With only a few days left before we leave on our 70 day road trip across the Northwest United States, I wanted to share the remodel that I completed on the 1997 Coleman Laredo pop up camper that I purchased for our trip this year. Last year we used a tent for our 50 day trip, but for various reasons, a small pop up camper will serve us better in what is sure to be some wet weather. Check out the remodel below, and you can see some steps on how I made new no-sew curtains and cushion covers to makeover the 90’s decor the camper was previously sporting. I think it has made an amazing difference.
No Sew Camper Curtains
While the interior of the camper was in good shape and sturdy, the decor left something to be desired. The curtains were old and moth eaten, with an ugly sort of ruffle all the way around the ceiling. So, the curtains were one of the first things to tackle in our pop up camper remodel. I do not sew, so I needed to find a way to make no sew curtains for the camper. Some seaming tape and adorable Route 66 fabric from Joann’s were just what the doctor ordered.
Step 1: Measure and cut your fabric. For the windows, I used just straight Route 66 fabric, so all I had to do was hem each end of the fabric with some seaming tape and I was done. I ran low on fabric when it came to doing the privacy curtains for the bed though, and the store didn’t have anymore. So, I chose a coordinating blue fabric, and placed a strip of Route 66 fabric at the top with seaming tape as a type of valance. You can use the old curtains as a pattern for this step.
Step 2: Measure and mark off a hem for each open side of your fabric. I generally tried to mark an inch if there was room, although on the smaller Route 66 strips of fabric for the privacy curtains, I went with a half inch seam.
Step 3: Place a line of seaming tape along the line you marked for your hem.
Step 4: Fold the fabric up over the seaming tape and apply an iron set to a cotton setting over the seam for 10-20 seconds.
Step 5: Complete the seams for each side of the fabric.
Step 6: If you are placing fabric on fabric like I did by adding the Route 66 fabric as a valance to the top of the privacy curtains, place a strip of seaming tape along the top of the curtains and iron on the second fabric on top.
Step 7: Remove the old curtain hook from the old curtains. Each pop up camper uses its own type of hooks for hanging curtains, so just reusing the old ones is the cheapest and easiest way to go.
Step 8: Use hot glue or other adhesive of your choosing to glue the hooks to the back of the new curtains. You can measure the spacing on the old ones, or just divide the number of hooks you have into the length of the fabric you have if you like.
That’s it! It is really simple, just time consuming to do.
DIY Camper Cushion Redo
The cushions looked like they were going to take longer, but ended up being really simple. I bought a home decor fabric that was on sale at JoAnn’s for $4.99 a yard. To cover the four cushions of the dinette, it took about 4 yards. You will also need a staple gun.
Step 1: Lay the cushion right side down on the wrong side of the fabric to measure and cut a piece to fit. For the two cushions that form the back of the dinette seats I had to make sure the fabric went all the way around, but for the two cushions that form the bottom of the seats, you can skimp and only leave an inch of fabric on the bottom of the cushion to cut some cost.
Step 2: Once the fabric is cut, pull up a few inches on the bottom of the cushion which has a board on the back. If your cushions do not have a board on the back, you will need to look at a new method for recovering them, or will need to add a hard board back to them. Use the staple gun with quarter inch staples to tightly adhere the fabric to the lower portion of the back of the cushion.
Step 3. Once secure at the bottom on the back, pull the fabric tight across the top and pull down to the back of the cushion before stapling it to secure. Be sure to pull it as tightly as you can.
Step 4: Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of this step before I put the cushions away in the camper, but all I did for the sides of the fabric, was fold them up like I was wrapping a Christmas present. Fold the corners of the fabric in and then fold the triangular point up and staple it to the back of the cushion. If there is loose fabric on the ends, you can place hot glue on the creases to make it tight.
The last thing I did in the pop up camper remodel is to repaint the cabinets and walls. They were a putrid greenish yellow color and looked awful. I just painted them with a high quality interior paint that had built in primer because there were not glossy laminated cabinets like you would find in a kitchen. The previous owners had recently placed lenolium on the floor and countertops, so we let those be for now. Check out the before and after shots below.
What do you think? We hope that you will take a moment to follow along with us as we travel across the United States. The trip starts this Friday May 9th and ends the middle of July. You can see updates here on the blog and by following the #70DayRoadTrip hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!