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Posted by on May 21, 2014 | 23 comments

Maria and John’s Remodeled Pop-Up Camper

Maria and John’s Remodeled Pop-Up Camper

Avid campers Maria and John recently purchased a 1995 pop-up camper, complete with decor that’s typical of most campers and RVs, in various shades of mauve and tan. Instead of settling with the (let’s face it) homely interior, take a look at how they have transformed the camper with a fresh, modern and fun new look, just in time for this summer’s camping season.

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Here in this before photo, you get a sense of the dated pattern on the cushions, the wood paneled cabinets, and the plain white dining table.

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One of the first updates they made was to paint the cabinets a cheerful blue (Benjamin Moore Blue Lake), which made a big difference right away.

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They also painted the door of the mini-refrigerator in chalkboard paint. When camping, they can leave notes to each other if they leave the campsite.

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A nice touch is how the blue paint extends around the interior completely, so when they open the door, you can see it on the bottom half of the door from the outside.

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They also decided to cover up the original uninspiring flooring with vinyl plank flooring (Lowe’s), glued down with mastic. Here is John cutting the flooring to fit.

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Maria was rightfully proud of her decoupaged table project. It’s simply fabulous. She and her friend Melissa worked on the project together over the course of a weekend. They used heavy duty wrapping paper from World Market with mod podge as the adhesive and a layer of polyurethane over top to make the tabletop water resistant.

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Maria covered the cushions with new fabric and added a few throw pillows here and there.

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And she hung two sets of luxurious emerald green drapes in front of the sleeping areas on either side and two sets extending along the side windows. For the drapes, she repurposed shower curtains from Target and ironed them onto the existing drapes using Stitch Witchery, a fusable bond designed for hems, trims, and belts. (My daughter Nadja was having a look around during our photo shoot.)

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Maria’s dog Autumn clearly approves of her home away from home.

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My friend Jen and I and our daughters camped in the same area last weekend so we could all attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival together. When we came in and set up our campsite, I could see Maria’s pop-up camper through the woods.

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She found a handwoven area rug at the festival to perfectly complement the camper’s interior design.

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In the evening, she and her friend Melissa set up the canopy…

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And strung festive lights and lanterns to set the scene for a night of cocktails, dinner, and storytelling from our day at the festival.

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Maria and John’s camper is not only aesthetically pleasing to hang out in now, but it’s good to go year-round: a nice compact pop-up with water, electrical hook-up, working refrigerator, and propane stove, plus a space heater for winter months, and a portable A/C for the hottest days of summer. I’m thrilled that they get to head deep into the woods and make a space for themselves that feels right at home.

23 Comments

  1. Love the creativity and colors!

    • What kind of paint do you have to use a flat or gloss finish

      • Sorry Gena, just seeing this. I used a semi-gloss finish. That’s what I always use on wood.

  2. Love it! I am hopeless at sewing, is there an easy way to sew on new material for the sitting cushions? How did you sew yours? your camper looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • I love how you covered the cushions. Mine are the same ugly patterns. Did you sew the covers or are they slip so you can remove and wash. I have beige curtains Ugh. They are held up with these plastic tabs sewn into fabric, they don’t work well. Any ideas to improve this?

      • Hi Lisa. Thanks. See my reply to Mel for how I covered the cushions. As far as the curtains go, mine are also on the tabs and I just attached my new curtains to the old with Stitch Witchery and didn’t mess with the tabs but that’s next on my list because I hate having to hang the curtains that way. But they do work well, they move back and forth in the metal groove on the camper so the curtains can be opened and closed easily. If yours don’t move easily you could always install a curtain rod instead of using the tabs. Would probably be easier and quicker set up than the tabs. I’m thinking I will keep the tabs but remove them from the fabric and permanently install them in the metal groove, then put velcro on them and on my curtains so the whole system will move back and forth so I can open and close my curtains but set up and take down is easier with velcro than with the tabs. I hope this helps. I would also suggest googling to see what creative solutions others have come up with. Good luck!

      • I replaced my curtains in my pop-up camper and I just took off the tabs from the old curtains and measured how much material I needed And bought new fabric and hot glued those tabs to the back of my new material and put them right back up. Very easy fix.

    • Hi Mel. Thanks! Actually I took a short-cut with the cushions and just attached the new material with safety pins. I cut the fabric big enough to cover the front/seat of the cushion and to carry it around to the back on all sides. Then to reduce fraying I folded the fabric under and just safety pinned it to the back. So easy. Not as easy to remove and replace for cleaning, but I saved a lot of time upfront. Try it!

  3. HI! I love this!!! I Just bought a camper just like yours and I’m looking to do this to it. One question, the table looks like you added a bench. On the back of it where it meets the bed. How did you do that?

    • H Maryann, The table came with the camper. I’m not sure what you mean by a bench. It’s removable and can be attached on the outside of the camper. We sometimes use it there as a counter for cooking. Let me know if this doesn’t answer your question and good luck with your remodel!

  4. I have always told my husband that if I could pick how to redo the camper, I’d use the same material as our shower curtain which I was so excited to see is what you used. At first I was going to ask where you found the matching fabric, then I looked closer at one picture and I think you might have actually covered them WITH the shower curtains. Am I right? BRILLIANT!

    • Hi Emily, Actually, the shower curtain fabric is what I used for the bench cushions. I used curtains from World Market for the fabric for the privacy curtains and I just used Stitch Witchery to adhere it to the existing privacy curtains.

    • Emily, sorry I think I misunderstood you. Are you saying that my cushions are the exact same fabric as your shower curtains? From Target? Yes, that is what I did! So easy, and the fabric is heavy duty and pretty easy to clean!

  5. Thanks for sharing your darling remodel, Maria. How is the paint on the cabinets holding up? Does it tend to chip over time with the hard use that camping brings, or does it stay intact? Toying with the idea of painting our pop-up interior . . .

    • Hi Mary,

      It seems to be holding up nicely. There may be a few chips here and there but it’s certainly better than before!

  6. Hi Crystal. I painted it white, with spray paint. But it doesn’t hold up all that well.

  7. Hi did you remove the cabinets or painted them inside the camper

    • Hi Melissa, I repainted them inside the camper. I did the doors off though.

  8. Did you paint the plastic trim on the cabinets? If so, how is that holding up? This has been my one draw back to painting my cabinetry.

  9. This camper is now for sale. Please message me at mgetoff@gmail.com with serious inquiries. $4200 firm. Local pick up only. In Alexandria, VA. thanks.

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