Jun 23, 2013

Pop Up Camper Make Over DIY Tips

Ok first off pop-up camper make overs online are hard to come by! So when I went looking for tips and ideas I didn't find much of anything. Airstreams and RV's seemed to dominate the google results. Ohhhhh the poor pop up, can none see your potential? Just saying the word conjures up fond memories of my camping youth. I wanted to make it a touch more bright and cozy and less ummm trailerish. We got a huge deal on this coleman beast and I had to make sure I kept it well under $100 bucks for everything including all the supplies you need while camping. I took a break from making goodies at my Etsy shop ( shameless plug) to make a cute retreat for friends and family to unwind in.  I went with an Americana vintage theme which is easy cause I had a ton of garage sale finds just waiting to go in and 4th of july colors are all over right now. 


Before: Yes most people would say but it's totally fine the way it is... but that's not much fun is it ?


After a good scrub down I re-used all the curtain hooks and sewed new fabric to the tops, giving me less work in the end and you can't see a thing. 

Very early 90's fabric not "bad" (cough )just not what I was going for. I purchased my fabric from the $1.00 yd bin at Walmart and Joannes craft store. 



Yes my 5 month old enjoyed his time watching me clean. 



Middle work

cheaper then buying polyfill !!


I took the old curtain down and cut the new fabric to match keeping the small strip at the top and cutting the rest of the old stuff off.

AFTER- A full weekend job and bam...... a whole lot of sewing, painting and cleaning and it's almost ready... I just need a hanging fruit basket!! 


I bought the bedding at a discount shop for 19.00 total not to bad. We did a decal on the side with a quote my 7 year old son came up with. We don't actually have best buddies but that's ok. ALL PAINTED white and cream... I had left over paint but I get my paint from the mismatched area of Lowes or Walmart. Then my gallons are as cheap as $5.00!!



Reupholstered with burlap and cheap seconds yardage. I used the envelope technique with the pillows so I could wash them. Iron ons with graphics and I had custom pillows for under 2.00 each. I found new lettered knobs on clearance for .10 each! But sadly they don't spell anything but KOG? 

Chalkboard paint for rainy days need I say more. 




Nothing is complete without matching raccoon pillows

LED battery operated lights from the dollar store gives nice soft lighting at night and early morning. Easy to make tattered scrape banner. Use all your extra fabric for a super cheap cute valance. 






Battery operated light under 10.00 and goes well with the red white and blue theme... Blog post here for the DIY 



Burlap bunting easy and cheap to make!






90 comments:

  1. Just wonderful! The humble pop up deserves some glam! ♥

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    1. Thank you Holly he truly does so often overlooked ! and I am stealing the humble part sounds perfect!!

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  2. Unbelievable! I am speechless. LOVE it.

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    1. Thanks ! remember I said we might have to live in it over the summer so it had to be comfy

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  3. I think you did an awesome job! So fresh and comfy looking! Love the little touches like the lights, raccoon pillows chalk board cabinets and table! Great ideas!!

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    1. Thank you ! It was really fun I might just need some old vintage fruit or owl lights to hang from the outside !

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  4. What a lovely job!!! It is so pretty!!!!
    Couldn't be sweeter :-)

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  5. This is adorable! First time visiting....came over from Sharon (High Prairie Farmgirl) You did a wonderful make-over....light and airy with a touch of cheery! Chalkboard table is a great idea! I am your newest follower! I am starting to make-over a vintage canned ham! Blessings~~~Roxie

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    1. Thank you ! I figured why not ? I would love a go at a canned ham lol !

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  6. love this site so many great ideas

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  7. This is darling! We just bought a used pop-up in May and I would love to brighten it up like this. You are right...it's almost impossible to find good make over tips for pop-ups. I'm so thankful to have found this. So bright and cheery. Well done!

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    1. Yes send me a photo when your done! It's not as hard to fancy them up once you get going good luck !!

