By Taylor Makakoa

As summer barrels around the corner, we Las Vegans find ways to “beat the heat.” We either enjoy the beautiful summer nights, or we wake up early for outdoor activities. A fun activity that allows you to do both is to use the morning hours to create inexpensive outdoor furniture that you can enjoy in the evenings (because very few things are as beautiful as Vegas summer nights).

One suggestion is to create new outdoor furniture from wooden pallets. You can build a dining table, a patio shelf, stools and even a chaise lounge using just a hammer and nails. If you want to get really creative, there are actually ways to create pallet furniture without using any hammers or nails at all! You can also use these pallets to create gardens. The best part: There are dummy proof websites to walk you through the construction.

Another fun yet relaxing way to enjoy Vegas summer nights is to set up an outdoor movie theater! To enjoy outdoor movie night without the hassle, go ahead and buy a screen and sound system. The only work you have to do is the setup. However, if you are looking to enjoy a family activity or if you are just feeling a Martha Stewart vibe, then create it yourself using items you may already own. White sheets can be repurposed (and I’m always for repurposing, recycling and upcycling) to create the screen. You can use your computer or smartphone as the source for the movie, although you will likely have to purchase a projector since few people already own one–they even make them for smartphones.

Hopefully your family enjoyed bonding time while you were assembling your new furniture and building your theater, but now it is your turn to sit back on your new chaise lounge and enjoy a Vegas summer night.

Taylor MakakoaTaylor Makakoa is model and performer in Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment live at The Mirage