  • Next, Matt’s swing was ready for paint.

Painting the Tire SwingPainting the Tire swing

  • For finishing touches Matt drilled some small holes in the front of the base and then secured a nose cone (lug cap) with (4) zip ties.  Last, he attached 4 chains to the eye bolts (heavy duty rope or cable could also be used) and Matt’s Tire Fighter was ready for flight.

Completed Tire FighterMatt's Tire Fighter - Tire Swing



Completed Tire Fighter Tire Swing


How to Make Travis’s “Comfort Lounger” Tire Swing

Travis's Comfor Lounger Tire Swing

How to Make a Tire Swing: Travis’s “Comfort Lounger”

Grab an ice cold beverage, lean back and swing away the warm summer afternoon.  While Don’s “Tire Sling” and Matt’s “Tire Fighter” may have an upper edge when it comes to fun, Travis’s Comfort lounger certainly takes the lead when it comes to relaxing.  Make a Comfort Lounger of your own and mom and dad may fight over who gets to swing first.

What you will need:  Materials: (1) Large diameter tire (for main swing), (1) additional tire (any size for head rest), 25′ of inexpensive 1/4″ rope, (5) 1/4″x 2″ bolts, (10) Large washers, (5) Locking nuts, and your favorite color spray paint.  Tools:  Safety glasses, Mechanics gloves, Electric drill, 3/8″ Drill bit, Utility knife, Electric grinder, Metal cut off wheel for grinder, 1/4″ Wrenches, and Magic marker.

Travis selected a 305/45R22 for the main seat of his swing.  He hoped that the width would be wide enough for a comfortable seat and he hoped that the diameter was large enough so that his “lounger” would provide plenty of support.  He later selected a 305/30R20 tire to build his headrest.

Steps to Make Travis’s Comfort Lounger Tire Swing:

  • Travis first cut both sidewalls of the main tire a little more than 1/2 way around its circumference.  He then pushed the tread down into the center and cut more until the seat could be manipulated into the “J -shape” he desired.


  • After tying the tread in place, he then marked the tire and drilled holes that would be used to sew the tread into place.


  • He then clamped the tire together with a large C-clamp and sewed the tread into place using the inexpensive 1/4″ rope.


  • He then decided to give it a test run…

Comfort Lounger test ride0625132305

  • The test run was a success so he was now ready to add a headrest.  Using the smaller second tire(305/30R20), he first removed both sidewalls.  He then cut a 2.5′ length of tread to be used as a head rest.


  • After mocking up two different headrest options he settled on his second design.  He next marked and drilling holes for the headrest.  He then bolted it to the swing using (4) 1/4″ X 2″ bolts, 8 large washers and 4 locking nuts.

0723131840Installing the Headrest on the Comfort Lounger Tire Swing

  • For the finishing touches he decided that a “Comfort Lounger” couldn’t reach its full “comfort” potential without a cup holder and a patriotic paint job.  Travis used some leftover tread from the smaller 305/30R20 tire to craft a cup holder and with a little trial and error he came up with a creative solution.  He then busted out some rattle cans and pulled the entire thing together with some color.

0727131032Comfort Lounger Cup Holder0727131033aPainting the Comfort Lounger Tire Swing0727131111a

  •  After the paint had dried he bolted the drink holder to the swing using the remaining hardware and the Comfort Lounger was finished!

Comfort Lounger Cup Holder0801131945

Comfort Lounger Tire Swing


How to Make Don’s “Tire Sling” Tire Swing

Don's Tire Sling Tire Swing

How to Make a Tire Swing: Don’s “Tire Sling”

Between Travis’s “Comfort Lounger”, Matt’s “Tire Fighter”, and Don’s “Tire Sling”, Don may have hit the fun factor right on the nose.  Climb into Don’s Tire Sling and you will find yourself spinning, swinging, throwing your weight back and hanging on for a super fun ride.   Don’s Tire Sling is simple to make, light weight and its unique design invites your friends and family to try it out.

What you will need: Materials: (1) Large tire, (1) Small 1/4″ rope ~ 5′ long, (1) Large wooden dowel (a wooden shovel handle would work too).  Tools: Safety glasses, Utility knife, Electric drill and a drill bit the size of your wooden dowel or shovel handle.

Don selected a used 275/50R20 for his Tire Sling.  The large diameter would yield an opening that is easy to climb in and out of and its wide 275mm width would make for a wide comfortable seat as well.

Steps to Make Don’s Tire Sling:

  • First, Don used his utility knife to carefully cut and remove both of the tire’s sidewalls.


  • He then pinched the tread together to designate a top and drilled a small (1/4″) pilot hole and then a larger hole (1″) for his handle.


  • Next, he cut his shovel handle to the desired length (about 2 feet) and pushed it through the holes he had drilled. (This took some force and leverage)

TireSling_8Handle installation for Don's Tire Sling Tire Swing

  • Don then secured the handle in place with rope and attached some birthday ribbons to the ends of the handles for some added flare. (bicycle handlebar tassels would also work great for this.)


