The Pool Noodle Hack That Gives Basic Cabinets A Stunning Upgrade On A Budget

While many of us aspire to create houseplant jungles, there are some for whom that dream will never become reality. Maybe they're allergic to greenery, or they live with fur-covered family members who just won't stop nibbling at the ferns. If that's you, consider this DIY. You simply take a pool noodle, slit it open horizontally, fit it over any shelf, and fill it with faux flowers. Think of the noodle sort of like floral foam — that spongy green block you sometimes find underneath a bouquet of fresh flowers. There are, of course, lots of other benefits to crafting a pool noodle shelf bouquet in your home too. Probably the most obvious is that it will last far, far longer than fresh-cut flowers sitting in a vase of water (depending on their environment, faux flowers last between five and 10 years). 

Further, it also requires zero maintenance whatsoever. And, although decorating an eye-level shelf arguably gives you the easiest view of your creation, floral pool noodling one high up in a cabinet keeps it away from your curious toddler's hands and dog's nose. Pool noodles are springy and will stay put easily without glue or other fixtures, so you can build a bouquet on shelves of any material from glass to wood to metal. However, a bundle of faux flowers stuck to a pool noodle won't, to be frank, maximize space on open shelving, so this is really a DIY idea for those embracing a more eclectic approach to home décor.

Gather the materials for this plant-centered cabinet makeover

It's crucial to take some time to map out your idea on paper or digitally before purchasing supplies. This will save you over-ordering faux flowers — you don't want to spend money on a bunch of often quite expensive, depending on the materials you choose, bouquets. If floral arranging is your passion, consider investing in a specialist design platform like Bloom or Details. Where you get your flowers depends on your budget and preferred material. Hobby Lobby has bunches of quality but low-cost plastic bouquets, like this Texas wildflower bush for well under $10. Elsewhere, a bountiful blue-pink bundle of silk peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and daisies is about $24 from Amazon. Head to Wayfair for a unique assortment of dried grass and reeds — just about $18. 

And don't forget the foliage! We love these assorted leafy artificial house plant tropicals from Dollar Tree. Measure the length of the shelf (or shelves) you're building your everlasting indoor garden on using a builder's tape measure. The length of pool noodles, meanwhile, varies by manufacturer and product. Be careful not to buy one too short for your shelf! Likewise, choose a neutral colored noodle that will blend in with the faux flowers you've chosen. The Big Joe three-pack, around $1 from Walmart, has a lime, rose, and teal noodle. Or Amazon sells a 4-pack of pre-cut Hanaive jumbo pool noodles in white for about $63, saving you time.

Create this long-lasting floral shelf decor in just minutes

If needs be, cut the pool noodle to fit the shelf. Using scissors or, if you have a steady hand, a utility knife, make a single horizontal cut running the noodle's length keeping in mind that it needs to go through to the hollow center (you obviously don't need to do this if you bought pre-slit noodles). Open the pool noodle at this cut and clamp it over the shelf with the round side facing you. Take your faux florals out of their packaging and un-scrunch the leaves, straighten the stems, and plump up the blooms (these are all game-changing tricks that make artificial flowers look real). Push the wire stems into the pool noodle and then bend the greenery to create your desired arrangement.

Don't just limit yourself to shelves either. This works anywhere you can't see the back of the arrangement, for example, an entryway table or the beams of a patio cover. Get creative and consider other ways to give your home décor a more feminine touch without using florals, too. Butterflies, vintage jewelry, feathers, balloons, buttons and beads, origami, even real air plants! There are all kinds of things that come pre-fitted with wire or that you can wire up yourself relatively easily. Consider, too, changing up the arrangement to match your décor for different festive seasons or whenever you get bored of the previous styling and want a fresh look.