yarn. glamper renovation

The yarn girls sat down to figure out how they were going to generate some quick $$ to fund their first range... That’s where the idea of buying an old retro caravan, doing it up and reselling it was born.

Rhy and Sarah jumped straight onto gumtree and found the perfect 1970’s Viscount! We loved the wrap around windows, rounded frame and spacious open plan floor plan. It was time to get down and dirty! WARNING: renovating a caravan is not very glamourous at all. We got in our daggiest clothes and weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.

‘Much much less glamorous then the fashion industry yet very grounding and rewarding getting in there and getting our hands dirty!’ - Rhy.

If you are thinking of buying an old caravan here are some things you should think about..

Before buying the van we would highly recommend viewing it first. When viewing caravan’s the things you should take note of are:

1.     If the structure of the van is stable, you don’t want to be doing too much work on the structure. Ideally an aluminum frame is best!

2.     Ask if the van has any leaks.

3.     Check the electrical - lights working internally + externally.

4.     Check underneath the van for rust.

5.     Already registered would be a plus, although they are relatively easy to get registered - apporx $300/ year.

6.     Check to see if there are any broken windows and if the winders are working.

7.     I love the original retro fridges and stoves, huge plus if you they are intact.

8.     Try and look past any ugly wallpapers, flooring, or dirt. You will be surprised by what a coat of paint can do.

9.     If you find the perfect van but it is in out of state, keep in mind there are towing services. We got the van towed from Adelaide to Sydney for $800.

10. Depending of the state of the van total expenses would be around $6,000.

Step by Step Renovation Guide:

1.     Get in and take out the mattress, cushions, anything decorative. Basically everything that isn’t fixated to the van.

2.     Give it a really good scrub and sweep.

3.      Now time for sanding! This can be VERY tedious.. Especially in and around all of the tiny cupboards, I would have to say this is the hardest part of the whole project. If there is a glossy coating then this will need to be completely sanded off otherwise the paint will scratch off.

4.     Once the entire interior of the van is sanded, then time to sugar soap!

5.     If there are any holes in the walls, now is a good time to patch them up will a filler.

6.     Splash back - watch a youtube tutorial on tiling, this is a two man job! We used matte white hexagonal tiles from beaumont tiles and a tiling kit from Bunnings. The lovely man at Bunnings gave us lots of instruction and told us exactly what we needed. Don't hesitate to ask for help. 

7.     Now to the fun part – paint picking!

8.     We stuck to a neutral white as we found being a small space we needed to make it feel as big as possible! Our choice was Dulux Vivid White Interior Wash and Wear.

9.     Painting – paint everything! – walls, doors, inside the doors, inside the cupboards, shelves, roof, couch base, everything but the floor, not once, not twice but three times, we ended up doing three coats. This is also quite a tedious job. We used a Dulux Stray gun, which was much quicker then a hand brush, although a bit more risky. If you know someone who is quite handy and knows how to paint I would suggest getting them to give you a hand, if you don’t feel comfortable using the gun you could always go back to using the good old brush and roller.

10.     Leave a day or two for the paint to dry and in this time we went shopping for linen, curtain fabric, decortative items, cupboard knobs, etc etc.

11. If you have a sewing machine start sewing up your curtains or get a mum, grandma, friend to help! They seem to know what’s going on.

12. Once the painting has dried and is looking fabulous. Replace any light fittings and switch boards. Little touches like this adds a huge difference.

12.  Time to decorate! Personally, my favourite part! We got items from mainly k-mart, ikea, curtain fabric from spotlight and bits and pieces off gumtree. 

13. Get some good pics and onto as many Facebook buy, swap and sells groups as you can find. I found Facebook the quickest and easiest way of selling, much better then gumtree.

I would highly recommend doing a project like this, especially if someone close to you is handy! I am lucky enough to have a VERY clever and handy Dad willing to give a helping hand. It was a fun project with a great turnover. Another great idea for making easy $$ on the side is air bnb, if you own a property why not create a glampour, stick it in the back yard and put it up on air bnb... go for it! 

With Love,

Rhy and Sarah xx

Rhyanan Behn