Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Painting the Camper and Other Woes

One of the best things about the camper has been the countless inspiration for projects. And what better way to experiment than with a beat up camper?

Like this penny tile floor. I've probably spent hours drooling over Pinterest boards with these kinds of things, and then decided I should spend hours making one of my own in the camper bathroom- I thought it would look kind of fun with the white paint and yellow toilet and sink. I decided to make a diamond herringbone inspired sort of look with alternating pennies of shiny/very new to old/dark. I also built in a game for my kids using some green pennies and ones with special backs, otherwise, they are mostly heads-up facing the same direction for the most part. This is a great project if you're an OCD type, like me, or if you just enjoy gluing things.

Hours later .....

I used a basic Elmer's glue to tack them down, then a box of clear epoxy to seal it in and creat the grout. If you do this project, be sure to do lots of research on using the epoxy. I'm glad I went to great lengths to make sure the camper was warm enough inside so it wouldn't create a cloudy finish.

Since husband and I tried to save as much original touches as we could, we took down the rolled screens, spray painted them white, but kept the ochre trim.

 Another great learning opportunity and bucket list project was wallpaper. This cool tile looks great on the ceiling to make the space feel bigger and lighter. (It's also paintable.) I need a lot more practice with my wallpapering skills, Y'all!

I'm obsessed with beadboard because I think it looks so classy and is less time and expense than when using plywood or drywall and texturizer and paint. We had to cut it twice, though. Call me old-fashioned, but those "beads" must be vertical!

Right about the time we went all in into this, somewhere between building a custom dinette and installing cedar in the closet, we found that the seals on all the windows were cracked and leaking. When the steering column went out simultaneously with one of the gas tanks, we made the difficult decision to finish the interior and sell our sweet little bumble bee to someone who wants to use it as a parked guest or live in unit. My heart broke over this, but we really want something for our family to cruise around in, a beach camper at the very least, and our DIY skills can't improve the safety of this baby. I'm determined to finish it out, though!

These wall lamps may not have been worth saving, but they had cute little shades with the delightful yellow/ochre 70s color scheme, so I couldn't resist and spray painted it white, too. I may have to stop with rewiring. You can see how this little "fixer upper" camper project kind of turned into a monster...

It's been bittersweet to see all the challenges of this mobile money pit, and also so gratifying to push our skills!

Will have a future post with all the unveiled, completed projects! 

See post 1 here.

See post 2 here.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Campervan of Inspiration

Welcome to our photo album chronicling our adventure fixing up a '77 Dodge Robinhood. It's been burly, but boy, have we had fun rolling our sleeves up and making improvements.

When we purchased the camper in the spring of 2017, the bones seemed pretty good, but we knew we wanted to basically give the whole thing a facelift. It's been a little more than cosmetic, but here's a basic list.

- reseal roof
-reseal damaged corner of cab over
-wallpaper ceiling
-paint entire indoors white (to make it feel more spacious!) This was by far, the biggest job because there is so much detail
-install cedar closet (this has been on my bucket list, and I need a practice run before attempting on my bedroom closet)
-tile bathroom floor (see next post!)
-custom built dinette/bed, including refinishing existing table top
-install beadboard paneling on walls
-new curtains
-repurpose existing twin bed to couch
-new interior light switches and A/C unit
-exterior turn signal plates
-new steering panel
-new insulation/replace rotten wood and finish paneling on cab over bed

... So just a few things to keep us busy! Here's a tour of all the works in progress. With a 24 foot camper, pretty much any project takes over the entire space, so you'll see lots happening simultaneously.

Above is the living room area where the beadboard will be added and the existing twin bed will be converted to a bench/bed with storage.

The kitchen has all its appliances in working order. You can see the vinyl wallpaper and existing paint need to go!

We actually like the mustard yellow bathroom color scheme, and plan to bring it out with clean, white paint. And a fancy tiled floor!

The living room is primed for paint. We used the Kilz brand for our tough-to-paint laminated surfaces.

The custom built dinette is starting to come together. I am refinishing the table top with a removable marine stand so we can go from table to bed when needed.

The beadboard starts to clean things up dramatically! Bye-bye horrible, dark, 70s fake wood!

And leaks are getting sealed (like the one that mysteriously appeared days after we brought the camper home, even when we inspected on a rainy day)!

See more progress in the next post!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Happy Campers

Almost two years ago, we did something a little crazy ....

 ... We got a camper! (And yes, it would have been much more dramatic, if I had posted the news two years ago when it actually happened.)

But here she is, our little old RV bumblebee. We found her parked outside my daughter's school, and it had been inhabited by a hippie crone looking for the right people to claim it. We could feel the love she put into it and hope to continue renovating it!

It's a '77 Dodge Robinhood, just three years younger than my husband! But like him, it's got good bones.

We love the bamboo floors, and plan to embellish the rest of the interior, and stretch our DIY skills to the limit. Our style is to preserve as many of the original details as possible, and repurpose as much as we can.

The next few posts will show the last two years putting our hearts into this baby, and creating some memories with our family. We hope to inspire other DIYers to getting out of the comfort zone and tackling some projects of your own! Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Easy Jelly Roll Race to Postage Stamp Quilt

Two bucket list projects from 1 jelly roll, and I highly recommend! This began as a jelly roll race (a blast for every quilter or quilting dabbler to try), and then became my Holy Grail postage stamp project. This was so satisfying because it was so much easier than it looks and I think the natural stripe pattern is quite pleasing. I used a tutorial I had seen on Pinterest (here) where the finished jelly roll was joined at the ends to make a tube, the tube was sliced into 2 inch square strips (rings), and then the seam was ripped according to the pattern. For example, if one strip was topped with the cherry pattern, the next strip would be topped with the blue and turquoise brick fabric to keep with the diagonal pattern. It requires organization for keeping all the strips in order of cutting, but made the postage stamp teeny squares come together very quickly. I made this for our beloved neighbors and babysitter to our son. See links below for directions.

(Postage Stamp Quilt using a Moda Eat Your Fruits and Veggies Jelly Roll. Started as a Jelly Roll race and turned to Postage Stamp quilt when the material looked too busy. Great project, even for a beginner!)