Recycled tires in the GARDEN!

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How to Make “Frieda La Frog” From Recycled Tires

frog 7


  • 2 car tires and one larger truck tire
  • 2 small tires with rims (from cart, wheelbarrow, or mower).
  • 4 plastic bowls
  • Tire inner tube
  • Garden hose
  • Recycled rubber doormat
  • Lid from a broken storage tote
  • Duco Cement
  • Silicon caulk (paintable)
  • Spray paint – green and white
  • Brush paint – Red and blue


  1. Power drill with ½” bit
  2. Utility knife
  3. Scissors
  4. Paint brushes
  5. Q-tips
  6. 2x6x8 piece of treated lumber
  7. 3” deck screws
  8. Long galvanized nails


1. Clean tires and let dry.

2. Select which side of the large tires will be down.  Drill 4-6 holes in that side of each tire to allow excess water to drain.

3. Cut storage tote lid about 1-2” bigger than largest tire opening.  Poke 3-4 holes in it for drainage, and work it into the tire to cover the bottom hole.

4. Use utility knife to cut 4 feet from rubber door mat.  I drew the first with a silver Sharpie and cut it out, then used it as a template to make the others match.

5. Lay all the tires, feet, hose, and 2 of the bowls out on drop cloth and start painting!  I used Valspar flat spray paint/primer-in-one, in “Tropical Foliage” color.  It took about 5 cans.  I didn’t paint the underside, since they wouldn’t be visible.

6. Paint the other two bowls white – I used Rustoleum flat white.  Once dry, paint the bottom of these two blue.

7. Using Duco cement, glue the bowls into the rims of the small tires.  The white bowls are the eyeballs, and the green ones on the back give the eyes a bulgy look from behind.

8. Spread a bead of silicon caulk on joint of bowls and rims.  Once it dries, touch up the paint.  Spray the caulked part on the back of the eyes.  To touch up the front, I spray paint onto a piece of wax paper or foil and use a Q-tip as a brush. frog 5

9. For eyelashes, cut a wedge-shaped section of inner tube, then use scissors to make cut from the inner edge to about 1-1/2” from outer edge.  Use Duco Cement to glue into the space between the tire and the rim.

frog 6

10. Using red paint and brush, add mouth to largest tire.

11. Now the slightly tricky part – making the eyes stable in their mounting.  First, set the eyes on the “head” tire and cut two slits in the large tire with a utility knife.   This allows the eyes to sit down into the tire a bit. 

frog 8

12. Insert the piece of lumber into the head tire under where the eyes will sit.  Install deck screws at an angle through eye tire, head tire, and into lumber. Do this with both eyes.  They will have a little wobble to them,         but not much.  Later, when this tire is filled, stability gets even better.

13. Put it all together!  Lay the 2 body tires side-by-side on the ground.  Fill them to within an inch of the inner circle with soil.

frog 4

14. Place head tire on body tires, centered and pulled forward a couple inches.

15. Lift head slightly and slip one end of arm hose on each side, between tires.

a. Cut off arms to length and secure to ground with galvanized nails as mini-stakes.

frog 3

b. Place feet in position, and use nails again to hold in place.

16. Fill top tire with soil to within an inch of the inner edge height.

17. Plant with flowers of choice.  I chose to use perennial daylilies in the bottom tires, and annuals in the top, so I don’t have to replant more than one each year.

This is how I did it, but if you make one, let your imagination go out and play … get silly or get serious, but make it YOURS!

Finally, and most important, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your interest in Frieda La Frog.  I’ve told her how popular she’s become, and I’m a little worried … she’s demanding an entourage, Ray-Bans, and one of those silly little purse-sized dogs …

Happy Gardening!

Lynn Lapka

63 thoughts on “Recycled tires in the GARDEN!

  • By Sheila - Reply

    Thanks for some of the BEST ideas on the web!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Thank you SO much, Sheila!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Billie Parham - Reply

    I am beyond thrilled to be making “FRIEDA LA FROG”. I started collecting frog stuff since granny told me what FROG stood for, Forever Rely on God. I saw this last night and I am blessed to be working at a hardware store where I can get alot of the stuff!!!! FROG is going to look wonderful in my garden!!!!!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Awesome Billie! We are clapping!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Carolyn Crump - Reply

    Thank u so much I am begging sons for this .

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Hope they deliver, Carolyn!

      May all your garens grow,

  • By jean buchmiller - Reply

    thank you for a clever idea .

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Thank YOU!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Phyllis Minga - Reply

    I love Freida the Frog. I showed this to my husband and told him I was going to make her for my garden.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Excellent! Must see pics, Phyllis!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Donna Mann - Reply

    What a creative person you are. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. I would love to see your outside spaces. What fun you must have during the summer. I look forward to following you now that I have seen your website. Thanks so much.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Thank YOU for visiting out site, Donna!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Martina Althoff Glocker - Reply

    What a cute idea….i will be making one…

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Bravo! Must see picture when finished!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Mary Irene Winters - Reply

    I really like this and I live in the country so will go great. Thank you so much.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Thank YOU, Mary Irene!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Eli Raindancer - Reply

    I have 12-15 tires and had no idea of what to do I only knew I was not just dumping them in the landfill thank you for your tire art.

