Summer is here, and whether you're looking for a few fun activities or a way to fill up lots of time, we've got easy summer DIYs for you.
Easy summer DIYs for the whole family are a fun way to spend time together, learn a new skill, or spend some time indoors on a hot day. For these summer DIYs, all you'll need are a few simple supplies and some time.
Squirt Gun Art
Squirt gun art is messy, sure, but it's also lots of fun.
For squirt gun art, you'll need water guns, preferably the cheap kind, paint, and canvas or poster board—something to paint on. You'll also need water.
Fill your squirt guns with watered-down paint. Squirt gun art can be modified in a few ways to make the mess a little more or a little less intense, but regardless, you'll probably get messy.
To make the mess a little less, use washable paints or watercolor in your guns. You want the paint to be really pigmented but super runny so it goes through the gun well.
This means you need to really pigment your watercolor or really water down another type of paint.
Then, set up your poster board or canvas on the grass and start painting. Trade water guns around so your picture gets lots of different colors.
If you've got older kids and want to take this craft to the next level, fill the water guns with tie-dye and have everyone wear a white shirt. Then run around, using your fellow crafters as a canvas.
We recommend using eye protection for this activity and using lots of lotion on your skin before you become soaked in tie-dye—this will help the dye wash off your skin better.
Flower pressing is a fun, summer-long DIY that takes very little time. You'll need a flower press or lots of heavy books, and some flowers.
We like picking wildflowers on hikes or on walks and then bringing them home to press, but you can use any floral foliage you'd liked.
Once you have the flowers pressed and fully dried, you can add them to a resin necklace, frame them, or turn them into a bookmark.
Your pressed flowers have tons of applications, but for us, collecting and pressing them is the best part.
We love that this activity is excellent for kids of all ages, and can be enjoyed all summer long.
Porch planters are one of our favorite ways to display pretty plants and flowers throughout the warmer months of the year.
We love bringing lots of different types of plants together in a large pot and creating something impactful to decorate the front steps with.
This year though, instead of just buying a big pot, we're going to semi-DIY one.
In years past, we've purchased a large concrete planter or decorative pot. This year we bought an inexpensive plastic container that we plan on revamping ourselves, along with some smaller terracotta pots for the kids to have a crack at.
Using a mix of paint and plaster, we'll cover the outside of the pot with a thick, textured mixture and then use several coats of sealant on the outside to keep everything nice and secure.
We'll use a liquid sander on the pot first, to give the plastic a little grit and texture to attach to before covering it in our paint/plaster mixture.
This DIY definitely skews older, but let the littles grab some gloves and help you fill the pot with plants when you're done.
If you're looking for a bigger, indoor craft this summer, may we humbly submit that you sew a picnic blanket?
Sewing a picnic blanket can be a fun way to put your DIY skills to good use. You'll need a sewing machine, fabric, thread, and batting.
Because fabric can be pricey, we suggest thrifting for fabric if you want to save a little money on this project.
We've found really lovely fabric at the thrift store, and it's fun to repurpose old pillowcases or blankets into something new. We've also collected fabric from estate sales for picnic blankets, which adds to the fun.
For a simple picnic blanket, don't try to get fancy with the pattern, especially if it's your first time making a quilt.
We recommend cutting all of your fabric into squares that can then be sewn into strips—and from there, the strips can be sewn together to make a blanket.
We like using 5" squares, but you can use whatever size you'd like. You'll want to do some math to figure out how many squares you'll need to get a finished quilt.
And remember, you need to calculate seam allowance. If you are sewing with a 5" square, and you're placing a 1/4" seam on each side, your finished square will be 4.5" inches, not 5".
After you've collected fabric, cut squares, and sewed the front of the fabric together, you'll need to add batting, backing, and binding.
The level of batting you pick will determine how fluffy and heavy your blanket is, and the backing will be the back piece of fabric you put all across the back of the blanket.
For binding, you can either make your own or use premade double-fold bias tape. Binding is tricky but not impossible.
We recommend that you watch lots of online tutorials or chat with a seasoned pro before you tackle your binding.
After your binding has gone around the quilt, use yarn and a large needle to tie lots of little knots all throughout the blanket.
This form of quilting, tie quilting, is easy and fun and doesn't require the use of an expensive long-arm quilting machine.
After you've got your DIY summer picnic quilt all put together, it's time to put it to good use. When you're ready to wash it, use a color catcher in the wash to keep your quilt looking nice and new.
Does making a cool summer treat really count as a DIY? We're saying yes.
