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25 Pool Noodle Hacks That Will Improve Your Life

Those colorful foam pool toys are useful all around the house and with a few tweaks they can be even MORE fun in the water. Check out these tips for using your noodles at home, in the garage, around the yard, and at the pool!

finished pool noodle wrist restFamily Handyman

Wrist rest

Keep your wrists from getting fatigued during a long day at the computer by making this pool noodle wrist rest. First mark where you want to cut the noodle. For the wrist rest shown, we made the height slightly less than half of the full noodle diameter. (You could cut the noodle exactly in half and make two equally sized wrist rests.)

Try these other DIY furniture hacks that you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Dinky Door BumperFamily Handyman

Dinky door bumper

Here’s a trick for keeping that pesky door from banging into a piece of trim or wall while you’re running in and out. Simply cut a slit lengthwise in a short section of pool noodle and slip it onto the edge of a door, cupboard, or gate to guard against marring walls.

pool noodle inside drawerFamily Handyman

Stay-put drawer organizer

I have always hated the way drawer organizers move around when you open and close a drawer. I solved the problem at my house with a pool noodle!

I measured the distance from the back of the drawer organizer to the back of the drawer and used a utility knife to cut the noodle to size. The pool noodle fits snuggly in place, so the drawer organizer doesn’t move around anymore. You could also cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise to reduce the amount of space that it takes up. — Roy Allison

Now that you’ve concurred the drawers, try these methods to organize your closet.

floating beverage coolerFamily Handyman

Floating beverage barge

Make a simple, cheap floating beverage container to keep your drinks cool in the pool and close at hand. Cut short lengths of pool noodles to fit a plastic bin. Using a bin with a lip helps to keep the pool noodles in place. Thread a bungee cord through the center of the noodles to keep them snug against the sides. For a handle: Tie a length of rope or cord onto the bungee and add a small circle of pool noodle as a float to make the handle easy to grab.

Luggage Rack ProtectorFamily Handyman

Luggage rack protector

I needed to pick up a ladder from a friend. To keep the luggage rack on my new SUV from getting scratched, I covered the bars with pool noodles. I just slit the pool noodles down the side with a utility knife and taped them on. The cushion of foam also kept the ladder from rattling. Don’t forget to strap down your cargo before you go! – Gerald Ruppert

pool noodle handy hint door dingFamily Handyman

See ya, door dings!

I noticed several dings on my car door from opening and banging it against the garage wall. My grandkids had outgrown their pool noodles and I was about to throw the pool noodles away, but then I thought, “Whoa, this could be the solution!”

I cut the pool noodle in half, the long way, with a utility knife and fit it onto the studs in my garage. The pool noodle should stay put on its own, but for a more permanent solution, you can adhere the pool noodle to the studs with construction cement or a couple of nails. — John Greene.

If the problem isn’t shutting the door so much as the door flying back open again, try these tips to help shut it for good.

Fishing Rod OrganizerFamily Handyman

Fishing rod organizer

I got sick and tired of my fishing rods getting tangled, so I came up with this easy fishing rod organizer. All you need is a length of 3-inch-diameter PVC pipe and a foam swimming pool noodle. Drill 1-inch holes spaced every 4 inches in the PVC pipe. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the foam noodle, spacing them 4 inches apart. Line up the pool noodle on the wall so that at least two of the slits sit over studs. Pull those slits apart, slide in a fender washer, and screw the noodle to the wall with 2-inch screws. Then screw the PVC pipe to the wall beneath it at a comfortable height and insert your fishing rods. Look Ma, no more tangles!

No-Pinch Trampoline SpringsFamily Handyman

No-pinch trampoline springs

Here’s a simple way to cover trampoline springs to guard against pinched fingers. Cut a pool noodle into short sections, slice lengthwise and slide them over the springs.

Pool Noodle Cutting GuideFamily Handyman

Pool noodle cutting guide


Here’s a simple method for cutting lots of pool noodles in sections: make a three-sided jig out of lumber. Measure the length of noodle needed and, using a hand saw, cut a slot to that length into the two sides of the jig. Place the noodle into the trough created by the two sides and then push the cutting blade into the slot, sawing back and forth to cut the noodle.

Lift Gate ProtectionFamily Handyman

Lift gate protection

When you open the lift gate of your van or SUV, it’s easy to hit a cross brace of the garage door and chip the paint on the gate. Protect it by using a swim noodle as a cushion. Just slit the swim noodle with a utility knife and slip it over the brace. You can also use pre-slit foam pipe insulation. If it slips off, use double-face tape to hold it in place. – Mary Sprang.
Make sure you’re not making these garage mistakes that could put you in danger.

