Caravan Shop Project – Turning my 1970’s Thomson Glen into a Silly Old Sea Dog Shop!

I have wanted a caravan shop for some time, after seeing some fabulous ones at Vintage Fairs and other events and being really inspired by them – Caravans, Airstream’s, Horse Boxes, Ambulances, Fire engines and other old vehicles – you name it, there are so many fabulous pop up shops out there! As well as for appearance, I could also see the benefits to having a caravan shop for keeping stock clean and dry and secure over night, as well as offering a changing facility. I had been hunting for the perfect caravan for some time, I only wanted a small one as I could envision a nightmare toeing a large one and I didn’t want to have to do the towing licence either to be able to tow a larger or heavier caravan than your normal licence allows.

before inside 2 before outside 3

Then I found the perfect little caravan on eBay and it was located quite locally in Devon! A Thomson Glen 2 1970’s 2 berth caravan, in a nice condition but in need of some renovation and perfect for my shop! As soon as I went to see her, I knew that she was the one and luckily my friend who is a mechanic and went to pick her up for me agreed that she was in a sound condition – which was a relief as I had already paid my deposit on her!

before inside before outside 4

Once she was home, my first job was to take out the bits that I didn’t need or wouldn’t be able to fit it – the beds and top cupboards had to go to make room for rails – I have kept these in the shed in case I ever want to put her back to an original caravan in the future. Then came the sanding – which was quite a tedious job! I choose to paint the cupboards cream (well Almond) and green as the shade of green is my favourite colour. I had to undercoat them all after sanding. I decided to keep the kitchen area of the caravan as this is very cute! And the cooker and sink are in full working order and I’m sure will be useful for making brews at our events!

before outside me In Progress 5 In Progress

After the woodwork, my next challenge was the ceiling, I tried to remove the sticky covering which had been used, but it didn’t want to go anywhere, so in the end I decided to fill the gaps with decorators caulk and paint over it, after 3 coats of cream paint, I don’t think you can tell where the gaps were! I did the beading first ion green using masking tape to keep off the white bits!

In Progress 9 In Progress 12

The caravan has a fab wooden floor with floorboards just like at home, so I just sanded this down and stained it with a clear varnish to help protect it.

In Progress 18 In Progress 21

In the bathroom, there were no amenities when I brought the caravan, but this was fine as I wanted this as a changing room rather than a bathroom.

before toiler Finished 8


The floor here was stained and had a hole in where the toilet had been, so in here Dad put some board down and then I laid a lino over the top, with a silver edging strip at the doorway.

In Progress 14 In Progress 16

I wanted to be able to do most of the work myself, I had seen lots of vans with wallpaper on the walls, but I’m not very good at wallpapering and getting it straight or lined up! So I decided to make my own wallpaper, I brought lots of 1950’s-70’s fashion magazines and then cut these to fit around and got them onto the walls with wallpaper paste. After they were all on and dried out, I painted over them with clear varnish (the same I used for the floor).

Finished 2 Finished 4

Dad then painted the stool for me, to make this clean and tidy and fit the rails into the caravan ready to display the clothes.

Inside Shop 7 Stool

I took out the old curtains and copied them for the sizing to make some new ones, which were nice and fitting for the colours of the van. I re-used the original rails and tie backs.

Inside Shop 8 Inside Shop 10 Outside Shop

There is just the painting of the outside to go and adding my logos for now, this is a job for in the winter. But overall I’m really pleased with her, what do you think?????

Ooh and I’ve named her Thelma (well actually her full name is Thelma Thomson, as she is a Thomson caravan).

Inside Shop 4 Mum Shop Set Up 2

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