Summer fun just screams pool party, but the novelty of being in the water can easily wear off after a hot afternoon. But how can you avoid having to handle a gaggle of grumpy pool-goers or keep even the most low-key night by the pool exciting? Store-bought additions are expensive and options are limited; your best bet is to design your own DIY custom pool upgrades. When you’re making it yourself, you save money and can create anything to meet your family’s unique needs, whether you have pool parties or relaxing evenings in mind (or both!). And the best part? If you get started now, you’ll be all set to kick up your feet, enjoy the upgrades, and relax by the pool all season long. Get inspiration here and dive into your own DIY pool upgrade!

Pallet Pool Organizer

Craft your own pool decor by yourself this summer season!
Wooden pool decor. Source: Dumpaday

Any parent knows one of the drawbacks of throwing a pool party for the neighborhood kids and their families - you spend more of your time cleaning up toys than partying. But with this DIY pallet pool organizer, cleaning supplies and toys have a designated space and can be taken out and put away by the kids themselves, leaving you free to socialize and enjoy the party. Plus, this DIY is easy to make as extensive as you want - with a second pallet you can design a towel storage station or even an outdoor shower.

DIY Toys

Fun home designed playthings for the exterior pool!
Fun toys! Source: OurBeautifullyMessyHouse

Now that we have a place to put them, you might want to consider some DIY toys for younger pool-goers this year (though we won’t judge if you decide to play too!). From easy DIY sponge toys to stringing a water balloon pinata over the pool (you can try breaking the balloons with pool noodles), the options are endless and totally customizable for the number of kids, their ages, and time of day. Why stick to store-bought toys when you can have homemade ones that are so much cooler?

Swim-Up Bar

People absolutely love the swim-up bar.
Classic swim-up pool bar. Source: DigitalTrends

A favorite in fancy hotels and beach resorts, swim-up bars make lounging by the pool that much more relaxing. Adults and kids alike can hang out in the cool waters of the pool and enjoy a refreshing beverage without having to ever get out of the water and step foot on the hot concrete. Swim-up bars are a great option to think about for entertaining too so you can enjoy the party you’re throwing and spend as much time in the pool as out. Plus, what kid (or adult) wouldn’t go crazy over the idea of a swim-up ice cream sundae station?


A pretty image of a fireplace near the swimming pool.
Fire and water. Source: VacationRentalPics

It can be a ton of fun to hang out by the pool even if you’re not actually in the water, and a poolside fireplace or firepit can set the mood … and create a great space for roasting marshmallows! DIY firepits/fireplaces are actually super easy projects as long as you have a non-grassy space for them, and if not it’s just as easy to create one custom for your space, with or without a contractor’s guidance. Definitely an upgrade to a plain outdoor space around the pool!

Privacy Trellis

Nothing better than sitting poolside!
Wonderful swimming pool. Source: MiamiRealEstate

Spending time in the pool feels a lot less appealing when your backyard backs up to one (or even two or three) other houses - who wants to go to their own private pool in that much of a public setting? Installing a fence might make good neighbors (as the saying goes) but can make a yard feel small; instead, build a DIY trellis fence for privacy and decor. Using a trellis lets in light but maintains your privacy, and you can easily add an attached pergola for a bit of shade over a seating area. The latticework of a trellis allows you to grow any number of climbing plants over the trellis (from ivy to grapes to tomatoes). Think about tropical flowering vines for an added flair!