Make an Easy Pool Noodle Monster Portal Craft


For Halloween lovers, May has been a fun time to create a sort of unofficial reason to celebrate the “Halfway to Halloween” season with little mini markets and “scare” events around the country, as well as product specials from some commercial retailers.

With Halloween being significantly subdued last year, it has been especially welcome for fans of spooky fun this year.

Since I’m one of those people who is a sucker for happy haunts, here’s a simple and silly little Halfway to Halloween creepy portal monster DIY family craft that will make use of an easy-to-find item with summer around the corner: a pool noodle.

You’ll Need Four Main Items

  • Small pool noodle
  • Round plastic food tub (like a butter or sour cream tub)
  • A piece of scrap cardboard
  • A thick piece of floral wire

For the Portal

Trace the circumference of the pool noodle’s end around the bottom of the plastic food tub, and cut a hole just big enough to fit it. Next, cut the top rim off the tub, so it looks like a cartoony portal lid.

Glue the tub on a piece of cardboard and trace a circle around it about an inch wider than the rim of the tub. Cut a small hole, off-center, in the cardboard to make it easy to hang on a wall later.

Glue on some buttons, bolts, adhesive scrapbook pearls, or other similar found items to resemble old metal bolts. Paint the entire piece a rusty color copper, silver, gold, or brown. That’s a simple, basic, no-frills portal.

Cut the middle and top half off a plastic food container, and glue it on a cardboard circle. Glue on some scrapbook pearls or other embellishments, and paint to resemble an old rusty portal.

For the Monster Tentacle

This is an easy version of the pool noodle tentacles that many homemade haunted attractions like to use, only this one doesn’t need to be wrapped in tape or cloth.

Starting a few inches from one end, cut about a two-foot length of pool noodle in half, tapering it at the end. Gently poke the floral wire down the length, starting at the uncut end, and shape the “tentacle” in a curvy position so it will look like it is emerging from the portal. A flimsy wire hanger can be used, but not for younger crafters. Even then, make sure to wear eye protection when cutting it with wire clippers.

Now, paint it with acrylic to resemble the monster you want. The noodle’s texture will give it a gnarly feel. If you want to, add some bead or button embellishments for “suckers” or other skin textures.

tentacle assembly
Cut a piece of pool noodle tapered at the end, use a sturdy piece of floral wire to shape it, and add some bead or button embellishments for texture. Paint however you want with acrylic or spray paint.

Once dry, use a glue gun around the wide base of the tentacle, and squeeze the large end into the portal hole. To give it a little something extra, add some with dried moss or fake greenery to look like algae, mold, or seaweed.

The finished craft should still be light enough to hang on a wall with a small pushpin or nail.

final assemble
Place and glue the noodle into the middle of the “portal,” and add some floral moss or silk leaves if desired.

This monster is now ready for a steampunk event or mad scientist laboratory when the spooky fall season comes around, but can stick around through the summer for beach and pool-themed fun.

It may be only Halfway to Halloween, but what better excuse to get started with the eerie crafts and creatures?

Tentacle final
All images: Lisa Tate
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