If you enjoy getting crafty, then why not explore your artistic side this summer? Many of us find it easier to stretch our creative muscles when the days are long, warm, and bright, and our surroundings are in full bloom. Summer is also a time of adventure and possibility, making it a great time to start a new project.
So, whether you want to make something practical that you can get plenty of use out of or something decorative to bring an added dose of sunshine and warmth to your home this season; here are 14 summer craft ideas to hopefully get you inspired.
1. Wooden birdbox
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, then why not use your creative skills to help your local birds? There are never enough holes and hideaways for wildlife to nest and shelter in, so making a birdbox could give them a helping hand.
Not only that, but birds are fascinating creatures that provide hours of entertainment, so by making your garden as bird-friendly as possible, you’ll likely increase sightings. If you’ve never tried birdwatching before and want to give it a go, check out our beginner’s guide to birdwatching.
Birdboxes are typically made out of wood and can be fairly simple to put together. If you have children in the family, it’s a nice activity for them to join in with too. Have a read of The Wildlife Trusts’ guide to building a bird box to get started.
2. Felt flowers
Though it’s hard to beat the look and smell of freshly cut flowers, if you want to create something beautiful that’s a little more permanent, then these felt flowers from Venturo Art (above) will add some colour to your living space.
The technique shown is quick and easy, as you’ll just need to cut out lots of tiny felt flower shapes (enough to form a small bunch), attach them to wire stems, and pop them in a vase. It’s also best for making smaller flower varieties, such as lilac and lantanas.
If you want to get a bit more adventurous with your flower-making, there are several other, more intricate techniques you could try – such as rolled, petal by petal, folded, and stacked. The type of flowers you want to create will often influence the technique you use.
For example, the rolled technique (which involves rolling pieces of felt into spirals) is ideal for roses, while the folded technique (which involves folding felt circles into halves and quarters and attaching them together) is ideal for making hydrangeas.
You can find out more about these techniques and how to get started by reading this helpful guide from Felt Magnet.
3. Driftwood mirror
To add some rustic vibes to your home, you could decorate a mirror with driftwood, like in the video above by SilverPenguinArtyCrafty. Grey paint, rope, driftwood, and glue are used to give a basic mirror a completely new look.
Driftwood is floating wood that’s been washed onto the shore of a lake, river, or sea by tides, waves, or wind. It’s often bleached by the sun and stripped of its outer bark layers by various aquatic life, giving it character – which is why many people like using it for craft projects.
As well as decorating mirrors, driftwood can also be collected and used to make many other crafted pieces, such as garlands, shelving units, and ornamental sailboats. Just check out this list of 25+ super easy driftwood DIY ideas for more inspiration.
Collecting the driftwood needed for these projects is the perfect excuse to get to the beach. But, if you don’t live near a beach, river, or lake – or you do but driftwood is in short supply – then you can also buy driftwood on Amazon.
4. Wildflower seed bombs
Seed bombs make for a fun and creative way to sow wildflowers in flowerbeds or plant pots – or even in wild patches on your lawn. Wildflowers provide food and shelter for insects and pollinators, including bees and butterflies. Plus, they can add a splash of colour to bare areas of your garden.
So what exactly are seed bombs?
They’re small round balls made up of wildflower seeds and materials that bind and protect them. In Emilie Lefer’s video above, she keeps things simple by adding wildflower seeds to a pulp made of paper and water. But, you can also use compost, water, and clay, like in this guide from The Wildlife Trusts.
The balls can be shaped using your hands or an ice-cube tray, and once dry, this is where the fun starts – as you can throw them into empty spots in your garden and see what grows. Making and scattering seed bombs is enjoyable for adults and children to do together while doing something positive for the environment.
5. Tiered cake stand
If you enjoy an afternoon tea on a warm, summer’s day, then why not have a go at making your own tiered cake stand?
All you need to get started is some old plates, a drill, and a three-tier cake stand fitting to hold everything together. Then, check out this tutorial from Apartment Therapy to find out what to do next.
Cake stands like these are also useful for any events you might be helping to organise over the coming months, such as birthday parties, weddings, or baby showers.
6. Palette planter
Green-fingered readers who want to craft something useful could have a go at making this palette planter. This is also a great option for people who want to work on their woodworking skills and use up any old palettes they have lying around.
Palette planters can add an outlandish feel to any garden and are helpful space savers too, as you can store plants vertically.
To see step-by-step how it could be done, check out the video above. Or you can find more ideas and inspiration in this list from Easy Pallet Ideas.
7. Fruit coasters
Fruit coasters can add a splash of colour to your coffee table this summer, and we love a craft idea that’s as cheerful as it is practical.
Or, if crochet’s not your thing, you could make paint fruit patterns on cork rounds instead. Plain cork coasters are cheap and easy to get hold of on Amazon and these will act as your base.
After that, it’s up to you to get as creative with your paints as you like. Acrylic paints work well for this – and to make sure your coasters are heat and waterproof, you can add a coat of clear varnish or lacquer to your designs once they’re dry.
To see how to paint kiwi, lemon, orange, and watermelon designs, check out this guide from American Lifestyle.
8. Pressed flower greetings cards
Making pressed flower greeting cards is a wonderful way to save money, create something unique and personal for a loved one, and preserve some of your favourite flowers.
