Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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DIY Polaroid bunting project

I once lost a whole load of photos when my mobile phone died. It was before the days of the ‘cloud’ (which I’m still not sure I fully understand now..!) when you had to physically plug your phone into the computer to get images off it. That particular phone could access the internet but I never quite worked how to use it properly, and it was an ‘own brand’ phone so there was no chance I could download Instagram or Facebook and back up my photos that way. Nope, those photos were gone and even the phone-fixing-shop agreed that there was no way I’d be able to retrieve the images. Ever.diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-4diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-24This all makes it sound like it was a long time ago so when I tell you that it was less than two years ago you can imagine the kind of leaps I’ve had to take to embracing new mobile technology. It also shows how much I dwell on losing things. Okay, I don’t even remember what images were on that phone (apart from the Tina Turner concert…) but even so I wish I’d backed up. It was so much easier when photos were photos; every image was printed out and the only way you’d lose them was if you dropped the photo album in a puddle.diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-2 diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-3So now, even though my photos are safely shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my blog, and are all stored on my computer, an external hard-drive, a back-up drive, and on all kinds of ‘clouds’, I’d still rather print out a photo to be sure that it’s not going to be lost. Plus, I get to do all kinds of pretty projects with ‘real’ photos such as scrapbooking, photo montages and the Polaroid bunting that I hung up in my caravan earlier today.diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-16 diy polariod photo wall display decoration using polabox-21 Continue reading “DIY Polaroid bunting project” »


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Cleaning my caravan & beautiful spring flowers

April was a good month for getting things done. There were equal numbers of bright days to grey days so everything in out home got sorted out, both inside and out. It’s such a lovely feeling to tick lots of chores off our list and I’m going into May with a big smile on my face, knowing that I have a home and garden that I can enjoy through the spring and summer. vintage caravan spring cleaning_-5Of course there’s plenty more jobs to do – a thrifty gal’s work is never done! – but most the horrible ‘pile of rubble’ unappealing tasks have been sorted out, or at least started on, last month and I feel like we’re getting somewhere. summer flowers hyacinth roses tulips-6Also, it’s the time of year when plants start to grow and blossom blooms so my life has been full of spring flowers this month too. The garden is FULL of primroses in all different colours – I never knew there were so many in our garden and I love them – it’s such a pretty spring flower and I’d love to grow even more next year. We decided not to mow the lawn in order to keep the primrose display in the garden.garden spring flowers_-2 Continue reading “Cleaning my caravan & beautiful spring flowers” »


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My little vintage caravan – Bargain hunting & a beautiful bouquet

Happy Wednesday everyone! We’re halfway through the week and hasn’t it been a glorious one? We’ve been enjoying lovely weather here all week and have been able to get out into the garden to spruce up the veggie patch (blog post coming soon, promise!). Whenever the sun is shining, I head out to my little vintage caravan so I think you can probably guess where I’ve been working from this week. And of course, I always get distracted by all the fun things I can do in my caravan, so I’ve been snapping some photos rather than slaving over my laptop and wanted to share these with you today.roses bouquet of flowers vintage caravan_At the weekend I received a beautiful bouquet of roses from iFlorist. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened up the delivery box and such a huge bunch of gorgeous blooms emerged. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many roses in one bunch before!

Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Bargain hunting & a beautiful bouquet” »


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My little vintage caravan – Caravan Magazine & soft furnishings

After sharing photos of Sian’s beautiful Daisy caravan with you yesterday (and the fabulous vintage party package giveaway – check it out here!) I felt a strong urge to hang out in my own caravan and enjoy the lovely weather.vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions-4So when I finished work yesterday, I took brewed up a cuppa and took myself outside for a little alone time in my caravan. With the sun shining, bees buzzing and birds singing, I threw open the windows and properly ‘aired’ my caravan for the first time this season.vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions and cat-11vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions and cat-10 Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Caravan Magazine & soft furnishings” »


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The beautiful Daisy Caravan

After years of writing about my own little vintage caravan, today I’m sharing a new-found friend with you: Daisy the caravan. She lives in Ellesmere Port and is packed full of vintage charm so I couldn’t resist borrowing some photos from her website in order to share this retro home-on-wheels with you today.Daisy caravanDaisy is a beautiful pre-loved vintage caravan which has been lovingly restored to its former glory by her owner Sian. Weeks of hard work went into fixing up this retro beauty as Sian installed fresh new upholstery and soft furnishings, completely made over the vintage décor and cleaned Daisy from top to bottom.Daisy vintage caravan party hire

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My little vintage caravan – Sewing room storage

