It's finally time to pack away all of your sweaters and cardigans in exchange for your sandals and summer dresses. If the first item on your summertime bucket list is to have a beach day, cross it off this weekend — just make sure you pack the ultimate beach bag before you head out the door. From a cute tote to carry everything in to an Instagram worthy sun hat, these 10 essentials will ensure that your beach day is picture perfect. All you'll have to worry about is when to reapply your sunblock.
Make a Cute Tote Bag
First things first, you're going to need a bag to carry all your stuff down to the beach. Pull out your sewing machine and create this simple tote bag that's so easy to make, even a novice can handle it. Use printed canvas fabric for a professional look and you'll be lounging on the sand in no time.
Or, Add Paint to a Plain Tote Instead
If you're not up for sewing a bag from scratch, just add a tropical design to a plain tote with acrylic craft paint. Print out the pineapple template and use painter's tape to section off four squares for a cool color-block effect. Stick a piece of cardboard inside the bag before you start painting to prevent any bleed through.
Upgrade Your Straw Sun Hat
Take your basic straw hat to the next level just in time for its summer debut. Lightly write the phrase on the brim of the hat to give yourself a guide when gluing down the sequined ribbon. Once you have the sequins glued down, go back over them with a needle and invisible thread to make sure everything stays in place.
Add a Pom-Pom Trim to a Basic Cover Up
Ditch your usual jean shorts and tank top for this chic pom-pom cover up. All of your friends will be hounding you to know where you got it, and you can simply say, "I made it." The best part about this project is that you don't actually have to sew anything — all you need is a little fabric glue and a steady hand.
Make a Matching Bookmark
The beach is the perfect place to dive into that book that's been sitting on your nightstand for the past few months, which means you need a new bookmark to measure your progress. Make one that matches your new pom-pom beach coverup and you'll be the most stylish girl on the sand. This is a quick project and only requires three things you probably already have: yarn, scissors and a piece of cardstock.
Keep Your Sunglasses Safe With a Cute Case
Protect your glasses and keep them scratch-free with a new fabric case. Pick out two coordinating fabrics (one for the outside and one for the inside) and fusible interfacing to help the case keep its shape. You'll never have to worry about misplacing your shades or scratching your specs again.
Carry a Transparent Clutch Filled With the Essentials
Keep all of your must-haves — like your phone, chapstick and sunblock — in this clear clutch. The transparent material means you won't have to dig around to find exactly what you're looking for, so you'll have more time for all of the important things (ahem, working on your tan and catching up on the latest gossip from your BFF).
Finally Fix Those Broken Sandals
No trip to the beach is complete without a good pair of sandals. But instead of buying a new pair, just fix the broken ones that've been sitting in your closet since last summer. You can either reattach the old straps with a safety pin or use a piece of rope to make new lace-up sandals. No matter which method you choose, you'll be strutting to the beach in style.
Tame Your Bangs with an Emoji Hair Clip
The wind can wreak havoc on anyone's hair, especially at the beach. These cute emoji hair clips are perfect for keeping hair out of your face, and are way more attractive than a standard bobby pin. Make a few different clips to express your current mood and your friends will be begging you to borrow them.
Fake a Tan with Liquid Bronzer
The most important thing to remember when hanging in the sun all day is to protect your skin. Even though you won't get much of a tan under your straw hat and all of that SPF, you can still fake a dewey, sun-kissed look with liquid bronzer. A little goes a long way, though, so start with a minimal amount and slowly build until you achieve the perfect complexion. Now that you have everything you need for the perfect beach day, get to the shore!
Ashley Tyler is a South Florida-based freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Nova Southeastern University. When she's not writing, she can be found chasing around her two young sons, cooking up a storm or tackling multiple DIY projects.