Since even before we bought “Little House” our pop up camper, I dreamed of remodeling a camper like the ones I would see on Pinterest and Instagram. Then we bought little house and four years went by and each year I would start planning out the project but would get overwhelmed with fabric choices, costs and the amount of time I would need to invest into the project. This year I finally decided to just dive in and get it done. I picked up some cheap fabric from Walmart and got started.
The first task I took on was the valances and curtains. I took all the old curtains down and used them for patterns for the new ones. I also removed the hanging tabs from the old ones to reuse for the new ones. They do sell new tabs on Amazon but since I didn’t plan in advance that I would be starting this project, I didn’t want to wait the two days for them to arrive and risk losing my motivation in those two days. The only regret I have with using the old tabs is that I had to destroy the old curtains and now if and when we sell Little House I run the risk of potential buyers being turned off by the fabric I picked and not being able to offer them the original curtains.
For the valances I bought new elastic cords to hang it by, as well as stapled it to the ceiling to help hold it up. The old valances were also held up the same way. I was hoping that new elastic would be strong enough to hold them up without the use of staples, but it wasn’t so I had to place a few staples to keep it neat and clean looking.
I also reused the mesh portion of the bunk ends. I simply cut it away from the old curtains and then used a zigzag stitch to ensure that it was well attached to the new fabric. I also made new tie backs for the curtains by using scraps of the patterned fabric and was lucky enough to find buttons that perfect coordinate to the colors. I sewed the buttons on using a crochet needle and elastic cords so they would have some flexibility, and used bias tape to make the loops to latch onto the buttons.
I was feeling really good about my progress, and then I saw that I had these two upholstered ends on the side of our dinette slide. I had no idea how they were held on and if I could even remove them. I noticed they had little covers so I pried one off and found a screw under it. I removed the panels and saw that it was just fabric stapled to cheap particle board, so that is exactly how I covered them with with new fabric. Then that is when another puzzling situation came up. Was it possible to make new screw covers?! Or would I need to live with ugly brown covers. I took to YouTube to see if I could find any help. The first video I found was from a boat shop and they used a special heavy duty device to make the covers. So I had felt like maybe it wasn’t possible to make them on my own. Thankfully the next suggested video was exactly what I needed, someone remodeling their RV. The process is actually very easy and the parts and tool you need are available at Walmart for just $1.77! The kit is for creating sew on buttons, so I only needed the metal cover pieces and the little press. I had to carefully deconstruct the old covers because I needed to save the little plastic ring from the inside. It ended up being really easy. Cut a small fabric circle, and press all the pieces together.
Up next was the cushions. Probably the part that had been the most intimidating when I was thinking of doing this project. My sewing skills are novice at best so sewing cases with zippers was out of the question. I then saw an article on a blog that the person cut plywood to the size of the cushions and stapled the fabric to it. Which is exactly what I did. I bought a sheet of plywood and had my wonderful husband cut it down to the approximate sizes. I then traced out the cushion shapes onto the plywood and cut them down further using a jigsaw. I placed the plywood on the back side of the cushions simply wrapped the fabric around them like you would wrap a present. As an added bonus, the plywood has now made the cushions sturdier so they do not flop around anymore, which was really annoying.
In total I used 13 yards of the solid teal fabric and 9 yards of the patterned circles. I still have a bunch left over so maybe some decorative throw pillows will be made but right now the scraps are sitting unused in a grocery bag.
And then I was done….or so I thought. The new fabric colors made the light wood cabinets look even more ugly. Painting was yet another project I had considered doing but didn’t want to take on the huge task. Since the cabinets are really wood, there is a rather large process to painting them. I told myself I would paint next year, but then I found myself taking a single door off and testing it. Well, that one test door ended up with me diving right into the full project. It took me almost three full days to paint. Friday I spent most of the day removing all the door and getting them started. The first step to painting the interior is to sand down all the surfaces. This is a step that cannot be skipped. I could immediately tell if I missed an area or didn’t do a good enough job when it came time to apply the primer. The next step is to apply a primer. I used Zinsser Bullseye 123 since we already had a gallon on hand. I applied two coats to all surfaces. Then it was time to paint. I picked up some Glidden High Endurance paint in Dove White from Walmart. I only bought a quart since I wasn’t sure if I would like the color. A quart ended up being plenty of paint for two coats on all surfaces. I still have a good amount left over for the few spots I missed and future touch ups.
I also removed all the hardware and some other pieces such as the fire extinguisher mounting plate, thermostat mounting plate and wire cover strips and spray painted them down with Rustoleum Metallic spray paint.
I think the final results speak for themselves! I love it. It feels like a brand new camper now and I am so excited to get out and camp in it.