How to Make a Paint Roller for under $1

Last month I posted photos of my students painting on a canvas using paint rollers….

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Look closely at those rollers. Yep, those are plastic hangers and water noodles. The day I was shopping for my art class, I passed up a bunch of paint rollers at Home Depot because I just didn’t want to spend the money. I mean, they’re not terribly expensive but lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been spending a little too much on the art supplies.

Later that day, I went to my favorite place, The Dollar Tree. Right there at the front door was a bucketfull of water noodles and immediately I smelled a bargain. I walked out of that store, water noodle on my shoulder and that afternoon I had me some paint rollers! Using some plastic hangers from my daughter’s closet and the noodle, I made four paint rollers. The kids used them to paint on canvas the next week and they worked so well! Here’s how you make them:

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DIY Paint Rollers

What you Need:

  • Water Noodle
  • Plastic Hanger (I used a kids hanger because I wanted to make a small roller but you can use a larger hanger if you want)
  • Serrated Knife

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How to make it:

Line up the water noodle along the bottom edge of the hanger and measure the width of the hanger.

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Using the knife, slice the water noodle about a quarter of an inch shorter than the width of the hanger.

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Break the hanger in the middle by bending it. It should easily bend and snap. (Well, I use two hands to break it but I couldn’t use both hands and snap a photo at the same time.)

IMG_0570Bend and fit the broken hanger into both ends of the water noodle.

IMG_0571In this photo the right side of the hanger is in the water noodle. I am beginning to fit the left side of the hanger into the noodle.

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This is how it looks when you fit both sides of the hanger into the water noodle. It should roll like a paint roller pretty easily and can be used over and over again. Also, I used a plastic cake pan from a large grocery store cake as the paint tray. It worked really well!

This is a very fast and easy way to make a paint roller and it’s cheap too! You can make up to four rollers with one noodle, depending on the size of your hangers. If you try this yourself at home, I would love to hear how it turned out in the comments section. Or let me know if you have your own original way of making a paint roller.

Thanks for reading. Now get rolling!

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