Over the past couple of weeks you may have spotted a few blog posts relating to my vintage caravan makeover project and, in particular, my attempt to finally turn my space into a proper craft workshop. I desperately needed somewhere to stash all my creative bits, bobs and books so in the new year I started searching for the ultimate storage solution. vintage caravan craft workshop - storage solution for sewing office-6 Until now all of my essential sewing gear, knitting kit and craft books have been stored in plastic tubs stacked up on top of each other, and boy was that annoying when you wanted to find something in a hurry. It was worse still when I knew exactly where the fabric I needed was stored, and it was at the bottom of a tub at the base of the stack, so everything had to be pulled out and strewn all over the caravan before I could get to it. Pretty much every project that I wanted to tackle began in this way, so I knew that I’d have half-hour’s worth of getting stuff out and putting it back away before I could even get started on sewing something. And that kind of puts you off doing it at all. Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Sewing room storage” »


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My little vintage caravan – Personalised storage

A couple of weeks ago I shared my ideas for a crafty storage solution for my vintage caravan workshop and after a few days of deliberation, delivery and construction I’m now able to share with you some photos of the completed shelving units and cupboards. After making the decision about the configuration of the units I telephoned Verbaudet to put in my order for three 4×4 units, a single box unit and 4 doors, and I didn’t have to wait long before they were delivered to my home. vertbaudet craft storage shelving solution for vintage caravan-13

After unpacking one of the flat-packed units it was clear to me that I’d made the right decision – they are excellent quality and were exactly the right grey-taupe colour I was looking for. The doors have a subtle star pattern printed on them in a matching grey and I couldn’t wait to see the completed combination so I set to work straight away. Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Personalised storage” »


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My little vintage caravan – My crafty storage solution

If you’ve been following my caravan renovation project to turn a grubby old Sprite caravan into a cosy office and sewing workshop, you’ll know how important it is for me to create a space that is both practical and beautiful. I’ve previously addressed the damp issue and in doing so I needed to remove the majority of the existing built-in storage in order to ensure that the caravan stays dry, warm and mould-free. Even though I was able to save the bench seats and table – which has proved to be an excellent workspace for writing and crafting – I still had a severe lack of storage. After literally months of trawling the shops and searching online I found the ideal storage system that could be reconfigured and personalised for the space I had and, most importantly, didn’t cost a fortune. It might be a little out of the ordinary but here’s what I came up with:vertbaudet toys storage units

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An interview about my little vintage caravan

Today I’m proud to tell you that I’ve been interviewed about my little vintage caravan makeover project by the fabulous writer Lela from the Simple Caravan Insurance blog. I’m really pleased with how this article turned out (see the original article here) and wanted to share the interview with you to give you a bit more of an insight into my caravan project.

book review of vintage caravan style by lisa mora

What made you choose the caravan model that you did for your makeover?

I chose this particular caravan for my project partly because of the low price (it was only £100!) and also because the Sprite has a cute curved shape. It was the kind of caravan that I’d conjured up in my mind’s eye as a “vintage” caravan, and I knew that it would look considerably nicer once it had been painted.

When conducting your makeover, did you have a plan from the get-go?

The only plan I had at the start of the project was to strip everything back and start from scratch with an empty shell. The old interior was so badly damaged that only the bases of the seats could be salvaged so once the interior has been removed I could see exactly where damp was coming in and what needed to be done, and only then was I able to make a to-do list. The design of the interior wasn’t planned out at all – all of the makeover decisions were made based on cost! The paint colours were chosen because I’d managed to pick up some end-of-line pots of paint, the wallpaper patchwork wall was made from ends of rolls, off-cuts from friends’ decorating and I even reused old paper that had stripped off my mum’s walls while she was decorating. All of the furniture was bought from charity shops or rescued from a skip, while my fabric was mostly thrifted – the seat covers are my in-laws’ old bed sheets! 

cassiefairy's original caravan

What has been the most difficult part of your caravan makeover so far?

The most difficult part of the makeover was replacing the window trims. It was easy to remove the old window seals because they were crumbling off and letting in a lot of leaks! But adding the new window trims took an entire-day because I needed to move the caravan in order to get access to the rear window and stretching the trim around the frame was complicated – no sooner than I had smoothed one piece into place than another piece would pop off! To make matters worse, I discovered that the side window was held in place with silicone and once this had been removed to fit the window trim, the glass started sliding out of the window and very nearly smashed on the floor! It has now been refitted but I still can’t open the window and it would be good to get it working, so that’s next on the ever-growing list!

