DIY family transforms dated caravan into beautiful space for just £520

The new year is the perfect time to take on a DIY project – and if you need inspiration, look no further than this savvy family.

Cerys Hopkins, mum-of-four from South Wales, transformed a dull and dated caravan into a classy, stylish, Pinterest-perfect space using budget materials such as sticky vinyl and flooring offcuts.

Cerys, who works in the Welsh government, toiled away with her husband and son to completely renovate the space in three months. 

‘My husband and I loved holidays at our grandparents’ caravans as children, and we always dreamed of having our own so our children could experience it too,’ the 42-year-old told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.

‘One came up for sale locally and we jumped at the chance. I had seen caravan transformations before and just wanted to put our own stamp on a van. 

‘Older vans, in my opinion, have very dated interiors and the van we bought is from 2002. I built up screenshots of ideas I loved and went from there.


‘My husband, eldest son, aged 17, and I completed the transformation over three months in between jobs, school and parenting.’

To prepare, the hard-working family took all the doors off, sugar soaped and cleaned all the surfaces, stripped the flooring and removed all the soft furnishings.

‘Anything that could be taken out was stored in our garage so we had more space,’ she says. ‘Our garage and dining room got taken over.’

‘We used Frenchic Alfresco paint for all cupboards, walls and ceilings and sticky vinyl to cover all worktops and tabletops.  We used wood strips to create the feature wall in the dining area and tropical wallpaper in the bathroom to make a statement. 

‘I loved that paper and just had to use it somewhere and that was the perfect place.

‘We used sticky back tiles for the kitchen wall area, carpet in the living area to create a cosy feel and then vinyl flooring for the rest so it is easy to clean. 

‘We replaced the dated gas fire with an electric one, finishing off with a rustic chopped log surround.’

They also got technical with the electrics and changed the sockets to ones with USB ports, and updated the frumpy wall lights to something more modern and in keeping with the design.

‘The flooring cost £60 from a local carpet shop, the stick on tiles cost £40 from Amazon, the new handles cost £50 from ebay, the paint cost £150 from a local stockist, the upholstery material cost £70, the curtain material and cushions cost £30, the wallpaper cost £15 from I Love Wallpaper, the electric fire cost £50 from Amazon, the wood strips cost £20 from B&Q, the lights cost £20 from Amazon and the sticky vinyl cost £15 from B&M,’ says Cerys.

Cerys is thrilled with the finished look of her caravan and says there are plenty of ways to keep costs down and get some freebies along the way.

‘It really has been hard work, however we cannot wait to use it next year,’ she adds.

‘We have secured a seasonal pitch in Pembrokeshire and can use it from March. We can’t wait to make memories with our children.

‘I took up sewing in lockdown and bought my first machine so I took on the challenge to make the 14 settee cushions and all the curtains myself. I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

‘I estimate that we spent around £520. Luckily, between us all, we had the skills to do everything ourselves. 

‘It was part of the fun putting our own stamp on the van and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved.’

Cerys’ key tips are to screenshot ideas and create a virtual vision board for your project.

‘For flooring, visit local carpet shops and ask for offcuts as the area is so small. It works out much cheaper,’ she adds.

‘Search for discount codes or sign up to newsletters to get a new customer discount. 

‘Join loyalty schemes with local businesses – we did with the local Frenchic stockist and got a tin of free paint. 

‘Get everything checked by a qualified gas engineer and electrician.

‘Have lots of patience, too.’

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