After making her purchase, she excitedly showed it to me and told me "It only cost $35!" My response was simply "...really?" I had no doubt that it worked quite well after trying it out for myself, but I thought it was ridiculous to charge that much for one. I promptly told her I could make one for $10.
I was so, so wrong. It actually only cost me $4.
Step 1: Materials
1/2" PVC pipe (2 ft) You can purchase either a full 10ft section or a precut section. I went with the precut section because 1) I am lazy and 2) it was only $1
3/4" PVC Couplers (x10) That is not a typo. You need 3/4" couplers so that they slide freely over the 1/2" shaft. Home Depot sells "Contractor Packs" of 10 for $2.
3/4" to 1/2" Reducing Tee (x2) Make sure to get the one with the 3/4" ends at the top of the T and the 1/2" at the bottom so that the bottom end connects to the shaft to make a handle. Should cost $0.50 apiece.
Optional: 3/4" Caps (x4) If you want to make your roller look fancier/cost more, you can buy 4 of these for about $0.80 a piece. Considering the cost of the project as a whole, I don't think they are worth it/necessary since it is only an aesthetic improvement.
Hacksaw/PVC Pipe Cutter
Rubber Mallet for Optional Improvement #1
Plastic Spray Paint for Optional Improvement #2
Step 2: Preparation
First, attach one of the Ts onto the shaft. Put all 10 of the couplers onto the shaft in order to see how long you need to cut the shaft.
Second, if need be, mark the shaft where you want to cut it. Remember to save room for second T. You also want approximately a quarter of an inch of extra space to allow the couplers to move up and down the shaft.
Third, cut the shaft to size.
Step 3: Assembly
It is super easy. Essentially you just need to put one T on the shaft, then thread the shaft through all the couplers, and then finally put the other T on to "trap" the couplers onto the shaft.
See the picture below if you need help.
Step 4: Optional Improvements
Optional Improvement #1
My girlfriend decided the Ts with open ends (ie, no plugs) looked ugly, so she decided I needed to plug the ends. I simply bought some plugs and used my rubber mallet to hammer them into the ends as shown in the photo.
Optional Improvement #2
To make it look more like the "official" product that I am too cheap/practical to buy, you could spray paint the handles. Personally, I'm a man of utility and didn't feel it necessary to paint my handles.