How to have a completely DIY summer for FREE – you can even make a zero-cost magic solution to deter those pesky bugs | The Sun

FROM getting the garden ready to hosting a barbecue to remember, summer can feel like a big expense.

There are paddling pools to buy, mouths to feed, and kids to entertain – but there are plenty of clever tips to ensure you can save money this summer.

Here, experts including Miss Date Doctor relationship therapist and life coach Nia Williams share all the simple DIY tricks you can use to have the best summer ever, but on a budget.

Nia says: “Summer is finally here, and it's time to soak up the sun and enjoy the great outdoors!

"As an expert in DIY hacks, I've got some tips and tricks to make your summer fabulous.

"Whether you're hosting a BBQ, having people over for summer drinks, or just looking for some fun activities to do with the kids, I've got you covered…"


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A bug's life

First up, let's talk about keeping those pesky flies and mosquitoes away.

Nia says: "Instead of using chemical sprays or bug zappers, try hanging some bags of water around your outdoor space.

"It might sound strange, but it's a cheap and effective solution!

"The way the light reflects off the water creates an illusion that confuses the bugs and keeps them away.

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"Plus, it's a fun science experiment to do with the kids."

Drink up

Next, let's talk about drinks.

Nia says: "We all know that keeping drinks cool in the summer heat can be a challenge, especially if you don't have a cooler.

"But fear not! Freeze some grapes and use them as ice cubes.

"Not only will they keep your drinks cool, but they're also a tasty snack once they thaw out.

"If you're hosting a BBQ, try making your own drinks cooler out of a kiddie pool and some PVC pipes.

"Fill the pool with ice and place the pipes in a grid pattern.

"Then, place your drinks in the pipes and voila!

"You've got a fun and functional drinks cooler that's sure to impress your guests.

"Also if you're having people over for summer drinks, make some homemade drink holders out of pool noodles.

"Cut the noodles into sections and then cut a slit down the middle.

"Slide your drink into the slit, and you've got a cute and colourful drink holder that will keep your hands dry and your drink cool."

Grow your own

Nothing impresses guests round for dinner than homegrown produce, and you don't need to spend loads to do so either.

Gardening expert Jane Perrone, who has teamed up with Mash Direct, says: "Before you start growing, consider what you like to eat.

"It’s easy to think you have to grow potatoes, leeks and lettuces but growing ingredients for your favourite dishes will motivate you to really take care of it.

"If your budget’s tight, raid the kitchen for some free and easy crops: try sprouting an avocado or mango tree from a discarded stone.

"You can also grow micro-greens from coriander, fenugreek and mustard seeds from your spice rack, and make the most of supermarket herbs such as parsley and coriander by removing them from their pots and teasing apart individual plants.

"Repot them individually to keep them growing far longer."

Aftersun solution

For those hot summer days when you've spent a little too much time in the sun, you can make your own DIY aftersun to cool yourself down.

However, always ensure you are careful and use suncream to prevent getting burnt.

Nia says: "Mix equal parts of both aloe vera and coconut oil, and apply to sunburned skin for a soothing and moisturising effect.

"Plus, it smells amazing!"

A simple summery snack

One for kids and adults alike – if you want a simple snack that is healthy and guaranteed to cool you down in the sun, try these simple strawberry ice lollies.  

Peter Sidwell, chef at kitchen retailer CookServeEnjoy, says: “If you’ve got kids coming round for a summer party, ice lollies are a great snack to have.

"Children can even get involved with making them for a fun summer activity. 

"Take the compote from a Strawberry corner yogurt and spoon into the bottom of an ice lolly mould before topping off with the yoghurt.

"Or, fill the mould with a pre-made or homemade strawberry and banana smoothie before freezing for at least two hours.”

Get creative with the kids

Finally, for those days when the kids are bored and you're running out of ideas, try making some homemade garden accessories.

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Nia says: "Paint some rocks to make garden markers, or make a bird feeder out of a pinecone and some peanut butter.

"The possibilities are endless, and it's a great way to get the kids outside and engaged with nature."

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