We do not get paid for the links listed below, we just thought they might be useful to others renovating a vintage camper. We always look “in the wild” first for items we can repurpose, reuse, or recycle! It’s cheaper, it’s more eco-friendly, and it’s fun, and sometimes challenging, to hunt for those items. We hunt at thrift stores, Habitat for Humanity, flea markets, ebay, craigslist, and yard sales. Sometimes people gift things to us, sometimes we trade stuff. I also make some retro-inspired and beach-themed items, which you’ll find in my online shop.
EDIT: 5/31/2017: We were gifted a 1999 Georgie Boy CruiseMaster RV on our 11th Anniversary, and we are only doing a “gentle” makeover, so I will be adding a few more products to this page that reflect the items we’ve found for the subtle changes.
SMART TILE (backsplash)
I needed to find something in a vermillion or reddish orange hue to pull some warmth into the camper, and had heard great things about Smart Tile. Thin and light, you can cut it with a scissors, and the self-adhesive sticks well. UPDATE: After months, I loved it more every time I saw it. It is almost gem-like when you look at it. Vibrant and pretty! (Edit, 2016: We no longer own the camper, so I don’t know how it sticks long-term.) http://www.homedepot.com/p/Smart-Tiles-11-55-in-x-9-64-in-Peel-and-Stick-Mosaic-Decorative-Tile-Backsplash-Tango-Ruby-in-Orange-and-Red-Box-of-6-Tiles-SM1046-6/205870339?N=5yc1vZ3wr
I ordered both wallpaper borders for the RV (affectionately dubbed “The Beach House”) from ebay. The shoreline one came from The Wallpaper Barn. It has a distinctly vintage feel, and I thought it might be older, so I wrote and asked. Walt answered my questions quickly and shipped the border pronto. They also have 2 stores in PA and a nice selection on ebay. The bamboo lattice came from bilchrest, who has a large wallpaper selection at low enough prices, it was worth paying the shipping from Canada!
We ordered Zander Cherry Marine Softside vinyl with black piping on the visual side only. NOTE: The color is NOT as bright as it shows on that website – it’s more like the color in our tile above, like a strong vermilllion.
FLOORING: go for the remnants!
We stopped at our local Carpetland to check out remnants (we only needed a 7 x 9′ piece), and lo and behold, they had a remnant that was the PERFECT color, in the EXACT size we needed. It’s IVC’s “Timeless Traditions”, Color: Nero 537. I love it more every time I step into the camper. It is beautiful. BONUS: it was priced $69, and they sold it to us for $40! http://www.ivcfloors.com/Sheet-Vinyl-Tile-Product-Page.aspx?p=82&o=Nero
FORMICA (table top, counter top)
Since we’re going with an atomic/space era vibe, I wanted table and counter surfaces to looked sort of like outer space. Black with “swooshes” of white, rather nebula-like. The black will be a good balance against the red backsplash and will neutralize the busy curtains a bit. I came upon Formica’s Basalt Slate laminate way in the beginning of our camper retrovation, when I was still in the daydreaming stage. Hubby brought home about 200 samples of laminate when we were ready to choose, and yes, I stuck with my first choice! It looks fantastic!
The aqua that we used on the exterior of the camper: the actual 1972 Ford truck “Shenandoah Green” color, which is cool, because the truck pulling the camper is a ’72 Ford! (Really a deep aqua; the PPG equivalent: 2420). We used a single-stage automotive paint, sprayed on with a HVLP (high volume, low pressure) paint gun. (seen below)
CABINET PULLS (above)
We got the first bundle of pulls from our local Habitat for Humanity store, but they didn’t have quite enough, so I had to order a few more from Home Depot. I HIGHLY suggest checking out your local HFH store, because the prices are super low AND the money goes to a very good cause! Home Depot link for pulls.
I tried to order three different fabrics from
Islands Fabric, and found each one discontinued (update your damn website!!). THEN, the heavens opened up with the singing of angels, and I discovered the glorious world of Fabric.com! OH. EM. GEE. They have a great GINORMOUS selection, easy to navigate website with a “design board” feature, and superb service!
1. Michael Miller “Modern Atomic” 2. “Kanvas Happy Hour” (my mixin’ cocktails apron), 3. Michael Miller “Holiday Break” Grey, 4. Michael Miller “Jug Or Not Retro Framed” Vanilla (pillows), and 5. “Sticks” (propane tank covers – I got it on clearance; no longer available).
