11 Amazing DIY Summer Home Hacks
- Written by Alicia Drewnicki
- August 8, 2020
- 7 min read
Summer has finally arrived, and although we love the sunshine, let’s admit it – many of us struggle with the heat and are in urgent need of some quick, cheap, and easy summer home hacks! From innovative ways to cool down, to 100% natural fly repellant, and even a DIY suncream recipe – this post has it all!
1. Make some fancy homemade ice-cold desserts
Warm weather + ice-cold refreshing desserts are an essential combo. Yes, you can stock up from your local supermarket, but there’s nothing more rewarding than being resourceful and using what you already have at home.
Try making homemade lollies using fruit juice from the fridge, or even better – using one of our delicious smoothies. Simply pour your liquid of choice into an ice lolly mould, leave it a few hours to freeze – and hey, presto!
Take things up a notch by pouring the unfrozen smoothie/juice into a square or rectangular freezer-proof container, and freezing for two hours. After this, scrape the surface gently with a fork, and pop back into the freezer. Keep checking and repeating the scraping action two to three times (every couple of hours). The result is a stunning thirst-quenching granita that can be enjoyed throughout the day.
To make this a little more grown-up, add your favourite alcohol into the mix and create your very own dinner party showstopper that can be served as a dessert, or served between courses to cleanse the palette.
2. Cool down at night – put your sheet in the freezer!
Sometimes it’s too hot to sleep! In times like these – you need our “sheet trick”.
Simply get a loose sheet, and put it in the freezer (in a plastic bag) for 30 minutes before bed. Take it out, and let that ice-cold sheet cool you down – absolute bliss!
3. DIY phone speaker
Nothing says summer like relaxing in the park with a picnic, or spending time in the garden under the parasol, with a glass of chilled sangria in hand, and summer tunes filling the air. The only problem is that it’s no longer socially acceptable to carry a two-foot long ghetto blaster around the neighbourhood, and bluetooth speakers quickly run out of charge. Don’t despair! If you have your phone with you, you can simply place the speaker end into a glass, and the conical shape and rigid material will amplify the sound, turning your drinking receptacle into a portable speaker. Just make sure you’ve finished your sangria first!
[Image credit of EcoCalm]
4. Wine in the freezer
We’ve all experienced the disappointment of reaching for an ice-cold white wine on a warm evening, only to discover it’s only had 15 minutes in the fridge to chill. You could use the freezer, but that’s still going to take an hour or more.
Before you dash out to your local shop to grab a chilled bottle, try this little trick to get to near-zero temperatures in no time. Take some ordinary kitchen paper towel and rinse it under the tap so it’s wet. Now wrap two or three sheets around your wine, so that it sticks. Then place in the freezer. In 30 minutes, remove from the freezer and break off the frozen kitchen towel. Your lukewarm Pinot Grigio is now perfectly chilled in half the time. Top tip: set a timer so you don’t forget to take the wine out.
5. Sunburn cure – aloe vera ice cubes
Sometimes, despite our hardest efforts to load up on suncream, we sometimes miss a spot, and we’ve all suffered from sunburn. Prepare your soothing sunburn remedies in advance with the help of a trusty aloe vera plant! Simply slice a leaf off the aloe vera plant, cut off the spiky tip and sides, and then slice it through the centre (long ways so you’ve got an open cross-section of the inside of the plant). Use a grater to release the gel which can then be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. When the cubes are ready, simply rub them over your skin for immediate relief.
You can also pour aloe vera gel into the trays if you only have the bottled version rather than a fresh plant.
Amazingly, these cubes are also praised for their skin-tightening effects (so you don’t have to wait to be sunburnt to use them!), You can see a video demo from Rosie from SugarCoatedOfficial below.
6. Give your fan the ice-cold treatment
Picture the scene, you’ve got your fan on full-blast but all it seems to be doing is blowing hot air around the room. We’ve all been there! Stay happy and cool by using our little fan hack. Simply fill up a bowl with ice cubes and place it in front of the fan. Wait for it – cooler air, and relief from the heat!
7. Doritos as fire starters
For the BBQ connoisseur, using self-lighting charcoal or lighter fluid is a sin. It taints the flavour of the food, and besides – it’s cheating! The go-to tool would be a fire-starter made from natural ingredients, bought from any local garden centre or online. But what happens when the friends and family are due round in an hour, you’ve run out of fire-lighters, and there’s no time to get to the shops to buy that lighting fluid?
Head to the chips and dip, and grab a handful of Doritos – yes, Doritos – and strategically place these amongst your coals. The fats and carbohydrates will ignite and maintain a flame long enough for your charcoal to catch, and you’ll be grilling away in no time.
8. DIY 100% natural fly repellant
Nothing ruins a BBQ quite like the appearance of flies and wasps, so keep your fly remedies natural by using our quick lemon and clove fly repeller. Cut a lemon in half, and stuff it with cloves – and prepare for a fly-free zone! Simple as that!
9. Freeze grapes to cool down wine
Freezing small portions of fruit to use as ice cubes is a great little trick to add a bit of glitz to your sparkling wine and keep you afternoon tipple cool. If you use berries, the problem arises when the little chilled raspberry that was once elegantly bobbing around in your Brut warms up and starts to discolour your wine. Or worse, adds a flavour that doesn’t work so well with your drink. To avoid this mismatch, simply freeze grapes instead, and add these to your wine to keep them cool. As they defrost they’ll match with their accompanying liquid host, and the drinker will be left with a fully-in-tact, fruity treat to eat should they wish.
10. Make DIY suncream
Forgotten to buy some suncream and worried about going down “Red Lobster Avenue”? Well, fear not! Protect your skin the natural way, and make some homemade suncream. It’s packed full of natural ingredients and super easy to make. Our friend at Wellness Mama has plenty of great natural beauty recipes and we’ve chosen an adaptation of one of her recipes below. To make natural suncream, you just need to choose ingredients with a natural SPF in them (sun protection factor). These include coconut oil, almond oil, and zinc oxide.
120ml of almond oil
60ml of coconut oil
2tbps zinc oxide
2tbsp shea butter
1 tsp carrot seed oil
– Combine all the ingredients, except the zinc oxide in a glass jar (ideally 500ml or bigger)
– Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and put it on the stove with a medium heat.
– Place the jar in the saucepan with a lid loosely on and stir the ingredients occasionally
– When all the ingredients are melted, stir in the zinc oxide, pour into another cool jar, and give it a final stir.
Store at room temperature. [Please note – it’s not waterproof, so reapply after swimming.] To make a thicker lotion, add more beeswax. Full recipe here.
11. Upcycle to jazz up your outdoor space
Kitting out your outdoor space for the summer can be an expensive job. Save your cash for the food and wine, and instead, spend some time upcycling what’s already around you to create all the garden gear you could ever need. Use old jam jars, glasses, or paper bags weighed down with sand, decorate to your heart’s content and then place either real or electric candles inside to create an easy and impressive ambience. You can even tie string around them and hang them from trees!
For the creative construction enthusiasts, try building any manner of garden furniture from leftover delivery pallets. With a bit of imagination, you could build planters, seating, a Thai-style outdoor lounging area, or even a gazebo!
So that’s it, 11 amazing DIY summer home hacks. Do you have any we can add to our list? Make sure to tell us on social!