Whether you’re entertaining yourself or your young ones during this multi-month break from school, having a repertoire of affordable summer crafts from which to choose will make all the difference. Whether your family enjoys nature crafts or more traditional art projects, there’s plenty in this article to pique your interest.

Bat Houses

If natural gardening is your passion, then building a bat house is a great summer craft project to embrace. The fact that these critters can gobble up to a thousand insects per hour means you’ll enjoy your time outside more, and spend less on pesticide. Score! What I also like about this particular summer craft project is that it isn’t a frilly project like so many of the other ideas out there in web land. It’s great for boys, and also for those girls that prefer a more hands-on type of experience.

Tie Dye

I’m a huge fan of tie dye projects when it comes to family fun and affordable summer crafts. There are many reasons to love tie dye. First, it allows you to recycle any number of cloth items around the home in a way that’s relatively simple for those who are craft capable. Also, kids of all ages love to participate, making it a great way to produce tee shirts for family reunions, class outings and more. Tie dye projects are also flexible, allowing you to create colorful items out of anything from bed sheets to bandanas, and tee shirts to tablecloths.

Stepping Stones

If you’re looking for classic, affordable summer crafts, it’s pretty tough to beat the basic garden stepping stone. This project can be decorated with anything from riverbed pebbles and marbles to seashells and leaf patterns. They can be made in mass to create a walkway in your garden, to mark the grave of a dearly departed pet or to give as a gift to grandparents, aunts, uncles and other loved ones. Once you have the mold, materials are cheap. You can even use broken china or pottery to create mosaics.

Beaded Safety Pin Projects

Having worked with nearly every age group, I can tell you that beaded safety pin projects are popular from early childhood right up through the teen years. This bead and pin bracelet is a great afternoon project for high school kiddos, but there are other simple pin projects the younger ones can get into as well. I remember being totally into the individual beaded pins that we would hook onto the top band of our sneaker laces when I was growing up. Friends would trade them, and have a large batch ready to hand out once school got back in from summer vacation. They can also be used to decorate book bags, backpacks and other take-to-school gear.

Summer entertainment doesn’t have to break the bank. These affordable summer crafts demonstrate that some of the coolest things to make don’t cost much at all.