Handmade Craft Ideas for the Beach – 10 Summer Fun Ideas

Posted by on Jul 09, 2011

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If you’ve waited until the true arrival of summer to get your beach on, then you might have noticed that all the gear you need (beach blankets, swimsuits, etc.) are either on clearance or already out of stores. We know this because we tried to find a beach towel after July Fourth and, well, came up dry (and not, you know, in the right way). Sound familiar? You’re actually in luck! We’ve found ten “beach stuff” projects that can be made just in time for your next trip.

waterproof beach tote bag
Waterproof Tote

A canvas tote seems like a great idea … as long as you don’t plan on going near the sand. (Which magically gets inside every seam and won't budge even after repeated washings.) A better material choice for a tote is oilcloth, which repels water, sand and stains.
For a selection of free bag patterns, visit Purse Patterns.
beach flip flop
Flip-Flop Update

Give your trusty flip-flops a little extra mileage by adding an adornment. The easiest way to do this is with a fabric yo-yo. Simply hot glue the yo-yo to the “Y” part of the shoe, or affix the yo-yo to a small jaw clip for a removable option.
beach umbrella
A Better Beach Umbrella

Your beach umbrella will stand out from a sea (har har) of solids and stripes with a unique hand-painted design. (We should note that this is something that you'll really appreciate when you're standing in the surf, trying to figure out the way back to dry land!) We like artist’s acrylic paint, which tends to be more durable than craft acrylic. For the best adhesion, be sure to thoroughly wash the umbrella beforehand with a mix of bleach and water, then let completely dry before painting.
lace shorts
Lacy Summer Shorts

Lace shorts are a big trend this summer that can be super cute but also ridiculously expensive. Instead of shelling out half a week's paycheck, make your own version with a surprising starting point: Men’s boxer shorts. Buy a pair in white, then add some of that gorgeous lace yardage you’ve been saving for the right project.
For the complete tutorial, visit HonestlyWTF.
picnic suitcase
Picnic in a Suitcase

We can’t resist vintage suitcases but there’s a reason people stopped using them for long-distance travel: They’re heavy and small-ish. So why not modify that thrifted find for picnicking purposes? All you have to do is add wide strips of elastic to the inside of the “lid” in sections large enough to hold cutlery, plates and a tumbler or two. And when the suitcase is shut, you’ll have a nice little tabletop to dine on.
picnic blanket carrier
More-Portable Picnic Blanket

That ratty old blanket is ideal for your beach trip, but it can also be improved by adding a carrying strap. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to add carrying straps to all your beach towels, too.
For a similar way to add carrying straps to blankets, visit Pattern Schmattern.
Sweet Sundress

A nice roomy sundress is a must for those days when pulling on shorts seems like too much effort. Of course, that also means fussing with any sort of zipper might also be too difficult. Enter shirring. It’ll add stretchiness that makes the dress easy to pull on whenever you need a little extra coverage.
For a free shirred sundress pattern, visit BurdaStyle.
terrycloth cover-up
Terrycloth Cover-Up

Dry off and cover up at the same time with a mini hoodie dress made from … an old beach towel. The absorbant terrycloth makes it perfect for throwing on after a swim, while the mini hemline keeps it stylish.
For a free hoodie pattern (just add length to the bottom of the pattern to create a dress) visit BurdaStyle.
tea towel bucket hat
Happy Hat

Keep the sun off of your face with a charming hat made from … a tea towel. Yes, a tea towel. They tend to have lovely prints, are lightweight and can absorb any errant splashes.
For the full bucket hat tutorial, visit Elizabeth Abernathy.
crochet bikini
Crocheted Bikini

We know the phrase “crochet bikini” sounds a bit risque, but if the stitches are tight enough, the resulting swimsuit will be opaque enough to cover everything that should be.
For four vintage crochet bikini patterns, visit AllCrafts.

Image credits (from top): Mirivah / Dreamstime.com, rbtbags.etsy.com, flickr.com/ohsohappytogether, CounterpointDesign.etsy.com, honestlywtf.com, Flickr.com/crgreene, SewnNatural.etsy.com, Flickr.com/swanclothing, Flickr.com/amnesia, ElizabethAbernathy.com and Flickr.com/NexStitch

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