All the little bits and bobs I love about Evie, our 1982 Bedford CF Mk 1 facelift van. Some fun ideas to save if you’re eyeing up a campervan conversion project – climbing holds for getting into bed, anyone?
Favourite things from inside Evie, our vintage Bedford campervan conversion
Evie went to her second festival this summer – I took along some solar-powered festoon lights from Lights4Fun’s range of outdoor string lights and we strung them along her side, a lovely way to make a cosy outside space when night falls.
CROSS STITCH CREATIONS
Our wonderful friend made this little cross stitch of Evie’s licence plate, which is now in pride of place on her wall. We also popped the front cover of her knackered xx manual on the wall, which I’m very pleased with.
I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but I think one of my absolute favourite things about our campervan conversion is this £4.50 spice rack from Ikea. We cook a lot in the van, and it’s lovely having oils and spices on hand next to the stove Next up, I’m adding a magazine rack.
NEW PAINT JOB
The most dramatic thing we did to Evie was repaint her from light blue to… slightly darker blue. The primer was allowing her to rust in a few spots, so we needed to give her an outer coat. We re-primered her cab and back surfaces using a primer spray. Then we used Land Rover paint in Marine Blue (this was close as we could find her original 1982 Bedford colour, Bedford blue) and hand painted all the surfaces.
SOLAR-POWERED FAIRY LIGHTS
When we bought Evie, she had some unpleasantly bright white strip lights running across the ceiling. When we pulled it down and relined it with cork, she looked much better – but felt a little dark. Recently the lovely lot at Lights4Fun have helped me kit her out with these gorgeous fairy lights. They’re solar-powered, so we just pop the solar panel out of the van door when we pitch up and we’ve got an instantly cosy space. And if littler friends come to visit, we also hang out this cute-as-anything retro camper lights.
We worked hard to make a beautiful handmade wooden table made from sustainably sourced offcuts. It ended up inordinately heavy and wobbly and skewiff. So in the end I ordered a foldout camper table off Amazon for £50 (this one is similar) and, of course, it worked brilliantly.
REUPHOLSTERED CUSHIONS AND VINTAGE FABRICS
Evie came with cushions upholstered in some alarming yellow fabric. I took that off and ordered deadstock corduroy fabric from Amo Threads (deadstock is the odds and ends that brands sell of cheaply – it’s a great sustainable way to shop if you don’t need loads of fabric). Evie’s bright curtains are made from second-hand blankets and fabric I bought on my travels, and above the bed the ceiling is lined with vintage scarves and material from adventures in Bolivia, India and Nepal.
CLIMBING HOLDS ABOVE THE BED
Ahhh, the famous climbing holds! We toyed with the idea of getting a ladder to help clamber into Evie’s comfy double bed, but in the end we went one better. I bought some second-hand climbing holds (cheap, because they needed a reallllly good scrub) on Ebay and we used bolts to drill them into the bedframe. It makes each evening feel like a mini adventure.