First of all, here is an updated picture of my van design.
It has actually changed quite a bit since my original design ideas. At the moment, the big cupboard is almost complete, it just needs the rail to be put in. The guy who is helping me has been in a bike accident so progress on the kitchen unit is still at a standstill. Its ok though...there is plenty of time!
So in the absence of manly assistance in tasks like sawing and fixing and suchlike, I am making curtains. One of the things I wanted from my curtains was to give the van a bit of insulation, like those silver faced screens you can buy for the front windows of cars and vans etc. You can buy these screens ready made (very expensive) or you can buy the fancy 7-layer fabric (quite expensive) and make them yourself.
Or you can take the cheap option like me! I found this idea at the T4 Forum (GREAT source of tips and insider info by the way), where someone recommended that you could buy some radiator insulation and use that as a cheap alternative. You can pick it up from DIY stores - I got mine from B&Q - I got enough to do the 4 rear windows for less than £10! Bargain! This stuff is backed with polystyrene, to be honest Im not sure how long it will last as obviously it isnt meant to be moved around a lot. Im hoping that if I am gentle with it then it should last a while.
So first of all I made paper templates of the window shapes (the ones that a square shape wasnt suitable for), then cut out the silver insulation to match.
Next, I selected some super Tanzanian fabric for the inside and cut it to a slightly larger size than the silver insulation.
Next step was to pin the two pieces together, not forgetting to include a hem for any edges of the fabric which needed it. I folded the hem edge over the outside of the silver plastic, so it has a nice looking edge and the edge of the insulation gets protected at the same time. I also pinned in velcro around the edges (not too much), I will glue the other halves of the velcro onto the van walls. Final attachment was some pretty ribbons (yes Im such a girl) to tie the curtain open, I will be rolling them open and closed like blinds as the insulation is too stiff to draw like a normal curtain.