5 Outdoor Party Hacks for the Perfect Summer Blowout

summer party hacks

The warm summer days mean it’s time to gather friends, fire up the grill, and party into the starry summer night. Are you ready to put together a summer blowout? Whether you’re hosting an event in your backyard or meeting up with friends at the park, we’ve pulled together five outdoor party hacks to use at your next summer get-together.

1. Lawn Bowling

outdoor bowling

  • Six plastic bottles
  • Red and white paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Ball

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

gathered bowling supplies

Create your very own backyard bowling alley with this simple project. Round up six plastic bottles (preferably of the same size) to get started. Or, for a more realistic bowling experience, use 10 bottles.

Step 2 – Paint the Bottles

painting bowling pin

Remove labels from the bottles and paint their entire surface, including the caps, with white paint. Let the bottles dry for about 35 minutes. When dry, add two stripes of red paint around the base of each bottle’s neck.

Step 3 – Set up the Alley

backyard bowling

If you want to make it more difficult to knock the pins over, weight the bottles with water or sand. Align the pins in an equilateral triangle and let the games begin!

Time: 1 hour || Cost: $6

Water Balloon Pump

water balloon pump

  • Large pump bottle
  • Water balloons

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

By far the simplest project on the list, this water balloon pump can be used all summer long. All you need is an extra-large pump bottle, such as a giant shampoo or soap container, and water balloons.

Step 2 – Clean the Bottle

Wash out the inside of the bottle and peel off its label. If the label doesn’t come off easily, soak the bottle in warm soapy water to loosen it.

Step 3 – Fill Balloons

water balloons in bucket

Fill the bottle with water and tightly secure the cap. Place a balloon over the tip of the cap and pump to fill.

Time: 10 minutes || Cost: $4

Wine Bottle Citronella Torch

wine torch citronella bottle

  • Empty wine bottle
  • Teflon tape 1/2”
  • 1/2” x 3/8” copper coupling
  • Fiberglass wick
  • Citronella torch oil
  • Funnel

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

Combat the mosquitoes and give your outdoor space extra dose of summer ambiance with this wine bottle citronella torch.

You can get started by gathering your supplies. Any type of glass bottle can be used to make the torch, as long as it has a neck that is 1 inch in diameter.

Step 2 – Wrap the Coupling and Insert Wick

wrap the coupling for wine torch

To create a stable grip and make sure the coupling won’t slip into the bottle, tightly wrap its 1/2 inch end with teflon tape. Build up a smooth layer of tape by wrapping it around the coupling as many times as necessary for it to fit snugly in the bottle opening. Insert the wick into the coupling so that roughly 1/4 inch sticks out of the top.

Step 3 – Fill with Torch Oil

wine bottle citronella torch

Use a funnel to fill the bottle with citronella torch oil. Place the wick in the bottle and let it absorb the oil before lighting.

Warning: Before beginning, there are a few safety tips to remember. First, please note that this is for outdoor use only. Additionally, it is recommended that your wick never be set higher than 1 inch. Finally, never leave an open flame unattended.

Time: 10 minutes || Cost: $12

Outdoor Drink Holder

DIY beverage holder

  • Large soup can
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • 1/4” nail
  • Glue
  • 1/4” - 20 - 36” threaded rod
  • Two 1/4” hex nuts
  • Two 1/4” washers

Step 1 – Gather and Prepare Materials

Keep your guests hydrated and give their drinks a place to sit with this homemade outdoor drink holder. Before getting started, please remember to use caution when working with the open rim of an empty can, which can be very sharp.

Wash out the can and carefully remove its label by cutting a straight line down its side. Do not throw the label away; you will need it later.

Step 2 – Make a Hole in the Can Base

Flip the can over so that the bottom faces up. Hammer a 1/4-inch nail into the center of the base of the can to make a hole.

Step 3 – Cut and Glue the Fabric

glue fabric

Use the label from the can to measure two pieces of fabric. The first piece should be the same size as the label. The second piece should be the same length as the label, but only about half the width.

Wrap the larger strip of fabric around the outside of the can and adhere with glue. Let the can dry for a few minutes, then apply glue around the top inch of both the outside and inside rim of the can. Wrap the narrow strip of fabric around the outside of the can where the glue is. Fold the excess fabric down inside the can so that the sharp rim is covered.

Step 4 – Assemble the Hardware

assemble hardware for beverage holder

Twist one hex nut about 6 inches down the threaded rod and place a washer on top of the nut. Place the rod through the hole in the bottom of the can so that the nut and washer are on the outside of the can bottom.

Next, place a second washer followed by another nut onto the end of the threaded rod that is sticking out of the top of the can. The hardware should end up in the following order: nut, washer, bottom of can, washer, nut.

Step 5 – Tighten the Hardware

tighten hardware for beverage holder

Align the top nut and washer so they are flush with the top of the rod. Slide the rod down until the top washer is resting on the inside base of the can.

Flip the can over and twist the original nut and washer toward the can’s base. Add a dab of glue to the top of the washer and tighten the nut. Let the can dry for one hour.

Once dry, stick the rod in the grass and enjoy a refreshing drink outside!

Time: 25 minutes (prep time) & 1 hour (drying time) || Cost: $7

Mason Jar Snack Shaker

mason jar snack holder

  • Empty juice carton
  • Scissors
  • Mason jar
  • Pen

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

With all the fun activities going on, you don’t want to forget the snacks! Use this mason jar hack to keep your snacks fresh and prevent them from spilling. To get started, gather your supplies. Make sure to use a juice carton that has a plastic twist-top spout.

Step 2 – Clean and Cut the Juice Carton

Wash and dry the juice container, then gently pull at the seams to open its top. Cut the top half of the carton off and flatten it out.

Next, use the mason jar lid to trace a circle around the carton’s spout. Cut along the traced line to remove the spout.

Step 3 – Secure the Lid

snack shaker

Place the cut out spout atop the open mason jar to make sure it fits perfectly on the rim. Fill the jar with your favorite snacks, screw the mason jar lid over the carton cut out, and enjoy!

Time: 5 minutes || Cost: $4