CALCULATING YARDAGE THE EASY WAY!!
Sailrite has the most incredible yardage calculator online! Input your dimensions, fabric width, and fabric repeat, and it not only calculates how many yards you’ll need, but also plots out your cutting map on a pdf to download!! They have calculators for cushions, pillows, awnings, umbrellas, tarps, window treatments, and upholstery. FABULOUS! And they have a wonderful video library for how to sew these projects! Thank you, Sailrite! http://fabric-calculator.com/
This color-changing star lamp from Amazon is battery-operated. Oddly, there is no switch on it. It remembers what time you inserted the batteries, and will stay on for 5 hours, then come back on the next day at the same time! The colors changes are really quite lovely. The star is about 8″ tall. http://amzn.com/B003TJ952S
BONUS: I found a string of mini lights shaped exactly like this light at Big Lots ($12, summer, 2015), so they’ll hang on the edge of the shelf above the bed, and the big star will be sparkling smack dab in the middle of them. SWEET! (shown below)
The sleek black and frosted glass wall fixture in our dining area is from Lowe’s. I believe it’s still around $20. It looks absolutely stunning in the recessed part of the overhead cabinet! http://www.lowes.com/pd_294377-43501-FB08-034_0__?Ntt=294377&UserSearch=294377&productId=3031021&rpp=32
TUFF STRIP (shown below) by Crown , from Lowe’s – used to strip the paint from the quilted metal on the exterior of the camper. Worked well, but did need additional coats because of the layers of paint. http://tinyurl.com/l7novyp
STAR TREK DOOR “CHIME” (shown below)
What else COULD we have in an atomic era lounge? Can you imagine stepping in to take a peek at the
camper Lounge, and hearing the iconic Star Trek door swoooosh? omg!! I implore you to watch the video! We played with it for about 20 minutes when we unboxed it. It’s a HOOT! We used Command Strips with the “nail” on them so we can take this off the wall when we travel. This is now the door alarm in the RV. http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e9b8/?pfm=Search&t=star%20trek%20door
STAIN (above) We got a custom “Golden Oak” color mix recipe from a local handyman who had redone a woman’s doors to look like aged MCM wood. Sherwin Williams Interior Wood Classics Oil Based Penetrating Stain. Thanks, Sherwin Williams! The color is warm, vintage-looking, and makes the birch SING. Absolutely gorgeous.
VARNISH (shown above) MinWax Wipe On Hand Rubbed Finish (Gloss). They recommend 220 for sanding between coats, but that seemed a bit heavy, so we used 320, and applied three coats. If your wood is very dry, it may even take more. Some folks do 6 coats as a standard practice. With 47 pieces, plus the interior of the camper, even three coats was a LOT of pieces to stain and varnish. (TIP: a very experienced handyman told us that for his last touch, he uses a brown paper bag to “sand” the finish to a spiffy shine – it really works!)
PATIO MAT Many places do not carry smaller mats. We certainly do not need a 15′ or 20′ mat with a 13′ trailer. After trying to order a really pretty fern mat (out), a terra cotta border (out), and a classic border (color turned out to be wrong), I broke down and ordered a newly-discovered 8′ x 11′ espresso fern design from Walmart. 552791403espresso
MATTRESS: SO many mattress choices. I ended up selecting a Sleep Revolution Euro Mattress 5″ Milano from Walmart for the camper. No shipping charges; store pick up. Aug. 15th: First night of sleep – very firm (which I like). Good sleep.
OUTRIGGER RV STEP RUGS – a great addition to our porch step. We’ve not used it in the rain yet, so we’ll see if it gets slippery. (shown below)
LOCTITE FUN-TAK – I’ve used this to put items up on the walls (the small signs in the potti closet, for instance), and they’ve been up for over a month in the heat with no issues. (shown below)
JUST FOR GIGGLES…TOYS!
I admit I’m just a big kid, and I love having silly things around! TIN TOY ARCADE has the coolest retro fun stuff!
We have a huge flock of rubber duckies, so I was tickled to find übercute SPACE DUCKS, a Robot Head Timer in the Aquatomic Lounge colors (edit 6/30/15: they no longer carry the timer), and a fun chrome-y ROCKET TEA INFUSER! (The last photo is our duckies on a tiny vintage shelf that JohnnyV had tucked away in his workshop. It’s now over our camper door.)
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