Pool Noodle Photo Frames

9 Materials
1 Hour

Gallery walls are a great way to showcase your favorite photos, artwork and graphics. They are constantly on-trend and I've always wanted one in my own home. But, with three little kids running around and not enough time to properly hang them securely, I worry about one of the heavy, glass paned frames crashing down onto someone. Alas, this great idea for picture frames made out of pool noodles allows me to create safer versions in ANY custom size, color or style. Cover them with fun contact paper prints, and you've got a budget-friendly photo frame in no time!

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- Pool Noodle (I'm sure you can find this at any store in the summer, but if no one is selling them yet, you can order on Amazon.)

- Hack Saw

- Miter box (if you don't have a miter box, I recommend you get one, they make perfect angled cuts.)

- Tape Measure

- Hot Glue Gun

- Glue sticks

- Scissors

- Sharpie Marker

- Scotch Tape

Step 1: Measure & Mark.

Determine what size frame you would like to make. Measure 2" down from the top of your miter box and mark it. It is very easy for your noodle to roll while cutting, so these lines will act as a reference point to keep your noodle straight. Continue marking 2" down across the entire length of your pool noodle.

Step 2: Cut your pool noodle.

You will be cutting four different pieces to create a photo frame. Each piece will have angled cuts on either end. One the first end, cut a 45-degree angle. This is why a miter box is so useful. There is no way I would be able to get those sharp, angled cuts without one

Step 3: Cut the other side.

Slide your noodle down and make another 45-degree angle cut going in the opposite direction. Continue doing this until you have four piece to form the photo frame. Note: If you are making a larger frame, you may need to use more than one pool noodle.

Step 4: Cut your contact paper
Cut a piece of contact paper large enough to wrap around your first noodle piece.

Step 5: Roll and stick the piece of contact paper around your first piece. Be sure to flatten out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go along.

Step 6: Trim the contact paper
Cut around the ends of the your first piece. Leave a small amount of overhang (1/2cm) so the contact paper hides the pool noodle when all of your pieces are glued together.

Your pool noodle should look like this once it's wrapped and cut! Do this for all four pieces of your pool noodle.

All four pieces of your pool noodle will look like this when finished.

Step 7: Align & Glue your pieces together.

Using your hot glue gun, carefully glue your pieces together.

Step 8: Add your photo to the back.

These pool noodle frames have some major thickness to them, so I chose to tape my photo onto the backing of the frame using scotch tape. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can play around with wedging the photo within the middle of the frame. If it's the right size, it should stay well!

Step 9: Hang it up!

Flip it over and view your beautiful finished product! So light-weight and easy to handle. When it comes to hanging, you can poke a hole right into the backing (good ol' soft foam) of your frame and hang it onto a nail in the wall. Or, if you'd like a more damage-free option, use 3M Command strips for simple hanging.

Here is my mini-gallery wall. I plan on adding more to it over time, but this is a great start! I loved mixing the faux wood contact paper with their stainless steel version. They add the perfect amount of impact in our family room!

Suggested materials:

  • <a href="https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=wood+contact+paper&rh=i:aps,k:wood+contact+paper&linkCode=ll2&tag=ctbr-julien27932089-20&linkId=99437697f252dde2d96e6975a2a13f5a" class="href-bb-tag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Contact paper</a>  (Amazon)
  • Hack Saw  (Home Depot)
  • <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-19-800-Storage-12-Inch-Backsaw/dp/B00009OYG9/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1488788033&sr=8-2&keywords=miter+box&linkCode=ll1&tag=ctbr-julien27932089-20&linkId=5f2257b25cc066eedd7befcf240717fa" class="href-bb-tag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Miter Box</a>  (Amazon)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Shawnda
    on Mar 13, 2017

    Wouldn't it look better if you cut the noodle in half lengthwise? I think I would prefer it. Then the focus is on the picture and not the frame.

    • Elise
      on Mar 13, 2017

      I think that is a good idea, especially for the smaller pictures.

    • Angela Cassidy
      on Mar 13, 2017

      Just a thought...How about using a yard stick? You've got the miter board for the cuts and the ruler would hang flat against he wall.

    • Shawnda
      on Mar 13, 2017

      I like that idea Angela, then you could paint them to match your decor and they could be as fancy or as sleek and modern as you like!!!!

    • Phyllis Williams
      on Mar 14, 2017

      The focus is partly the frame people…her talent also. It is a cute idea and it makes a focal point on her wall. If other folks want smaller frames do it and see how it works out. All this "making fun" is taught to your. kids, if you have them, they are bullies.. I would suggest some people need to apologise to Julien.

    • Becky Partain
      on Mar 14, 2017

      I agree with Phyllis. It is nice to hear feedback but please try to be tackful!! I love this idea. Great craft to do with my Grandkids.

    • Shawnda A. Pauig
      on Mar 14, 2017

      Let me put this as plainly as I can Phyllis and Becky. This is a place for an open exchange of ideas. I put my idea out there. I was inspired by Julien's post, which I like. I said nothing offensive to Julien. Soooo, get your panties out of a wad! If you have further comment directed at me, I have a few ideas about what you can do with them too

    • Marti Lou
      on Mar 14, 2017

      Wow! Chill out ladies! Its a noodle, for petes sake!! I like all the ideas mentioned here. Cutting the noodle is a good idea! It would lie flat against the wall. Yardsticks also a good idea. I'd like to make a large one for a collage of my gson's art...gotta get a miter box! Ooooo! Or a chop saw!

    • Superbee
      on Mar 14, 2017

      What is the big deal with being criticized? If someone likes his or her project and is confident about it, WHO CARES what someone else thinks!! People are too dang sensitive these days. We're grownups, for Heaven's sake. Time to get over being babied in this must-be -accepted- by- one- and all- world.

    • Shawnda
      on Mar 14, 2017

      Exactly, and at 50 years old I don't need to apologize for having an idea or opinion. Thanks Superbee!

    • Julien K., Hometalk Team
      on Mar 15, 2017

      Thank you for all of the suggestions and feedback everyone! Great ideas regarding the yard sticks and cutting the pool noodle in half too. It's always nice to hear how other people who have done it or if they have suggestions for others if they'd like to do the project as well.

    • BentonanJo
      on Mar 15, 2017

      Very cute the wood looking contact paper brought to mind ideas for a beach themed party.

    • Pepper
      on Mar 17, 2017

      you definetly would be able to maKE MORE BY CUTTUNG IN HALF. I THINK IT LOOKS NICE THOUgh without cutting in half. sorry about caps, Buy your noodle at the dollar store. they shoud be having them soon. I 'm not re typing

    • Kay McKean
      on Apr 20, 2017

      Fantastic Julien! You just gave me a great idea. And attractive and inexpensive too. I have been looking for a shadow box - large and deep enough to hold some items given to me by a good friend who passed away 3 years ago. Now I can have a 3D picture out on a wall and remember my friend every time I see it. Thank you for the inspiration.
    • M Brent P
      on May 5, 2017

      I love this idea, but I thought why not cut a slit in the center of the noodle and slip the picture in there. Then I remembered the wonderful pre-slit & pre-glued pipe insulators (any big box building store), not quite as large as pool noodles, but being careful to have the slit to the inside when making your angle cuts would let you still wrap the contact paper and have pre-cut place for the picture. Can't wait to try this with grandkids to frame pictures for Mom and Dad's Day Gifts.
    • Linda Premo
      on Jun 25, 2019

      Don’t feel bad. Once I made a tactful comment (based on an art and interior design degree and 40 years in the art/design industry and someone told me to “take a flying leap”. I was hurt and shocked at first, now I don’t comment unless I love something.

    • Shawnda A. Pauig
      on Jun 25, 2019

      Thanks, I appreciate that.

  • M
    on Mar 31, 2017

    why didn't you cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise so it would set flush with the wall ?

  • Carol Dobbelare
    on Aug 14, 2017

    Why didn't you cut the noodles in half longwise?

Join the conversation

2 of 69 comments
  • Luna Kanzen Menahem
    on Jun 25, 2019

    Great ideas. Thank you.

  • Jennifer
    on Aug 5, 2019

    I think it’s fine to give ideas that may be easier, quicker to get the same results, or just suggestions that may improve the results. I think wording our ideas in respectful, polite ways helps others take your comments more seriously. Using good manners doesn’t have to become a lost part of a person’s character.

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