Most teenagers spend their summer vacations heading to camp, jumping into lakes, or getting into mischief. However, one 14-year-old girl used her summer break to do something that’s definitely out of the box!
Ellie Yeater saved up $500 to buy an old, fallen-down camper, but it’s what she transformed that camper into that really sets her apart!
After discovering a camper on sale online, 14-year-old Ellie spent $200 she had saved up from chores and birthday money to make it hers. Her purchasing it wasn’t the impressive part, however, its what she transformed it into that is incredible.
The camper had originally been used for camping and hunting, and it was in pretty rough shape. It was clear from the start that Ellie had her work cut out for her, but she didn’t hesitate for a second, she had a clear vision of her mini dream home.
Ellie got the idea for her own camper after her older brother Isaiah built a tiny cabin on their family’s property. She wanted her own hangout spot, but she wanted something “cuter” and closer to the house so she could have electricity and WiFi.
To spruce up the place and give it more of a feminine feel, she decided to paint over the pseudo-wood paneling on the inside of the camper with a peach and seafoam color scheme. She even added some polka dots for a special touch.
Ellie’s father Larry helped with the carpentry, and her grandmother even made curtains to hang inside. Aside from a little help here and there, Ellie really did all the work herself— from design to installation and painting, Ellie was doing it all!
She wasn’t a huge fan of the funky green seventies floor that was all over the camper. It was also in pretty bad shape… To cover it up she picked out some affordable laminate wood flooring and even laid them down herself.
She collected items for the inside all summer, and she even made sure to construct a winding path to her new hideaway. All roads may lead to Rome, but all paths lead to Ellie’s home— in this backyard anyway.
Ellie is hoping to save up for a window A/C unit next summer. But what she has already done is beyond impressive. Just take another look at all the before pictures before you see Ellie’s finished camper.
With school just around the corner, she also hopes to have a few friends over for a sleepover. How cool would it be to have your own private mini house for some serious girl talk and snacks?
Ellie even painted the exterior of the trailer with unique designs around the edges that she came up with all on her own. It looks like her new little camper is ready for its big premiere!
All in a summer’s work for Ellie! Not too shabby for a 14-year-old, right? Maybe we should have been spending my summer vacations being a little more productive back then!
When people imagine their dream home, most picture some sort of a mansion, but that wasn’t the case for Ellie, in fact, a Texas man had a very similar vision as the 14-year-old. Rather than buying a house, he wanted to build one, with a small budget and a lot of creativity.
Michael Talley, an illustrator and graphic designer from Austin, Texas, always dreamed of building his own home from pre-existing materials. So in 2016 he finally took the opportunity to let his creativity flow and get his hands dirty.
First, Talley purchased an old school bus for $2,200 off an auction website listed by the Austin Independent School District. It needed to be stripped entirely of its seats to make room for his new project, but having no experience with construction made this a difficult task…
Although Talley was never a big handyman, he is an expert in design. He draws comic books, event posters, signs, and even political cartoons. When he decided to embark on his school bus adventure, he must have felt inspired by his personal hero Davy Crockett, because he took the leap and never looked back.
Stripping the bus was the first critical step in the process of transforming this bus from a kid-mover to an actual home. Talley wasn’t entirely sure about what he was doing, but he got to work anyway, removing evidence of the bus’s previous life in the process.
Talley put his imagination to work and began to design his new space to the exact millimeter. He drew up a kitchen, bathroom, living/workspace, and a bedroom. He kept the bathroom and kitchen closest to the front so they could be easily accessed during an outdoor BBQ.
Talley made one big error when buying the bus, though. He didn’t realize how high the roof would be! Although it could easily fit school children, it was not tall enough to comfortably house the 6″6 giant. Talley had no choice but to literally raise the roof, which would be impossible to do by himself.
Luckily, he didn’t have to do it all alone. He had help from his stepdad, a few friends, and even some very kind strangers. After all, the project proved to be a much more difficult one than he had imagined.
The bus was almost entirely re-built. The roof was raised, the windows were removed, the back was expanded and even the insulation was renewed. The build was taking longer and costing more than he had planned…
You see, the bus was being sold by the school district for a reason: it was old and worn-out. If Talley wanted to drive it, the engine, power steering, and even the tires needed an update. “Changing a tire on this thing was more expensive and less fun than I had thought it would be,” he said.
After altering the entire “skeleton” of the bus, it was finally time to spruce up its insides. Talley got some good deals at IKEA and was able to decorate his living space within a fairly small budget.
The reason he picked this specific bus was because he used to ride an Armadillo bus, and it reminded him of his own school days. Nostalgia can be a powerful force, but who would have thought it would influence his new home? This motivation would come in handy pretty soon, as Talley was about to face some tough times…
Not only was the physical labor challenging, but Talley also experienced quite some hardship in his personal life. In the year that he spent building his dream house, he lost his job, his girlfriend, and his grandfather, but he was determined to keep going. After all, he had nothing left to lose.
Talley’s determination paid off when the interior came together. The first thing he finished was the kitchen. He chose white subway tiles with black grout and installed everything himself. He is not the biggest cook, but he does need a good place to snack and entertain.
After the kitchen came the bedroom. It is not only incredibly cozy and comfortable, but it has a spectacular view of wherever Talley drives it. The original windows of the backdoor are still there, so he often overlooks a field or a forest.
The living room is not too shabby either. Talley has set himself up with the foundations of his old couch, a brand new TV and of course, his Playstation. He has both a heater and an air conditioner in case he drives the bus through all kinds of climates.
As it turns out, the kids putting “kick me” notes on each other’s backs were not the only pranksters around. On April Fools’ Day, Talley posted a picture on Facebook of a school bus burning to the ground, causing his friends and family to almost have a heart attack. Luckily it was just a prank, and his dreams did not go up in flames.
With his school bus still intact, Talley now needed gas, water, and electricity. Although he installed a few tanks and generators, he wanted to leave only a small ecological footprint, so he installed a few solar panels on the roof (all by himself!)
Most of the power generated by the panels goes straight to his beloved TV. After a week of watching Netflix on his phone, he knew he needed a big screen in his living room and his bedroom. Now he can watch The Sandlot whenever the need should arise.
Although he loved the look of the classic school bus, Talley didn’t want to cause any confusion and decided to paint the exterior. He ended up choosing white because it keeps him cool in the Texas weather and leaves room to add more color later. Who knows, maybe he’ll add some flowers and peace symbols in the future…
At the end of a long day at work, Talley likes to climb up on his roof and enjoy the sights and a glass of wine. That victorious feeling certainly makes all the effort worth it, which is pretty obvious because the bus revamp trend has even gone international!
Susan Mosier and her husband Philip bought a vintage 1960s London double-decker bus. They paid £5,000 but spent over £100,000 transforming it into an unbelievable hotel suite, complete with plumbing, electric. and luxury decor.
They first had to remove all the rust from the exterior of the bus, which required sanding away its iconic red paint and reapplying it once it was time. Downstairs is a beautiful bathroom with a freestanding tub, flatscreen TV, and dim lighting.
The bus upstairs is a plush retreat that boasts a huge bed, a sofa, and a small dining area. All but a few of the bus’s seats were removed to make room for the decor while maintaining some of its original charms.
The hotel suite is known as Trafalgar Square, and it resides near the couple’s hotel near Beamish, County Durham. This incredible couples’ suite is available to rent for £220 per night during on a weekday, or £250 on a Friday or Saturday.