We Tried 8 Pool Noodle DIYs & These Are Our Favorites

Summer is upon us, which means stores are filled with striped beach umbrellas, pizza-shaped pool floaties, and colorful pool noodles. While all three will get you in the mood to head to the beach, the last one can be a helpful home tool that can solve all sorts of problems. Pool noodle hacks have been taking off this summer, with clever DIYers finding ways to utilize them in everything from the garage to the office. And since we see their value, House Digest editors have also tried and shared some of their favorite pool noodle uses. 

You might have seen some of these DIYs floating around TikTok or YouTube. Folks are repurposing them to fix common, everyday annoyances, such as cushioning a thin bucket handle or padding a garage wall so the car door doesn't hit it. Then others are using them for more involved DIYs, such as creating wall art or using them to create tufted headboards. The sky is the limit for where they could be used, and we are excited to share some of our favorite hacks. 

Jen Alpeche: Screen door stopper

"Bang!" That familiar sound you hear after you realize your screen door has swung open a little too fast and a little too hard. Yet, you still don't have a stopper to keep the door from slamming into the wall — or, in my case, a metal railing. Thankfully, I finally addressed this common problem the other day by repurposing a pool noodle. It literally took me all of two minutes to turn 1/18th of noodle-shaped foam into a DIY screen door stopper.

For this home hack, I cut away about 3 inches of a teal pool noodle with a utility knife, then sliced down the length of the section to create an opening I could place over the top of the railing where the screen door's knob would perpetually hit. The center of the pool noodle was a bit smaller than the top rail, which resulted in a snug (that is, perfect) fit once I slipped it over. No extra fastener was needed to keep it in place! It worked immediately. A two-minute project, resulting in no more bangs.

This was a simple, quick, no-mess DIY I'm so glad I tried. While it's true you can get a hinge-pin door stop for less than $3, if you already have a pool noodle at home, this hack will cost you nothing to fashion. What's more, I still have about 53 inches of foam left for my future hacks.

Nancy Sheppard: A cat bed

In my house, we have two elderly cats and an anxious dog. Needless to say, we go through pet beds at a rapid pace. With the sticker shock that sometimes accompanies purchasing a pet bed, I knew there had to be some way I could make one instead. Like Mighty Mouse, pool noodles came and saved the day.

I gathered the materials: Two pool noodles, a long-sleeved flannel shirt, a bed pillow, and sewing supplies. First, I threaded the pool noodles through each arm to create a bumper. Then, I stuffed the shirt's torso with the fluffy bed pillow. Following this, I sewed shut the shirt collar, and where I joined the sleeves together. Finally, I sewed the sleeves down to the bed. The hack took less than a half hour, cost me under $20, and my pets (particularly my tabby fur child, Moe) love it.

There are different ways you can accomplish this hack. If you already have these cleaned materials at home, there is no need to purchase new ones. This hack also works with any long-sleeved shirt (though the larger the size, the bigger the bed will be). You also don't need to sew; just pull out your handy hot glue gun instead. As a word of advice, try putting a waterproof protector over the pillow (either prepurchased or fashioned out of a waterproof material like ripstop nylon).

With this simple, affordable hack, you can make a great bed at a low cost for your four-legged friend.

Ashley Palmer: A wreath base

Floral foam and styrofoam wreath bases can be crumbly, messy, and frustrating to work with. So, we tried the ingenious hack of swapping in a pool noodle for the job. They're often slightly cheaper than the craft store bases and seem readily available all summer. Plus, they are made to stand up to hours of pool play, so they can be a much sturdier option than traditional bases.

First, you'll tape the two ends of the pool noodle together to make a ring. Packaging tape or duct tape both work well here. Then, cover your makeshift base by wrapping it with ribbon or strips of fabric, securing it at the end with a few dots from the hot glue gun. Just keep the gun at a low-temperature setting since super-hot glue may melt the noodle.

Once your base is securely wrapped, you can use the hot glue gun, ribbon, or floral pins to add decorations. Because the wreath's base is so lightweight, the embellishments can weigh it down, and you might need a little extra help to keep it straight. If so, a Command picture hanging strip can be used to keep it in place.

Sydney Fogel: A wrist rest

Turning a pool noodle into a wrist rest is incredibly easy! First, measure your keyboard's width and mark it on the pool noodle. Then, using a saw or a sharp knife, cut the noodle to that size. Next, you will want to cut your piece in half lengthwise. Depending on your keyboard height and your wrists, you may want to cut it so one half is smaller than the other — meaning not perfectly down the center of the diameter. You'll typically end up using the smaller side as your wrist rest.