Crafty Water RaftFamily Handyman

Crafty water raft

Ahoy there, mateys! Just tie these pool noodles together for a fun water raft that won’t deflate! You’ll need five large pool noodles (4-1/2″ diameter ), 2 medium-sized noodles (2-1/4″ diameter), 6 ft of 1/2 ” PVC pipe, 36 feet of nylon cord. To begin, lash the five large noodles together using a double half-hitch knot. Next lace the cord in between and around each of the noodles, securing them together into a raft. When you get to the noodle on the end, turn around and lace them again back to the beginning. End with another double half-hitch knot. Cut the cord close to the knot. Now cut the smaller noodles to get three lengths equal to the width of the raft. Thread three PVC pipes through the holes in the three smaller noodles, then thread the cord through the PVC and use nylon cord to attach each short noodle to the large noodles. Tie one noodle at each end and one in the middle to increase stability and make the raft more rigid.

High-Visibility Boundary MarkerFamily Handyman

High-visibility boundary marker

Each year I mark the boundaries of my yard so the snowplow driver doesn’t damage my lawn. For years I used rebar along the perimeter, but the driver couldn’t see it at night. Even with reflectors on the rebar, it would still get hit, bent or broken. Now I’ve found a better solution. I slip a brightly colored swim noodle over the rebar. You can’t miss the markers now. – Bill Remia.
Try these other hacks make your now very-clearly-marked yard look even bigger.

Simple Pool Noodle StorageFamily Handyman

Simple pool noodle storage

What’s simpler than a 5-gallon bucket? It sure beats pool noodles rolling all over the garage or pool house. Concrete form tubes work well, too!

Ladder PaddingFamily Handyman

Ladder padding

I spend a lot of time on my ladder and leaning against the rungs all day was taking a toll on my shins and thighs. Then I got smart and slit pieces of my kids’ pool noodles lengthwise and wrapped them around the front of the rungs. Instant relief! The cushions are easy to move as you work. Just make sure you never stand on the pool noodles, and always place them higher than you’ll step since they can create an uneven step or fall off if you step on them. — Dave Switzer

Keep Your Boots at AttentionFamily Handyman

Keep your boots at attention

No more floppy ankles if you use pool noodles to keep boots upright. Also great for drying mukluks!
Now that your boots are accounted for, make sure you are hanging your sweaters appropriately!

Floating Flower Tea LightsFamily Handyman

Floating flower tea lights

Use a zip-tie to fasten pieces of pool noodle together and stick candles in the holes to make a floating lantern. Use plastic food wrap to keep the batteries from getting wet and you’re set for dreamy pool time!

Ladder GuardsFamily Handyman

Ladder guards

I recently installed new gutters. When it came time to clean them out, I didn’t want my metal ladder to dent or scratch them, so I made ladder protectors out of an old swim noodle (foam pipe insulation would work too). I cut 2-ft. sections of the foam noodle, slit them with a razor knife and stuck them on the sides of the ladder. They were the perfect cushions! If the foam doesn’t stay put, tape it on. – David Gugliuzza

Make a WreathFamily Handyman

Make a wreath

Use a pool noddle for a wreath form. Fasten the noodle with duct tape, then wrap it with fabric, ribbon, or string. Wrap wire around the stems of fabric flowers and poke it through the fabric to anchor it into the noodle. Hang the wreath using wire or a picture hook.

No-Roll Mini Work LightFamily Handyman

No-roll mini work light

Cut a small section of foam pipe insulation or a swim noodle and wrap it around a small LED flashlight. Wedge the foam into any crack, crevice or corner. – Costas Stavrou. While that’s pretty handy, you’ll be just as blown away by these uses for toothpicks that have nothing to do with picking teeth.

No More Creases!Family Handyman

No more creases!

Keep your dress pants, shawls, or scarves crease-free the cheap and easy way by covering a clothes hanger with a section cut from a pool noodle. First cut the noodle to the length of the lower hanger rod. Next, cut a slit into the length of the noodle to make it easy to slip it onto the hanger.

More Comfortable MowingFamily Handyman

More comfortable mowing

I don’t mind mowing my lawn, but the vibration from my lawnmower handle was aggravating the arthritis in my hands. Then I taped a piece of a swim noodle over the handle. Mowing the grass is much more comfortable, and my hands don’t ache when I’m done. – Phillip E. Oinonen

Nifty Paintbrush HolderFamily Handyman

Nifty paintbrush holder

Keep your watercolor brushes dry and handy! Cut a short section of pool noodle, slice it part of the way through and insert brushes.

Anti-Ding Car Door Bumper pool noodle garage hackFamily Handyman

Anti-ding car door bumper

My garage is full of tools, paint, kids’ bikes, you name it. Some days it is a trick to just squeeze my car in, and I got tired of banging my car door on the wall every time I opened it. I attached half a pool noodle to the wall as a bumper and now I can get out of the car without fear of dinging the garage wall or my car door! Check out these other car hacks to make driving so much better.

Pro Tip #1: How to slice a noodleFamily Handyman

Pro tip #1: How to slice a noodle

Use a serrated kitchen knife to cut a pool noodle into sections.

Pro tip #2 How to slit a noodleFamily Handyman

Pro tip #2: How to slit a noodle

Use a utility knife to cut a slit in a noodle lengthwise. The shorter blade cuts only the top side. Next, check out these 38 clever handy hints under $5.
Originally Published on The Family Handyman