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Make a Snake Squishy Out of a Pool Noodle

Today Lunar New Year 2022! It’s also National Serpent Day! While today starts the Year of the Tiger, my Chinese sign is the Snake, so I think that makes this a perfect day to share this snake-themed DIY from my backlog of never-before-posted projects.

I’ve always loved snakes and Jakob inherited that affinity from me at an early age.

In fact, here’s him at about 3 years old proudly showing off a live snake around his neck!

Back in 2016 I was doing the Christmas gift prep and realized I was short on a stocking stuffer for him. I’d been on a squishy-making kick, having made an assortment of faux food for Henri’s robo-hamster, and decided to try and see if I could figure out how to make a snake for Jakob.

It worked perfectly, and here’s how you can make your own:

You will need:

  • pool noodle(s)
    • You can get multiple from one noodle, though can make them as long as you wish. I’m not going to put an Amazon link – you can get them much cheaper at your local dollar store!
  • puffy paint
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • craft knife
  • craft sticks
    • At least 1 per color you plan to paint
  • paper plate or other disposable surface

Start by cutting the pool noodle to your desired length.

You can use scissors for this but I find it easier to get a flat cut with a knife, and slicing halfway through then rotating and slicing the other half to match.

Draw a diagonal line around your noodle tube. This will mark the divisions where your snake is coiled up.

You can score the line with the tip of your pencil or knife/scissors to make it more visible and easier to follow.

Starting at one end, cut through your tube to the hole in the center and then cut along the line you’ve scored. Try to keep your line straight though it’s ok if it’s a bit messy at this point – it will get cleaned up in the next step.

Remember that one end is the tail and the other is the head, so start your cut on the diagonal as in the image above, to create the point of the snake’s tail. Stop your cut short at the other end and then cut vertically to leave a wider, flat edge which will become the snake’s head.

Once your basic shape is established, you can clean it up. Use your scissors to take small snips on the diagonal of each edge to round out the snake’s body. Shape the head, and you can carve in any other details you’d like, like eyes or scales.

If you want to make sure your snake will stand on its own, make sure one edge is flat.

Don’t forget to make sure that there is enough room between the coils to keep them from sticking to each other as you are painting.

Then you get to paint! You want to use puffy/fabric paint in opaque colors. If you use colors that are too translucent you will need to do many more coats. If that is the case I would suggest a base layer of an opaque white first.

Note: Do not use acrylic/craft paint! If you do, the first time you squish your toy the paint will crack and flake off, which would be a shame after your hard work. With fabric/puffy paint your toy can last for many years.

(Here’s a pic I took as I’m typing this in 2021. Looks brand new!)

Don’t try to use a paintbrush! Squeeze some paint onto your squishy then spread it out with a craft stick. Repeat this process everywhere you want the current color, remembering to leave one side or base unpainted so you have somewhere to set it down while the paint dries.

Continue in this manner, adding more paint in your desired colors. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly between layers. When the body is dry, you can paint the base with the same number of layers.

When the final layer is dry you can add further details like eyes or scale patterns.

Not only are these little guys easy to make, but they make ASMR-like sounds when squished.

(Sound on!)

I hope you enjoy making your own!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means I might make a small commission on purchases made through the links, at no cost to you.


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Create This Book November Challenge

As the year keeps slipping away, so do the days in the month. This challenge page WAS actually completed in November, but I wasn’t able to post it in time. I’d be upset but… it’s 2020. Really, in the grand scheme of things, a few days late is a total win. 😉

As you’ve seen every month this year, each month in 2020 my 11yo son Henri and I are choosing a page from Moriah Elizabeth‘s Create This Book (vol 1) and each of us are completing the page in our own books. There’s a link to all past pages at the bottom of this post.

For this month Henri picked the “create a combo” theme on page 185.

As usual Henri’s creativity wow’d me. He decided to combine his favorite people (his family) and his favorite objects (video games), and game up with this detailed scene:

I didn’t even fully appreciate all the thought he put into it until I was taking close up pics for this post.

