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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My Little Vintage Caravan – My storage article in Caravan Magazine

Wooo my little vintage caravan has made it into the June issue of Caravan Magazine. My little blue Sprite is becoming quite the celebrity in the touring world! I’m excited to share the article with you today and show off my little renovation project again.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-2So here it is: a double-page spread! In the article I discuss the progress of my caravan makeover and how difficult it had been to find storage that would fit. Aside from my very tiny desk (which had a pastel pink makeover and a patchwork interior) I couldn’t find any storage cupboards that would even fit through the door of the caravan. Even if I could have manoeuvred a chest of drawers in through the window, most items of furniture are too deep for the narrow space in the caravan. A standard piece of furniture would stick out too far into the centre of the caravan and cause a bottleneck into the space. I needed a space that I could use for crafting, cutting out patterns and sewing, so I didn’t want to fill up all the room with furniture.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-4That said, I did need storage. Somewhere to store my fabrics, ribbons, books, paperwork, buttons and bobbins – along with my Maneki Neko collection of course. So what was the solution? Why, children’s furniture, of course! It’s smaller and more narrow than conventional furniture so it fits in the limited space nicely. Plus, it’s flat-pack furniture so I could take it into the caravan in pieces and construct it in-situ. I wrote all about my new caravan storage solution on my blog so have a read, check out all the photos and let me know what you think of this idea.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-5And if you get hold of a copy of Caravan Magazine this June, please let me know what you think of my first article too. It’s also online at OutandAboutLive.co.uk so you can have a read of the full article there too. It’s very exciting for me, and I’d love to know what kind of a response it’s had so please get in touch by leaving me a comment below or by tweeting me @Cassiefairy. caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-6


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My little vintage caravan project ~ take a seat

I’ve finally started what I was most looking forward to doing with my little vintage caravan project – creating a lovely place to sit. Yes, it’s soft furnishings time! I’ve spent a couple of hours at the sewing machine and I’ve made my own covers for the bench seat pads using an old duvet cover that my in-laws had given to me ages ago and I’d not got round to using the fabric. It is a cotton fabric and it is printed with a patchwork design which is much easier than trying to patchwork a seat cover myself, and it gave me lines to follow while I was sewing it!

Cassiefairys little vintage caravan makeover project diy sewing cushion pads for bench seat with patchwork duvet

Although the old bench seat cushions looked awful and the fabric was shredded (had something been living in there??), the foam underneath was in good condition and, of course, it fitted the bench seats perfectly so I didn’t need any point in replacing it completely. I stripped off the old tatty covers and set to work making a replacement cover for the foam pads. I simply placed a rectangle of the fabric over the foam and pinned the corners in place. I then took the fabric to my sewing machine and stitched the corners before adding a back piece to the fabric and stitching around three sides. I then stretched it over the foam and hand stitched the open side to close it. You can probably guess that theses aren’t removable covers – but I won’t be taking the caravan away on holidays so I doubt I’ll make enough of a mess on them to need to wash them. Nothing that a damp sponge wouldn’t sort out anyway! And if, during the lifetime of the caravan, I do have a big spillage, I will simply unpick the hand-stitching, wash it and stitch it back up. So here are the finished seat covers:

cassiefairys vintage caravan camper project patchwork quilt cushion pads for bench seat

Check out my other vintage caravan articles below to follow my progress of my little makeover project and tweet me @Cassiefairy with photos of your own caravans, campers or workshops – I need all the inspiration I can get and I’d love to know what you think! :)

More caravan articles:


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My little vintage caravan project ~ All the trimmings

Okay this might not be the most interesting subject of a blog post, but it is part of my vintage caravan makeover, so I’ve snapped some photos of the window trim being replaced. Although it’s not exciting, it is essential, because the old brown window trim had cracked and was falling off, and therefore had the potential to let rain into the caravan during the winter. So it needed to be replaced, and fast. So I hopped on Ebay (where else can I find something as unusual as caravan window trim) and I ordered a 10 metre roll of bright white trim.

The trim comes in very specific millimetre-by-millimetre width measurements and for the first time in my life, I actually checked what size I needed before ordering it. I needed to measure the inside space within the trim so I cracked another piece off and carefull measured it. When the trim arrived, I realised why it needs to be so precisely measured – any smaller and it wouldn’t have fit over the edge and would have pinged off, and just one millimetre later would have made it loose and flappy with potential for letting damp in again. I thought replacing the trim would be an easy process – the original brown trim crumbled off pretty easily anyway – but no. It turns out that there are a lot of window fixings to remove before you can start and the fixings were mostly rusty and firmly screwed in place – so this became a job for hubby.

Cassiefairys vintage caravan makeover project - retro window trim

We also had to move the caravan down the garden because we had parked it too close to the fence to be able to open the back window, so we pulled it out of its parking space and got to work on replacing the trims. After a couple of hours of working in the garden on a boiling hot day, we were flaking out and we still had to get the caravan back into position. I now realise that there is a very slight slope n the garden – not enough to notice in everyday life, but certainly noticeable when you’re trying to push a caravan up it! To make a long story short, after a lot of huffing and swearing (and bruising) we got the beast back in its place, and slightly further away from the fence so that we don’t a repeat incident!

