3 DIY Pool Noodle Tricks: Raft, Cup Holder & Floating Candles

6 Materials
2 Hours

There are so many cool things you can do with pool noodles and I want to show you three of my favorites today: a mini DIY pool noodle raft for drinks, a DIY floating cup holder, plus floating candles.

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

More Pool Noodle Ideas

For more ways to use your pool noodles to upgrade your pool and beach time, check out these DIY pool noodle ideas.

Pool noodles from the Dollar Store

Tools and materials

Today we're working with pool noodles so head to your local Dollar Store and grab a few.  

1. Mini pool noodle raft

Cutting the pool noodles in half

Cut the pool noodles in half

First, you want to cut the pool noodle in half. Right here is the middle.  

Cutting the blue pool noodle

Now you've got two, and then we're going to do the same thing to the blue one as well.  

Slicing the pool noodle down the center

Slice the pool noodles down the center

Next, you want to slit them right down the center. You want to cut all the way through, right to the center.  

Folding the pool noodle open

Fold the noodle open

Fold the noodles open like this.  

Cutting a pool noodle for the raft base

Make the raft base

I have a shorter piece of the pool noodle that I'm going to cut in half, and I'm going to use it as my base to create my raft. I'm going to cut it all the way through. 

Assembling the raft base

Assemble the raft

Then I'm going to turn this upside down and attach the first ones just like that to create my raft.  

Putting the flat surfaces together

I want to have my flat surface against this, the open side.  

How to glue pool noodle together

Glue the pool noodles

I'm going to put my glue and again, this is cool melt glue so it's not super hot. Put the glue on your noodle, and then you're going to place that just like that.  

Gluing the pool noodle with low-temp glue

Now I'm attaching the second piece. I'm going to go and make sure that I've got enough glue.

It's a little harder for the glue to come out when it's cool melt. Again though, you don't want it on high, because if it's on high, it will melt the noodle. You don't want to do that.  

Attaching the supports

Next, we will insert our third piece and do the same thing. I am just repeating the same process of putting the glue on the back side of the noodles and attaching my support.  

Holding the pool noodles until the raft dries

Now we're going to do this, and we're going to hold this until it dries.  

Trimming the ends of the pool noodle raft

Trim the ends

Once the glue is dry I'm going to trim off the end of my support pieces, and then I'm going to trim the ends.

I think the best way to do this is to turn it over and use some kind of straight edge. I'm using a ruler to get a straight cut to trim the ends of the raft.  

Placing a tray on top

Add the tray

Next, we are now going to put a tray on here, and we're going to decorate it.  

Adding lemon decor around the tray

Add decor

I'm using some faux lemons to decorate my raft. You can see that I just poked a little stem through the seam of the noodles.  

Adding flip flop handles to the tray

I'm going to place my tray on here so I know where my tray is going. And then I'm going to poke my other one through on this side, just like that.  

Gluing flip flops to the tray

I've got one flip-flop already attached, and now I want to attach the other one. I just simply put some glue on the side and stuck the flip-flop to it. I want my flip-flops to look like handles.  

DIY pool noodle raft for drinks

DIY pool noodle raft for drinks

I've got my pitcher of water, and two cups of ice. We're going to slice up a lemon and add that to our water and enjoy a drink in the pool.

2. DIY floating cup holder 

Splitting a pool noodle

Cut the pool noodle

For my next pool noodle trick, I split a piece of pool noodle down the center. 

Measuring seven inches on the pool noodle

I'm going to cut four seven-inch slices out of it. Mark each seven-inch off with a marker. 

Cutting the pool noodle with a serrated knife

Then we're going to use a kitchen knife, a serrated knife, to cut out each section. It's quite easy. Just line it up with your mark and then just go back and forth, and it cuts quite nicely.


Gluing the pieces together

Glue the pieces together

Next, you want to put your cut ends in the center together and glue them together. You want to use a cool glue gun because you don't want the glue to melt the pool noodle. If it's too hot, it will.  

Assembling the cup holder

Make a nice line or two of hot glue right where we cut that seam and put two of them together and one on either end. 


Placing the cup on the pool noodles

Then we're going to do the same thing with the second piece. We're going to glue them together making a mini raft with your cup in the middle.  

Drawin a circle shape on the pool noodles

Draw the circle shape

Before removing your cut, draw a circle around it. 

Cutting out the shape

Cut out the circle

Then use a serrated knife to cut down to the seam and remove the parts in the circle. Don't cut all the way through. You just want to go through to the center. 

DIY pool noodle cup holder

When we cut that seam in the center, it worked really well because then you can just remove this piece.  

DIY floating tray and cup holder

DIY floating tray and cup holder

Finally, insert your cup and it’s ready to float.  

3. DIY floating candles

Cutting two-inch sections of pool noodle

Cut two-inch sections

For my final trick, we are going to cut two-inch sections of a pool noodle.  

Seven short sections of pool noodle

You need to have seven of these.  

Making a flower shape with the pool noodle pieces

Make a flower shape

This is how we're going to get a flower. We're going to have one in the center and six around the outside. 


Cutting around the tea light

Add battery-operated tea lights

We are going to use these little battery-operated tea lights, and we're going to place them on the top and using an X-ACTO knife you want to cut all the way around. 

Cutting a hole for the tea light

Once you've gone all the way around, you can see how loose it is. I'm just going to pull it down and then cut that small piece out of my noodle. 

Placing the battery-operated candle inside

Then your candle will fit in there just like this.  

How to protect the battery

Now we have all of our pieces cut, our candles are all put inside and there is plenty of room so the water should not hit the battery. You can put a piece of Saran Wrap under the candle if you choose.  

Gluing the pieces together

Glue the pieces together

Next, they need to be connected. I'm using a hot glue gun, but it is at a low temperature because if you use a high temperature, it really melts the pool noodles. Just use the low-heat hot glue gun and place the glue down one side.  

Gluing the pieces in order

For the second one you want to place it in the center, and you want to place it on the side. Then attach that one.  

Placing a rubber band around the flower

Use a rubber band while the glue dries

Do the same thing all the way around until they are all attached and use a rubber band to hold them all in place when they are drying.  

Waiting for the floating candle flowers to dry

Our candle holders are done now so you want to remove the rubber band.  

Floating candles

DIY floating candles

Once it's dark, we will turn our candles on and float them in the pool.

Pool noodle tricks

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make three floating pool noodle accessories for your pool. Let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comment below!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • FdLNana FdLNana on Sep 01, 2022

    Can you use E6000 instead of a glue gun. My cheapie glue gun doesn’t have a cool setting.

  • Lucille Lucille on Sep 10, 2022

    What does Thrush look like and how do you treat it?

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