Having a pool in your yard is a wonderful luxury, especially during the warm and sunny days of summer. As swimming season returns, think about trying some inexpensive water-themed DIY projects. They’re easy to do, and they'll make your pool even more fun and relaxing.
1. Hang a Hammock
Have you ever dreamed of lazily swaying in a hammock in the privacy of your own backyard? You can easily do so, in close proximity to your pool, no less, by making and hanging your own.
First, gather your materials. Start with a cotton towel or blanket that is at least 40 inches by 80 inches. You’ll also need nylon strapping, scissors, pins, a four inch by 40 inch piece of heavyweight canvas, 150 feet of rope, zip-ties, and cotton twine.
Lay out your towel or blanket, fold the long sides in about an inch, and sew them up to stay that way, either by hand or with a sewing machine.
Next, cut two strips, each about two inches wide, from the canvas material, and line one up with the top of the hammock. Fold the fabric over the canvas, securing it with a pin. This should create a two-inch hem. Do this on the bottom side, too.
Create straps to hang the hammock by cutting the nylon into 18 strips of six inches each (nine per side). Fold each of them in half and pin them over the hem you created, evenly spaced about five inches apart. Sew them on until they are each secured with a box and cross pattern.
Cut 18 strands of rope to go into each of the loops. These should be eight feet long each. String one piece through each loop, gather all the loose ends of these strands on each side of the hammock, and tie each end into a big knot. Cut the loose tips, then wrap each loop with another piece of rope. Finally, repeat that process with the twine, creating a clear, even surface on both loops.
Once the loops are strong and well defined, use them to hang the hammock between two trees or secure posts. Choose a spot near your pool to enjoy the water to the fullest this summer! Hop in when you're hot from the sun, and hop out for a lounge-dry when you're chilly and wet.
2. Create a Cooler
Minimize your trips out of the pool by creating a floating cooler to keep beverages on hand at all times.
For this project, you’ll need a foam pool noodle, a medium size plastic storage bin (a rectangle one works well), and waterproof nylon rope.
Cut the noodle into four pieces, two longer and two shorter. String the rope through the hole in the middle of the noodle to tie all the pieces together. Place the roped noodle around the container and you have a floating cooler! Fill it with drinks and ice and it’ll bob around your pool with you as you relax.
3. Make A Tossing Game
Kids and adults alike love a good pool game, so why not create your own this summer? An easy and affordable option is a sponge-ball-toss game. For this, you’ll need kitchen sponges, scissors, rubber bands, fishing line, frisbees, and vinyl numbers.
Create your balls by cutting sponges lengthwise into half-inch strips. Gather the strips from four sponges together and wrap a rubber band around the middle. Even the ball out by spreading the strips apart.
Next, wrap the fishing line close to the rubber band, knotting it securely. Make one ball per frisbee, up to whatever number you'd like. Now, label your frisbees to have different point values by sticking your vinyl numbers to the inside of the frisbees. Once you put the numbers on, you’ll want to let them adhere for at least a few hours, or even overnight, before they go in the pool.
Once they're ready, place the frisbees number-side-up in the pool. Dunk your sponge balls and then throw them and try to hit the frisbees to score points. Choose ahead of time what number you want to get to in order to crown a winner. This game is fun and challenging for all ages!
If you've got some kids around, make sure to put them to work on these projects. The fun of enjoying your creations will be even greater if you share the activities as a family. Plus you'll inspire the little ones to think about their own DIY projects. Help them figure out how to bring their ideas to life! Learning together will be the best game of the summer.