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A woman uses fun Instagram Reel ideas for capturing her summer memories.

16 Instagram Reel Ideas That'll Keep Your Summer Vibe As Cool As A Popsicle

Ditch the photo dumps for a fun video montage.

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Posting selfies and photo dumps on Instagram is fun and all, but it can be exciting to try a new way of sharing your favorite memories to your feed. If you haven’t really tried out the Reels feature on Instagram or are a complete newbie, this is your sign to give it a whirl this summer to capture all the fun you’ll be up to. The feature is curated and crisp like your fave influencer's IG feed, and you have the entire library of story effects and fonts you can use in your creation. It might be somewhat overwhelming at first to figure out how to record eye-catching video clips within the app and piece them together, let alone come up with an idea. We’ve got you covered with 16 Instagram Reel ideas for summer to get the creative juices flowing.

Start dreaming up cool Reel transitions to do with your hoodie or setting your phone up so the self-timer can work its magic in a bloomin' field of wildflowers. Of course — like anything else you may post on social media — Reels is not one, giant competition to go viral. You should create what makes you happiest and what best reflects your personality. Although these ideas for summer-themed videos are here to give you some inspiration, let your own individuality shine. That’s why your followers are there in the first place.

Wherever you end up this summer, remember to pull out your phone to capture glimpses of an unforgettable memory on camera. Then, you can choose from these summer Reel ideas based on what you’ve collected, and edit your clips together for an eye-catching video post on Instagram.

01

A Montage Of A Beach Day

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If you have plans to safely set up your beach towel and take in the views of the shore this weekend, then bring this Reel idea to life. Piece together clips of your feet getting soaked by the ocean or your best friend catching a frisbee that you just threw. If you're chilling in your backyard with a kiddie pool instead, show off a table of mocktail ingredients you may have set up or the bright blue sky. Put those clips to "Sunset Lover" by Petit Biscuit.

02

A Guide On How To Make A Smoothie

This Reel idea lets you share a smoothie recipe with your followers and coach them from your kitchen. Start creating it by laying out your go-to ingredients on your counter and panning over the coconut water, frozen fruit, yogurt, or protein powder you use. Then, hold your lens over the blender cup and throw your ingredients into it one at a time while recording. End the Reel by dipping your straw into the smoothie and taking a sip.

03

A Look Into Your Favorite Outfits

Don't underestimate how fun it can be to have a fashion show on Reels and use your summery shoes to create clean transitions. To do this, start by picking out your go-to looks of the season and hanging them on a rolling rack. Place four or five pairs of shoes you'll be wearing next to the rack, such as heels or white sneakers. With each outfit, "hop" into a new pair and then strike a confident or chic pose. The final product will make you so proud.

04

A Skateboard Trick Reel

Show off your skateboarding skills on the 'Gram with this idea that captures your best tricks and tips. You can record as you race down ramps, or have your SO bring your phone close to your feet as you do a kickflip. Turn this Reel idea into a sweet teaching moment or a tutorial by adding your own audio which describes your footwork in 15 seconds or less.

05

A Timelapse Of A DIY Home Project

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In your spare time, you may watch room transformations vids on YouTube so you have an idea of what this Reel idea could look like IRL. It could show the "before" of your bedroom and the "after" when it's been painted, organized, and filled with a vintage-looking dresser and bed frame. It could use the speed effects within the feature to create a time lapse of the process: you vacuuming, planting new plants, and making your bed.

06

A Tour Of Your Backyard Camping Setup

If you're being outdoorsy in your backyard this summer, show it off on Reels. Give your followers a tour of the lights you have hanging up on the inside of your tent and the fire pit you made yourself. Record clips of you and your BFF making s'mores and even rolling out your sleeping bags under the stars, taking pics on disposable cameras, and lighting sparklers. Your Reel will be inspo for others to do the same, and make the most of their space.

