Old tires don't have to go to the landfill when they're no longer useful for transportation. You can color them in different colors and make a planter, make a swing for children, or you can make tire ottoman covered with fabric.
Elf house on a tree! That would be cute in the garden, especially in the tree over grown with ivy. How about some battery tea lights in the windows during outdoor parties. I hear the fairies/elves whispering "home school project" in my ear.