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  8. Thank you Sarah, You have inspired us!! I didn't know you could paint that wood tone. So comfy looking. light and airy. we just bought our first used pop- up. Its in really good shape, but has the typical décor..(yuk) we will go to the remnant section of our local fabric store and see what we can find! Thank you, happy camping.
    Lorna

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    1. So glad you're inspired now us pop ups can hang with the rest !! Yes remnants are the way to go. You can paint laminate just use a floor paint or outdoor paint for better coverage. Check the mismatched section and save a bundle ! Happy Camping to you too!

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  9. Fabulous! Now I want to ditch the tents and get a pop up!

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    1. Yes we did tents for years and years we have upgraded in life HA

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  10. I love your make over. I do have a few comments, things I would do differently, but it is just me. Love the colors, love the repaint, except I personally could not do chalkboard paint on table top and counters. I cannot tolerate the touch of flat finish, and those counters will get lots of cleaning if you cook and prepare on them. I would never put lights in the sleeping areas - they draw bugs that will stay with you all night. In a pop up, I prefer to keep lanterns - battery, propane, or liquid fuel - all outside to draw the insects away from where we sleep. Plenty of light will come through the canvas walls. Other than that, it is just about perfect. So much better than blah beige. We had a Ramada pop - up camper for many years, loved it. And it also served as a play house for the kids spring to late autumn. It had rigid fiberglass panels, not canvas. I find it a marvelous way to camp. Up grade from tent, more portable, cheaper to haul, can be dropped at the camp ground, parked in a garage (parking a motor home or large camper in your yard or on your own driveway is illegal in many areas, less taxes, less maintenance, way less expensive tires. You did a great job!!

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    1. Yes the chalkboard on the tabletop was more for the kids good idea? Soon to find out lol do I want them eating on it probably not. Lights come standard in new popups I switched out the older ones and added ones that can be turned on and off. This didn't have a stove inside but an attachment for one on the outside area which makes sense cause cooking indoors other then heating up water or coffee isn't' my cup of tea especially with bears !!! Right now this is our second play room can't keep the kids out! Thanks!

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    2. A piece of clear acrylic to put over the chalkboard table. Keeps it clean for eating and available still for playing. Really nice job.

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  11. I LOVE your creativity! I never learned how to sew or anything else crafty and I am super jealous of people with such talent!!

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    1. I never really learned to sew either just simple stuff !! It's really only squares with the pillows

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  12. Great job, and terrific creativity! I am about half-way through my pop-up redo. I also like to do mine on the cheap! I just found fabric at the thrift store (total $20) that will recover all the cushions and make new privacy curtains over the beds. I painted the woodwork a creamy white ($4 for gallon at Habitat for Humanity store), and re-coated the counter top and the table top with Rustoleum's Countertop Re-coat ($21). I would really like to change out the flooring, but that might be out of my skill level, lol! If anyone has any good ideas for flooring, I'd love to hear about it. Also, I need to do something to change the look of the ugly cooler (fridge) ... its a mustard color. Wondering if I can just paint it? My pop-up is a 1995. By the way, I love your stenciling idea ... so cute!

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    1. Countertop re-coat great idea! I asked my husband about flooring cause I wanted to do a deep brown hardwood floor laminate or white washed looking laminate but that really freaked him out! My fridge is a deep tan I don't like if but not sure what to change it out with cause it's perfectly fine. I know it might sweat when it's running so not sure ? Would love to see some photos when you're done !

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    2. For the flooring, you could do the peel and stick laminate tile squares. They are fairly cheap, around $1.50-2.00 per tile. That is one of the re-do's I want to do in my camper.

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    3. If you have an Ollie's around they sell a box (25 sq ft) of peel and stick tile for $10.00. I've even heard they sell them at the Family Dollar for around the same price. Also, they do have appliance paint that you could use for your refrigerator. A lot cheaper than buying a new one!

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    4. Sarah,
      This is really nice, you have no idea how inspiring it is! I'd be interested to hear now that I assume you've camped a few times in the remodeled version...how did the paint hold up? Particularly, the paint on the cabinets/laminate? I read you needed a special paint but would be delighted to hear yours is holding up just fine, then will look for outdoor paint remnants and get painting this winter so I am ready for Spring.