This pool noodle hack is a favorite because it's inexpensive and anyone can do it. Plus, none of us are strangers to long hours sitting at the computer. What's also great is that if you mess anything up, you have plenty more pool noodle to work with and try again. The wrist rest also takes only a matter of minutes to create, so you don't have to worry about setting aside a large amount of time.

Marlen Komar: Frame bumpers

If you own a lot of frames, then you know how easy it is to chip or scratch them. I have a giant gallery wall in my dining room, so when we were moving this month, I was nervous about how they would fair during transit. But all that worry disappeared when I found out you could use pool noodles as bumper guards. All you have to do is measure the width of your frame and cut the noodle so it fully covers the piece from corner to corner. Then cut a line down its center to open up the noodle, and slip it on the top and bottom of the frame. And that's it!

I love this hack because it's very effective. It protects the bottom of the frame from making contact with the moving van floor, ensuring it will stay scratch-free. As for the top, it acts something like a bumper guard, allowing you to stack frames on top of each other without touching. This acts as an extra layer of protection. Plus, these are completely reusable, so you can repurpose them when you store old paintings. They will stay scuff-free until you're ready to use them again.

Abby Kolonsky: Packing peanut replacement

I love a good hack, but when it came to making my own packing peanuts using pool noodles, I was a skeptic. It seemed like it would just add more to my pre-moving to-do list, but I figured it was worth a try. For this hack, I bought three noodles from Target and found an appropriately sized box for my seven coffee mugs. I used scissors to cut the pool noodles, but you can also use a chef's knife or X-Acto knife (that'd probably be easier than scissors). For each noodle, I first cut the entire length in half, then cut 1-inch semi-circles from those halves. Once my box was full, all that was left was nestling in my coffee mugs and taping it up.

The pool noodle packing peanuts worked perfectly to protect my coffee mugs. I found picking up some noodles on my weekly Target trip to be easier than buying a ton of packing peanuts, especially because I only needed them for one box. I'd recommend buying more pool noodles than you think you'll need, though, because three wasn't quite enough to fill my box. Although cutting each pool noodle took 5 to 10 minutes, it was an enjoyable process, and it would be a great way to get your kids involved in packing. Because moving is so chaotic, taking some time to slow down and do a repetitive task is actually quite calming.

Juliana Lumaj: Textured art

Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on textured, minimalist art, we spent under $20 creating something similar with a pool noodle! Other essential tools include a foam board, an X-Acto knife, Gorilla Glue, white acrylic paint, and a paintbrush. First, we cut the foam board to an 8 by 8 1/2 inch shape, using the X-Acto knife to create clean, straight lines. Then, using a serrated knife, we cut two 8-inch sections from the pool noodle, slicing those in half, resulting in four halved pieces. We grabbed our Gorilla Glue and stuck those pieces to the board in a horizontal, stacked fashion, allowing them to adhere to the material for a few hours. Once the glue dried, we applied three layers of white acrylic paint, waiting for it to dry between each coat, which took a little over an hour overall.

We love this hack because it's easy to do, takes one day to execute, and you can adjust the size to your preference. The texture of the pool noodle is perfect and eliminates the need to use clay or other materials to achieve a similar look. We believe fans of contemporary, minimalist, and Scandinavian designs should try this hack out!

Zachary McCarthy: Noodle sock block

The typical laundry room layout situates a washing machine and dryer side-by-side, not quite flush against the walls. While this is a practical arrangement for most homeowners, it often creates two dusty corners that are nearly impossible to clean. Even worse, it becomes a dispensary for wayward socks that are doomed to lay there collecting dust for eternity. Thankfully, the pliability of pool noodles makes them perfect for closing this gap while protecting the wall from an overly enthusiastic dryer. While it'll probably be necessary to trim the noodle to size, this hack requires very little guesswork or handiness; simply wedge it in the space, slice off the excess, and you'll never lose another sock to the dark abyss.

This pool noodle hack's beauty lies in its simplicity and discreetness. Let's face it, pool noodles can be incredibly handy, but most homeowners wouldn't want them to be prominent features in a room. With this nifty trick, the garish tube of foam is slyly concealed by the dryer so that eyeballs can be drawn to the space's more classy design features. Even better, in terms of functionality, this method is nearly foolproof — well worth the $1.25 we paid for a plain blue pool noodle.