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swimsuit addict

Pool Crafts 101: Customize Your Pull Buoy!

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Swimming pools are beautiful. Sparkly blue water, beckoning lane lines . . . what’s not to appreciate?
The things you find around swimming pools are a different matter. Dented aluminum benches, overstuffed bins filled with mildewed kick boards and water aerobics equipment, sad deflated toys, piles of pull buoys. Lots and lots of pull buoys. All alike and charmless. Definitely an unbeautiful sight.
You can do your part to remedy this situation! Customize your pull buoy in a few easy steps. Not only will you be doing your part to beautify your aquatic environment, you’ll also be able to quickly sort out your own personal buoy from the jumble of equipment at the end of your lane.

You will need:
*A pull buoy, the kind with 2 foam cylinders attached by webbing or cord:

(Note: Kiefer makes these in bright colors in various sizes):

*Some beautiful ribbon (about a yard long)


*A safety pin

(Difficulty rating of this project: 50 Backstroke)

Note: Ribbons come in all sorts of beautiful colors in patterns. Pick something colorful that will contrast with the blue or black webbing material found on standard pull buoys. It will work better if your ribbon is the same width as the webbing in your pull buoy.

1. Untie or disconnect the two loose ends of the pull buoy’s webbing, and, if there is a plastic spacer, remove it.

2. Next, with the webbing still in the pull buoy, overlap your ribbon with one end of the webbing, and fasten them together with the safety pin. Now you can simultaneously pull the original webbing out of the small slots in the styrofoam cylinders while pulling your ribbon into them. If there is a plastic spacer on the other side of the pull buoy you will need to unpin the ribbon, work the webbing out of the spacer, repin, then complete the threading. You can discard the plastic spacer, or thread your ribbon through it.

3. When the original webbing is completely out of the pullbuoy and your ribbon has been threaded completely through it, unpin the two. Adjust the spacing of the two cylinders to suit you, then tie off the ribbon in a beautiful bow and trim the ends neatly.

Voila! Now you can do those pull sets in style!

Next up in this DIY series:
“Liven Up Your Kick Sets: Using Spare Mr. Potato Head Parts to Create Kickboard Portraits of Your Coach and Teammates!”

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  1. Bobinator's Avatar
    Great idea SA!
    I'm afraid the chlorine will eat the ribbons up fairly fast.
    Or else fade the ribbons quickly.
  2. gigi's Avatar
    I "decorate" my pull buoy with the combination to my current padlock...I've lost a lot of these over the years so there are a lot of numbers on there
  3. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Thanks Bobinator! I actually used a pretty sturdy-seeming striped grosgrain ribbon on mine, and it hasn't suffered any noticable fading or deterioration (except the cut ends, which have unraveled a bit.) Silk ribbon or other delicate materials would probably not be advisable.

    Gigi--In the past I've decorated swim paddles by writing all the stroke corrections I've gotten from swim coaches on them. Soon I needed bigger paddles!