Real beach weather may still be a few weeks (…or a month) out for some of you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start dreaming of what warm weather will bring!
1. Pool noodles + plastic bin = floating ice chest.
So simple, yet so brilliant. From Instructables. (Not for hot tub use…obviously).
2. Another thing to do with your pool noodles? Turn them into light sabers with duct tape.
Your kids as well as the geekiest of adults should enjoy playing with these in the pool. Get the directions here.
3. Build a beach tent for your HQ.
Who needs an umbrella when you can pitch your own tablecloth tent? Via Apartment Therapy.
4. Mix a sneaky cocktail in an old juice bottle.
Here’s a recipe from Tastebook with pink lemonade, coconut rum, watermelon vodka, and triple sec. Regular (…cheap) vodka would be fine too.
5. Tie a giant scarf into a no-sew cover-up.
La Vie En Rose has step-by-step instructions for, like, four different ways to tie it. Plus a bag.
6. Learn how to actually wear sunscreen.
Important to know if you’re going to spend a summer in the sun! For instance, did you know that sunscreen takes a full 30 minutes to absorb? And that you want to use a golf ball–sized amount for EACH part of your body? MD Anderson Cancer Center has a list of ways to make sure you’re wearing it right.
7. Make your own spray mist with PVC pipes.
OK, so you’re going to have to be a hardcore DIYer. But it’ll be worth it. As long as you’re not in a drought region. Get the Instructable here.
8. Even better: MAKE YOUR OWN SLIP AND SLIDE.
9. Freeze aloe vera gel in an ice cube tray to soothe a sunburn.
Just make sure that aloe vera is the only ingredient in your aloe gel, or at least avoid any gels that list alcohol as an ingredient (alcohol will soften your skin in the short term, but it ultimately makes it drier).
10. Also take ibuprofen to help reduce swelling.
That’s Advil, in case you weren’t sure. Skincancer.org notes that “Acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) will treat the pain, but does not have the same anti-inflammatory effect.”
11. More sneaky booze: vodka gummi bears.
If you let them soak long enough, they’ll give you the buzz you seek. Get the directions here.
12. Build a “perfect” sand castle.
13. Wipe that pesky sand off your toes with baby powder.
That fine layer of sand always sticks around even after you rinse and towel-dry — it just never seems to go away (until you take a shower at home). Get rid of it before you climb back in your car with a dusting of baby powder; WikiHow has step-by-step instructions, and Grosgrain Fabulous verifies.
14. Put together a fancy-schmancy sand castle kit.
For when a bucket and shovel just won’t cut it anymore. From Sandy Toes and Popsicles.
15. Make a giant windscreen?
Could be useful, I guess. It’s at least as portable as a beach umbrella, and probably easier to set up than that tent, once you sew it all together. Directions on Martha Stewart.
16. Make your own sand chair out of a towel and broomsticks.
Get the directions here.
17. Use Dixie Cups to make popsicle molds.
You can also use waxed or parchment paper. See the full tutorial at Serious Eats.
18. Get that green out of your blonde hair with tomato juice.
Or an aspirin wash, or baking soda. Get your instructions at Livestrong.
19. Play with BUBBLES!
See Hello Bee’s tutorial for DIY bubble mix and wands.
20. Make really big bubbles with some straws and string.
The step-by-step is on PBS.org.
21. Create this makeshift car wash for the kids.
It’ll keep them entertained for at least an afternoon. Get the directions here.
22. Make spongeballs for a backyard tossing game.
They’re less wasteful than water balloons, although they don’t make that satisfying popping noise. Directions on Martha Stewart, because she apparently has all the best summer ideas.
23. Turn a sheet into a hammock for shady naps.
Yet another Instructable.
24. Use a window screen to make a sand-free beach bag.
Sand-free is an overstatement, but most of the sand should fall out when you pick it up. Get the directions from Between the Lines.
25. Make a tote bag that turns into a beach towel (with a pillow in it!).
This DIY has, like, three different functions. Get the directions here.
26. Turn a cooler into a water-resistant iPod stereo.
Ignore the ancient iPod, and watch the rest of this cool video. It even uses solar panels. Maybe consult your friend majoring in engineering before attempting. By Solar Burrito.
27. Use an old paint bucket to fashion a floating waterproof speaker.
Perfect for the backyard pool or a tubing outing. Get the instructions here.
28. Carefully cut up empty soda cans to disguise your beer cans.
You could also use one of those gigantic Styrofoam cups, put your beer bottle in it, then put the straw in. It’ll keep it cold too. But then you’re drinking beer through a straw.
29. Add pockets to the corners of your beach towel.
Make them out of mesh so it’s easier to get the sand out. It’ll at least weigh down the corners, if you don’t feel like sticking your sandy flip-flops in your towel. You can also probably use some Stitch Witchery and an iron instead of a needle and thread. Directions also on Martha Stewart.
Here’s another option, if you want to maximize your towel’s storage capabilities.
Get the directions here.
30. Turn your truck bed into a pool-type thing.
Best in the South, where you can always find a friend with a truck. Not surprisingly, there aren’t any beautiful bloggers with a how-to here, but it’s not too difficult to figure out. Here’s a little blurb on it from Mother Earth News. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.
31. Make a diamond kite using trash bags and dowels.
32. PVC pipe? Water gun.
Cheap water guns don’t really shoot this far. It takes a little more than just pipe, of course — find the directions on DIY Pics. No awkward pumping required!