It takes around one week to press and dry flowers out (which you can do using a flower press or a large book), so if someone you know has a birthday coming up, then it’s best to get started in good time. For more tips on how to press flowers, you might want to read this step-by-step guide from Country Living.
In the video above from Artistic Tutorials, white glue is used to stick the pressed flowers to the card, and a layer of glue is also applied on top of the flowers to protect and preserve them. Calligraphy writing is also used to decorate the front of the card. If you’re new to calligraphy or want to practise, there are plenty of tips in our introductory guide.
There are also many other ways you can use pressed flowers in craft projects, such as to make lanterns, flower jewellery, and stained glass suncatchers. Check out this list of 10 amazing things you can do with pressed flowers from Greetings of Grace for more ideas.
9. Garden kneeler
For avid gardeners who spent a lot of time on their hands and knees weeding and planting, a garden kneeler can make the world of difference.
This version from Redshed (above) has a soft filling to take the strain off your knees and make tasks that involve working close to the ground feel more comfortable. It also has a waterproof base (made of vinyl or oilcloth), so that you can place it on wet or damp grass without worrying about it getting soaked through.
DIY garden kneelers are a great project for anyone who wants to utilise (or practise) their sewing skills. And, if you’re not into gardening yourself, it can still make a thoughtful gift for a loved one who is.
Because you’ll be measuring, cutting, sewing, and filling your garden kneeler yourself, you can customise it – choosing your own fabric patterns, thickness, and density – based on who it’s for.
10. Punched tin lanterns
If you want to add a glow to your home or garden after dark, then these punched tin lanterns make for an enjoyable upcycling project.
The idea is to poke holes into the can in the shape of a design that you like using a nail and hammer (just mind your fingers) – and to add extra details, you could use nails of different sizes. To prevent the cans from getting dented by the force of the nails, it’s best to fill them with water or wet sand and freeze them 24-hours before.
Once you’ve finished poking your holes, you can either leave the cans silver or paint them. Acrylic paints work well, though, if your lanterns are going to be kept outside, you might want to use weatherproof spray paint. If you like, you can also add a handle to your lanterns.
Finally, add tealights, sit back, and enjoy the glow! For a full tutorial, check out this guide from Country Living.
11. Cocktail umbrella wreath
Many people only think about making wreaths around Christmas time, but there’s definitely a wreath for every season! Take this summer wreath from TenGemsDIY which is sure to bring some cheer to your home and garden.
The video above then demonstrates how you can press these into the styrofoam at different angles to start building your wreath.
12. Folding wooden stool
Folding stools have all kinds of uses. They’re handy to take camping, can be used as extra seating (for example, at a barbecue), or can even act as a mini side table, depending on the size. And, if you enjoy working with wood, then making your own folding stool is also an effective way to hone your carpentry skills.
The video above from Family Handyman will show you how to get started. Though, if you want more detailed written instructions, including measurements of the materials used, then you can find a full written guide here.
There are a few different saws involved – a jigsaw, mitre saw, and table saw – so if you don’t own these yourself, then it might be worth seeing if you can borrow them from a friend or neighbour.
For more woodworking ideas, you might also want to check out our list of 12 practical things you can make from wood.
13. Photo booth props
Summer party season is here and if you’re planning an event (either your own or for someone you know), then DIY photo booth props could be a fun addition and help to make some lasting memories. Photo booths at events can be costly, so more and more people are setting up their own ‘photo booth’ areas by dedicating a space to taking photos, adding a backdrop, and making their own props for guests to pose with.
The props you make will be up to you though popular ones include glasses, lips, crowns, and moustaches. If you’re into sewing, then you could cut two of each shape out of felt, sew them together, and stick a bamboo skewer to one side to finish. There’s full guidance on how to do this in this step-by-step guide from Gathered.how.
Alternatively, you could cut the shapes out of card or foam sheets (adding details like paint and beads, should you wish to) and secure them to bamboo skewers. If you don’t want to draw your props by hand, then you could print them out. You’ll find a list of free printable prop shapes for every party on Ubersnap’s website here.
You can also get creative with the backdrop for your photo booth area, for example, by using gold fringe or floating stars. Check out BuzzFeed’s list of 32 DIY backdrops for some inspiration.
14. Japanese hand fan
If you’re looking for ways to stay cool over the summer months, then why not make a Japanese hand fan? These fans are beautiful, but they’re also incredibly useful – as they can be popped in your bag and taken anywhere (and they don’t rely on batteries!).
Folding fans are thought to have originated in Nara City, Japan in the 6th or 7th century and are made of wooden (or bamboo) strips held together by thread and secured with a pivot. They were traditionally used in ancient ceremonies or rituals, or for decorative purposes – but today, folding fans are mainly used to keep cool.
To find out how to craft one of your own using wooden sticks, decorative wrapping paper, a headpin, and a few other bits and bobs, check out this tutorial from eHow – or, for more inspiration, check out this YouTube tutorial from Venturo Art.
With plenty of warm, bright days on the horizon, you might be feeling more inspired than usual – so why not get stuck into some creative projects?
We hope that some of the ideas above have piqued your interest, but if not, you might want to check out our articles; 10 interesting craft ideas to try at home and 13 creative and practical craft projects to brighten your day.