Make a Floating Snack Bar and Never Leave the Pool This Summer

You can even attach a remote-control boat, so the the food and drinks come straight to your unicorn pool float.

It's super easy to build a floating cooler and snack bar using a plastic sweater bin and colorful pool noodles — no special tools required. We added a remote control boat because we're just too much — but, come on, how great would it be to drive the snacks over to you while you're waiting for the perfect light for a sunbathing 'gram? This is living, people.

SUPPLIES

  • 4 jumbo pool noodles (about 3 1/2 x 55 inches)
  • 1 large plastic sweater bin with a flat lid (about 15 wide x 21 inches long x 6 inches deep)
  • Ruler
  • Serrated knife
  • 10 to 20 dots or cut squares heavy-duty Velcro
  • Small rectangular plastic containers
  • Marker
  • Pencil
  • Two 69-inch pieces of 1/4-inch-thick cord
  • Medium size-remote control speed boat
  • Chopstick, optional
  • Team flag, optional
  • Glue stick or zip ties, optional
  • Ice
  • Drinks
  • Snacks, such as carrots, celery, cauliflower, fruit, packaged chips and string cheese, packaged granola bars, nuts, pretzel rods

Make the Drinks Cooler

Measure and cut the noodles: Use the 4 noodles and bin (but not the lid) to make the drinks float. Remove the lid and measure the width and length of the outside of the bin at its widest point below the rim (ours was 14 1/2 inches x 21 inches). Lengths will vary based on the bin and noodles you purchase so it is important to measure.

With a marker, measure and mark 2 noodle sections that are the length of the bin (ours was 21 inches). Use a serrated knife to cut the noodles to size; these are the side floats. Measure the diameter of one of the noodles and write it down (ours was about 3 1/2 inches). Now measure and mark 2 noodle sections that are the width of the bin, and then add the diameter of 2 pool noodles (ours was 14 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 3 1/2 = 21 inches in all). Use a serrated knife to cut these front and back floats.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Thread the cords through the floats: Tie a knot on one of the cords 18 inches from an end. Repeat with the other cord. With a marker, mark 2 inches in from each end of the front float. Measure and do the same on the back float. Grab one of the cords and poke the point of a pencil through the last inch on the end without the knot.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Push the cord and pencil into and through one of the marks on the front float so it comes out on the other side. Pull it through to the knot. Grab one of the side floats and thread the cord through the center hole down the legth of the float (it will be loose and slide around).

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Next, take the back float and puncture and thread it through one of the marks on a side as you did with the front float. The floats will form a C. Repeat the process with the second cord, starting by poking it through the other side of the front float. Thread it through the remaining side noodle and back float.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Fit the bin in the float: Tighten the cords so the 4 noodles make a rectangular float with the sides abutting the ends. The knots should fit snugly against the back float. Tie the cords on the front float so the frame is tight. Slide the bin into the frame to make a cooler.

Make the Floating Snack Bar

Measure and cut the noodles: Use the remaining noodles and lid to make the snack float. Measure the width and length of the lid (ours was 16 inches x 22 1/2 inches). With a marker, measure and mark 2 noodle sections that are the length of the lid minus the diameter of a noodle; cut them with the serrated knife (ours were 22 1/2 inches - 3 1/2 inches = 19 inches). These are the side floats. Measure and cut 2 noodles the width of the lid plus the diameter of a noodle to make the front and back floats (ours were 16 inches + 3 1/2 inches = 19 1/2 inches).

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Slit all 4 floats lengthwise down to their hollow centers (do not cut all the way through). Turn the lid over so that the lip faces up. Slide each slit float onto an edge of the lid.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Arrange the small rectangular containers in a neat pattern on top of the snack float. Attach them to the lid using heavy-duty Velcro.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Tie the Snack Float to the Cooler

Tie together the cords coming out of the front of the drinks cooler. Remove the front float from the snack float, pry it open and slip the tied cord. Slide the front float back onto the snack float.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Hitch the Boat to the Cooler

The boat will pull the cooler. Attach the cords around a secure section of the top of the boat using a knot, zipties or glue. (The location will vary based on the design of the boat.) Make sure the cords do not interfere with the motor.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

Attach a flag to a chopstick with glue and stick it in one of the noodle floats if desired.

Fill the cooler with drinks and the snack float with snacks. Lower it into the pool and drive it slowly around with the remote control boat — in the direction of where you happen to be lounging in the pool, of course.

Photo by: Jason Lee

Jason Lee

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