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DIY Gran Reveals How She Transformed Old Caravan For Just £1k, Saving £1000s

Deborah Cohen
15 July 2022, 11:00 am
  • Zena Hepburn, 49, transformed a drab old caravan into a stunning monochrome space for just £1,000
  • Zena used Frenchic paint, accessories from IKEA, B&M, Wilko and Home Bargains and lots of DC Fix
  • She estimates she’s saved thousands by doing the renovation herself

Caravan holidays have never been so popular - but buying a brand new one can be seriously pricey.

However, one mum has given us all a masterclass in saving money on caravan renovations.

Zena Hepburn, 49, a midwife, mum of four and grandmother of nine from Essex, transformed a drab old caravan into a stunning monochrome space for just £1,000, saving thousands.

Zena used Frenchic paint, accessories from IKEA, B&M, Wilko and Home Bargains and lots of DC Fix to keep the costs of her caravan transformation down.

Zena told money-saving Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK: "I came up with the idea to paint my caravan Doris with Frenchic paint as the paint is amazing and I've painted lots of things at home.

“I purchased the caravan from my son who just wasn't using it.

"I wanted to use white paint to make it feel clean and fresh and make it feel bigger. The old caravans are very brown.

"I started looking on Instagram and found loads of people had created pages for their caravans so I created my page Doing Up Doris.

"I just decided to go with a monochrome look so it was modern but then kept finding boho type accessories and colours so I combined black, white and naturals.

"The kitchen end cupboards I decided to paint in black just to make them stand out.

"Once it was painted I then covered the tops and the table in DC Fix which is fab, cheap and simple to do.

"A trip to IKEA was exciting as I wanted some fake plants to throw some nice colour in. Green with black and white looks so nice.

"All of my accessories were either from IKEA, B&M, Wilko or Home Bargains.

"No single item was very expensive - I'd just see something and think 'that will go well’.

"I covered the seats in stretchy throws after looking at various ways to do it. I wanted simple and cheap and came across a YouTube video on how to do it.

"All the lights, ceiling lights and skylight were spray painted. The floor is lino.

“The lights were old-fashioned but rather than buy new I just upcycled.

“The same goes for the sink and drainer - you can buy new but to save money I sprayed them. I didn't want it to cost a fortune as I was doing it for fun.

"Saying that, all in all, I think with everything including the TV, cups, paint, wallpaper, floor and so on, I spent about £1000. It was here and there so didn't seem like so much at the time.

"There are a few little bits to finish off but she was almost finished last year and is now sited on a seasonal pitch so we can go and use her whenever.

"I bought three different awnings as I kept finding better ones but she now has an air awning, which makes the living space much bigger.

"I did all of this last year in between working. I'm a private midwife so I'd go to work, come home get straight into my DIY clothes and carry on.

“I used to just sit in her on the drive and look and think, 'wow I love her!’

"One of my old school friends saw what I had done with Doris and asked if I would like to have a caravan she had planned to do up but never did.

"She loved what I had done so much and wanted to see what I could do with it.

"I've called that one Delilah, so my Instagram is now 'Doing up Doris and Delilah’.

“I loved doing it and from the outside which I do want to work on it looks like a little old caravan then inside people are surprised.

"My other son had a very new caravan with all the mod cons that was pitched next to us but my grandchildren loved being in Doris and said it was nicer and my son said it was so cosy.

"We laughed about it as his was lovely. I wouldn't want someone else to renovate it as it's all part of the fun of doing it.

"I've had people say I should offer to do other people's but I don't think the fun would be in that.

“I would guess it's saved a few thousand doing it myself!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Zena’s caravan transformation looks unrecognisable - I’m so impressed she managed to keep the costs down to just £1,000.

“If you’ve considered investing in a caravan, this transformation is very inspiring: instead of buying one new for tens of thousands, buy one second-hand and throw yourself into making it beautiful on a budget!"

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Sugarbabe4 weeks ago

Zena I just love the transformation of your caravan, from drab to fab. It looks expensive and i'm envious as it's gorgeous. You have done an excellent job and your family must be very proud of you. Image