Anyway, I’m very happy with the new trims – I’m certain that it even deters creepy crawlies, because I’ve seen non since it was fitted! Just look at that lovely white curve in the photos above – very pleasing! Also, I’ve found that I’m opening my windows a lot more, simply because it is easier to open them now. So, a rather dull window makeover, but definitely one that I’m pleased with, and will help to keep my caravan in good shape for many years to come. Here’s something a bit more exciting – some ideas that I’ve found on Pinterest (check out my Caravan Love board for all the links!) for caravan seat covers – because the next thing I’m working on is soft furnishings yaaay!

Cassiefairys caravan love pinterest board - ideas for vintage caravan makeover project interior soft furnishings

Check out my other vintage caravan articles below to follow my progress of my little makeover project and tweet me @Cassiefairy with photos of your own caravans, campers or workshops – I need all the inspiration I can get and I’d love to know what you think! :)

More caravan articles:


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My little vintage caravan project ~ A fresh start with a new look

If you’ve not already read about my new caravan workshop project, please have a read of how I came across my little caravan (and all about clearing it out in preparation for painting) the links are below. I like the shape of my caravan – I think it’s small and round and cute, but I don’t really care for the colour. It’s white on the sides, cream above and below and orange at the ends. In fact, the orange was the only bit that I liked – but unfortunately it was mostly rubbed off and worn away. When I cleaned my caravan for the first time, quite a lot of the orange disappeared and I was left with a mottled mess (you can actually see the aluminium coming through on the orange section in the photo below!). So that was my decision made for me. It had to go.

cassiefairys vintage caravan project original photos of sprite

Seeing as I’m not planning a retro restoration, I decided that now would be the time to start afresh and choose a new colour. As I was cleaning the caravan I also removed a lot of green gunge from the surfaces and in the end, the cream sections didn’t look too bad, so I decided to keep these cream (and the little cream ‘eyelids’ over the windows were cute too!) and choose a colour that would look nice with this base. I used exterior paint suitable for metal and I chose a colour to be mixed up to make sure that I got exactly the cheerful, sunny-sky blue that I wanted for my little caravan. I only needed about half of a 5 litre pot, and I rollered it onto the surface. I’m sure that some people would criticise me for painting it this way, but it’s not going to be travelling anywhere and it looks great. If it wears off at all in the future, I’ve got another half of a tub of paint to re-paint it with anyway! 

cassiefairys vintage caravan project painting exterior baby sky blue

The paint took about a day to full dry with two coats and it looks like a brand new caravan now. The cream and blue works well together and it’s starting to look like the vintage caravan on my dreams. I’m still taking inspiration from other retro caravans so here’s another caravan inspiration from Pinterest which was one of the very first caravan photos that I pinned to my Caravan Love board – love the pink fairy lights!

pink vintage camper from cassiefairys pinterest caravan love board

Related caravan articles


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My little vintage caravan project ~ Clearing out the old…

I am starting my new caravan makeover project with a clear out. If you didn’t see my first blog post about my new caravan please read back over my blog post a couple of days ago on 14th August and you’ll know why I need to begin with an excavation project! It’s a real mess inside and lots of the fittings are crumbling away so, although ripping things out would be an easy job, it was still a little bit gut-wrenching when I thought about all the history I was getting rid of. But needs must, and the caravan interior simply would not have lasted. Even so, every decision was difficult – “should this cupboard go?” hmmm *inspect it for a bit and realise it was broken* hmmm *have a cup of tea and think about it* hmmm. “Yes, I suppose it will have to go” *pull it off the wall in one tug*.

cassiefairys vintage caravan project original photos of sprite interior

You know how much I hate waste and things going to landfill – it’s usually me saving things out of skips! – but this time I had to throw some bits away, so the old wood and cardboard went into the recycling, metal and plastic headed to the household waste recycling site and I kept hold of as many fittings and hinges and screws as I could (you never know when you might need them!).  At least this way I have a blank canvas to start with and can plan the space for my own purposes. I’ve kept the two bench seats but there was no large table to fit between them to turn it into a bed, so I’ve salvaged a large piece of wood to use in the gap. When it’s not being used as a bed, it will be my office space, so I’ve saved the small table from the other end of the caravan and luckily it fits onto the same support bar as the big table, so I can use it at the bench end of the caravan. It’s just about big enough for my laptop and a cuppa! I’ve saved the canvas bunk bed and fittings, because eventually this will become the supporting structure for a work bench.

cassiefairys vintage caravan project interior clearing out

Looking around the space now, it’s a good size and should be plenty big enough for storing all my fabric and tutus! I can see where the walls are weakest from the old damp and I can strip off the loose bits and paper over the joins. I’m feeling quite optimistic about my little caravan and I think it will thank me for removing all the old crumbling interior in the end – it seems drier and warmer already! Watch this space for the next step – painting and decorating!

cassiefairys camper project shabby chic retro interior inspiration from pinterest caravan love board

Here’s another inspiring little caravan that I’d love to own and I expect it’s not long until I have an interior just like this! Check out my Pinterest Caravan Love board to repin this image and see many more of my inspirations for this project 🙂

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