    Thank you

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Yeah! So glad to hear they are going to become ART! Well done, Eli!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Frances Ozur Cole - Reply

    This is so amazing! Last night, I bought the green paint and started to take the tires off my car but my husband made me put them back on.
    Your art is really wonderful.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Awesome, Frances! Please share a picture when you are done!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Wendy Billiot - Reply

    As Ex. Director of keep Terrebonne Beautiful in houma, lA i would like to share your photo and link on our FB page. i saw this on FB and just love the idea of beautification of a space AND recycling old tires . . . will spend more time browsing here when i’m finished writing grants . .. .

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Thanks so much!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Gayle - Reply

    These frogs are so very cute. I hope to do them to put out by our pool!!! Thank you for sharing your directions and pictures!!!

  • By Angela - Reply

    I just made this over the weekend! Thanks for such a super cute idea!!!! I already have friends and family begging me to make them one!!!!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      You are so welcome, Angela!

      Thank you!

      May all your gardens grow,



  • By Inez - Reply

    I have collected Frogs for a very long time and have just gathered all the supplies to make “Frieda La Frog” I am so excited. She’s going right in my front flower bed. Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas and for sharing with all of us.

  • By Kathy - Reply

    I can’t wait to start on my frog! Like some of the others we have old tires lying around. I’ve eyed mine for weeks wondering what I could do with them. Thanks to you, now I know! <3

  • By Inez - Reply

    My husband has a question he wants me to ask before we put Frieda together……did you leave the rims in the “eye” tires???? Also, how did you angle the screws to stable the eyes, at an angle from the front or the side of the “eye” tire???

  • By Amber - Reply

    I just finished my frog, but I am curious how to attach the eyes. I’m afraid if I screw them in I will pop the tires. Am I doing something wrong or is there a trick?!

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  • By Barbara szal - Reply

    I love it can’t wait to get one made for my garden my daughter sent it to me knowing I would love it

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Good luck, Barbara! We would love to see pictures!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Peaches - Reply

    I am so making this, more than one for down by my pond, maybe even a snake LOL
    AWESOME Frog!!!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Sounds delightful, Peaches! Please share pics!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Flo - Reply

    If you are using these for your children to play on as was previously suggested by another pinner, Please find a way to fill in the tires so they won’t retain water. This water stagnates and breeds mosquitoes that can carry encephalitis. 3

  • By Jane Crawford - Reply

    Croak, croak….. Cheeze, what an imagination! Thanks so much for sharing. Hope to make one this Spring, should it ever come to PA!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      We hope you make one, too! Thanks so much, Jane!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Thelma Webster - Reply

    I plan to do this. My grandchildren in California would love this but I life in Kentucky. I am sending this to them and their parents in hopes that they will love it as muck as I do. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      So happy you like it, Thelma! We would love to see pics!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By the house that never rests - Reply

    Love this! such a great idea. Thank you X

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      You are SO welcome! Have fun!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Diane - Reply

    My grandsons are coming from Spring Break…they will be here around the 23. Ages 6 and 8. Hope this will be a project we complete while they are visiting.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      How delightful, Diane! Have fun with your grandsons!

      May all your garden grow,

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  • By ladybug - Reply

    Just think, I was going to make my husband throw away the 5 used tires stashed beside the storage shed, knowing that I could pull a great idea like this would at least make good use of three tires with the exception of two left…….maybe I can flatten one of the tires on the old van parked in the driveway… husband wouldn’t know the difference! #brokedownandneedtwoFROGS! It’s just such a great idea! Thx.

  • By Audra - Reply

    Thanks for posting all the fun ideas! Going to make frog this Friday.

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      Awesome, Audra!

      Please share a picture, would love to see your frog.

      Thanks so much, have fun!

      May all your gardens grow,

  • By Anita Barnhart - Reply

    thans so much. My students and I are working on a school garden and this will work out wonderfully. Wish us luck!

    • By Jan Bills - Reply

      That is wonderful, Anita! I would love to see pictures. Good luck!

      May all your gardens grow,

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  • By Sue - Reply

    I love this !!! I am still a big frog collector ever since I was little (I even have a frog tattoo) and I can’t wait to make this for my garden … Thank you for sharing all the steps !!!

  • By Diane geeslin - Reply

    Great things to make

  • By Ruth - Reply

    Any special tricks for the eyelashes?? I have the inner tubes cut into the wedges and think they should be cut thin and slightly different lengths. Anything else you,could suggest would be appreciated. Almost done. 9/4/2016

  • By Fish Pond Coatings - Reply

    Fantastic ideas of using tires for your garden. I appreciate new things in garden as I got Pondpro2000 to save pond from leaks and find it best.

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