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  13. This is awesome! Makes me want a popup, I am looking at Craig's list right now��. I can't believe you did that for under $100! It has a beachy feel with the blue and white. How did you do the stencils on the pillows?

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  14. Yes it was well under 100!! The pillows have heat applied iron ons so if you have a printer and a simple photo editing program you can do just about anything.

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  15. I am so glad you posted your pop up makeover! Just yesterday my husband and I bought our first pop up (for a steal!)and I can't wait to do something like this. You are so right about finding tips, tricks, and photos of these projects! Thanks for the inspiration1

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  16. What kind of paint did you use on the cabinets? I just got our pop up yesterday and I have roughly 2 and half months to get it fixed up before my husband gets home! I'm also a little worried about taking down some of the curtains ... what if they won't reattach??

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    1. sorry to get back to you so late we were camping all weekend! I used outdoor paint in the pop up cause we live in NY and it gets very cold here in the winter and I wanted it to weather well plus it's thicker. The curtains should reattach if you take them off ? Mine had little clips on them so I just used the tops of the fabric and sewed the new fabric over the old. Make sure you number or label you curtains if you have ALOT... One mistake I made took hours to find out where they went ! Congrats on seeing hubby again !! I bet he'll love it !

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  17. Hi! Love the make-over! What is the envelope technique you used on the cushions? Wondering if it is no-sew or easy sew.
    Thanks!
    Rachael

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    1. it's not no sew but it's very simple here's a good link on you tube I used this to start cause me and zippers aren't happening yet....


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZnHhbcN-Q&feature=player_embedded

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  18. We just got a 91 Jayco pop up and I'm already dreaming about a redo. All the curtains have been removed, so I'm a little scared of how difficult it will be to figure those out. LOVE LOVE LOVE the decals on the pillows! Do you sell them? I checked out your Etsy store, super cute stuff! Thanks for all the inspiration :)

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    1. I might start selling them when we sell this house and get settled in someplace else .. I'd love to see it when it's done

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  19. You did a wonderful job on your pop-up; it is beautiful. The raccoon pillows are great. You are right about the lack of info when it comes to upgrading/renovating pop-ups. Our pop-up was old and in poor shape, but we loved it. MY husband repaired what he could, and I cleaned it. Setting up was difficult for my husband because there were problems with aligning doors, etc... I also purchased material for the inside, but I never tackled that project. After a few years, we found a man who wanted to sell his travel trailer. Our trailer is a few years old, and it is in excellent shape. Now, we are both happy campers again. I hope you are also.

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  20. YES!! we love it and lucky for us the inside was good ! Only issue bugs seem to get in no matter what ... But not to bad

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  21. Wow, great job! You can always cut a piece of clear vinyl to cover the table for meals.

    I think we have the same pop up! We got ours about a month ago and I've been thinking of painting the cabinets too. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I did end up getting a small piece of vinyl and have been using that and then folding it back up after thanks for the tip!!

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  22. You did a wonderful job on your pop-up; it is beautiful. We just got a free pop-up was old and in poor shape, but I am looking forward to working on it. I was looking for ways to fix it up. It needs a lot. It is a 1977 Lionel Tent Trailer. It has not been opened up for a number of years so it will need a bit of TLC to get it back on the road. It sleeps 6., has two gas burners and ice box and sink. Plus a fair amount of storage. I will have to Repair Canvas some screens, some electrical. I have cleaned the outside, now working on the inside. Then repairs. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!

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    1. Oh yes it will be great airing it out is a must and before winter if you have a winter make sure it's totally dry before you close it back up. I also tarp mine to keep the snow from melting into it come the following spring. GOOD LUCK free is always best !!!

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  23. Great job on the makeover. We had a camper when my girls were young. You will be making many wonderful memories for your children to hold in their hearts.

    We also would park the camper near our back slider door in the summertime for the girls to have sleepovers. They could just come in off the slider to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

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    1. YES YES YES my kids are in this all day long at the house. However will don't sleep in it at night in the yard cause we live in a questionable neighborhood ! I'm just happy I haven't found anyone in it come morning time !

