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Creative Mum Totally Transforms Tired Caravan Over Lockdown For £1K, Saving £3K

Deborah Cohen
1 September 2020, 11:00 am
  • Katie Dolphin, 34, was given the project of renovating her parents' £1,000 caravan
  • She sourced budget materials from Facebook Marketplace and ASDA
  • Katie says a newly-renovated caravan would cost up to £5,000

The lockdown has been a testing time for most families, but it’s also unleashed a creative streak in many of us.

One mum was given the chance to exercise her creativity during the long months of self-isolation.

Katie Dolphin, 34, a mum of two and pastoral manager from Warrington, was tasked with renovating a tired old caravan that her parents bought second-hand for £1,000.

Using Frenchic paint and accessories from ASDA and Facebook Marketplace, Katie and her sister Amy managed to transform the caravan into a gorgeous, modern space for another £1,000.

This represented a huge saving on if they had bought one that was already renovated, which Katie estimates would cost up to £5,000.

Katie told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "During lockdown, my mum and dad spotted a caravan for a sale from a friend for £1,000.

“They decided to buy it and ask me and my sister if we would do it up.

"I've always had a passion for painting and I'm always doing things in my house.

"I discovered Frenchic paint and used it on projects in my house so decided to try it in the caravan. I found a local stockist and purchased the following colours.

"I bought Wolf Whistle for the main colour, which we used on the walls and cupboards, Stormzy for the kitchen cupboards, Dusky Blush, which I used on one wall and created a blackboard for the kids, and Blackjack on the kitchen worktops and taps.

"I used heat resistant paint for the cooker and heater.

"I used white enamel spray to respray the yellow kitchen sink. We added sticky back tiles in the kitchen area also.

"A friend recovered the seats, which cost £400 for fabric and work. A friend made the curtains which in total cost £200.

"We found the carpet free on Facebook Marketplace.

"The rest was cushions and accessories mainly from ASDA online.

"The cost of a caravan done up nicely would normally cost over double.

“I think you’d have to spend between £4,000 and £5,000 for a caravan with newly decorated seat coverings, curtains, carpets and all painted.

“I reckon with the cost of caravan, cushions, curtains, paint and accessories, it's cost another £1,000 so £2,000 in total and it's been worth every penny!

"The kids are so excited for holidays in it and love the idea of the chalkboard.”

Katie is over the moon with how the project has turned out, and found the caravan renovation to be a great distraction during the lockdown.

"Me and my sister created this and it really helped us throughout lockdown,” she adds.

"We had this parked on my nan's drive. My nan is 80 and was self-isolating but seeing us daily visiting the caravan and having a sneak peek really helped her emotionally and mentally as it meant she got to see us from afar too.

"It was hard finding the time to do it with the girls but I mainly did it when my husband was home from work.

“We knew it would be worth it to make memories with the family.”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “It’s always tempting to buy something swanky and new, but as Katie’s caravan project shows, it’s definitely not the most cost-effective way forward.

“Instead, buying second-hand - whether furniture, clothes or caravans - and then using your creative talents to upcycle it - is affordable, eco-friendly and can save you thousands!"

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