Genius Pool Noodle Hacks You Should Be Using In Your Backyard

Pool noodles are fun and inexpensive to toss in the swimming pool each summer. But, there are also various ways to upcycle these colorful foam tubes with pool noodle DIY backyard projects. The lightweight material is easy to shape and cut for different projects, and the hole in the center can easily mold around other objects for a snug fit. Running about $1.25 each at your local Dollar Tree, these toys are an economical choice to help with your gardening, outdoor furniture, and backyard activities.

There are plenty of uses for foam noodles, whether you have a bundle of them to repurpose, or want cheap alternatives to pricier outdoor products. Use them to streamline planters, add ergonomic support to lawn tools and furniture, and cool off with a homemade sprinkler. Here, you'll learn smart ways to transform new or used pool noodles into useful items without much of an increase to your backyard budget.

DIY floating drink cooler

Swimming is a great way to stay active and cool off in the summer heat. The only downfall to a day in the pool is hopping out every time you want a drink. With a little DIY pizzazz, you can forget swimming to the pool edge to quench your thirst. Create a floating beverage holder for the pool or hot tub with a pool noodle and some crafty know-how. Your drinks float around in a plastic container made buoyant by the foam in the toy. Genius!

All you need to make your own floating drink table is one standard-sized pool noodle, a small plastic container (big enough to fit several cans or bottles), a pair of scissors, a utility knife, and some nylon rope. First, measure the length and width of the plastic container and carefully cut the foam tubing with the utility knife. You should have one cylinder portion per side. Next, thread the nylon rope through the tubes, and fix it around the plastic container, just below the lip of the container's opening. Tie it snuggly and fill it with some ice and your favorite drinks.

Water feature tealight trick

Lighting offers practicality and whimsy to any outdoor space and is particularly lovely in water features. An inexpensive way to jazz up ponds and fountains, is with this pool noodle tealight hack. The tealights sit inside circular foam segments and float around casting sparkling reflections on the water below.

All you need to make this project work is a pack or two of battery-operated tea lights, like these from Joann, a utility knife, plastic wrap, a marker, and a pool noodle. Any color of works, but white is a classic choice. To make the float, slice the noodle into two inch discs. Trace the diameter of the electric candle on the end of the disc, and carefully cut the foam so the hole is big enough to insert the tea light. Now, wrap the tealight in cling film and slide it into the opening. Set the newly crafted luminaries into your fountain or garden pond and watch them twinkle the night away.

Crease-free laundry line hack

Who doesn't love the smell of fresh bed sheets straight off the laundry line? One big downfall to hanging clothes, sheets, and towels outside to dry is the annoying and unsightly crease the line causes. Fortunately, there's a pool noodle hack to remedy that. The tubes are smooth and cushiony, creating the perfect surface to drape damp laundry over. So, cover your line with foam to revolutionize hang drying clothes

To prep your line for clean laundry, get out the measuring tape, or make an estimate on the length of your clothes line. Dollar Tree pool noodles are 54 inches long (4.5 feet), so you'll need one for every 4 1/2 feet of line. Once you purchase the noodles, slice them lengthwise with a utility knife, being careful to only cut the top half. The tube should open up and slip easily over the laundry line. 

Easy rake and garden tool storage

Garden tools take up space, and can be hazardous when left lying about. Organizing rakes, shovels, and hoes doesn't need to be complicated or expensive. This foam wall mount uses a section of pool noodle with slits in the side for tool handles to fit into. Plus, it can be mounted to any wall or the fence. This is also one backyard pool noodle hack you can also use inside the house. Try it with mops, brooms and dusters in your cleaning closet.

Making a foam storage wall mount is easy. First, determine how many tools you want to stand in it. Next, calculate the length of foam needed by multiplying the number of tools by four, and then add four more. This leaves four inches between each item and four inches at either end of the last tool. For example, if you want to store three objects, you'll need 20 inches of foam tubing. Cut the cylinder at the measured point and slice it in half lengthwise to create a flat back. With the flat side of the foam on a sturdy surface, slice shallow openings every four inches. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Then, stick the half-cylinder to the fence or shed wall with weatherproof mounting tape, like this Gorilla product from Lowe's, and slide your tool handles into the slits.

DIY garden hose sprinkler

Water sprinklers are a big help when watering large patches of lawn or garden. They're also a fun way for kids to cool off on a hot summer day. If you don't have time or money to pick up a new sprinkler from the hardware store, you can craft your own with a little ingenuity. The sprinkler works by threading your garden hose through a pool noodle with holes poked into it. A blockage at the end of the cylinder forces water to come out of the holes to make a mini shower that's perfect for plants and people.

