When Beth sent me pictures of her pop up camper makeover, I instantly fell in love with the clean look. Like many of you, Beth was inspired by the crazy awesome reader makeovers I’ve featured. She loved the look of so many of the PUP remodels featured, and wanted to incorporate some of those elements, while still giving her camper a unique, personal feel. I think she did a fantastic job, so I will let her tell you all about her makeover. Take it away, Beth… 😀
We previously owned a Coleman pop up camper that we used a few times when our two children were young, but it was damaged in a storm, so we sold it over 14 years ago. We had purchased a house in the mountains, so we figured our camping days were over. After we sold the mountain house, we jokingly mentioned to our neighbors, who had a pop up camper under a tarp in a barn, that if they wanted to sell it we might want to buy it. Three months later, they called us and asked if we were still interested in it. We went to look at it and decided to buy the little 1998 Starcraft for $2000.
Our neighbor mentioned that she’d had big plans for it. She had created a Pinterest board dedicated to camper makeovers, which included many pins from The Pop Up Princess, but just hadn’t gotten around to doing any renovations. I had no idea of the type of projects that were possible with a pop up camper, so I went home and scoured the Internet. The night we bought the camper, I created my own Pinterest board, pinned lots of ideas, and my husband and I started planning. The camper was in very good shape structurally, just really dated, and the canvas was mildewed. We really liked Jessica’s makeover, so moved forward with those colors in mind.
It was late August when we began the remodel, and we worked pretty fast because we wanted to use the camper in September. We spent just about every minute of one weekend on it, a few evenings of another week, and much of another weekend. We took out all the cabinets except the one with the heater (we painted that in place), marked the doors so we would know where everything went later, laid the pieces out on makeshift plywood tables at my husband’s shop in our backyard, and gave everything three to four coats of white Bulls Eye Multipurpose Primer and Sealer paint. We painted the refrigerator and any exposed wood inside the camper the same color.
We replaced all the countertop t-molding. Then we spray painted the table and countertops with a black Rustoleum paint that had copper flecks in it. My husband painted the wheels and frame of the camper with black Rustoleum spray paint, so he used that same paint on the table legs. All the cabinet hardware and screws got a few coats of spray Rustoleum Hammered Bronze.
Then we moved on to the flooring. To make sure our flooring would adhere well, we cleaned the old linoleum with a ammonia-water mixture, which removed any residue. We purchased adhesive backed plank vinyl flooring from Lowes in the color Driftwood Gray. It took one box and a few pieces from a second box to cover the camper floor. Lowes even let us return the unused pieces from the second box. We did keep a few extra in case any get damaged. The flooring had the biggest visual impact by far, and was one of the easiest aspects of the whole renovation. It was simple and took my husband less than three hours to lay the entire floor.
Since we had some mildew on the canvas, I can honestly say that cleaning it was the hardest job of the makeover. I used Bass Pro Shop Mildew Stain Remover, which did a great job. After wiping the canvas down with clean water, we left the camper to dry in the sunshine for two days before applying a waterproofing spray back to the canvas. (For more details on how to clean and waterproof your canvas, check out this post.) We cleaned the outside of the camper thoroughly, but left it as is, for now. I would someday like to remove the stickers and paint the exterior, but that isn’t a pressing project.
With all the major projects done, it was time to move on to the fun part… textiles. The valance pattern was a no-brainer for me. I’d seen the pattern before and loved it, but was never able to find anything to use it on in our house. It’s called Waverly Pom-Pom Play Confetti. I was all set to order the fabric, but was pretty shocked at the price. After some online research, found the pattern in shower curtains at WalMart. Once I figured out the yardage I’d need using the old valance as a pattern, I realized it would take only three shower curtains to do the entire valance and tiebacks. I also liked the fact that the valance would be machine washable. I do sew a little and originally planned to gather the valance, but that turned into a nightmare, so ended up doing a straight valance. I wish I’d been able to do a better job on the repeat, but with the way I cut the curtains, it wasn’t possible. The total cost for the valance was under $40, and I had one piece left over to use as a table runner.
The black blackout panels were also WalMart curtains that I was able to cut and hem. They were $11 per panel, and I was able to get at least two curtains per panel. One thing I was sure to do was mark the panels when I removed them, so I would know where each went. I ordered the tabs online and sewed them onto the panels, using the old panels’ tab placement as a guide. My sewing machine didn’t much care for going over the tabs, but I made it through with only one broken needle.
My big splurge was the material for the cushions. I ordered it from Fabric.com, and it was about $115. I wanted fabric that was machine washable, because we have a 66-pound Lab, Gracie, who goes wherever we go. A friend, who is an amazing seamstress, helped me with my first cushion cover, but after making a few big mistakes, I gave up and paid her to finish them. 😉 She reused the zippers from the old covers, and the foam was still in good shape, so we were able to reuse that too.
The beds were also in good shape, and we were thrilled that they were so big. I bought the interlocking foam floor pads and a memory foam topper to make them a little more comfortable. (For more tips on making your pop up camper beds more comfortable, check out this post.) We already had a black and white comforter and sham that had been my daughter’s, and it matched perfectly, so I didn’t have to buy any bedding. I made all but one of the throw pillows, bought rugs, a table lamp and a crazy copper lamp that hangs over the table. It wasn’t planned, but once we hung it, we realized the copper matched the flecks in the countertop paint.
I love the clean lines , classic style, and colors of the camper, and I am just so pleased with how it turned out. In all, we probably spent between $500 and $700 on everything, and we really enjoyed spending time together working on it. When we were done, we set the camper up in our yard, and invited the neighbors who sold the camper to us over to see what we’d done. I wish I had a picture of their faces when I opened the door. I just remember their mouths dropped open and stayed that way! We didn’t get a chance to use it much last summer, but we just can’t wait to be able to use it again. 🙂
LOL! I wish I could have seen the previous owners’ faces as well. Didn’t Beth and her husband do a fantastic job? Thanks so much for sharing your makeover, Beth. I just know your makeover will inspire other readers, and I am so thrilled you shared it with us! I hope you and your hubby take it on some awesome adventures this summer.
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