From delicious desserts to easy tutorials, use these 21 DIY projects and recipe ideas for summer and make memories together as a family.
Who is ready for summer break? As a mom with school-aged kids summer is a strange mix of two emotions – excitement for the summer fun of vacations and time together as a family and trepidation for the lack of structure and routine.
As much as I value routines they do not come naturally to me as I don’t like to feel confined to a schedule, and yet I have learned to discipline myself to maintain one. Regardless of whether you are a summer routine person or not, these upcoming months are a great time to get those little projects done around the house.
Here you will find several easy, budget-friendly summer DIY project ideas you can do with your kids while upgrading your home as well as a few of my favorite go-to summer recipes that find their way into our kitchen every year.
For more summer inspiration be sure to check out:
21 DIY and Recipe Ideas for Summer
Re-purpose your old, leftover brick, and learn how to make a fire pit with this DIY brick fire pit tutorial!
Ever wonder what the best way is to store herbs in the fridge? Learn this hack on how to store herbs in the fridge for longer!
Create your own relaxing backyard fireside retreat by learning how to string outdoor solar lights with this cheap hack!
Use this cheap DIY garage door makeover idea and update any garage door to create a high-end look with a low-end budget!
Learn how to make a gorgeous mosquito-repellent patio planter with 2 common plants from your local nursery!
Learn how to refinish a wooden picnic table in 4 easy steps with this DIY tutorial!
Re-purpose any glass jar into beautiful home decor by learning how to remove jar labels with this simple hack!
Learn how to make a DIY essential oil diffuser using 3 simple ingredients in this step-by-step with a printable tutorial!
These solar-powered LED deck post caps are the easiest DIY deck lighting upgrade you will ever find. Read my review and see how amazing they look at night! No electricity needed!
This dessert is a creamy burst of fresh strawberry flavor and is the perfect blend of sweet and salty with the yummy crunch of a pretzel crust.
Flaky, buttery biscuits drizzled with a warm creme anglaise and topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream make this strawberry shortcake deluxe recipe a delicious treat for any occasion!
This delicious, creamy homemade mint cookies and cream ice cream takes 30 minutes to prepare and is naturally dairy and gluten free!
With only 3 ingredients this is the easiest homemade Oreo ice cream cake that can be customized in so many ways for any occasion.
With only 4 ingredients this easy key lime pie recipe is a fresh taste of summer that can be enjoyed all year long!
This lemon bar recipe melts in your mouth and leaves a burst of fresh tangy lemon flavor with every bite. Enjoy this taste of summer all year long!
This gluten-free/dairy-free tuna pesto flatbread recipe includes delicious creamy tuna on a flavorful pesto over a crispy cauliflower crust.
This egg roll in a bowl recipe provides a delicious high-protein taste of a classic egg roll but without the carbs!
This slow cooker fajita chicken salad can be made in a variety of ways including low carb, dairy, and gluten-free!
This gluten free and low carb Mediterranean 7 layer dip recipe is a fresh burst of flavor that everyone will enjoy!
Scroll through a gallery of 25 DIY charcuterie board ideas and find inspiration to create your own homemade charcuterie board.
These delicious no-bake chocolate chip protein bites are each packed with 4g of protein and make the perfect nutrient-dense snack that can be frozen for easy grab-n-go!
For more summer inspiration be sure to check out:
Pin any of the images below for later, and shop my home.
