This is the story of our glorious 1981 vintage Rice Richardson treble horse trailer.
I first met him October 2014 when I was looking for a unique trailer to do all the creative ideas I had. He was a disused horse trailer that needed a bit of loving care to bring him back to life. I took on the challenge and and decided to bring him back home to give him a new lease of life. This was how he looked when I picked him up.
I could see potential in him, so I took him home with me. As I started the mammoth task of the renovation, I hadn’t realized what I’d let myself in for! The 2 inch thick cattle matting was held down with hundreds of rusty nails. The original floor boards were covered in wood rot. You could see the ground underneath! The plastic padding was bolted into the frame with rivets, and the divider was heavy and rusted. I overcame my fear or spiders and managed to eventually rip everything out to an empty shell.
After this, I started my own tool kit and watched many hours of DIY videos to start the renovation. My spirits were high and I was more determined than ever! Eventually after cleaning the whole thing, I had new wooden floor boards and walls installed. This immediately changed the trailer into the image I wanted in my head. Finally… Progress you could see! I couldn’t wait to slap the first layer of paint onto the walls, but first I had the lovely task of sanding the whole thing inside and out with my electric sander in my white crime scene overalls, mask and goggles.
Next was the really exciting bit… Getting the underlay paint on, and what a transformation it made.
Next it was time to battle the outside with an underlay of paint. Being January and -2 everyday was a challenge to say the least. The long johns were definitely on! It was time to say goodbye to the maroon.
Next I got to choose the colours…
I was rapidly running out of time to get into the festival season for 2015 as it was approaching April and I needed to get some emails sent off. So I dressed the horse trailer to how I wanted it to look (without the paint job done). I had to make do with the grey undercoat, which didn’t turn out so bad for the promotional photographs, however I still needed to paint the box with it’s purple paint! Here’s some of the images I sent off
I managed to dress the inside how I wanted, but I still needed to paint the outside!
So, time to whack the purple paint on, make the interior blue and give this box some personality. I had to freehand my mustache again which was pretty hard work.
Now it started to look how I imagined it, except one last thing… The floor! I was super excited about this. Plus it was time to install the electrics so I can run the photo booth.
Over the months I had been collecting may things to up-cycle and reuse for the box. The vintage racer bike I found from a community project garden center was a great spot. I sprayed it green and added a left over piece of wood in the center to make it into a sign. I picked up some hay from a local farm to use as seats outside for people to use. I also went round to the charity shops and bought old picture frames to use and sprayed them all for new look.
I finally started to tweak the inside how I wanted. Keeping a “vintage, chabby chic, free spirit” feel. I hand painted the inside with chalk board paint and added some birds to the ceiling. I also put up my handmade backdrop garland for the photo booth and decorated some glass jars to keep the props in. Things were finally starting to look finished. I also painted some old off cut pieces of ply wood with chalk board paint and was going to use these as my display boards.
It was finished just in time for the first festival! It was such a hard journey on my own, especially through the cold months of January and February. I had no DIY skills to start either, but as I started seeing a noticeable change it geared me up. Plus having a date for a deadline to be completed by was another thing that pushed me. I spent many hours on this box and would recommend starting a project of your own if you are serious about wanting to do something independent you love in your life. This box is an expression of me, it’s been made with love and I couldn’t be happier to do what I love as a career. It’s been a journey, especially having to learn how to tow and taking my trailer test! But after all, it’s been totally worth it. I hope you enjoyed seeing the progress.
I’m Chelsea. I live in Manchester and I’ve created, loved and nourished Face Box Boutique. I’ve always been pretty creative (and a little bit kooky at times), and so I decided to put my savings for my house deposit into starting my own business at 24. I’ve been face painting professionally for the last 4 years and have always loved photography. I’m up for a bit of fun too, so I thought why no combine everything I love into one thing, and so Face Box Boutique was born. I also wanted to experience the festivals, special events and peoples weddings in my magical trailer, and it’s a dream that has now become true. For this…I am forever grateful!