Budget Friendly Update for Camping Trailer-Part 1

When planning a make-over for a camper or RV, it is important to consider how you will be using the space in addition to how you want it to look. If I were choosing something to look at, I would consider something like these that I have pinned to my Pinterest board:

Absolutely adorable, right?

Rv Trailer Decorating | RV Glamping / Shabby chic vintage style camper trailer decor

Or this one. So cute.

But I can’t see Saint moving all the darling accessories out of his way to prop up his feet after a hard day of fishing. So, I had to think about what we could both live with. We needed:

  • A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
  • Something that will travel well without having to be put away and gotten out at each campground.
  • Light and open (as much as a small trailer can be.)
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comfortable with a homey, resort feel.
  • DIY improvements that were affordable.
  • Something that would retain its value.

We decided on a coastal cottage look. The most bang for the buck came from painting the oak cabinets.  We had paint leftover from repainting our kitchen cabinets. We used TSP to clean them, removed the doors and drawers, and used a good oil based paint. We did two coats without a primer and the coverage was fine. The white glossy color was too bright for the tones  of the counter top, floors and walls. I wanted a driftwood tone, so I bought a small can of Sandalwood stain (gray tones) and wiped it on and off, leaving an antique look in the crevices. It achieved that driftwood look I wanted and by using paint I already had, the project cost less than $10.00.

We took the old gold hardware off and sprayed it  with RustOLeum oil rubbed bronze paint. Well worth the $7.00!

The next thing we did was remove the old 80’s valances from all the windows. For all except the bedroom, I used fabric that I already had. Natural and traditional burlap, blue striped “ticking” fabric, and some white sheers I already had were altered. I used lots of inspiration from things on Pinterest, especially the fabric flowers that I cut and stitched and hot glued.

I decided on a nautical navy and white stripe fabric for recovering the booth cushions. We did not remove the old upholstery. It was easy to simply wrap the fabric around like a package and duct tape it to the back. If and when we want to change it, it will be simple to do. We also used burlap to cover the padding around the seats, above the door, and under the sofa.

So, here is a before and after picture of what we have done thus far:

DINING BOOTH BEFORE

Dining Booth Before

 

DINING BOOTH AFTER

Dining Booth After

 

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Kitchen Before

KITCHEN AFTER

Kitchen After

I made the pillows out of the burlap and striped fabric I had left, and I did a faux screen print of a starfish and seahorse that I linked to on an earlier post here. I used a twin fitted knit sheet from WalMart to “slip cover” the sofa; totally removable and washable. Added cost, $17.00 for the set, and I used the flat sheet on the top bunk in the back.

So, what do you think, so far? I’m loving it…and right on budget.

Total thus far: $34.00

Latest Curtain Caper for the Camper

DSC00097        BEFORE

I’ve been putting off doing anything about the curtains in the “guest” bedroom area of the camping trailer because…well, I didn’t quite know what to do with them. Curtain panels were attached to a plastic strip containing evenly spaced gripper- things that made them slide along a track. When I don’t know what to do about something, I usually get Saint involved. If he were a sign holder, this is what he would say:  HAVE DRILL, WILL WORK FOR FOOD.

He had little trouble taking the strips off. Evidently the previous owners did not know how easy it was because these panels had not been washed in years forever. I decided to hand wash them since they had all that plastic hardware still attached. I knew I didn’t want to rehang them, but none of the other ideas I had for curtain rods would work since the second door/emergency exit area which contained the windows left us very little space.

Then, I had another brilliant idea! Why not simply recover the old panels with new fabric? I wanted more light filtering/blocking curtains, anyway, to help with privacy, heat, and light. I also wanted to continue the nautical/coastal theme. I chose some navy fabric with white stars. Here are easy DIY directions:

DSC00098DSC00099

  1. Remove curtains, retaining all screws and hardware. (I put them in baggies and labeled them “top” and “bottom window.”) Leave the plastic strips and clips attached to the curtains.
  2. Lay each panel, right side down on the wrong side of the new fabric. Cut your new fabric an inch larger all the way around. This will be the fabric that you turn down for your hem.

DSC00127You can see here that I’ve turned it down at the top already.

3.  Turn the fabric down and pin baste it all the way around.

4. Sew a shirt tail hem all around the edge, being careful to avoid the little plastic grippers.

DSC00129

DSC00128         DSC00135

It should look like this when you finish. You can now slide it back onto the track that you removed from the window. The back side still looks just like the original curtain. (See photo above.)

5. Do the same to all the panels. When you have them reattached to the track, it is time to get the Saint involved, again. Screw the tracks (with curtain panels attached) back into the door.If you don’t have a Saint, you can do this yourself. It’s not rocket science.

DSC00147Here’s what the curtains look like on the bottom window. For the top bunk, I wanted to add a shabby valance. I made this one by cutting scrap fabrics (all from the coastal theme) into strips and loop-tying them around a standard curtain rod.

DSC00144           DSC00143

Isn’t that just cute? And all for a yard and a half of fabric!