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 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 – DIY patchwork walls

I’ve decided to go for a little ‘design feature’ on one of the walls of my little caravan. I want to wallpaper one wall to create a feature wall, so I went to the DIY store and picked up some samples of pretty wallpapers in shades of pink, yellow and blue, to coordinate with my previously painted walls. After lots of pinning up samples and hmm-ing, I still couldn’t choose a pattern for the wall. I knew I wanted something floral, but it seemed too oppressive in a such a small space. I also considered spots or stripes, but again it made my eyes go funny. I’ve been looking at that wall for a while now and not getting anywhere…diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-16

So due to my inability to make a decision and chose just one wallpaper, I decided that the only way to break the deadlock was to patchwork the wall. I’ve seen this technique for children’s bedrooms on Pinterest (check out my caravan board here) and I wasn’t too sure how it would work out in a caravan, but I went for it with a big bucket of wallpaper paste and waited to see how it would turn out. I started with a first layer of pink-and-white striped wallpaper and vintage floral wallpaper because I had bought these two rolls of wallpaper from a charity shop for a quid each. So I hung (with the help of my hubby!) a drop of striped, followed by a drop of floral and so on, for the initial covering of the wall.

vintage caravan renovation project patchwork feature wall wallpaper cassiefairy

I then cut up my wallpaper samples of funky patterns into neat squares (including some Cath Kidston paper that I could never afford!) and pasted the second layer of larger squares to the wall. After they dried, I realised that wallpaper paste is not designed for gluing wallpaper on top of wallpaper, so the patchwork squares were peeling off at the edges. So I had a re-think and decided to use good old PVA glue to stick the peeling edges down and glue the rest of the smaller patches over the top. We’ve recently helped my mum redecorate her living room after 20 years and I kept some of the old wallpaper that we stripped off the walls, because I liked the old floral pattern (the darker one below – I’m sure Laura Ashley make the exact same paper now!) and I wanted to include it in my patchwork as a memory from my childhood.

vintage caravan renovation project patchwork feature wall wallpaper cassiefairy finished

Here’s what the wall looks like now, but I’m not sure it’s completely finished yet – I’m sure I’ll add some more bits to it as I get them, maybe including wrapping paper, vintage sewing patterns or decal stickers – it’ll be a development over time 🙂

My summer holiday reading this week is the Granny Chic book that I got for Christmas and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a caravan called “Maude” in the book – it had a patchwork ceiling inside the caravan and a patchwork outside too! I don’t know how they have achieved this look (it must be waterproof?) but I really liked the effect they got – much more old-fashioned, darker and looks more antique than my modern-day patchwork, which is very light and bright and fresh.

I think that the wallpaper that I’ve included in my patchwork are more suitable for my caravan because they look good with the bright colours and girly style I’m going for, but I would certainly consider using darker colours and dense patterns like the Granny Chic patchwork if I were doing a vintage caravan restoration. If you want to check out the Granny Chic book for yourself, the book is written by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel and published by Kyle books. I highly recommend it for crafty souls  and it’s one of the few crafting books that I’ve actually read from cover to cover! There are so many fabulous ideas and pretty projects in this book that I’m sure I will write more about it soon on the blog 🙂

vintage caravan renovation project patchwork feature wall wallpaper cassiefairy Granny Chic book

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! 🙂


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DIY craft project ~ making a funky patchwork frame

paper craft DIY project washi tape frame by cassiefairy

This week, I’ve been having fun upcycling some frames to make them look prettier and more summery. I began with this first project to funk up a white-board frame, so that I have a place to write my ‘notes-to-self’ in my workshop. I bought these pretty patterned washi-tapes, fabric tapes and masking tape strips online and didn’t really know what I wanted to make with them, so when I saw this blank, plasticy whiteboard frame, I knew I could jazz it up with a patchwork pattern.

You will need: A whiteboard with pen and holder (or photo frame if you prefer), selection of washi-tape or sticky fabric tape or coloured masking tape (try craft stores such as Wholeport or even Ebay), scissors.

craft DIY upcycle washi tape whiteboard photo frame by cassiefairy

  1. I got this whiteboard from a discount pound store – it’s a good idea to check out places like this for cheap things to upcycle! The first step was to dismantle it – the whiteboard slipped out just like a picture in a photo frame and if you’re using a picture frame, just take out the backing and glass.
  2. Cut a selection of washi-tape or coloured masking tape to size, making sure that the lengths will wrap around from the back of the frame, around the frame and around to the back again.
    Stick the tape onto the frame in a ‘patchwork’ effect, piece by piece, trying not to place the same patterns or colours together.
  3. When you reach a corner, use a sticky fabric-tape, which can be stretched a little to cover the corner neatly.
  4. When you have covered the entire frame, slip the whiteboard or glass/photo-insert back into the frame and clip on the whiteboard pen and holder.

craft DIY upcycle masking washi tape whiteboard photo picture frame by cassiefairy

And there you have it – a pretty decorated frame that is unique! Although it took a little while, it was quite a relaxing process – just me, sat down, quietly crafting and listening to music. I’m very proud of the results and will be adding washi tape to many more frames in the future! Let me know if you give it a go and tell me how you get on – leave me a comment below or tweet me a photo @CassiefairyTutu.

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