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18 Things You Had No Idea You Could Do With Pool Noodles

When pool season is over, here’s how to get more use out of those giant foam pool toys.

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Help boots keep their shape

The foam of a pool noodle is sturdy enough to keep your favorite pair of boots upright. Cut two lengths of pool noodle about as tall as your boots, then stick one in each shoe to help them keep their shape. (Related: Don’t miss these other genius tricks to make shoes last longer.)

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Create a doorstop

Use a knife or saw to chop off 10 inches or so of a pool noodle, then cut a triangular slit from top to bottom, going from the outside edge to the hole. You’ll be left with a tube that you can clasp around your door so it won’t slam shut. Find out how to make your pool toys last longer.

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Protect your car door

Keep hitting your car door against the same area in your garage? Cut off a section of a pool noodle, then cut it in half length-wise to create a semicircle. Attach it to the most vulnerable spots in your garage to create a soft buffer when passengers open their doors. (Related: Be sure you never leave these items in the car.)

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Create a bed bumper

Tape a foam noodle along the edge of your toddler’s bed to create a barrier that will keep your kid from falling out. Cover it with another sheet before your child crawls in to bed to cover up the tape. Don’t make these common, dangerous mistakes even careful parents make.

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Make mood lighting

Create a serene setting for your next pool party with floating luminaries. Saw off a piece of tube about three inches long to create the holder. Next, wrap the bottom of a battery-powered tea light with plastic wrap to protect the wiring. Squeeze your light into the pool noodle piece, stretching the foam open a bit if necessary. Now turn your light on, drop it on the water, and enjoy the soft glow. Check out these other tricks to make an outdoor dinner party look expensive.

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Make a drink holder

Keep your noodles in the pool, but give them a more practical use. String a bit of rope through long slices of pool noodles, then tie them tightly to a plastic bin or Tupperware container so it stays afloat. Throw in some ice, and use it as a handy place to always keep a cold drink near when you’re chilling in the pool.

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Protect trampoline springs

Give your kids extra protection against rusty trampoline springs with this easy hack. Cut off pieces of pool noodle long enough to cover each spring, then cut a slit so you can slide the foam tube over top.

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Prevent pants from creasing

Saw off a long enough piece of pool noodle to fit the bottom of a wire hanger, then cut in a slit so you can attach it. Lay trousers over the noodle to give it a thicker space to hang, leaving your pants crease-free. Check out these other ways to de-wrinkle clothes without an iron.

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Make card games easier

If your kid’s little hands have trouble holding on to cards during games, DIY a card holder to make it easier. Cut slices of the pool noodle an inch or two thick. Now create a 360-degree slit around the hole, from the outer edge down about ¾ inch so it doesn’t go through the opening. Children can stick their cards in the slit to handle more at once. (Related: Don’t miss these fun games to play in the car.)

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Keep plants upright

For a different outdoor use, bring your foam noodles from the pool to the garden. Cut off a piece and add a slit down through the hole. Wrap it around plant stems instead of using a wooden stake.

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Make a festive wreath

Use your pool toys year-round by creating a seasonal wreath. Cut several inches off a noodle so you can connect the ends to form a circle, then attach the ends with Duct tape. Wrap it up in yarn or fabric with a seasonal color to cover the foam, then add fake flowers and leaves for a decorative touch. Here are more cozy ways to decorate your home for fall.

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Build a playhouse

Use Duct tape to attach the ends of pool noodles to form a large cube. Add a diagonal one from each corner to form a roof if you’d like, then drape a sheet over the structure to create a fun fort for your kids to play in.

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Start some horseplay

Your kids will love galloping around with this easy DIY take on a stick horse. Fold about a foot of pool noodle over itself, attaching it to the rest of the noodle by wrapping it with ribbon. Add two black dots to the end to create a snout, along with googly eyes and felt ears to create the rest of its face.

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Play tic-tac-toe

Gather your kids for an extra-large game of tic-tac-toe. Cut off at least four thin slices from the end of two different colored pool noodles. Draw your game grid with chalk, then use your noodle pieces in place of Xs and Os.

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Create napkin rings

Make fun-colored napkin rings out of old pool toys. Slice off 1-inch pieces of pool noodle, then cut a slit. Wrap up silverware in a napkin in another bright color, then hold it together with your makeshift napkin ring. Find out what dining etiquette mistake you make with your napkin.

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Keep your wine straight

For a more adult use for foam floaters, convert them into wine stem markers. Saw off a thin, ¼-inch slice of your noodle, then cut a slit to the middle so you can slip it on to the bottom of your wine glass.

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Stow away quilts

For a simple way to store quilts and other blankets, wrap them around a pool noodle, tying around a ribbon to hold them in place.

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Make a marble racer

Cut a pool noodle in half length-wise, then attach the halves together so both semi-circles are facing up. Prop the ends on a tall surface, letting the bottom rest on the ground. The dips will create a track for your kids to roll marbles down.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.