My vintage caravan makeover is moving along faster than I can post so to bring you up to speed I’m going to share all the latest updates. Since building the bench seat I’ve laid a beautiful new vinyl plank floor, made some upholstered cushions for the chairs and bench seat, installed some lovely new lighting and electrical switches, and made my own leather cabinet pulls and handles.
Lets start by talking about those floors. I chose these vinyl adhesive planks from Bunnings. They were lightweight and very easy to lay. Cutting around corners was probably the trickiest part, so if your tackling a similar project be sure to buy more than you need to allow for mistakes and off cuts. Before I started I watched this video which was so helpful. Before you start laying your vinyl planks make sure your floor is really clean then give it a coat of bondcrete which needs to dry for 24 hours before you begin.
For the upholstered seats I bought a combination of medium and high density foam from Clark Rubber when it was on sale and they cut it all down to size for me which was a great time saver. The front cushion seats are 100mm high density foam and the back rests and bench seat are 750mm medium density foam. Before I made removable covers I lined each cushion with calico for longevity and to disguise the colour of the foam from peeping through the cushion covers. I used a heavy durable cotton fabric from IKEA to make the cushion covers and added these zips from spotlight so that the covers could be removed and washed.
As for the lighting and electrical, I bought replacement architrave light switches and power points from Bunnings and had my electrician install them. I also bought the exterior bunker light from Bunnings and my beautiful concrete pendants and pretty globes are from Freedom. I’ve strung them across and secured them to the ceiling with white pendant hooks from Beacon. Whenever the caravan is mobile I just wrap them in bubble wrap and secure them in the overhead cupboard .
I love the look of my leather cabinet pulls! I’ve wanted to try making leather cabinet handles and pulls for a little while so I was excited to be able to use them in the caravan. They’re really simple to make, all you need is leather cowhide strips (mine were 1 inch wide), a leather punch, Stanley knife, screws and bolts. I found this DIY video really helpful (although they use a full hide and paint the hide before cutting it down) and I also read this step by step tutorial before I began. I used the existing hols in the cabinet doors and drilled new holes for the handles on the bench seat.
I’m so happy to have the interior almost complete. I just need to give the window frames a good clean, replace the adhesive dust seals, and do a little touch up painting. Then the most fun part, accessorising. Oh and I forgot to mention that I’ve also replaced all the broken glass and dodgy scratched and discoloured perspex in the windows. Don’t they look so much better. I went with 4mm clear toughened glass, it won’t discolour and is considerably stronger than regular glass.
Unfortunately my vintage caravan makeover is now on hold for a few weeks. Before I can begin any more changes, my little caravan is headed back to the workshop. Sadly her chassis has cracked and caused some of my framework to break, and my floor to bow. This is a bit devastating to my budget and my morale. I was on such a roll. Apparently the chassis is beyond repair, so after lots of consideration and chatting to repairers and metal fabricators, she’ll be getting a whole new chassis. This is quite a difficult and expensive procedure so I’m leaving it up to the experts. Fingers crossed her body stays in one piece and she’ll be back soon, stronger and safer than ever.