Summer is over, so here are 7 new uses for old pool noodles

Oct 11, 2014 at 1:03 p.m. ET
Image: Alex Bramwell / Getty Images

Pool noodles aren't just for letting your kids bob around in the pool or getting in your exercise at that aqua fitness class. With a little DIY creativity and modification, these long foam cylinders can actually make your life easier in minutes. From family safety to storage solutions, you're going to love these pool noodle life hacks.

Shopping cart baby bumper

Pool noodle hack for shopping cart

Photo credit: Shannon at Living My Life on Purpose

Navigating the store with a baby can be a challenge, but let your tot accidentally smack her head on the front of the shopping cart and your challenge will quickly rocket to an impossible feat as she inconsolably screams with a bruised or bloody face. Then, ewwww, there's always the less dramatic concern that babies love putting their mouths on everything — germy or not. Pool noodle to the rescue! Shannon, the blogger at Living My Life on Purpose, cut a noodle crosswise in half and then made a vertical slit up one side so the foam can easily be slipped onto the front bar of the shopping cart.

Keep your kiddo in bed

Pool noodle hack for bed rails

Photo credit: Mandy at Small Fine Print

Do you often hear a bump (then crying) in the middle of the night and know it's coming from your child's bedroom? Don't you dare put those pool noodles away for winter! Take a tip from Mandy, creator of Small Fine Print, and use them to keep your wild sleeper safe and snug as a bug. Cut two noodles to fit the length of your kiddo's mattress, and then slip them up the sides of the bed under the mattress cover. Once your little guy is fast asleep he can turn left or right, but the pool noodle bed rails will keep him from tumbling out of bed.

Use-your-noodle art

Pool noodle home decor hack

Photo credit: Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage

Perhaps the family pool noodle is looking a bit worn and you just happen to be yawning over your current home decor. Shannon, the DIY pro at Fox Hollow Cottage, gathered up a few fun, beachy items to repurpose a pool noodle into a one-of-a-kind wreath that will effortlessly brighten up a room. This flip-flop wreath can keep you in the carefree summer spirit when the weather turns cold and gray.

Show your boots some love

Pool noodle hack for boot storage

Photo credit: Kim at A Spotted Pony

Instead of letting your boots look sad and droopy in between wears, insert pool noodles to keep them upright and help maintain the shape of your favorite footwear. Sure, you could just use noodles you've cut to the right length, but do you really want to look at neon-colored foamy things every time you walk into your closet? Of course not. Get inspired by Kim at A Spotted Pony, who crafted pretty and inexpensive fabric covers for her new boot supports.

Protect your car doors

Pool noodle hack for car door

Photo credit: Megan at Two Feet First

When parking your car in the garage gives you claustrophobia, you probably also suffer anxiety over scratching your car door against the garage wall as you carefully squeeze yourself out of the car. You'll find plenty of images on Google showing pool noodles being used as buffers between garage walls and car doors, but how do you attach said pool noodle to the wall? Megan and her husband at Two Feet First give you step-by-step instructions along with photos to help you guard your car and take a long, deep breath as you exit your ding-free door.

Don't shut the door!

Pool noodle hack for door stop

Photo credit: Heidi at Muslin and Merlot

Do you have little ones who have slammed their precious little fingers in the door too many times? Do you need your garage door to stay unlatched as you haul multiple loads of laundry or groceries inside? Let the pool noodle help you with your open-door policy. Resourceful crafter Heidi at Muslin and Merlot easily transforms pool noodles into colorful door stoppers that will protect fingers and make your life easier when you need to be in and out.

A pool noodle just wants to have fun

Pool noodle hack for floating cooler

Photo credit: Macgeek at Instructables

We're all for fun in the sun being a necessary part of life, so we love the idea of having a DIY floating cooler in the pool. Macgeek at Instructables turns a $2 pool noodle into a floating cooler with string and a plastic container. It's your job to fill it up and enjoy this pool noodle life hack.

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