When it's nice and hot outside, cooling down with a refreshing popsicle is always a tasty treat. DIYing your own popsicles is a double win, you get to create something fun and then enjoy eating it.
To DIY your own popsicles, you'll need a good mold. We recommend something made from silicone so it's easy to pop the popsicles right out when you're ready to eat.
We used to visit a popsicle booth at the Savannah farmers market, and we'd leave every week feeling so inspired by the fun flavors.
That's what first prompted us to try our hand at homemade popsicles.
A great popsicle is all about flavor and texture. While the flavor is largely a personal preference, great texture comes from a smooth popsicle.
We always blend up our popsicle mixture really well in the blender before pouring it into the mold. If we want any tasty hunks or chunks in the popsicle, we add those after the blending.
If you're working with an all-fruit popsicle, make sure to consider the flavors and texture. A watermelon popsicle can get a little grainy, but adding a little sweetened condensed milk can help smooth the texture and sweeten the popsicle.
If you're looking for a more adult version of these popsicles, go ahead and add your favorite adult beverage to the mix. Just be aware that high-percentage alcohols like liquors won't freeze if they make up too much of your mixture.
Also, consider adding herbs to your fruit popsicles for an elevated experience. We particularly love adding mint to our fruit popsicles.
If you love birds, chances are you've already got a few bird feeders or houses in your yard. If you're new to ornithology (the study of birds), it may be time to DIY a birdhouse.
Birdhouses are fun to build because they're generally quick to build and very straightforward—and when you're done, you've got something fun to put in your yard or gift to a friend.
You can purchase a DIY birdhouse kit or get plans and build one from scratch. If you've got little builders constructing the house alongside you, you can purchase a kid-specific kit for them.
One of the most fun parts of building a birdhouse is decorating it when it's done. Decorating a birdhouse can be done with outdoor paints and sealant to make sure it withstands the weather.
After bringing your bird haven to life, fill it with food for local birds and set it out in the yard.
As a bonus DIY, create a bird-watcher's log and keep track of the birds you see in your yard. We've seen these done with simple lists, watercolor paintings, and sketches—whatever works for you.
Pinewood Derby Car
Back in the day, pinewood derby cars were more popular than they are now, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still fun.
Last summer, we got together as a neighborhood and all built cars to race before a barbeque. It was lots of fun and a great DIY that got everyone involved.
You can purchase pinewood derby car kits that you can cut, carve, and decorate yourself, or you can purchase a car that's already cut, ready to be decorated.
That's a great option for people without power tools.
To host a neighborhood race, you'll need to set some rules (how much weight you're allowed to add to the car) and rent, build, or find a track.
Finding a track is the hardest part, but we all pitched in and bought a cheap starter track online, and then added a few DIY modifications.
We created a few categories and gave out tiny trophies as prizes for race winners, creative cars, and best-overall decorations.
Creating the car was a super simple DIY that got kids of all ages involved, and it was fun to spend an afternoon with good food—racing the cars.
Plus, the cars are still being used by littles up and down the street, which is a win, win.
Totes are in fact the most useful of all bags, which is part of what makes this easy summer DIY so fun and rewarding.
We love a customized tote, but they can be really pricey. So instead of buying an expensive tote from a big store, this summer we're making our own.
There are quite a few ways to personalize your blank canvas tote, but here are a few of our favorite ways.
One, you can tie-dye the tote using the powdered dye and ice method. It's too hard to scrunch up the canvas with rubber bands and dye with traditional dye, so powdered dye over ice is where it's at.
We also love personalizing a tote using fabric paint or fabric pastels. This gives you tons of creative freedom. You can use a stencil to create a pattern or go freehand.
Regardless of how you approach it, it's a fun and creative way to personalize something. Make sure you follow all the instructions on your paint or pastels though, just to make sure your design is set to stay.
If you have a sewing machine, you may be able to purchase an embroidery foot that lets you free embroider just using your basic machine. This is another fun way to customize a tote.
You can also take flowers and a hammer to your tote. Sounds weird, but if you press your flowers down into the tote and hammer them, when you peel them off, you'll be left with the colorful impression of a flower.
Lastly, if you've got a cutting machine like a Cricut, you can also personalize a tote that way. We love creating fun sayings or writing a name using iron on vinyl.
If you want this kind of personalization but don't own a cutting machine, you can buy precut letters at a craft store to help you create a fun sentence or personalization.
Make sure that, whatever kind of letters you're using, you use the right heat settings to correctly adhere the letters to the thick canvas.
This will make sure your tote stays in tip-top shape for a long time to come.