5 Summer DIY Hacks

lemon slices with cloves stuck in them

Summertime should be fun. It's when people have outdoor parties, go to the beach, enjoy the pool, and generally cut loose after the challenges of colder months. But the realities of summer have a way of interfering with enjoyment—bugs, blistering sunlight, heat... plenty of things can ruin your summer fun. Here are some tips for how to beat the summer blues and enjoy the best of the season.

1. DIY Air Conditioner

You're going to love this one. Here's what you're going to need: a styrofoam ice cooler full of ice, a small desk fan, and two dryer vents. Cut holes in the cooler's lid to mount the vents so that the bottom of the vents is sitting in the top, open to the cooler's interior. The fan should be placed face-down on the cooler lid so that it will blow air directly inside.

Turn the fan on, and the air will be chilled by the ice inside. The air will then come out through the dryer vents nice and cold. Yes. This is literally a cooler air conditioner. It's also pretty portable. If you get a battery-powered fan, it's totally portable. That means you can have your own air conditioning with you wherever you go.

2. The Secret Wallet Hack

sunscreen glasses and hat on sunny beach

You don't exactly want to load up your wallet full of cash and important items and then throw it on your beach towel next to your cell phone while you go frolic in the ocean water for two hours on a crowded public beach at midday. There's a pretty good chance that you'll back to your towel and find both your wallet and your cell phone gone.

There is a clever way to hide your valuables when you're at the beach and other public places, and it's got nothing to do with sticking your important stuff down into your shoe. Get a bottle of sunscreen that's at least a little bit larger than your cell phone. Pour the contents of the bottle into a container with a lid that you can store. Cut the top off the bottle to make a larger hole and clean the bottle thoroughly. Wash it out inside, rinse it and dry it. Now you have a place to store your phone, money, and other essential items. Just put the lid back on the bottle, and your stuff will be safe.

3. Natural Citrus Insect Solution

It's hard to enjoy eating and drinking outside if there's a chemical smell everywhere due to insect control sprays. On the other hand, it's pretty impossible to enjoy being outside if bugs crawl all over you. Deal with bugs the natural way using lemon and cloves. You can get them at any grocery store.

Place cloves on top of lemon slices and place the slices around areas where people will be gathering outside. It's recommended to place the lemons inside small glasses or on plates because the acids in lemon juice can lighten wood and stain items if left to sit for hours. The lemon and cloves keep insects away and release a pleasant citrus smell, too.

4. Laundry Mosquito Repellant

dryer fabric softener sheets on dryer

Mosquitos are notoriously difficult to keep away from humans. They're naturally drawn to the scent. No problem. There's an easy way to mask the scent. Get a cup and place a couple of dryer sheets inside. Keep this wherever people are gathering, which will help hide people's scent from those bloodthirsty mosquitos.

5. Make Your Own Covered Patio

Those sunny days can drive you right back indoors if you haven't got a shady place outside to enjoy the summer weather. Create your own covered patio using canvas. Any large piece of the canvas will do, including a dropcloth. Use a sturdy knife to cut holes near each corner of the canvas. Thread a long piece of rope through the holes and knot one end of the rope to keep it in place. Now, you can hang your canvas sheet up from trees in the yard to create a shaded area.