 If you did the makeover again, what would you do differently?

I would possibly decorate the space differently, choosing coordinating wallpaper and paints for a more professional finish rather than throwing everything I could get my hands on at the walls! I think this would make the space more desirable if I were ever to sell the caravan in the future. But then again, I’m not intending make a profit nor am I ever planning to sell it, so I’m happy that is becoming ‘my’ space and it is very personal to me. As the project is still evolving I can continue to decorate it and add bits to my patchwork wall as I find them – I doubt it will ever really be ‘finished’!

cassiefairy - my little vintage caravan

What will be the primary use of the space?

 My initial plan for the caravan was to use it as a work space. It would be my version of a garden shed where I could keep all of my sewing equipment and an office space to run my blog Cassiefairy.com from. I use the table as a sewing and writing desk and am currently working on adding more storage space for fabrics and crafts. A second use for the caravan has emerged over the past year: it’s become a spare room. Our house doesn’t have a guest bedroom so when we have visitors either my husband and I will camp out in the caravan (and very cosy it is too!) or my visitors will ask if they can stay in the caravan. So it’s become a very useful second bedroom! It is a also a great space for family meals, because we can’t fit a group of 8/9 around our dining table indoors, but there’s plenty of room in the caravan for a long table and we’ve had many meals out there all year round!

The only thing that I don’t think it will be used for again is towing away for a holiday. This is a shame because I’d love to camp in it, but we needed to remove all the electrics when the caravan arrived (they were rather dodgy) so it would need a complete overhaul of lights for towing, as well as fitting a new electric hook-up point. Also, I’m worried that removing the interior fittings might have destabilised the structure because there is no internal bracing now that the cupboards, kitchen and wardrobe have been removed. I don’t know how much this affects the usability of the caravan but I think it’ll take a lot more work to get it back into towing-and-camping-condition!

little-vintage-caravan-project-diy-makeover

What is your favourite feature in the caravan?

My favourite feature in the caravan is the back window. This may sound like a strange favourite to choose, but it runs across the whole width of the caravan and it opens upwards on hinges to let in a lot of fresh air (a must when I’m working in there on hot summer days!) and I love listening to all the sounds of birds chirping in the garden. It lets in plenty of light so that I don’t need to plug in lamps and when you’re lying in the double bed at night you can pull back the curtains and see a wide-angle view of the stars.

What is left to do? Have you stuck to a timeframe or set a ‘due date’?

I have lots more left to do – some of which I’ve already mentioned: fix the side window so that it can be opened, build in some fitted storage for fabrics etc, paint the interior of the door (I like the idea of chalkboard paint there), add a chest of drawers for guests who stay in the caravan, lay slabs outside the caravan and plant a few flowers, find some steps to make it a little easier to hop in and out of the caravan and, if I’m being picky, I think the outside of the caravan need repainting already because it’s not looking as fresh as it did this time last year!

 Is another caravan makeover on the horizon after this one?

I certainly hope so! I’m completely hooked on caravans – I subscribe to Vintage Caravan Magazine and am always daydreaming about getting a caravan that I can actually tow and take away on holiday. I actually want a smaller caravan; just a little two-berth would be perfect for hubby and I to go away in for a weekend. I’ve found plenty of vintage caravans for sale that have already been renovated but I enjoyed the process so much that I’d like to get my hands on one that hasn’t been touched for years and give it a new lease of life.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-6


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My little vintage caravan ~ Pillows & cushions

Before the summer holidays were out, I fully intended to sleep in my caravan and camp out for a couple of nights while the weather is good. In fact, it’s sometimes a little too hot to sleep indoors so I thought that a night in the caravan would be ideal to cool off. I started looking for bedding and I was lucky enough to snap up this vintage Paddington Bear pillowcase at a table-top sale in a village hall.

vintage Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover vintage Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover-2

I really like the retro design and the fact that Paddington is beside the seaside – it makes me feel like my caravan could be anywhere. Plus the design reflects the lighthouse in the appliqué cushion that I’d previously made. Yesterday was the ideal night to camp out and we decided to stay in the caravan, watch the stars in the clear night-sky and fall asleep under the glow of the my pretty purple solar-powered fairy lights.

Retro Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover

It was very comfortable to sleep on the cushion pads that I’d re-covered and now all I need is a vintage-inspired duvet cover for the cooler months and my caravan will be a great place to sleep out all year round!

Also today is the last day to vote for Cassiefairy.com for the Best Lifestyle Blog award in the Cosmopolitan blog awards EEK! So please hop onto the Cosmo website and cast your vote TODAY – thank you SO much!

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