You might find swimming pool “noodles” on sale this time of year for as low as 50 cents each. Gather up some for fun activities and decorative crafts. Use a utility knife for any cutting needed. Duct tape (in any color) works well for attaching noodles to each other.
1. Firecracker Decor for 4th of July
Cut noodles to the length you want & cover with decorative paper. If you choose red or blue noodles to begin with you could just pin on smaller decorative pieces. Use metallic streamers from the craft store for the tops. The ones pictured here are great for a table centerpiece, but you can make larger ones to decorate your patio/deck or front porch. Set them in a large flower pot or attach to a post or fence.
2. Nautical Look Log Pilings as Decor
What a clever decorating idea! No one will guess these decorative pilings are made from pool noodles. Cut the sizes that look good together, being sure that no two are the same length. Use rustic-looking rope to tie them together just like you see near docks. This look goes well with any seaside or beach look as well as rooms with decor that includes rope, sisal, linen, and burlap. This is a fun look in a game room or family room too.
Click here for all the instructions at MissKopyKat.
3. Pool Noodle Marble Race Tracks
We did this for our grandson’s birthday party. Cut a noodle in half lengthwise to get 2 halves for the raceways. The hole that is already down the middle of a noodle is the path the marble will take. My husband used duct tape to fasten the 2 raceways together on the back to make it more stable. We propped one end of the raceways on the edge of the deck to give height. You can use whatever to get the height that works for you. Let the kids start a marble at the top of the raceway. Each person lets their marble go at the same time. Amazingly either side can win. However, the person who counts “1, 2, 3, Go!” usually wins. So you might want to have a third person do the counting. If you are doing this for a party, a dollar bag of marbles is nice in the take home treat bag for each kid. Today’s kids haven’t seen them much and think they are pretty cool. If your noodles have more room inside, you can also race small toy cars in them. If you want to go all out, use a step ladder as pictured here to make a long winding raceway. Fun!
4. Pool Noodle Target Throw
Bend one noodle into a circle and fasten with duct tape. Let it be the target for throwing other noodles. You can even tape 5 circles together to make the Olympic rings for targets. If the noodles don’t work well enough as throwing objects try some beanbags. Noodle rings of different colors can count for different points to make it more interesting.
5. Wreath Base
Make a circle the same way as in #4 & use it as a base to make a decorative wreath. Cover with a wide strip of fabric/burlap that goes with your decor or the holiday.
6. Room Decor for Kids
If you can find the noodles that are a flower shape at the end, they can be cut into sections about an inch wide to make flowers. Thread these to hang as decor on a wall, window or from a light fixture in a kid’s room. Fun, colorful, and cheap! Click here for a great tutorial at MakeZine. It is by Jessica Wilson from scrumdilly-do! (great art projects for kids) and scrumdillydilly.
7. Cheap Padding and Cushioning
Boaters sometime thread a rope through the noodle for extra padding for a rope between the dock and boat. It’s cheaper than a bumper that boat stores sell and you can cut it to any length you want. Lots of fun colors too. You can use the same idea for cushioning anything sharp. Just cut a slit on one side of the noodle and slip it onto a sharp edge. I wouldn’t use it where a toddler might try to eat it though.
8. Pool Noodle Headboard for Kid’s Room
I think they look pretty cool as a headboard. Cut them in half lengthwise and tape together on the back. The bed should hold them pretty well, but maybe not all the way. You might need to put a cheap piece of wood on the wall to attach them to. If your kids help pick out the colors maybe they won’t be too tempted to pull them down. You have to know if your kids are old enough to leave these alone.
8. Pool Noodle Light Sabers
Such easy fun for the kids! Cut the pool noodles to the length that works for sword fighting. Use black electrical tape on one end to look like a handle on the light saber. You can add stripes of silver duct tape to look more cool. As you can see in the photo, you can get pretty artistic with this if you like. Choose colors of noodles that you think the kids will like. It seems they like blue, green, and red to go with the Star Wars movies. Personally I’d keep this for outdoor play, but it’s your call. I know a few adults who’d like to sword fight this way too. These make great favors for kids to take home from a birthday party.
10. Witch’s Legs for Halloween
Cover 2 sections of noodle in stripped fabric or paper, add black shoes, & you have Witch’s Legs! Put them upside down in a pot for a great Halloween decoration. Or use “ruby slippers” and have them look like they come out from the bottom of your house for a Wizard of Oz party.
11. Pool Noodles as Building Parts
You can make a kind of kayak from pool noodles, but I wouldn’t use it anywhere outside of your personal pool for safety’s sake. You can cut the noodles into building “blocks” for the kids to stack or tape together into their own creations. Playhouse? You can make yard decorations for Halloween (big spider legs) or Christmas (large candycanes). You can even make costumes from them. Your imagination is the limit!
12. Exercise Aid
Amazingly enough, you can use a pool noodle to do any number of conditioning exercises that can also relieve muscle tension.
Click here for a great infographic of the exercises at Greatist.
BONUS PROJECT: I found an amazing tutorial for making a baby play mat using 2 pool noodles for the overhead framework that toys dangle from. The tute is quite detailed. You can try making this for your baby if you have time. It would also make a great gift. Click here for the tutorial at SewingForMyBabyBoy.
Do you have any creative ways to “use your noodle”?