  • Don next spiced his “Tire Sling” up with some patriotic paint.

 0731132046aPainting the Tire Sling Tire Swing

  • Last, he suspended the swing from a tree branch by looping a tie down strap (a strong rope would work well too) through the top loop of the tread and….   Wallah! He was ready for some fun!

Don's Tire Sling Tire Swing

Tire Swing Challenge: Unique Tire Swings Revealed

TireSwingConcepts - Unique Tire Swings

Our Unique Tire Swings Revealed (Part 2 of 3)

(Missed part 1?  Get caught up here: Tire Swing Challenge Part 1 of 3)

After agreeing to our Tire Swing Challenge, Matt, Don, and I quickly hit the drawing boards.  Our unique tire swings have to be functional and fun while staying within a $40.00 budget.  After narrowing our ideas, Don, Matt and I are each convinced that our own designs will lead us to tire swing kingdom. (and a FREE lunch!)  Our tire swing design concepts are detailed below.

Unique Tire Swings

Don McNeilly’s “Tire Sling”:  Don plans to remove both tire beads and shoulders, essentially leaving him with the tread as a large rubber band.  He then plans to pinch the top of the band together and add a simple handle for the rider.   Above the handle, Don should be able to easily attach a tether to the top of the pinch utilizing its loop.   Don’s biggest challenge will be removing the shoulders and beads without exposing any sharp inner belts.  As long as he leaves a small amount of shoulder, this shouldn’t be an issue.  He has named his tire swing “Don’s Tire Sling”.  (estimated cost: under $20)

Don's Unique Tire Swings - Tire Sling

Travis Comfort’s “Comfort Lounger”:   I have decided to shoot for a comfortable version of a tire swing.  For my swing, I will make partial cuts along the shoulders of my tire so that about 1/2 of the tread can be drooped into the center of the tire.  With some crummy sewing skills, I hope to manipulate my tire swing into a soft, comfortable “J” shape.  I will leave the tire beads in place so that I have two easy locations to attach the tether.  My swing has two challenges: 1.)  How to shape the seat so that it is secure and comfortable and, 2.) Will my tires beads be strong enough that they won’t buckle under 200lbs of load… (estimated cost: under $20)

Travis's Unique Tire Swings - Comfort Lounger

Matt Johnson’s “Tire Fighter”:  Matt decided to design a take off of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1 Fighter.  He plans to keep his tire relatively intact and hung flat.  He’ll then add wings and a nose cone to help define his fighter.  Matt will add three eye bolts to triangulate a balanced center tether point.  Matt’s biggest challenge will be his accessories.  While considering safety, he will need to figure out how he will make them and how they will be attached. (estimated cost: $30.00)

Matt's Unique Tire Swings - Tire Fighter

With each of our unique tire swings detailed we are now depending on our fabrication skills to put them all together.  Keep an eye out for part 3 of our tire swing challenge.  Part 3 will cover our tire swing builds.

Update [8/12/2013] See part 3 of 3 now! : How to Make a Tire Swing

Tire Swing Challenge: Building an Awesome Tire Swing

Tire Swing Challenge

Tire Swing Challenge: Building an Awesome Tire Swing for under $40.00 (Part 1 of 3)

When the lawn starts growing fast enough that it could be mowed twice a week, when the sounds of playing kids fill the neighborhood streets, when the smell of charcoal BBQ’s makes you stop and take a deeper breath… you know its time to build a tire swing…   While that’s not what most of us think about doing, that’s what the editors of The Squealing Tire plan to do now that summer is here!

Tire swings used to be such a simple thing.  A tire, a rope, and a tree was all you needed.  Today, a quick Google image search reveals that modern tire swings have taken on more and more intricate designs.  Inspired by this our editors decided they were up for a little challenge to see who could build the best tire swing for under $40.00.  The winner will be fed lunch and crowned the Tire Swing King!

The Challenge:  Design and build an Awesome Tire Swing for Under $40.00. 

There are only 3 rules:

  1. Your tire swing must be built using 1 used tire.
  2. Additional materials are permitted, and can be resourced however you please,  as long as the total cost for your swing does not exceed $40.00. (This does not include the cost of your swings tether. )
  3. The final product must be able to safely support a minimum of 200lbs.

Judging:  We must have a winner so, upon completion (Target Date of July 2nd) each swing will be tested by a panel of pristine judges – all of which are tire swing experts.   These judges will rate each tire swing on the following…

  • Appearance
  • Craftsmanship
  • Usability
  • Fun

Winnings:  The winner will receive the prestigious tire swing king crown + lunch paid for by the losers.

With the challenge set, and the creativity flowing, the competitive spirits have already started to surface.

Who will be crowned the tire swing KING?….

Update 6/25/2013: Part 2 – Our Editors Unique Tire Swings Revealed