?I repurpose jars for a million different uses, but in the summer there’s a lot of different things that I use with those repurposed jars. We use them as glasses, like drinking glasses. Super cute on a picnic table, just like your mason jar glasses, by the way, you guys, I repurpose spaghetti jars, jam jars. Salsa jars. The jars that are olive oil, vegetable oil comes in. If it’s a nice blast jar, I repurpose it, but the worst part of it is getting off the label. It is such a pain. What you do is you run it under hot water, cuz you wanna soften the label. Then you take liquid dish soap and wire brush, and then you use the wire brush to get off the jar label. It comes off really, really easily. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY Healthy Lifestyle blogger Ahna Fulmer, empowering you to transform your life one imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Annana former. I don’t know about you guys, but we are ready for summer break over here. I have school-aged kids, three of them, and summer’s always a strange mix of emotions. I don’t think I’m the only one here, but on one hand, I’m always excited for the summer months because I look forward to the vacations. We are going to spend two weeks at the beach as a family. We have two sisters getting married. And we have a number of other little things planned. So summer will very much be a family affair. Of course, we love the warm weather, but on the other hand, I always feel some trepidation and a little bit of anxiety and stress about the lack of structure and routine that. Is inherently built into our lives when the kids are in school. So I do value routine, although it may come as a surprise to many of you. They do not come naturally to me. I have had to discipline myself over the years to come up with routines cuz I inherently don’t like to be confined to a schedule. But I have disciplined myself, and regardless of whether you are the summer routine mom, you have a structured day for your kids, or you’re the mom who just flies by the seat of her pants, maybe go to the pool. Maybe you don’t. These upcoming months really are a great time to make memories as a family. They’re also a great time to get the little projects done around the house that you might not have been able to do throughout the year. And depending on the age of your kids, this is a great time to involve them in the process. So today we are going to be talking 21 easy budget friendly summer DIY project ideas that you can do with your kids while upgrading your home, as well as some of my favorite go-to recipes that always find their way into our kitchen and cooking repertoire, if you will, every. Summer. As always, the links to all of these are included in the show notes. If any one of them especially stands out or you want to save it for later, remind yourself the links are there, and then you can directly either pin it to your Pinterest account or just simply send the link to yourself, hext it, email it, whatever you need to do to remind you that, oh yeah, I wanna do this this summer. Number one, a DIY brick fire pit. If you didn’t listen to my 11 outdoor entertaining tips that. Episode aired, I think last week or two weeks ago, but that’s full of some of my straight up Stressless, hosting outside Hips, some practical ways to host people. But here’s a project that you can do to make your backyard a slightly more appealing outdoor living space. Is a DIY brick fire pit. Bottom line. You can use any reclaimed bricks. You guys. Facebook marketplace is a great place to look for old bricks. People are always trying to get rid of the leftover stone pavers that they had from their patio, the leftover brick that they had from a walkway or even from a wall or house renovation because what do you do with leftover bricks? Well, Girlfriend, there’s a lot of things you can do. I’ve done a lot of things with leftover bricks, but in this case, this DII brick fire pit, truly it is very easy. I give you the dimensions. I give you the material. You’re basically gonna use an outdoor liquid nails. There’s no power tools. You guys, this is so easy. You basically need liquid nails and a measuring tape. So, so simple. But you can repurpose your old leftover brick and learn how to make this super easy fire pit. With the tutorial number two, those of you who are super into gardening, so we’re currently renting a house, but in all of our previous houses I had a garden of some sort. And one of my great frustrations was when I grew all these, I say all, I only did a couple herbs. Let, let’s not deceive anybody. I am by no means a expert gardener that is for sure couple herbs that I would grow in my garden, but I was never sure how to store them in the fridge for longer. Cuz I always feel like they go bad so quickly. As soon as you pick them, they seem to go bad. So I discovered this hack. I can’t even remember how I discovered this. I don’t know if I saw this somewhere. I have no memory actually of how if this just happened by accident. I think I might have actually seen it in a store. But the bottom line, You don’t even need to click on the link. I’m gonna tell you the hack right now, you actually take the bunch of herbs and you put them in a mason jar that is about one third pool of water, almost like you would do a VAs of flowers and then you put them in the fridge in that mason jar. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s continuing to water them a little bit or keeping them idra. I have no idea. But I found that my herbs lasted a lot longer in the fridge when I. Did that. So that’s a little hack. Restoring your delicious garden herbs for longer this summer in the fridge. Number three, a hack for stringing outdoor solar light. So you created that really cute DIY brick fire pit. Again, I think I mentioned this in the outdoor entertaining tips. Don’t worry, this won’t be like a rinse and repeat of that one. But I did wanna mention this. This is a hack. We’re creating that really cool fireside retreat with stringing outdoor solar light around the fire pit. That one you definitely wanna check out. There’s no wiring just using the sun. This one’s a little bit more advanced, but not significantly. You just need a little bit of sweat. Equity here is a super easy, cheap makeover that is so much bang for your buck. It is number four A D I Y, garage door makeover. You guys, I have done this on the last two fixer-uppers. I was trying to remember. The first one was our Victorian. I did not do it on that one. We had a separate unattached garage, but our second two houses, I did this and it instantly elevates the entire exterior to your home because it transforms a plain, cheap, simple garage door. Into what looks like a carriage style garage door. It really is a high end look on a low end budget, and they’re all magnets. They’re all super, super strong magnets. Literally, you could save several thousands of dollars by using this hack, the cheap DIY garage door makeover, and you can check out the before and afters at the link in the show. Note number five, how to make a Mosquito Repellent Patio Lanter. Per the research, there are several plants and herbs that it is suggested help to repel mosquitoes. I hate mosquitoes and I don’t stop at just the patio planters. I go all out. We do the candles, we do bug spray, all of the above. But if you are going to plant planters and you want the aesthetic peel as well as some functionality, then I highly recommend these plants. And you can click on the link to discover the plants and you can see what the planters look like. But I put these in, I do annual planters as well as perennial planters as well around our outdoor living space. But the cool thing about the planters themselves is you can move them to wherever you want. On your patio if you don’t want boxed ones that are permanent. Number six, how to refinish a wooden picnic table in four easy steps. 10 years ago now, our very first piece of outdoor patio furniture that we bought was a seven foot long wooden picnic table made by a local Amish man. I wanted a really long one because we loved entertaining, and so we frequently had people over and we got a lot of use out of it, but it also was very weather beaten. The. Squirrels were chewing it up. By the time we got to our third fixer upper, basically it was peeling. It was all the things that looked awful, so I refinished it. And then that refinishing did last for a while. In full disclosure, we had this wooden picnic table for 10 years outside, not sheltered from the elements at all. And it is now at the point where we really should probably trash it, not the table, but the benches especially. Actually, the table’s still in decent shape. It’s really more so the benches. So if you want to learn how to refinish, Really any outdoor wooden furniture. This is a great tutorial. I share the products that I use. This one’s a little bit more time intensive, especially if you’re finishing the underside as well, but it really does give it a pretty impressive makeover, and it looks nearly brand new when you finish. Number seven, how to remove jar labels easily with this hack. And you might be like, Ahna, what does this have to do with the summer? I repurpose jars for no less than 3000 things. I repurpose jars for a million different uses, but in the summer there’s a lot of different things that I use with those repurposed jars. We use them as glasses. Like drinking glasses. Super cute On a picnic table, just like your mason jar glasses, by the way, you guys, I repurpose spaghetti jars, jam jars, salsa jars. The jars that are olive oil, vegetable oil comes in. If that’s a nice blast jar, I repurpose it, but the worst part of it is getting off the label. Am I wrong? It is such a pain. Well, this particular hack is a way of getting off those jar labels. Easily. Here’s another one I’m gonna give to you for free. No extra work involved. What you do is you run it under hot water, warm to hot water cuz you wanna soften the label. Then you take liquid dish soap and you put it on an A bristle brush. I don’t think that’s the official term for it. Wire brush. Thank you. That’s what I’m looking for. A wire brush. And then you use the wire brush to get off the jar label. It comes off really, really easily. You can also soak the jars first. That’s often what I do, is I’ll soak them a little bit in soapy water and then I will, while I’m running it underwater, use the wire brush to get off the jar label. It works really well, especially on a high quality glass jar. Again, repurpose it for a million different things. Candles. This is another one. I put little votives in the repurposed glass jars they make for a really nice outdoor picnic table centerpiece. You just line a whole bunch of different sized glass jars down the center of your table, and you can even put like little mosquito repellent citronella votives inside you have tried it all. Worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed. Want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet? Well, now you can in the virtual faster way to fat loss. With Ahna, my six week fitness nutrition program, you will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence-based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat and when you eat, to reset your metabol and burn fat fast. Even that stubborn belly fat. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the Faster Way program. In my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat, 93% report more energy and. 89% state that their mental health has improved. 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the faster way strategies for free. Head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for my free seven day fat loss. Accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. There’s a couple ideas to repurpose your jars this summer. Number eight, A D I y, essential oil diffuser. This one, you have to have certain ingredients to put in, and I also highly recommend a quality essential oil. I would not go with cheap stuff here from experience. It does not work as well. High quality, you know what I mean? Essential oil. Diffuser. You can Google recipes. There’s a lot of different recipes out there in terms of the essential oil blend, the smell that you want, but these are really great for bathrooms as well as outdoor functions. This should maybe even be like a hosting tip, but this is really just like a great DIY for any time of year. But this is easy to do is with your kids as well. But you take reads. And then a certain mixture of, I believe it’s rubbing alcohol and baby oil. I’m trying to remember off the top of my head. It’s very simple though. And then you can determine what oils you want to diffuse up through the reed. Remember repurposing those glass jars? Well, I use repurpose whiskey bottles for these. With the reads, they’re beautiful. Then you’re also able to keep using those really nice glass jars. And again, these could be put anywhere. These could also be put outside and then use some of those bug repellent essential oils. Number nine, D I Y deck solar light. Our third fixer upper had a TRX deck in the back with the vinyl four by four posts. A lot of you probably have these. There are these solar powered l e d deck host caps. They’re the easiest DIY deck lighting solution around You basically take off the plain white vinyl cap that comes with the post and replace the top of it with these post caps. They work really, really well. The one downside that we had is with so many young kids, our kids would often hit them with balls or whatever. So we had several that cracked, but these lasted for a long time. Again, super easy upgrade. They’re not hard to do, no wiring involved. Provide really nice ambient light, and you can actually see what it looks like at night. There’s a picture available. This was at our third fixerupper. Let’s talk recipes. If any of these stand out to you, then you can just get the recipe right off of my blog. All the links included. Number 10, pretzel yogurt Delight. This is one of my favorites. It is a delicious mix of yogurt, as well as cream cheese whipped cream with a salty, sweet, crunchy pretzel crust. Super light, super fresh. One of my favorite summer desserts. Number 11 is strawberry shortcake. Deluxe. This is a little bit of a labor of love to make. I will just warn you about that. But they are flaky, buttery biscuit. These are the base of this recipe actually comes from Joanna Gain’s cookbook, her homemade biscuit as usual. I changed a couple things, but they are really, really good. Drizzled with a warm creme glaze sauce that my aunt has made for probably the past five years. We have gone down to my aunt and uncle’s home in Tennessee and it’s typically been over my birthday for a week with our families. We’re not this year cuz of the weddings, but this sauce. I got from her recipe because she would always make it. My birthday cake of choice has always been strawberry shortcake. My birthday’s in June. So anyway, this creme glaze is from her kitchen. It is delicious. And then you top it with a dollop of my homemade whipped cream. It is fabulous. You can put peaches on this blueberries. Raspberries, strawberries, whatever your heart desires. Again, this one takes a little bit more time to make, but it is absolutely delicious. Number 12, mint cookies and cream ice cream. Years ago, we got Zach, a homemade ice cream maker for Father’s Day. This is probably 10 years ago. We still have it, by the way. Same one. And we have experimented with homemade ice cream recipes multiple times over the years. Our very, very favorite though, is the mint cookies and cream ice cream. It is really, really good. Homemade. The coffee one is also delicious. I can’t remember if it’s on this list or not, but heads up, that one’s also really good. Also on the website. That’s a great Father’s Day gift. By the way, ladies, there’s a thought for you is a homemade ice cream maker. Also a thought, if you like, surprising your kids with something fun after the school year ends, that would be another great surprise is. Buy a, I recommend Ben and Jerry’s homemade ice cream recipe book with a homemade ice cream maker. It’s a really, really fun surprise for your kids to celebrate summer break and then just go through it and make ice cream recipes together. Number 13, my Oreo ice cream cake. This is very possibly one of the top requested summer recipes, which I’m okay with cuz it is incredibly easy to make. The secret is ice cream sandwiches. The easiest homemade ice cream cake in the world. Three ingredients. That’s it. You wanna get really fancy. You can also try my mint Oreo ice cream cake, which just has mint extract in it. That