How to Make Chunky DIY Pool Noodle Photo Frames

Julien K., Hometalk Team
by Julien K., Hometalk Team
9 Materials
1 Hour

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to make DIY photo frames out of pool noodles.

Why pool noodles?

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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Tools and materials for the DIY project

Tools and materials

More Pool Noodle Ideas

For more pool noodle DIYs, check out the top pool noodle decor projects on Hometalk.

Measuring and marketing the pool noodle

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.

How to cut a pool noodle with a miter box

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.

On 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

Cutting the side with a miter box

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 pieces to form the photo frame.

Note: If you are making a larger frame, you may need to use more than one pool noodle.

Cutting the contact paper

Step 4: Cut your contact paper

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

Applying the contact paper

Step 5: Apply the contact paper

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.

Trimming the contact paper

Step 6: Trim the contact paper

Cut around the ends of 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.

Pool noodle frame piece

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

How to make a pool noodle photo frame

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

Aligning and gluing the pieces together

Step 7: Align & glue your pieces together

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

Adding a photo to the back

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!

DIY pool noodle photo frame

Step 9: Hang it up

Flip it over and view your beautiful finished product! So lightweight 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.

DIY pool noodle photo frames

DIY pool noodle photo frames

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:
  • Contact paper   (Amazon)
  • Hack Saw   (Home Depot)
  • Miter Box   (Amazon)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Shawnda 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.
  • M 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 Carol Dobbelare on Aug 13, 2017

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

Join the conversation
2 of 73 comments
  • Gloria Williams Gloria Williams on May 12, 2021

    Yes, and I like the 3D effect that the round noodle gives.

  • Patty Patty on Aug 18, 2021

    I would suggest that the contact paper be applied with the wood grain in the long direction like real wood would be.