For this DIY sprinkler, you'll need scissors, a pool noodle, duct tape, and a skewer (or sharpened pencil). Slice off an inch at the end of the noodle and straighten it to create a makeshift cork. Then, push it into the end of the tube, securing it with plenty of duct tape, to plug the opening and create water pressure. Next, carefully poke holes along the length of foam with the skewer. Make sure the hole reaches through into the hollow center of the tube. Insert the garden hose about six inches, turn it on, and enjoy your homemade sprinkler. To make an even longer version, use duct tape to connect multiple perforated noodles together before inserting the hose.

Keep sunflowers upright with noodle supports

Most garden sunflowers reach a height of about 5 feet, but they can grow up to 12. Many gardeners use bamboo stakes to keep these tall flowers from toppling over from the weight of their bulky blooms. If you can't find stakes, or don't have time to get out and buy any, you can fashion your own sunflower stem supports with a handy backyard toy hack. Wrap foam swim noodles around the flower stems to keep them from breaking or leaning over. This hack is a pool noodle game changer for any tall plant.

Making your sunflower stem noodle supports is simple. All you need is a utility knife and a few pool noodles in your choice of color. To begin, measure the sunflower you want support for. The measurement should start at the ground and end just below the first leaf (if the first leaf is especially low you can remove it and measure to the second leaf). Next, slice the pool noodle hot dog bun style along the length, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open the foam and slide it around the stem of the plant to keep it upright.

Hard deck chair transformation

Summer sun brings a new level of use to outdoor living spaces. From lounging poolside, to garden parties and barbecues, deck chairs quickly become a backyard necessity. The major problem with a lot of deck chairs is the hard arm rests. Some of them dig into you after a while and make it uncomfortable to sit for long periods. One way to transform the uncomfortable seating is with a clever pool noodle armrest hack that creates cushioned support. Plus, you can go with matching noodles or use this hack to add a rainbow of color to your outdoor living space.

This is one of the easier backyard hacks you'll come across. All you need is a utility knife and some pool noodles. To start, measure the length of your chair's arm rests and multiply that by the number you're covering. Then, purchase enough noodles and cut the tubes to the length of the arms and carefully slice the noodle into a spiral. You should be able to pull the ends of the noodle to create a foam slinky shape. Wrap the coils around the arms of your chair and relax in comfort.

DIY lawn mower handle cover

Mowing the lawn is rarely fun, but it's even less fun when the handle digs into your hands. If you have a long mowing job ahead of you, shield your hands with a lawn mower handle guard made from a pool noodle. The foam is cut to fit the handle and slipped around it to add a layer of cushion between your hands and the hard metal or plastic. Pushing the mower is still work, but at least your fingers can rest comfortably as you go.

Making a mower cover requires a pool noodle, a utility knife, and some duct tape. Measure the length of the handle and cut the foam tube length to match. Next, slice the tube open on one side, so you can open it and wrap it around the hand bar of the mower. You can leave the foam open on one side for easy removal, or use duct tape to close it. You can also add tape at the end of each side, fixing it to the handle so it doesn't slide while you're mowing. Just make sure the mower's control bar can be pulled in and released freely for safety and functionality.

Pad planter pots to save garden soil

Large planters are a great statement piece on the back deck, or in the garden. The biggest issue with bigger pots is how much soil they require. Some 24 inch planter pots, for example, require 25 gallons (3.8 cubic feet) of soil. The typical bags of Miracle-Gro Garden Soil that Home Depot offers holds 1.5 cubic feet bags of soil. So, you'd need to buy several bags to fill your pot. Fortunately, there's a backyard hack for saving potting soil in large pots

Padding your planters is simple. Start by choosing flowers with shallow roots that don't require a lot of extra space for downward growth. You don't want to stop them from growing by stuffing the planter full of foam. Next, coil a foam swim noodle into your large planter. You may need to add an extra one for particularly deep pots. Or, if you need just a little extra padding, cut another noodle and add just a portion of it to the pot. 

Easy garden gate door stopper

Kids running in and out of the garden gate all day makes the automatic latch a tad annoying. This is especially true for small kids who can't reach the gate and need help opening the lock. Remedy this on busy days with a simple and removable door stopper made from a pool noodle. This backyard hack doesn't require a lot of material, which means you could use the same foam for another project. When you're done for the day, slip it off and lock the gate. Easy peasy pool noodle squeezy.

To make your own backyard gate stopper, cut a foot-long section from one end of a pool noodle. Slice open one side vertically and fit it over the edge of the gate where the latch extends. The stopper keeps the gate from locking every time it closes. No more slamming gates, and no need to keep getting out of your comfy lawn chair to help the kids as they run in and out of the yard. This DIY door bumper hack works on the shed, or the backdoor as well.