20 Affordable Summer DIY Projects That Any Crafty Lady Can Make

Summer is almost over, but you still have time to enjoy the warm weather while it’s still here! One of the best ways to keep yourself (and the kids) entertained at home on a budget is by crafting or building something with your own two hands. Not sure what to make? Here are some great DIY summer projects that anyone can do. The best part is that most of these projects can be reused year after year.

Easy DIY Summer Projects That Can Save You Money

1. DIY Paper Umbrella Wreath

Who said wreaths were only for Christmas? One look at your cocktail-umbrella wreath with its cheerful colors will get everyone into the spirit of summer. It looks gorgeous, and it’s so easy to make!

All you need is a foam wreath base and those super-cheap paper umbrellas. Now, have fun arranging them into a rainbow of summery colors: makes you want to hit the beach right away, doesn’t it?

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2. Fashionable Handmade Flip-Flops

Summertime is flip-flops time! But the plain old flip-flop is hardly a fashion statement, and the noise of the sole snapping back against your heel as you walk can be annoying. Instead of shopping for designer flip-flops, make your own.

All you need is a pair of cheap flip-flops, or even an old pair with broken straps, some yarn with a bit of stretch, and a little bit of time. We love the strap that holds the heel in place, and the look is super-summery!

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3. Affordable Mini Water Blobs

They’re slippy, they’re slidy, and they’re filled with water. Yes! We’re talking about fun for the kids! The original of this idea is pretty big, but this variation allows each kid to have a mini water blob to lounge around on – and of course – for a bit of slidy fun.

All you need is some see-through plastic sheeting, some duct tape, tissue paper and an iron. And if you want to get creative by adding some toy fish and a little blue color, you can!

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4. Homemade Summer Candles

You’ve been having good times with your family outdoors. You’ve got some great photographs, and if you hit the beach, you’ve surely gathered some seashells. Well, how about transferring the image from a photograph onto a handmade candle?

As for those seashells, it’s super easy to turn them into summer-themed tea candles that will be perfect for creating dinner table ambiance.

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5. Colorful Picnic Blanket

Picnics are a no-brainer when it comes to a relaxing day at the park with family and friends. Before you go, don’t pay full price for a cute blanket from the store! Almost everyone has an old sheet lying around the house that you can recycle.

If you’re looking for a thicker blanket, canvas drop cloths are available at most dollar stores. Combined with fabric paint, you can make your very own painted picnic blanket. Here are 10 more picnic ideas to help you to have the best experience possible.

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6. DIY Pineapple Planter

Maybe your decor at home includes a trendy pineapple or two, but keeping around the real thing only lasts until you gobble it up. If you want to have a “pineapple” around your house all summer long, try the easy-to-make pineapple planter.

All you need is a mason jar, some paint, a sharpie, and a potted succulent. Do you have more mason jars lying around the house?

We have even more mason jar craft ideas ready for you.

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7. DIY Seashell Wind Chime

If you came home from the beach this summer with a collection of beautiful sea shells, you may want to consider turning them into a wind chime.

This project is easy to do, and it’s far cheaper than buying one from a gift shop! Once it’s made, you can hang your homemade nautical beauty every single summer.

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8. Hula Hoop Hideouts

Every little girl loves to feel like a princess. These hula hoop hideouts look luxurious, but they’re actually very cheap to put together.

They can add a beautiful pop of color in your daughter’s bedroom, or provide decorations for an epic outdoor party.

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9. Outdoor Lounge

If you have kids, there’s a strong chance you already own an inflatable kiddie pool. Did you know that can be used for more than just splashing on a hot day?

When the pool is dry, fill it with blankets and pillows, and you’ve got a great little spot to read, snack, and cuddle with your puppies and kids.

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10. Summer Banner

Are you planning an outdoor summer party? If your local party store’s “Congratulations” or “Happy Birthday” signs just aren’t cutting it, jazz up any occasion with an adorable custom DIY paper banner for any occasion.