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  24. HEY! I LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! WE ARE CURRENTLY LOOKING AT PURCHASING 1997 POP UP. THE ASKING PRICE IS $700.00 BUT DOES NEED SOME FIXING UP. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA IF THIS IS REASONABLE PRICE? THIS WILL BE OUR FIRST POP UP PURCHASE. ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

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    1. 1997 for 700.00 Sounds good but it depends on the issues it has. New canvas for pop ups aren't cheap. Ours had zero issues and was 1000.00 and is a 2002 I think? So you need to look up the parts and see. BUT pop up camping is nice !!!!

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  25. What a cute camper! We bought a new StarCraft pop-up in 2002 for a road trip to Alaska. Within minutes of getting it home from the dealership I started tearing it apart. The standard décor is SO boring!!! I went with a western theme for curtains and pillows with bandanas for valances and tiebacks. Still would like to re-cover the cushions in denim but am intimidated by the prospect! You've inspired me to go for it!

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    1. Do it and that sounds awesome ALASKA have fun !!!

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  26. I love this! I have a regular camp trailer that I've been working on and I've often thought that a pop-up could be made just as cute. You've outdone yourself, it looks great! :o)

    Tania

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    1. I love trailers too but the pop-up was a great deal! We probably will advance to that at some point HA

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  27. I think I am in love! I've been looking for a good pop up makeover website! I hate how they always get overlooked. My goal is to find an affordable, solid, ugly camper and remodel it.

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  28. I love your redo! I am currently glamping my pop up and would love the iron on pillows!! Could you help me:) Where did you get your pictures and what editing software did you use?

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    1. If you google vintage images you get a huge supply of images !

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    2. and I used photoshop elements

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  29. Ok so what steps did u take before painting? My doors are pressed wood and the frame is metal....any ideas?

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    1. I just washed and painted with outdoor paint to prevent peeling !

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    2. I sanded a bit, then washed it with TSP. Let it dry totally. Then painted it with cupboard paint, three coats. Letting it dry between coats. It turned out good. No peeling.

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  30. Wow! Wonderful makeover on your pop up. I would love to do something like that. My husband says it's not needed, it's just a camper, BUT...I know once I got it looking cozy and fun, he would enjoy it a while lot more. Just discovered you all, and you are just what we need. Just about to buy our first pop up camper. Can you tell me if it is a reasonable price-$3500 It is a Rockwood Freedom 2003 and in good condition, not excellent, but I trust the seller has told us everything up front, as it is a coworker. Also, the awning hasn't been used in years so we are not sure if it is in working condition yet. Are they expensive to fix? There isn't much storage space and we looked for ways to build in more storage but don't see it. Also wondering if anyone can tell me where you buy those hanging mirror and shelfs I saw on your remodeled camper. and would love to remodel, but have no handy dandy skills like above, and limited finances.

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  31. nice job. I really like how you changed out the curtains. Have been thinking about that for my own popup.

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  32. Sarah,

    I love your ideas, creativity and skill. We have a 1988 Jayco Dove 6 that I will be redoing after hunting season (currently at our ranch). I plan to do much like you did sans the chalkboard paint (tried that once, I forgot when you erase there is dust everywhere!)

    Our Jayco is designed much like your PUP but with no couch. I plan to do white paint, new knobs, pillows, cushions and curtains (like you I sew). LOVE the valance idea!

    Ours already had the floor redone with vinyl "wood" which I plan to spiffy up. I love it, but with all the wood, it's very dark now.

    I also plan to take out the sink and stove and instead have a cutting board top put in since we do all our cooking outside.

    Can I ask...did you make or buy that little wood "table" with the beach tote underneath? It looks like pallets. I love the rustic but clean look of it and we have a LONG countertop that needs to be broken up on the other side. Can't decide to make it a couch or more usable space.

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  33. Thank you! You are quite right I too went searching for pop-up camper redo's and renovations and couldn't find anything. I wanted some eye candy to stir my creativity and imagination. I am tickled pink at the end result. It looks like the manifestation of a dream.

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  34. Thank you so much. What an inspiration! I am just about to buy an old pop up and you have given me so many ideas.

