Hi guys! We finally did it! We finished our doll camper! Hooray! Now our dolls are ready to go travelling in style! 🙂
Okay, so where we left off in Part One, we had just come to a place where we had the interior of the camper sorted, but the exterior was still looking kind of sad.
We had decided that a mash up between the newest AG Pop Up Adventure Camper and Lanie Holland’s Camper would be the best bang for our crafty creative buck. Not that this camper ended up costing much, just it’s weight worth in duct tape, LOL! 🙂
But let us start at the beginning shall we?
Our first order of business was to cut a skylight in the top of the camper. This was necessary to add a little bit of light to the box and also because my daughter insisted that it needed one so the dolls could look up at the stars at night. We are full on into the imaginary play with this project. 🙂
So using an exacto knife, we cut a skylight in the top of the box, and hot glued a piece of plastic packaging from a box we were going to recycle.
Be kind to the earth! Reduce, reuse, recycle!! I think that Lanie would be very proud of us! 🙂
Now the dolls can watch the stars to their hearts content. The skylight also lets in a lot of light for pictures.
Next, we needed to cover up all of that raw cardboard. We immediately headed to the dollar store to pick up some foam board. At our Dollarama, foam board is $1.25 a sheet. That is a steal of a deal. Especially considering that we needed about four pieces for this project.
Here’s how it all came together.
First we covered the main box compartment. We used an exacto knife to cut the foam board, and we hot glued the pieces into place.
It was kind of like putting together a puzzle bit by bit. It actually ended up working really well and it adds a lot of stability to the cardboard.
Next, we covered the pop up area. My initial thinking was that I could paint the foam board unlike cardboard that tends to sag when you paint it.
We kind of sat and stared at this for a long time after we were done this step. We were trying to figure out how to go about the next part. My daughter honestly didn’t care by this point. She was happy to play with it just as it was.
The next order of business was the pop out area. We really wanted it to be fully contained. We used the lid from a shoebox for the overhang. I just hot glued it in place. It was not very sturdy at this point.
We had a roll of black mesh that we had found at our local thrift store that was perfect for this project. We just draped it over the shoebox lid and hot glued a piece of foam board to the top of the lid to keep the mesh securely in place. Be sure that there is enough mesh hanging down on all sides to fully cover the sleeping area.
Next, we cut the mesh to fit. We cut the sides first, making sure that the front edge was cut at an angle so it would match up with the front flap. We lined the front edge in pretty duct tape. This was before we discovered that the shoebox lid awning was beginning to sag, which meant that the mesh was also beginning to sag.
You can see here where the edges of the sides were beginning to sag. You might also notice a square hole that has been cut out of the end of the bed box. We figured that since we have a large box with so much storage potential, why not make a storage compartment under there?
My daughter was the one who thought of it after she discovered that there really wasn’t anywhere for the dolls to put their camping gear and clothing. The entire bed then becomes a storage cubby! Genius right? 🙂
To fix the mesh sagging, we added a small barbecue skewer dowel to either side.
The dowel is hot glued up under the awning, and it runs all the way down along the front edge of the mesh to where it is secured to the end of the bed. This stabilized the awning, and kept the front edges of the mesh taut without sagging. It also secured the duct tape to the mesh, which was good since at this point we realized that duct tape doesn’t actually stick to mesh.
Hey, I guess you learn new things everyday! LOL! 😛
(We are faking it mostly anyway, so we have learned to expect the unexpected all the time.)
The front flap is left to hang freely. We hot glued a piece of velcro to the end so that it could be secured to the front of the camper.
This way it can be opened and closed allowing the dolls to climb in and out of bed with ease.
At this point, we had given the entire camper a colour makeover. We used a light green paint to mimic the colours in Lanie’s camper, but after it was finished, we weren’t 100% happy with the results.
The colour was cute enough, but I didn’t like that there were raw edges all over the place. Again, the Little Miss didn’t care in the slightest. Actually it was all I could do to keep any of the girls in the neighbourhood out of the camper by this point, so I didn’t even try.
What to do? What to do?
The Little Miss took a few shots of MaryEllen in the new camper while we pondered our dilemma. 🙂
We sat and stared at the project a bit more, until I finally had an idea. We would use duct tape to cover the raw edges! I quickly went online to find pastel mint green duct tape. It took a while, but I finally found some at our local Michael’s for $6.99 a roll. With their 50% off coupon, it only ended up being $3.50.
The colour of this tape is Sage. We quickly set to work. However, we didn’t bother taking any photos of the result of this since it was immediately dismissed for our next idea, which was to cover the entire camper in duct tape. Back to Michael’s we went with our 50% off coupon in hand to buy 2 more rolls of duct tape.
(The Little Miss bought one roll, and I bought the other one. That way we could use the coupon for both rolls.).
We love the result!!
There are no more raw edges and the exterior is shiny and smooth!
We didn’t end up putting wheels on the camper, because in our experience, as soon as you put wheels on something, everyone thinks that it is a race car. Then they race it around until it is smashed to smithereens.
Case in point: DIY Pretty City Carriage
Now the dolls are ready for their next vacation!
The string of lanterns is removable. We just taped it on with regular tape. We made the lanterns from our doll camp lantern tutorial. We just used 3″x3″ paper squares of paper to make them mini. We used coloured card stock and string.
We hot glued the lanterns to the string so they wouldn’t slide around.
Here are some pics of the finished project! Just click on the gallery below!
Shout out to my mom who crocheted some ADORABLE chevron blankets and matching star pillows that we think are just darling for the camper!! We ❤ you!
(See the PixieFaire Chevron Blanket Pattern.)
I hope you enjoyed!
Have a crafty kind of day!
Leave a comment below!
❤ ❤ ❤
UPDATE: See Part One of the Camper HERE