Summer is in full swing, and if you’re lucky, you’ve got some extra time on your hands that you can spend doing something that you love. In addition to spending more time outdoors and enjoying some vacation time with your family, why not pick a fun project to work on during the warmer months? It’ll give you a chance to learn some new skills along the way, and at the end of the summer you’ll have something to show for a summer well-spent. Here are ten great “summer project” ideas to try out this summer.
Tackle that reading list.
Have you had a running list of books to read for months now, only to make little, if any, progress? Now is the time to tackle that list! Make tackling your reading list your summer “project” by getting yourself a library card or downloading a few books to your e-Reader. Take your book with you to places where you’ll have some time to relax—the beach, park, car, etc.
Create a printed photo album.
We’re so used to digital photography these days that printed photo albums are becoming more and more rare. Resolve to create a printed photo album that will document all of your summer adventures. This means taking your camera with you to big events and on big trips—even if it’s only the camera on your phone. (This article offers some great tips on taking great photos on your phone.) Then, at the end of the summer, download your photos onto your computer; do some editing to get things properly cropped and exposed; and upload them to a professional photo book printing website to have your photo album professionally printed and bound.
Go through a roll of film.
Alternatively, you can try going through a roll of film on a vintage film camera. You can easily thrift a vintage camera online through a site like Ebay. Learn how to install the film cartridge and use the manual controls, and have fun practicing your photo skills throughout the summer. This is a great way to hone your photography skills and become a more mindful photographer even when working with digital.
Transform old furniture.
Could your home use a new furniture piece or two? Why not upcycle something you find at a local thrift store or garage sale? Or, why not upcycle something that you already have and love? Transforming old furniture is perfect for summer because it so often requires spray painting outdoors in warm weather. There are a myriad of furniture transformation tutorials out there on Pinterest—choose one that speaks to you!
Restore an old bike.
If you already have a bike, maybe it could use a little restoring; or if you don’t already have one, maybe you can thrift one and restore it to good, working condition. Restoring a bike is simpler than you might think; it typically only involves removing rust from the frame and wheels and then restoring any parts that might be worn. Sandblasting and powder coating is a great option for extreme cases of rust on the frame and wheels (you can read more about how it applies to restoration here). If you restore your old bike successfully, you’ll have a great bike when you’re done for taking to the park with your family.
Update your house numbers.
House numbers are something that many homeowners don’t pay attention to when decorating the outside of their home, but they can make a major impact and are easy to DIY. Type “house numbers DIY” into Pinterest and see how many great tutorials you get!
Train for a race.
Who says that your summer project can’t involve fitness? Consider signing yourself up for a fall race and using the summer months to train up. (Just be careful to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water as you run outdoors!)
Cook your way through a cookbook.
If you’re like most of us, you keep a shelf full of cookbooks somewhere in your kitchen, only for those cookbooks to see little, if any, use. Pick out a favorite cookbook that you want to experiment with and try making a few recipes from that cookbook each week. By the end of the summer, you’ll have several new go-to recipes for you and your family to enjoy.
Try your hand at tie-dye.
This is a fun activity to do with your kids, and it’s perfect for taking outdoors during the summer because it can get pretty messy. Take your kids to your local craft store and pick up a few plain white tee shirts and a tie-dye kit. There are a wide variety of tie-dye techniques that you can try for different results, so be sure that you pick out a few techniques that you want to try before starting. If the project is a hit the first time, keep it going throughout the summer by tie-dyeing things like hats and tote bags for fun summer gifts.
Master ice cream making.
It can take a few tries to master the art of ice cream making, and there are a myriad of recipes you can try, so this a great project for you and your family to dedicate yourselves to all summer long. There are so many delicious recipes out there to try, with or without dairy and with or without an ice cream maker. Pick a few recipes to start out with and let the ice cream (or froyo) making addiction go from there!
Let’s discuss: What are some of your plans for the summer?