How to Make a Paint Roller for under $1

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


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:


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


How to make it:

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


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


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.


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!

2 thoughts on “How to Make a Paint Roller for under $1”

Leave a Reply