Clever Mom Transforms 1972 Shasta Camper Into Tiny Crafting Classroom

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

Crafter, designer, and blogger Denise Sabia of The Painted Home loves to turn the old and forgotten into the new and delightful.

Providing everything from interior design to house flipping in the Philadelphia area, her friends are known to say things like, “Give Denise some hot glue and a ponytail holder and she can do anything.”

So when she came across a little old camper, she had an idea for what it could become.

When most people transform campers, they turn them into charming little living spaces, perfect for road trips. But other people want to turn them into something entirely different, while still keeping it conveniently mobile.

We’ve seen people turn campers into everything from hair salons to photo labs.

So when Sabia got her 1972 Shasta camper, she knew she would want to share it with the public, too.

She turned it into The Crafty Camper, a tiny classroom where she would teach all kinds of crafting and DIY skills to visitors.

She enlisted the help of her nephew, a carpenter, and together they transformed the camper into a perfect mobile classroom.

Then, it was off to fairs, festivals, exhibits, and parties!

[H/T: Country Living]

Denise Sabia fell in love with this 1972 Shasta camper. As someone always on the lookout for the next project, she wasn’t content to simply keep it as is.

Instead of keeping it as a simple camper, Sabia turned it into a mobile crafting classroom, which would travel to events, parties, promotionals, and more.

And thanks to the skills of her carpenter nephew, the interior actually did double duty. The camper served as a classroom and also for family vacations with her three children and their dog.

Due to the small size of the camper, Sabia’s crafting lessons remained fairly simple, which also makes them appealing to people who have never tried crafting before.

Lessons included candle decorating, turning old T-shirts into scarves, and making memo boards from chicken wire and old picture frames. At parties and private events, some people came with requests for crafts they’d seen online.

“It’s a twist on mom’s night out,” Sabia explained. “Crafts don’t have to be perfect. It’s just therapeutic to sit and make something.”

For larger groups, she often set up a larger table so that as many as 15 people could come by. It also serves as a way to advertise all the things you might learn to make.

And the inside? Just as cute.

This table, which could seat four, served as a crafting table, and the oilcloth cushions mean that should anything spill, cleanup was easy and the cushions won’t get stained.

“I wanted to keep it clever and economical,” Sabia said. And economical is key in such a small area.

This table was also removeable to reveal a slide-out bed, and there was a fold out bunk hidden away, too.

That means that every space was dedicated to storage. The vintage suitcases under the counter was used to store crafting items, and the counter itself started out as an old shipping pallet, topped with a donated countertop.

And the sink was created from a bucket from the Home Depot.

And after each lesson, crafters took home a handmade, one-of-a-kind item. If they weren’t feeling crafty that day? That’s okay, since there were usually completed crafts for sale, too.

Sabia’s clever camper gained her a lot of attention in the Philadelphia area, even landing her a spot on the news.

And when it came time to roll the camper on home, it folded up quite neatly.

However, Sabia’s time with the camper came to a close last summer.

Although she’d dreamed of having a camper for a long time, she found that it was a better idea to sell it to someone who would take good care of it.

The camper was purchased by fellow DIY enthusiast and pattern maker Kelly McCants at Modern June.

And as you can see, McCants is giving it all the love it deserves. She’s even given it a new name, SewJunie!

Check out what Sabia has been up to on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

And SHARE this adorable camper to inspire someone you know to get crafty!