6 Fun Summer Craft Ideas



Hey everyone, apologies that I've been AWOL over the past month or so. I've had a few health issues which have set me back a little but all is well now and I'm looking forward to getting down to some much needed crafting!


Now we're in full summer (not that the weather has noticed this week!) it's a perfect time to try out some summer craft projects.

There's no better summer activity than crafting in the garden with some friends.


So below are some summer themed craft projects, some that I've done in the past, others that are on my list to try out.


I hope you find something that appeals to you.

 

Bunting is a true summer classic - at least here in the UK.


A beautiful string of bunting really add a touch of festivity to any party and it looks equally well in a home decor setting too.


They can be totally personalised which makes them a very versatile decoration.


The variety of materials you can use is impressive - from newspaper or old books to fabric scraps to felt, there is always something you can whip up.


Perhaps starting with paper bunting would be easiest - there are no specialist tools needed. Just some paper or thin card, a pair of scissors, template and pencil - once you've cut out your pieces all you need to do is glue or tie them to some string or ribbon.


Even fabric versions can be made easy - although a sewn version is beautiful, it can be challenging if you don't have a sewing machine. However, using some iron on tape to stick the pieces together and then attach them to the ribbon or string, can help you overcome this issue.

 

Lamps / Lanterns / Lights / Luminarias


Summer lighting is definitely important. Who doesn't love sitting in the garden at twighlight, your surroundings being gently lit by some beautiful lights?


There are so many different ways to create your own unique lights from a variety of different mediums and items you have around the house.


Jam jars are an easy and cheap item that you can make unique lamps out of. You could decorate them in lots of different ways.

I held a workshop a few years ago where we painted the jars with jewel coloured glass paints, then piped on gold puffy paints to create Moroccan style t-light holders. We then used craft wire to create handles.


You could also use string for your handle. This would look especially beautiful used as a macrame net to put your jar inside.


Luminarias - for those who are unfamiliar, are generally small paper lanterns where the candle inside is weighed down with sand. They are used a lot in Hispanic cultures. There are so many ways in which these paper lanterns can be decorated from painting them to punching holes in them to create a beautiful pattern.


Another great way to create cheap lights is to decorate tin cans! These can be decorated in different ways too, they look especially effective when decorated with a punched pattern, a little bit reminiscent of how the lights twinkle through on your Halloween pumpkins.

Or you could use some decoupage on them - this would also work well on jam jars.


One thing I would advise with using tin cans - use a tin opener that undoes the seal between the lid and the can rather than one that cuts the top of the can.

This means you'll have a smooth edge with no nasty sharp bits to cut yourself on.

 

Macrame - there are so many cool macrame projects to make.


Small items like summer macrame bracelets, hanging nets for your jar lamps or plants are a good place to start.


Larger projects like decorative macrame hangings are a little more ambitious but definitely worth having a go.


There are several basic macrame knots that are very simple to do and work on a variety of knotting yarns, cords or threads which can be used for fine, decorative work and for larger chunky decorative pieces.


When making bracelets and other macrame jewellery pieces I would advise using a macrame board and T-pins to attach your threads to. This enables you to keep your work straight and even.


With larger knotted pieces, attaching them to a wooden dowel rod or piece of wood - as in the above picture - will enable you to work in an even manner and you won't get in a huge tangle!

 

Pyrography - is something I'm dying to have a go at!

I'm always on the lookout for craft ideas which incorporate natural elements like wood, stone, gemstones etc.


Checking out tools online there is quite a range in prices. Some are reasonably priced at £20 - £30 but don't look to be of a professional grade. There are others that seem to be a lot more professional but of course that puts the price up significantly. As this is a craft I haven't tried out yet, I can't give you any advice on which type would be best to purchase. As with all new crafts, it's a bit down to trial and error!


In terms of wooden items to decorate, there are a plethora of different wooden blanks available online which are cheap to buy and as they are usually plywood the surface is very smooth which make them ideal surfaces to practice on.


I have a few packs which I bought from The Works a while back which I plan on using. They usually have a lot of cheap wooden blanks.

Interestingly they also have a pyrography tool on their website for £10.00 which might be worth checking out if you want to see if you like pyrography before committing to buying more expensive tools.


Of course, there are other wooden surfaces to use but I am thinking we would need a little more practice before trying out something on a more uneven surface. I do like the idea of using large wooden slices with the bark round the edges.


Patterns look easy to transfer to the wood, either using transfer paper or graphite pencil on the back of your preparatory drawing. You could use a design you've created yourself or print out a design online to use. I've also seen that some of the tool packs include some stencils which is a good idea. I have some letter stencils which I might try out.


Once I've decided on what tools I'm going to try, I might do another blog post around it. If that's something you'd find interesting??

 

Tie dye - who doesn't love those crazy summer tie dye t-shirts???

Full of gorgeous bright summery colours which just make you so happy!


It's so easy to do nowadays with plenty of fabric paints on the market which are really good and mean you don't end up having to use large buckets of dye....which for a messy person like myself is always a good thing!!!




Just paint the colours on to your prepared fabric or use an ink dropper and let the paints do the rest!!


This t-shirt is one I created a couple of years ago for a workshop I was running. To create the pattern you use elastic bands to tie up the front of the shirt then I dripped the paints onto the sections with an ink dropper and they all blend nicely together.


Of course, you don't just have to do it on t-shirts, why not try it on other fabrics, such as shirts or bedding.


Or why not try out some bleach painting - using the same techniques as tie dye but with bleach instead of paint.


Here's an Ikea cushion cover I bleach dyed.

I placed a few fern fronds on the cushion cover then used both bleach and sterilising liquid to create a negative space print. I sprayed the bleach from a small spritz bottle then used the sterilising liquid from an ink dropper to create splashes.


It's best to go slow at first - spritz a small amount of bleach & see how it looks before adding more.


And of course, do a patch test before you start. This cushion cover was originally a burgundy colour - as you can see from the colour of the fern frond - but it bleached to a lovely orange. However, I did a similar idea on a blue cushion cover (same make & model) but it bleached to a dreary, non-descript grey which I didn't like - so ALWAYS do a patch test.


I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's a design that I like but a project that I would like to improve on.

 

Windchimes / Mobiles - At this time of year, windchimes really come into their own.

The lazy summer breezes are just perfect for that melodious, relaxing background sound of the summer!


There are so many different and unique objects you can use to create your own mobile or windchime.