My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

DIY Foam Roller for $2.49


Taa dah!

Since I posted this infographic about using a foam roller a few weeks ago I have wanted a roller.  Everywhere I looked though they were $30 or more, & I am just not going to spend that much money on a piece of foam, I don’t care how awesome you tell me it is.

I did some research & found a few ideas for making my own, but I didn’t have those things so I never did anything with my newly acquired knowledge.  Until… (Pic heavy tutorial behind the cut)

I was at Family Dollar the other day & they had kids pool noodles for $1.  These were about 2&1/4in in diameter with a 7/8in opening in the center.  If you wanted a bigger foam roller you could get a full size noodle, but they didn’t have any.

pool noodle & PVC pipe

The noodle & the pipe

I read about someone making one with a pool noodle, but they cut down part of the noodle to stuff inside the center.  That sounded like entirely too much work for me, so I went to Home Depot & got a 2ft section of heavy PVC pipe.  I tried a couple & went with the 3/4in pipe.  It was $1.28.

A display of 2ft PVC pipe lengths

pre-cut lengths of PVC pipe


I started by measuring out how long I wanted the foam part of the roller to be.  I made it just a little shorter than 2ft because I wanted some pipe to hang out each end like a little handle or in case I ever want to pull it out.  Then I cut it.  I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to cut, but I used a little hacksaw & it was eezy peezy.

cut foam pieces with a hacksaw

There’s enough foam left to make a 2nd roller.

Then just slide the pipe into the center.  You want a snug fit, unless you want it to roll on the handle.  I read a few people who like to use rolling pins.  If you did want it to actually roll, I would leave more room on each end of the pipe & use a pipe just small enough for it to roll on it.  You don’t want to use too small of pipe, then your roller will be too squishy & firmness seems to be an important part of a foam roller.  You could wrap some duct tape around each end of the pipe just beyond the foam to keep it from sliding around.

sliding the noodle on the pipe

I know there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

I started out twisting it in, then I set the pipe end down on a hard surface & just pushed the noodle down on it.

Then voila you have a foam roller!  I haven’t gotten the chance to use it yet, but rolling it around in my arms it seemed pretty firm, but I also managed to smack myself in the face so I might not have been thinking clearly.  I’m going to look for the bigger noodles to make a larger roller as well.

diy foam roller from a pool noodle & a PVC pipe

my finished foam roller

An alternative for this project is to use the noodle & the pipe to make a beater.  If you made two, you could duel wield & be a BAD ASS.

pool noodle beater with a PVC pipe handle

This could be a good way to deal with strange dogs & annoying men while you’re running. Might be awkward to carry though.

And here is a photo of the receipts just to show that with sales tax (9%), this project cost me exactly $2.49.


$1.40 for the pipe & $1.09 for the noodle.

Here is an article I found on Runner’s World’s website on foam roller techniques.  It has accompanying videos as well.


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

12 thoughts on “DIY Foam Roller for $2.49

  1. How much weight do you think it can take ? I want to build a sort of ramp with a bunch of them to take my kayaks out of the water….

  2. Pingback: Building Your Home Gym | My Year To Thrive

  3. Thank you its just what I was looking for!

  4. Pingback: 21 DIY Gym Equipment Projects to Make at Home | Greatist « My Year To Thrive

  5. Pingback: How To Foam Roll Like A Pro | Greatist « My Year To Thrive

  6. You are my hero. I am a tight wad with a back that always gives me fits at the wrong times. Back aches are kind of like a leaky roof…you don’t need to fix it until it isn’t working right. When it isn’t working right you pay the price…I am making this foam roller because I think it will help stretch my back when it hurts…it isn’t hurting now but, it will and I will have a roller to fix it. thanks.

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