Step 2: Pick Your Tire...
1.) First, find a good old tire which is well worn and has what is known as the "Sweet Spot" on the tire. In photo #6 (further below) right about where the shadow of the knife handle is and just underneath the shadow would be the area that should be easy to push in. You should be able to push this part of the tire in with your hand with ease. Keep in mind, the wider the tire, the harder it will be to flip. You can also drop the tires on the ground, then use the bottom of your foot (with shoes on, of course) to press in the area just before the tread; which is the pattern in the tire. You'll quickly get the hang of picking out the right tires if you practice this foot technique. If you don't have arthritis now, try a few 'too tough' tires and you'll soon have it! Be careful, choose your tires wisely. Pick old flexible tires!
The tire can have a rim or not, it depends on what you want as the finished product. Those with rims look so cute when painted, as you can paint the base and stem green, making it appear the flower is 'growing' out of the ground. The starburst will remain on the rim, and since it is cut with the scallops of the petals, it will have a unique flared look as if it were grass. Scroll down to see the same planters painted.
2.) If the tire is too dirty, you'll need to wipe it off so you will be able to see the chalk marks for cutting. You can draw the shapes freehand on the tire with chalk, but I prefer to use a large plastic cup to make neatly rounded flower petals. Try to draw the shapes close together to keep them orderly.
3.) After you have drawn the patterns, begin cutting the 'starburst' from the tire. It is best to use a sharp knife - not serrated, be VERY careful. Using an old Gerber fillet knife, I found that after but one tire, the knife was ready to give in. By the ninth tire, after numerous sharpening sessions, the knife was ready for the recycling bin.
4.) The easiest way to do this is to get a few inches started by using a sawing method, after that, pry the rubber of the petal up as you cut, pulling the rubber away from the cut as you go. You'll see how much easier it is to cut if you do this. It is not hard work. If you are having difficulty, your knife is not sharp enough or you are not pulling the rubber. Try a few different things to find the easiest way. After all, you'll need that elbow grease for turning the tire, not cutting it!
5.) Once you have cut the starburst from the tire, set it aside for another silly idea. Well, after all, they DO look like starburst, so why not paint them yellow and make them look like flowers? Like the sun?