Check out even more cheap DIY party tips here.

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11. Rainbow Fan Effect

Why have a plain white electric fan, when you can turn it into a colorful rainbow? Odds are you may already have a fan like this at home, but they are not expensive to buy at the store.

It’s simple to bring a little bit of cheer into your living space. You can also try other patterns, like stripes and swirls.

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12. Fruit Fans Craft

Paper fans are great for keeping cool, and they’re actually super easy to make. All it takes is popsicle sticks, paper, and paint to make a DIY fan. What better theme for a summer party than pieces of fruit?

This is a great project to make with kids, especially if you’re babysitting, crafting at summer camp, or throwing a birthday party. They can double as a gift to your party guests, which is much better than a candy goodie bag.

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13. DIY Rope Ottomans

These rope ottomans look like they would cost a fortune in the store. They can make your back patio look like a picture from a home decor magazine. Believe it or not, all you need is rope, an old tire, and a glue gun!

On top of getting gorgeous lawn accessories, you’re up-cycling to save the planet, too.

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14. Donut Floppy Hat

Let the world know how much you love pink frosted donuts with this adorable DIY floppy hat. All it takes is a straw hat and some fabric paint, and you’re ready to get started. The result is an adorable hat that’s almost guaranteed to have everyone asking you where you bought it.

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15. DIY Beach-Towel Tote Bag

Putting your beach towel in a tote is boring compared to this clever 2-in-1 beach-towel tote bag project. You can impress your friends with your crafty DIY skills, with the added bonus of carrying less to the beach.

Bonus points if you pick a towel to match your bathing suit.

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16. Homemade Sunscreen

Buying sunscreen is a necessity in the summertime if you don’t want to leave the beach looking like a lobster. The only downside is that one bottle can cost as much as $10, and it can be gone after just one-weekend getaway.

Thankfully, there is a homemade sunscreen recipe where one batch makes multiple bottles. It can save you a ton of money, and still protect your skin. As an added bonus, it’s organic!

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Summer Crafts for Skillful People

17. Patio Cooler

What’s to be done with an old, broken refrigerator? It may not work anymore, but it does seem a shame just to get rid of it. Why not turn it into an outdoor summer drinks cooler? Simply dismantle it, flip it on its side, fill it with ice, and voila!

Not good looking enough? A simple wood cladding made from old wooden pallets gives it an outdoorsy, rustic look you’ll love. It’s perfect for parties near the pool area or near the barbeque.

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18. Portable Air Conditioner

Trying to survive the summer heat without air conditioning? Try this DIY portable air conditioner.

You don’t have to worry about putting an expensive box in your window that’s driving up the electrical bill. Even if your home is air-conditioned, this can also come in handy if you’re working in a garage or outdoor shed that normally doesn’t have AC.

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19. DIY Macrame Hammock

With a few tools, a little patience, and some new braiding skills, you can learn how to make your own macrame hammock. These are beautiful, and your friends will be seriously impressed when you tell them that you made it all by yourself.

If you manage to get your macrame skills down, this could also be a great gift to make for your family and friends.

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20. Comfy Pillow Bed

With a little bit of sewing skills, you can make these adorable pillow beds. If you buy indoor-outdoor fabric, they’re perfect for laying out near the pool or lounging under the shade of a tree with a good book.

They can also come in handy for backyard campouts and sleepovers. They’re easy to fold up and store for the future.

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Want More DIY Craft Ideas?

The summer won’t last forever, so you better get started on these cheap crafts before the warm days are over! If you’re looking for even more affordable crafty projects that can be done all year round, we’ve got you covered. Check out the rest of our DIY project lists, and keep checking back on the Don’t Pay Full blog for more.

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Shannon Quinn :Shannon Quinn is an entrepreneur and writer from the Greater Philadelphia area. If you want to see more of her work, you can find her on Twitter @ShannQ.