I was looking for a good way to clean small debris off the bottom of the pool without having to get out the hose and vacuum attachment. I saw this (Amazon.com : Zodiac 5-500-00 Professional SpaWand Hand Held Pool and Spa Cleaner : Swimming Pool And Spa Supplies : Patio, Lawn Garden) hand-pump cleaner on Amazon for for about $30. You put one end in the water then pull the plunger on the other end. Supposedly, it sucks the dirt right up (I have never used one so I can't vouch for how well it works or how well it is built). I wondered if I could build my own. I'm not very handy, so I am proud of what I came up with.
Five foot long PVC pipe with a check valve (one-way valve). Added a piece to both ends to narrow the openings. The top end is narrow enough to be covered by my thumb. To use, simply cover the thumb hole, place in water just above the dirt, release the thumb. Water rushes in to fill the PVC pipe sucking the dirt along with it. The check valve prevents the dirt from falling back into the water. To empty, turn upside down and pour into the skimmer basket.
Cost to build: ~$12