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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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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