I often hear from readers who are eager to give their pop up campers a new look, but just don’t think it is possible because they can’t sew. I love showing people what they can do with a little hard work, even if they’ve never sewed a stitch in their lives. I’ve featured several makeovers here on the blog from readers who couldn’t sew (like Shannon’s “No-Sew” Makeover), and I always love it when a reader sends in their own take on the “no-sew” makeover. Katie and her husband, Josh, recently sent me pictures of their own (mostly) no-sew makeover, I knew I had to share it with you. It is adorable. Here’s Katie herself to tell us all about it. 🙂
JOSH & KATIE’S POP UP CAMPER MAKEOVER
Josh and I had been looking for a pop up camper for little over year. It was very important for us to find one that had a functioning bathroom, since we have two little kids. We also had to find one that fit into our garage, since we live in a HOA community. When we came across our PUP–we named her Sandy–we knew she was the one. She had everything we needed and more, and she fit into our garage with two inches (literally) to spare.
Sandy was in decent shape and everything worked fine, but she was extremely outdated and smelled pretty bad. I knew I wanted to give her a makeover, so Josh and I started by giving her a good cleaning. I used Woolite, like Larissa recommends for cleaning (you can see that post here), but added a little bit of bleach to get rid of the smell. I also used 303 Multi Surface Cleaner to get rid of the many black streaks on the canvas, and it worked great. Our vinyl windows had a couple of tears where the seam met the zipper. I purchased some of this vinyl cement, and it worked like a charm to fix the rips. There were also a couple of small tears in our canvas, so I bought some Tear-Aid canvas patches on Amazon, which also worked very well.
With everything clean and repaired, Josh and I moved onto the fun stuff. We painted our cabinets with Sherwin Williams Snowbound Semi-Gloss paint. We used one coat of primer then two coats of paint. I spray painted all of the original hardware to save money. I also coated it all with a clear coat to prevent the paint from chipping off, and we used a high heat spray paint for the heater grate. For our countertops, I found a kit online called Giani Countertop Paint Kit in Bombay Black. The kit cost $75 and was more than enough paint to cover all of our counters. It was very easy to apply, and I’m in love with how they came out. To finish the kitchen area, I painted our refrigerator with chalkboard paint and made a cute vinyl sticker for the front.
We installed plank vinyl floors from Home Depot in Stony Oak Grey. The floor itself was super easy to install, but Josh applied quarter round trim to finish it off, and that was his biggest challenge in this remodel. It was so worth it in the end, though.
The curtains and valances were my biggest challenge, since I do not sew. I spent many nights on Pinterest trying to figure out how to make curtains without having to sew anything. I finally came across an amazing product that I instantly fell in love with called Steam-A-Seam. This stuff is AMAZING! I hemmed all of the curtains, made valances, decorative pillows and curtain drawbacks all using Steam-A-Seam. For the curtains, I purchased black out panels on Amazon and cut them to the sizes I needed. Then I hand sewed the original curtain clips to the new panels.
I used an idea from Dawn’s Bohemian Pop Up Camper to hang my valances, since my pop up didn’t have any valances originally. To make the valances over the bathroom, I used the left over fabric pieces from the curtains, and cut them in strips, and layered them with the valance fabric for visual interest. Again, all this was done with Steam-A-Seam. Amazing, right?
I used the wrap and staple method to upholster the bottoms of the cushions, but I splurged on the cushion backs and had a local upholster do these in a fun polka dot fabric for us. Since I can’t sew, there was no way that I could tackle the cushion backs myself, so I convinced Josh to get them professionally done. I purchased all of the fabric at Hobby Lobby and used 40% off coupons. Once they were finished, I applied ScotchGuard to everything like a madwoman. Because we have two little kids and two dogs that travel with us, it was crucial to make sure everything was as stain protected as possible. 😉
Our table should look familiar, since I borrowed another one of Dawn’s ideas here as well. I spray painted the legs with Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Seaside spray paint. I purchased the same decal Dawn did on Etsy and used Mod Podge to seal it.
I used chalkboard contact paper to cover our camper door and then used my handy Silhouette machine to make cute camping themed vinyl stickers. I also used decorative contact paper for the bathroom walls. The decals on the bathroom door were made with my Silhouette machine as well.
I’m so thrilled with how it all turned out. We had so much fun with our remodel and learned a ton about pop up campers, thanks to the whole experience and this blog. We can’t wait to enjoy Sandy and create wonderful childhood memories for our kids in the years to come.
Isn’t that amazing? When I first saw Josh & Katie’s makeover, I could hardly believe Katie didn’t know how to sew. It turned out so beautifully! So if you are one of those people that didn’t take Home Ec in high school, don’t despair. You can still turn your PUP into a beautiful home away from home with a little hard work and creativity. Nice job, Josh & Katie! Thanks for sharing!
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