Summer is here, and it is beckoning hard for us to come outside, soak up the sun, and maybe do a couple of fun craft projects that won’t drain our wallets. There are lots of inexpensive and easy projects to keep us all entertained under the warmth of the summer sun. They’re great for keeping grownups occupied, but also totally kid- friendly! Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite crafty and creative ideas.

1. Homemade bird feeders

Want to encourage feathered friends to come hang out in your yard? Homemade bird feeders are just the attraction you need. They’re super simple to make, and a fantastic way to recycle household items. You can use anything from an old teacup and saucer to a plastic bottle or pine cone. Just attach a string, fill it with birdseed, and hang it from a tree. You’ll be helping keep the birds fed with your all-you-can-eat seed buffet, and also creating some great bird-watching opps right in your backyard. (Be sure to always keep your feeders stocked—angry birds are only fun in video games, and they can write some mean Yelp reviews!)

2. Mason jar solar lights

Capture the magic of summer nights with DIY solar lights. Grab some mason jars and tiny solar panels (the kind you usually see in inexpensive garden lights. You can buy them on Amazon or in most craft stores) and create your own little sun jars. They’re perfect for lighting up summer evenings on the patio, or adding a twinkly touch to late-night picnics. Plus, they’re energy-efficient and add a whimsical, firefly-like glow to any outdoor space.

3. Upcycled tire swing

Old tires don’t have to go to the landfill—they can start a whole new life as a tire swing in your backyard. All you have to do is find an old tire, clean it up, paint it a fun color with some outdoor paint, and tie it with a strong rope to a sturdy tree branch. It’s a timeless (but not tireless) project that promises hours of fun for kids (or the young at heart. It’s a fact that you’re never, ever too old for a tire swing).

4. Garden stepping stones

Create a charming pathway through your garden with custom stepping stones. Use quick-setting concrete and a mold (a pizza box or a large cake pan works great). Decorate each stone with pebbles, broken tiles, mosaic-like, or even glass marbles for a splash of color. It’s always fun to work with quick-setting concrete (you can pretend you’re a mafia boss making cement shoes for a rival mobster), and the creativity of the decorating part is really satisfying. Plus, you’ll have the most stylish garden around!

5. Repurposed book nook bench

Got old bookshelves lying around? Transform them into a cozy reading nook bench. Position the bookshelf horizontally, attach a thick cushion on top, and add soft pillows. It’s the perfect way to enjoy your summer reads outside. It even doubles as extra outdoor seating for guests.

6. Painted rock garden ornaments

For an alternative to the classic garden gnome (we’re not dissing the gnome, far from it, but those guys are pretty hard to make), you can paint up some decorative rocks. Rocks are everywhere, and free, so this is an easy and super cheap project. Just collect some smooth rocks and paint them with designs or with the names of your plants and herbs—these are way cuter than those little plastic tags that come with plants. Functional and stylish!

7. Bottle cap wind chime

Got bottlecaps? Even if you don’t, they’re usually pretty easy to collect. Gather some together, and you’ve got the start of a charming wind chime. Paint your caps in bright, cheerful colors—or go muted or earth tones, this is your project so you do you! Then, drill holes through the center of each cap and string them together with fishing line or string. Hang it up where it can catch the breeze, and enjoy the sweet tinkling sounds.