Easy DIY summer projects

With the kids home for the summer, why not keep them entertained with some simple projects?

DIY projects are fun activities that the entire family can enjoy.

  • They promote reducing, reusing and recycling
  • They’re easy on the wallet
  • They result in one-of-a-kind items that you may not be able to find in stores
  • The gift giving possibilities are endless—it’ll come straight from the heart.

Keep the kids busy all summer long with these simple DIY projects:


Shadow box collage

A shadow box is a great way to display treasured keepsakes and turn them into wall art. Feel free to fill your shadow box with highlights from family members’ lives and include items like luggage labels, maps, postcards, report cards, badges, or awards. The possibilities are endless.

Materials needed:

– Wooden box with sliding lid (glass or plastic is preferred)
– Keepsakes
– Craft glue, pins, tacks, or brooches


  1. Focus on a theme.
  2. Gather and find mementos, photos or other personal items you would like to display.
  3. Arrange and layer all items inside the box.
  4. Hammer a hook into the wall where you’d like to display the shadow box.
  5. Hang it up for the world to see.

Junk fort

Children of all ages love forts! And let’s be honest—sometimes adults do, too. Homemade forts don’t have to be elaborate; cardboard boxes or some blankets and scrap wood will work. Sheets, shower curtains, or scrap cloth always add a cozy finishing touch.

kids fort

Materials needed:

– Miscellaneous salvage items (yard sales are a great place to look for items that can be added to your fort)
– Wood pieces
Blankets or old bed sheets


  1. Search the house or yard for wood or other random supplies to build your fort.
  2. Set up the walls by using sticks, chairs or boxes. Anything tall will work just fine.
  3. Place blankets or bed sheets on top for shelter.
  4. Place furniture inside.

Spray painted T-shirts

This is a great project for beginners and perfect for anyone looking to customize their own clothing!


















Materials needed:

– An old T-shirt (preferably plain and free of logos or designs)
– Spray paint
– Masking tape
– Newspaper (to protect your work area)
– A sheet of cardboard that can fit inside your shirt


  1. Lay the shirt on a flat surface – preferably outdoors to make cleanup a breeze.
  2. Place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to avoid paint seeping through the front and back.
  3. Create a design of your choice by placing masking tape on the shirt. For example, you could design vertical or horizontal stripes, shapes, etc.
  4. Take a few steps back and spray paint the shirt.
  5. Wait approximately 5 minutes for the paint to dry.
  6. Remove the tape.

What are your favorite DIY projects and which ones do your kids enjoy the most?

Sam Landa edits the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? blog and is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.

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