07

A Screen Recording Of Your Editing Style

Those who have spent the last few months learning the ins and outs of the Lightroom app or messing around with presets will love this artsy idea. It requires you to record your screen while you edit one of the summery pictures you've posted. It'll show your followers what apps you open and use, and how you work with the highlight and shadow levels. If your edit takes longer than 15 seconds (which is very likely), use the speed effects to turn this video into a time lapse for Reels.

08

A Taste-Test Of A Grill Recipe You Tried

Nothing goes together quite like grilling and summer. You can draw inspo from a recipe from your favorite food account's feed, and then make it for yourself and taste-test it on Reels. Be sure to show yourself grilling, as well as the BBQ chicken or turkey burgers sizzling over the open flame. Hold up on your fingers what you would rate the meal on a scale of one to 10 at the end of the video.

09

A Roundup Of Summer Textures You Love

Have you hopped on the "summer textures" trend yet? It can be turned into a Reel idea, too, by putting your lens super close to a patch of sand, palm leaf, pineapple skin, or slice of a lemon and then zooming out slowly. If you record three to five of these clips, you can then put them together in the app and create a really aesthetically-pleasing video. Ocean waves, the fringe on your beach umbrella, and the rough texture of your cooler can also be eye-catching subjects.

10

A Glimpse Into Your Morning Or Night Routine

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A clever Reel idea you can recreate is to give your followers a glimpse into your summer-inspired morning or nighttime routine. Show your products, what books you are reading, the plants you water, and what you eat for dessert or breakfast. It'll be an easy way to get to know this feature on Instagram and document this beautiful season.

11

A Transformation Of Your Manicure

There’s nothing more satisfying than hitting the nail salon for a fresh manicure. Document the whole trip on Reels by filming shots of your plain “before” nails, your nail tech applying the polish, and the amazing “after.” Whether long acrylics are your jam or you just like a clean coat of color, share your current nail vibe and self-care day in a Reel. Edit the different clips together with fun music for an exciting manicure transformation your friends can use as #nailspo.

12

A Travel Bucket List Reel That Ignites Wanderlust

Everyone has a travel bucket list, and scrolling through Instagram Reels often inspires more dream destinations to add to the list. Collect images and video clips of the amazing places you want to see, from clear blue oceans to towering skyscrapers. Compile your list in order of the places you want to see, and you can also include footage from places you’ve already crossed off your list.

13

A Music Video Starring You And Your Friends

Obviously you and your crew make the best playlists, so choose your favorite song and dedicate a whole Reel to performing like pop stars. Pick out a fun wardrobe, a cool backdrop, then lip sync and act in a music video to a song that perfectly describes your squad.

14

A BTS Reel Of Your Shell Collection

You can’t have a perfect beach day without digging through the sand and hunting for unique seashells. There’s so much to uncover on the shore, like serendipitous discoveries of special rocks, sea glass, shells from sea critters, and, if you’re lucky, priceless sand dollars. Set up your phone camera and film a “haul” of everything you found on your awesome beach day. Make sure to explain why the token caught your eye and let your audience know whether you’ll be taking it home by rating it as a “cop” or “drop.”

15

A Montage Of Your Foodie Adventures

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Foodies will want to capture all their best meals in a photo. However, you can take it to the next level with short video clips of your steaming plates, whether you’re twirling your spaghetti with a fork or busting into an ooey-gooey chocolate lava cake. Edit all the clips together to remember your most delicious meals on an exciting trip or over the whole season. Make sure to capture the ambience of each restaurant you visit and include recommendations so your followers can taste the dish as well.

16

A Tour Of Your Home Library

Bring your followers onto the shelves of your personal library at home. Scan the rows of books on your bookshelf and include quick reviews and recommendations of each read. You can even open a book to your favorite quote and read it aloud in your Reel. If you have a stack of novels you’re itching to get to this summer, create a montage of clips like a list and see if anyone watching has already read it.

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