one’s actually my favorite, but Oreo ice cream cake is also good. And then we put cut strawberries and put them on top. Delicious 14 easy key lime pie. When I say easy, I mean quite literally. This is four ingredients, also a favorite in this house. Fresh taste of summer. You can enjoy it all year long, but especially tastes good I think in the warm weather. Month number 15, lemon bars. I am a massive lemon fan. I love lemon flavors. This lemon bar recipe melts in your mouth. And one of the things that I like about my lemon bar recipe is it’s not over the top sweet. I’ve had lemon bars before where I almost feel like I’m scrunching my face up. Not cuz it’s too tangy, but it. It’s just too sweet. So this one’s like a perfect blend of sweet and tangy. Moving on from desserts, I know, let’s talk about some main dishes, some savory. Number 16 creamy tuna, heto flat bread. There are several ways to do this. You can make this gluten-free, dairy free. You can make this. Just dairy free, or you can throw out all the fries and make it with a normal pizza crust, as well as top it with lots of delicious cheddar cheese. There are lots of ways to customize this to your preference. This is a really, really delicious recipe. And basically it’s simply a flatbread. You can just use a pizza crust or a cauliflower pizza crust if you wanna keep it gluten free. And then you put a pesto sauce. You can either make your own or just any basil pesto sauce that you buy in a jar. And then my creamy tuna mix goes on top, and then you can top that. With cheddar cheese, if you want, stick it in the oven, embroil it for four minutes. It’s bubbly brown. Mm. It is really, really good. Lots of ways to customize that one, but it’s really nice. It’s kind of like a light. You can cut it just like you would a pizza. It always tastes really good, especially in the summer. Number 17, egg roll in a bowl. Also a light. Very low-carb dish. This is historically on my blog. This is a fan favorite. The egg roll in a bowl provides that delicious high protein taste of the classic egg roll, but without the carbs. Number 18, slow cooker. The heated chicken salad. Also incredibly customizable, but really, really easy. You can stick the chicken in the slow cooker throughout the day and then customize a salad to your taste. You can also put this stuff in a wrap. And create a fajita wrap instead of a salad. Multiple ways to make this one to your taste. Number 19, Mediterranean seven layer dip. This is a delicious, delicious take on the traditional seven layer like Mexican dip. This is a slightly more healthified version of a seven layer dip, and it is really, really good Mediterranean vibes, and you can actually put shredded chicken in it as well. If you want to make it a one dish dinner light fresh, this one always disappears. This is sort of a go-to that I. Take along to summer get togethers or picnics if I’m supposed to bring like a side dish of some sort. Number 20 is a D I Y charcuterie board. I have several charcuterie posts. One of them is a. Charcuterie board ideas. There’s, I believe, 25 different charcuterie board ideas so you can find inspiration to create your own, but then if you want a super easy step by step guide, there’s another post. You can just type in charcuterie on my website that actually goes step by step, gives you serving amounts and an exact menu to buy, which I created because I literally could not find anything like it on the internet. I wanted an exact serving size, right? Decision fatigue is real. Y’all just tell me what to buy. So there’s two charcuterie board post options, but charcuterie is such a great summer spread. It’s so easy have people bring different parts of the board. If you want to make life less stressful, delegate to accelerate. Friends, ladies, don’t be afraid to ask for help. But those charcuterie posts. Are both perfect for upcoming summer months also for your family. So easy. Number 21. Less but not least, a great snack idea all summer long. These are also great ideas to bring on vacation. They’re my No bake chocolate chip protein bites. These are as they sound, but they are packed with a little bit more protein than the traditional, what do they call protein balls? I don’t even know. But the nice thing is you can freeze them, put them in a freezer bag, make them before your vacation, freeze them, and then they will thaw by the time you get to your destination if you’re driving. But they’re also great during the summer for your kids to just pull out of the freezer. You can pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds and they’re a really great snack idea. That’s. Still packs a nutrient dense punch. I really hope you have found at least one idea, something that has inspired you to go, oh, I might save that one for later, and I highly encourage you to. Pull your kids along, make memories together, and have an amazing summer. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. It is my honor to be here with you. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. If you are watching on YouTube, be sure to click the subscribe button below so you don’t miss a show, and leave a comment with your thoughts from today’s episode below. If you are listening via your preferred podcasting platform, would you help keep us on the air by rating our show and leaving an honest review of your thoughts from today? In case you haven’t heard it lately, your story matters and you are loved. This is your host, Ahna Fulmer, and I will see you here next time on the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast.