Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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My little vintage caravan ~ Weekend breakfast

Ever since I finished making the new table top for the caravan, the space has become my go-to place to eat meals. It’s especially lovely in the summer because the interior is warm and I can pop the window open to get a lovely breeze flowing through the caravan. I love taking meals outside because it feels like summery al fresco dining but without the risk of sunburn or, at the other end of the scale, getting rained on!

As you may remember, we only have a small dining table in our retro living room (and it was free – read about it here!) and although it folds out to give extra room, it’s still really only a two-person dining table. So when I have guests for dinner, I prefer to serve it in the caravan, because 4 of us can easily eat at the table and with the addition of a second fold-out table, we can even fit up to 9 people in for a meal. It’s definitely my favourite place to have lazy lunches with my husband and this weekend we made the most of our time off by having a chilled-out breakfast in the caravan.

My lovely crockery & melamine plates are from The Caravan Trail

We had such a lovely calm Sunday morning sitting in the sunny caravan with the radio on and a big pot of tea on the go. To make it more of a special breakfast, I laid the table with my new Riviera crockery, sliced up some fruit and put the jam and butter in little ramekins (I should have bought the matching butter dish!). I love bran flakes with banana, grapes, sultanas and a drizzle of honey and lingered over my favourite breakfast before popping indoors to put some toast on. It was lovely to spend a good hour over our breakfast, listening to the birds and munching on steaming-hot toast. It’s something that we never get time to do during the week and sometimes we don’t even eat breakfast at the same time, because hubby leaves for work and eats before 7am and I’m not always hungry at that time of morning. So it felt especially luxurious to spend time together without rushing, with nowhere to be and nothing to do.

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and had the chance to linger over a special meal too!


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My little vintage caravan project ~ DIY display cabinet makeover

Storage is very important in a small space and after having to remove most of my caravan’s interior due to damp, it is in very short supply. I have precious little of the original storage left in the caravan – only the seats remain with their under-bench storage space and I have easily filled this up with fabric already! So it is time to work my magic on a pretty storage display cabinet.

My mum bought this unit for me from a charity shop because it looked exactly like one that her nan owned when she was a child – even down to the rose mirror pattern on the glass. The display cabinet was destined for the caravan and when we put it inside it fit perfectly over the top of the wheel-arch on the back wall – it was meant to be! But the dark wood looked too much like the old caravan interior and the wood was in such bad condition that it would have needed sanding and re-varnishing to get it back to it’s former beauty. I decided that I wanted to make a complete change so I bought a couple of tins of spray paint from the carboot sale and set to work on a sunny Saturday.

The first task was to give it a good clean and mask off the glass before sanding lightly all over. I then sprayed a thin coat of cream paint all over the unit (using around one whole can) and allowed it to dry before setting to work on the second coat of paint. Building up the thin layers of spray paint gave a gorgeous smooth finish and looked considerably better than I’d imagined. And much better than I ever could have achieved with my usual slap-it-on paint brush technique!

I thought about recovering the back panel but once the unit has been painted it somehow gave the impression that the existing diamond pattern fabric was cleaner and new so I decided to stick with it and reinsert the glass shelves. Minutes later the display cabinet was full of my pretty crockery and nick-nacks so I’ll share the photos of this with you soon.

See more of my caravan project posts by clicking here and please send me details of your own camper makeovers to cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @Cassiefairy - I’d love to see what you’ve been up to! And you really should check out Lisa Mora’s book Vintage Caravan Style for inspiration and gorgeous caravan photos! Read my review of the book on my blog here and read about my own renovation project so far here.


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My day out at the Vintage Festival & D-Day Celebration

Last weekend I had one of the best days out ever: I visited the Mid-Suffolk Vintage Festival on Sunday so I thought I’d share my photos of the event this Sunday. Hubby, mum and I headed to the Mid-Suffolk Showground unsure of what we’d find at this brand new event and was pleasantly surprised. It was a fantasic event with vintage cars, military trucks, family-friendly war re-enactments (no loud bangs or gore!), vintage shopping, platoon softball games and displays of original militaria.

The marquee played host to an authentic fashion show, demonstrating the uniforms and outfits that would have been worn at the time – from Land Girls to Naval Officers and American Squaddies. But the vintage fashion didn’t stop there: everyone we met was wearing stunning 40s and 50s outfits, military uniform and original dresses. It made me wish I’d dressed up a little more and worn my vintage handbag and tea dress – so that’s a must for next time!

Taking place just after the 70th anniversary of D-Day and buoyed up by the celebratory nature of the event we all threw ourselves into celebrating D-Day and enjoyed watching the gorgeous singing, dancing and tap group My Favourite Things. The girls looked like true war-time pin-ups and we found ourselves transported back to that very day 70 years ago as they sang all the original hits in perfect harmony. After watching lots of the crowd swinging and jiving on the dance floor, hubby and I decided to go to the afternoon dance class to learn a few moves so that we could join in with bopping along to the vintage tunes that the DJ was spinning.

After stumbling our way through a dance class and discovering an extra left-foot that I didn’t know I had (!) more treats arrived in the form of afternoon tea and a big slice of Victoria sponge: my favourite. We watched the softball game and cheered along with the crowd and the military wives cheerleaders, before taking a stroll around the stalls and viewing an amazing Women’s Land Army collection from Cherry Betty Vintage – check out her Facebook page.

The lovely sunny day and hazy afternoon certainly added to the jubilation of the event, and everyone I saw had a massive smile on their face. I certainly felt the same way and had aching cheeks by the end of the day from all the smiling I’d been doing :D I left the event with an invitation to a local dance class and hubby has been conscripted into the nearby softball team, the Mustangs, so it looks like our vintage festival experiences won’t be over anytime soon!


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My little vintage caravan project ~ I’ve got the power!

Ever since reading Vintage Caravan Style when it was released last month (here’s my book review) I’ve been bursting to get on with my own caravan renovation project. Last week I shared details of my new bookcase and I’m hoping to be able to spend more time out there working. At this moment, this is proving difficult because I don’t have a proper power supply in the caravan so I’m relying on a long extension lead that runs from the house to the caravan at the end of the garden. It’s not ideal but at the moment it’s the only way that I can get on with any projects that require power tools or a sewing machine – I’ve tried sewing with a hand-powered Singer and the novelty wore off pretty quickly! So this week I’ve been investigating ways of getting power out to the caravan on a more permanent basis.

Vintage caravan project - ideas for power supply-1

When the caravan first arrived it had all the electrical components fitted for the external vehicle lights to work so that it was safe on the roads, but internally the caravan had a gas stove and even gas lights. Yes, it really was an old caravan and hadn’t ever been upgraded to run on electric. So now that I want to use the space as a workshop rather than somewhere to camp I definitely will need a plug socket or two. I checked out the Critical Power Supplies website to investigate the options for installing electricity and found out that I had a couple of options; running a proper outdoor supply cable to the caravan so that I could have plug sockets etc inside, or installing a solar-powered unit to charge big campervan batteries. I’m very keen on the idea of renewable energy and it would mean that I could actually use my caravan for camping if I ever wanted to go away in it in the future! It’s an easy way to get power for the tools I want to use and doesn’t involve running a cable across the garden, which I prefer. I’m happy to use lamps and don’t need a whole circuit of over-head lighting fitted so that makes the whole process much more simple and the solar-powered battery becomes a lot more feasible! I’m still having a think about it so I’ll let you know what I decide :)

Vintage caravan project - ideas for power supply-2

The second thing that really needs addressing in the caravan is the window hinges. After changing the window trims and getting a nice tight seal around the windows, I realised that one of the windows couldn’t be opened anymore. This was because the glass has slipped out from the hinges at the top of the window so it’s being supported by the windowsill and the hinges are simply keeping it flat against the side of the caravan. So when I open the window outwards, nothing is supporting the glass and it slides out. This happened a few times while we were fitting the window seals and I’m lucky that the glass didn’t drop to the floor and smash – what an expensive mistake that would have been!! So I’m planning to order a couple of replacement glass hinges from Barrier Components in order to fix the problem. It will be lovely to have an opening side window again so I can’t wait to get this in place. Watch this space for updates!

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-2


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My little vintage caravan project – the makeover so far…

After reading Lisa Mora’s new publication Vintage Caravan Style (which I reviewed here) I’ve been thoroughly inspired to crack on with my little vintage caravan makeover project. I’d allowed the caravan to enjoy a quiet winter while I stayed indoors in the warm and didn’t really do much work on the project but now I’m feeling optimistic about the makeover and am bursting to get on with it. It definitely helps that the weather is warm and sunny, which always makes me want to hang around outside more anyway, and what better excuse to head outdoors than to be doing a little work on my caravan project. So before I get stuck into a new wave of projects (which will no doubt end up on the blog!) I wanted to share photos and links to the previous blog posts (in pink below) and projects I’ve already finished so that you can get an idea of my starting point for this year’s work.

Read about how I found my vintage caravan and my ideas for using it as an office in my first blog post of the series.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-1

I kicked off the project with a complete clear out and found out just what was wrong with my caravan – read this post here.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-4

The first big painting task was the exterior of my caravan and I chose a bright new colour – read my painting blog post here.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-2

Next up was choosing a combination of ice cream colours for the interior of the caravan to freshen it up. Here’s me looking very glamorous in hubby’s boiler suit!

Vintage caravan makeover interior painting project on Cassiefairy blog

I decided to decorate a ‘feature wall’ with a patchwork of pastel prints and here’s how I did it.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-7

I kept some of the existing woodwork but wanted a fresh new look so got out the paint and spent some time sprucing up the woodwork. The floor was next on the agenda and I made the difficult decision between carpet and lino – here’s the post.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-14

I soon found out that some of the windows were a little leaky so I enlisted hubby’s help to replace the window trims.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog - new window trims

One of the most exciting parts of the project so far was sewing the seat pad covers to give them a new lease of life.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-12

With only a small table in the caravan I needed to cover a piece of wood with oilcloth to create a work surface and the base for the bed.

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-15

With a new table ready to work on I was able to sew my first project inside my new caravan workshop.

cassiefairys applique tulip project for amanda addison creative crafting

I carried on sewing and ran up a pair of curtains and some roman blinds for the caravan – read the sewing post here.

little vintage caravan project diy makeover

At this point the project stalled a little as the nights became longer and the temperatures dropped, so all I managed to do in the caravan during the winter was make pom-pom decorations and party cones for my birthday. I hosted my little birthday party in my vintage caravan and here’s how it turned out.

Red velvet birthday cake recipe

The snow stopped play and I never really got started on the project again – until now!!

Vintage caravan makeover project on Cassiefairy blog-6

It was Lisa’s Vintage Caravan Style book that inspired me to get on with my little vintage caravan project and here’s my review of the book and interview with Lisa herself.

Vintage Caravan Style book by Lisa Mora - review on this blog

Wow I can’t actually believe how much I’ve already done on my caravan! It seems like a lot but actually there’s still plenty more tasks to go and I’ve got a lot to do before I can call the caravan ‘finished’. So I’ll be sharing some more photos and projects from inside the caravan over the coming weeks and I’ll let you know how I get on. Let me know what you think about my vintage caravan project and would you do it yourself? Perhaps you’ve already started a campervan or garden office project? If so, please get in touch – I’d love to share your photos and projects too! My email address is cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk so drop me a message :)