That isn’t just a shelving unit – it’s got a hinged door that’s open! The screen says “Press any button to start”!

In his dream world, his custom wall unit has one side that’s a full speaker sound system!

He thought through his image enough to include not only a virtual game and the PS4 up on the shelf, but to even have a PS4 game BOX with bar code on the front (does that make it a rental? LOL)

He even made his family game a WIKI PAGE where you can look up each of the game items and characters! Typos and wonky thumb placement (his words) aside, it’s clear he didn’t just half-ass this challenge but rather put in the time and details to make it as real as possible. And he did it in under 15 minutes.

This kid. ❤

When it came time to do my own page, I knew right away which 2 of my favorite things I’d put together. Ladybugs and snakes! They’re both special to me, and totems in their own ways, and as soon as I hit on the idea of a snake with ladybug markings I was sold.

I did a quick browse online and found a snake lineart in the appropriate derpy pose for what I wanted. I used it to make a quick sketch of the basic snake shape, and then looked up the proper ladybug markings.

All those eraser marks on the face show that I initially did what many people do and confused ladybugs with Asian lady beetles, and drew the classic “M”-shaped white head marking, as well as the large white shapes. Oops!

After I sorted out my sketch I did a quick fill in with my Feela markers. Nothing fancy, just some quick color sections and called it a day.

I think he turned out really cute! Kind of looks like a snake wearing a Red Riding Hood cloak that happens to have polka dots, or a snake in a dotted pj onesie. I haven’t created my own OC since I was in my teens, but this would definitely be my newest one. Ladysnake? Snakabug? Ladke? Snug? Whatever breed he is, I want a plushie of one!

Complete list of 2020 Create This Book Challenge pages:

This post may contain affiliate links. This means I might make a small commission on purchases made through the links, at no cost to you.


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on the way to Hogwarts

Those who follow me on Instagram/FB got a sneak peek at Henri’s Halloween costume this year.  The boys fell hard into the world of Hogwarts when we began showing them the films this year, though we stopped after the 5th one because they were getting a bit too dark.

Jakob wants to be Draco Malfoy.  It was his original costume choice, now possibly swapped out for a Minecraft Enderman, but in general, he wants to be a Slytherin.  He thinks Harry was put in the wrong house, and that Slytherin is where it’s at.  It’s less to do with the negative traits or a penchant for the color green, than it is that, as he likes to remind me, “We love snakes, Mom.“.  Yes.  Yes we do.

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Jakob, age 4, with friend.

The Snake is my Chinese sign and a long-favored creature of mine, and that love transferred down to my oldest.  In fact, we’d have a pet snake at home if it weren’t for 2 things: 1. I would be too heartbroken to feed it mice, and 2. my father-in-law would never visit again.

In any case, if ever he were to dress up as anything from the Potterverse, it would be in Slytherin colors.  But Henri?  He’s Gryffindor all the way.

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Doesn’t he even LOOK like a young Harry???

We bought those glasses and wand last weekend at the local Halloween store, and my mom lent us a black grad gown that is PERFECT for his robes.  I’d like to find time to make a crest for the robe, but the main finishing touch for his costume is the scarf, so I decided to get on that last night.

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The burgundy isn’t quite right, but I’m working with stash yarn and I don’t think he’ll mind too much.  The pattern is my own, such as it is.

CO 30 sts with burg yarn.  Work 1×1 rib for 30 rows.  Change to yellow, work 1×1 rib for 30 rows.  Repeat, ending after a burgundy section.  Add fringe.

I decided against working stockinette because I really didn’t feel like taking the extra time to make it doubled or in the round, and a flat panel of st st would curl like crazy.  1×1 rib contracts enough to look almost like stockinette and won’t curl, making it quicker and easier for a 6yo’s Halloween costume.  🙂

UPDATE AFTER HALLOWEEN: Here’s Henri’s final costume!