Dive into summer with these breezy crafts and easy makeovers.
Photography & Text by Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil
Nothing screams "summer" like dining outside, whether you have a patio, terrace, porch, or picnic table under your favorite shade tree. Here's how to dress your space for maximum warm-weather impact: A carefree mix of twill and rattan placemats sets a casual mood, while dishes in this summer's hottest hues add pops of color. A hand-painted plate featuring watercolor wildflowers tops off this laid-back brunch.
Summer crafts are even more fun with watermelon, orange slice, and lemon carry-alls. These clever containers are the perfect size for storing everything from pipe cleaners to googly eyes. And cleanup is a kick when you have playful containers—whether you're 7 or 37.
Sweeping the floor is no way to spend your summer vacation, so keep the sand out of the house with straw bins by the back door. Tie on chalkboard tags to label a striped basket for each family member. Use them to corral clutter like sandy flip-flops, beach towels, and toys, and leave the sand on the beach.
Dress up wine glasses for cocktails on the lanai with stemware jewelry inspired by a seaside stroll. Simply glue pendant bales onto small seashells, then slide them on earring hoops with sparkly crystals and freshwater pearls. With each sip of Chardonnay, you'll be able to hear the ocean.
Freshen up a lampshade with pretty fabric florets. To make each flower, cut circles of white muslin and yellow seersucker. Stack the circles and sew them together with an abalone button in the center. Make a bunch, then tack them around the base of the lampshade with dots of Fabri-Tac glue. Summer lights never looked so bright!
You can add a splash of summer anywhere, even under the dog bowls! A bamboo placemat with a palm tree print not only keeps Sparkplug's kibble off the floor, it brings an unexpected touch of the tropics to any kitchen corner.
It's easy to switch up your coffee table staples for an instant summer update. We set out our prettiest travel picture books and magazines in a large wicker tray and brought in island blue and green accents with a glass bowl or fishing floats. And if you have a photo album of your last trip to the shore, now's the time to get it out again!
Create your own "etched" luminaries to light up your summer nights. To make each one, wash a glass hurricane with soap and water. Decorate the sides with ornate stickers of vines and flowers. Then place the candleholder upside-down and spray with sweeping coats of Krylon Stained Glass Spray Paint. When the paint is dry, peel the stickers off to reveal your artistry.
Want an easy color combo? Try blue and white. In the living room, the bedroom, or the bath, this classic pair says holiday in Greece or a week on Nantucket. It's the simple feeling of a crisp white cotton shirt paired with denim capris. Casual, comfortable, and oh, so summer!
If you can't leave work for the summer, bring a little summer to your work! Trade your manila file folders for colorful ones in orange, blue, and magenta. Cover your boring corkboard with a Lilly Pulitzer-like pattern. Post-its, notebooks, and tissue boxes all come in fun florals. Splurge on a beautiful butterfly pen and you won't mind filling out your TPS reports!