MANY of us spent lockdown making banana bread, doing YouTube workouts or trying to get through home-schooling.

But one DIY couple spent their time at home completing a caravan renovation.

And you won’t believe how insane it looks.

Candice Elrod, 35, a security officer from Newcastle upon Tyne, and her fiancé Darren Francis, bought a caravan for £800 and soon set about transforming it into a stylish, modern space.

The couple did everything from painting and decorating to plumbing and upholstery.

They used budget materials from Aldi, IKEA, eBay, B&M, Dunelm, Primark, B&Q and Home Bargains and were able to transform the caravan for £1,500.

Candice told "We've always loved to travel and with lockdown it became impossible.

"I had seen a few caravan renovations on social media and we decided to look at getting a caravan ourselves.

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"It seemed like an impossible task though: as soon as we'd arrange to view it would then be sold.

"This went on for weeks as I think everyone had the same idea!

"We bought the caravan in August 2020 and paid £800. We started work right away.”

Candice explains the work that her and her fiance did on the caravan.

She said: "My fiance thought we were just going to give it a lick of paint and be away on our travels but I wanted to totally renovate it.

"We decided to try to do the renovation ourselves to keep costs down, and since it was during the height of lockdown, professionals were booked months in advance, and I'm someone who wants things done yesterday!

“My fiance was on furlough during lockdown so had time to work on the caravan. I worked throughout lockdown so I helped on days off.

"We ripped out the bathroom unit as it was an awful yellow colour, chucked out the curtains and completely scrubbed it clean from top to bottom as the previous owners had kept it in storage and not been in use in over two years.

"Then we sanded all the surfaces in prep for painting.

"I used Frenchic's Alfresco range in Dazzle Me, Dusky Blush and Blackjack.

"I'd previously used this paint on a few projects at home and loved the colours and finish of it.

"The cupboards and woodwork did take about four coats which seemed like a never ending task but we finally got there.”

Stick-on wallpaper is extremely popular at the minute and Candice used it for her caravan transformation.

She explained: "I decided to use stick-on wallpaper in a dotty effect to fill in the insert of cupboards for a funky effect. I've always loved a print.

"We decided to recover the seats ourselves in a faux leather material, as I thought it would be easier to clean with having two dogs and would also give it a modern twist.

"I also managed to get matching curtains to the dotty wallpaper I'd used for the inserts of the cupboard doors so my friend who is a seamstress altered them to fit the caravan windows.

"I wanted the caravan to have a nice homely feel so I decided to hang voile drapes at the window in the dusky blush colour.

"We'd completely changed the bathroom and used marble PVC cladding on the walls and fitted a new stainless steel sink in.

"The toilet looked very out of place with it being old and discoloured so I decided to paint it black.

"I also used stick-on wallpaper to cover the dining area table so it matched in with the deco.

"We did have a few issues with the water tank leaking but my fiance managed to reseal all the pipes himself.”

If you want to undertake a similar transformation and are wondering how much everything costs, Candice gives all the details.

She revealed: “For the bathroom, I bought the cladding for £115, the sink for £40 and the mixer tap for £35, all from ebay.

“In the kitchen, I used heat resistant stove paint to spray the cooker and sink. I used four tins which cost £20 from ebay, and the stick-on tiles cost £15 from Home Bargains.

“The lighting was £45 from ebay, the crystal door handles were £20 from ebay, and the faux leather seating was from ebay for £145.

“I bought the stick on wallpaper, curtains and bedding from Dunelm for £250, the laminate flooring from B&Q for £110 and the paint from Frenchic for £100.

“I bought £130 of cushions from Primark, George and B&M, floor rugs from B&M for £15 each, faux sheepskin rugs from Dunelm for £13 each, a gold lamp from IKEA for £15, and the black kettle, toaster and microwave from George for £100.

"My fiance made the heater cover and the glass grid mirror on the door was from IKEA for approximately £20.

"Aldi Special Buys is a good place to look for stuff – I got shatterproof glasses for £5 and inflatable sofas for £25 for the awning.

“In total, we spent about £1,500 on renovating.


Candice is over the moon with the look of her completed renovation, and is loving her trips away in her caravan.

She added: “Anyone is able to give renovations a go and to just go for it.

“It's hard work but so rewarding knowing that you've done it all yourself.

"Since we've completed the caravan and had a few trips away, we now know what we're doing.

"For our first trip away we booked in overnight somewhere local so we could get used to setting up and towing.

“As total newbies we forgot our water barrel so had to use bottled water. It's all part of the learning process!

“It's brilliant, other campers and caravanners are so friendly and it's lovely being able to get away and see new places. To be honest, I'm sad when it's time to come home!"

Meanwhile, we’re a family-of-five living in a camper – people can’t believe it’s got two bathrooms, a huge kitchen and dining.

Also, people never believe what’s inside our tiny van, we spent months doing it up & it’s even got a home CINEMA.

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