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  35. I bought mine last year and have been making changes slowly and finally found someone who gets it!!! Never thought of painting the cabinets, whay type of pain and did you peel off the fake wood before painting? Love Love Love the curtain idea, I have been tinkering and love that you just sewed over the old tops! Love the netting too! Gorgeous! Love Love Love the cream and white interior!

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  36. Hi and thanks I used outdoor paint with primer. I figured this should protect it from the temps in the winter. I'll know soon enough this spring. Nothing special I just washed down the wood paneling and then painted it. I let it cure for a few days in the heat before I let children touch it. Held up really good this summer when we went camping.

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  37. What kind of paint did you use? flat/gloss etc? how does it hold up to the dirt of a family? I love this idea. We are getting a pop up this spring and would love to make it our own!

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    1. I used outdoor paint with primer. It's been fine it's cleaned up well even in muddy camping. I'm hoping that holds up to the harsh temp freezes in NY. But I will know come spring if it held up well.

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  38. Very cute!! Did you use the "envelope" method to recover the cushions? Or was that just the pillows?

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    1. YES on a large one I did. The others had wooden bottoms so I stapled them and added a fabric seal to it

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  39. Hi great job would you mind sharing more detail on how you redone the curtains I want to do that but not sure how to go about it thanks bethpullon@yahoo.com

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  40. Great job! I just did a redo on my a frame pop up (on my blog). Still needing to paint those dark cupboards but this is an inspiration!

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  41. Just curious if you know how the paint held up as I am about to start working on painting my pop up!?!? We are in NY too so I'm curious!! Also…where do you store your throw pillows when you take your camper down? I want to do throw pillows too, but our camper is smaller than yours & I wasn't sure about leaving them in the camper over the winter. Thanks!! I loved your ideas!!

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    1. It held up great no issues at all. I stored my pillows in the pop up if there isn't any moisture issues when you pop it down at the end of the season it's fine to store. I also store my towels and beach things in a plastic tote. The paint looks the same !! Go for it !

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  42. Love Love Love it !!!!!

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  43. We just bought our first pop up and it is UGLY! I am all over the internet looking for pop up redo ideas and yours keeps popping up everywhere I go. It is beautiful and such an amazing inspiration. We are going to Joann's right now to scour the bargain bins for fabric to get started! Thank you so much for your info and sharing so many details. I will be referring back to this post repeatedly for refreshers! I am also putting together a post of my favorite pop up redo's and your will definitely be first on my list!
    xxx
    Kim @ TMTOMH

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  44. We just bought our first pop up and it is UGLY! I am all over the internet looking for pop up redo ideas and yours keeps popping up everywhere I go. It is beautiful and such an amazing inspiration. We are going to Joann's right now to scour the bargain bins for fabric to get started! Thank you so much for your info and sharing so many details. I will be referring back to this post repeatedly for refreshers! I am also putting together a post of my favorite pop up redo's and your will definitely be first on my list!
    xxx
    Kim @ TMTOMH

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes I took the plunge into the pop up make-over and I am so glad I did!

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  45. love your ideas!!! need help just bought a 1979 star craft pop up and orange countertops and brown striped nasty cushions I could use some help any ideas I am really stumped

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    1. If the countertops are orange you can buy countertop paint and make them any color you like! As for the cushions get covers unless you like brown striped ?

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  46. Do you need any particular type of fabric for the curtains so that they aren't see through at night? We're redoing our pop up and I'm scared I'll buy fabric and it'll be see through at night with the lights on. Any tips?

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    1. I used a polyblend that was similar to tent fabric and translucent in nature. Light can come in but it's private at night

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  47. Nice redo! We bought a used tent trailer last year. After a good cleaning the first thing I did was to make new curtains to replace the faded originals. I removed the plastic tabs and reused them with new fabric.

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  48. I just love it.... I just bought a used pop up this weekend for 300.00 :) other than retro outdated décor, it is in great condition for a 1975. I am buying the paint today and getting started with many of your ideas, thanks for sharing.
    Paula
    Turlock, CA

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