Want to put your beach finds to practical use? Turn a pair of pretty shells into a soap dish. Clam or scallop shells are ideally shaped for holding bars of soap. Wash one big shell and one small shell. Make a ring of crumpled newspaper to cushion them as you work. Attach the big shell to the small shell, back to back, with a dab of two-part epoxy. Place the shells in the ring of newspaper, small shell down, so the paper supports the top shell and keeps it from slipping out of place. (Be sure the epoxy doesn't touch the paper.) Let dry thoroughly.
Embellish plain sunglasses with sequins, seashells, or confetti hand-punched from colorful paper. Just apply craft glue to the object, then press it onto the frame. (For heavier items, an adult should use craft cement.) Let dry completely before striking that movie-star pose.
Free from gritty sand and briny water, beach pails are pleasing to the eye, with their sturdy proportions and bold palette. So put them to decorative use, on display as cachepots hiding less attractive flowerpots within. Collect your favorites from the local discount store.
The beach is the perfect place to indulge any hidden architectural impulses. A little wet sand is just right for building a simple castle, an intricate palace, or even something more exotic such as a human figure, a face, or an animal. But to do the job right, you'll need to equip yourself with the proper equipment, including lightweight shovels, such as feed scoops; a bucket; funnels to create a roof for the castle's top; putty knives for fine detail work; brushes; straws for blowing sand out of tight spaces; ice pop or craft sticks; and a pouch in which to keep it all. Look for all these items at hardware, toy, or pet stores.
Like a swimmer at the beach, seashells need a good shower before they're ready for the house. Getting all the grit out of the shells by hand is a challenge; instead, slip them into the utensil basket of the dishwasher, and run them through a cycle. They'll be clean and ready for display when they come out.
Losing a set of keys in the jumble of a beach bag -- or worse, in the sand -- can put a damper on your day. But it is easy to keep them close at hand with a steel shower-curtain ring. Simply clip the ring onto the handle of your bag and slip on your key ring; you'll always have your keys in sight.
To avoid tracking in sand or soil after a day at the beach or working in the garden, set up a rinsing station just outside your door or at another convenient location. A teak bath mat provides slip-free footing and good drainage. The steady stream from an ordinary watering can cleans every unwanted speck from your feet and flip-flops or waterproof garden shoes.
Over the years, the seats of old, reliable beach chairs may begin to tatter, fray, or show other signs of wear and tear. If you need to replace a seat or simply want to customize your chair, try ticking -- a washable, durable, and attractive fabric traditionally used to cover feather mattresses and pillows as well as to line suitcases and suits.
Add our own favorite feel-good tunes to your summer playlist for an outdoor party.Download the Songs
Party ideas for celebrations under the sun.See the Ideas
Kick off your summer get together by sending one of these free invitations from pingg.com.Create an Invite
Make one of our favorite grilling recipes for the perfect summer cookout in the backyard.Get the Recipes
Celebrate the season with crafts, recipes, and party ideas for spring.Get the Ideas