18 DIY Essentials for the Road - and How to Make Them

July 19, 2022
18 DIY Essentials for the Road

(And How to Make Them)


Guest post by Maggy, from Coucou Liberté


For this guest post, we're welcoming Maggy, a talented nomadic designer & illustrator. A passionate maker, she started putting together tutorials to help people build their own Vanlife essentials from scratch.

In this article, Maggy covers 18 of her favorite creations that will make your life on the road way easier. She created tutorials for all of these (and many more) which are available for download for free on Simpler Ways!

If you use any of these free tutorial, nothing would make Maggy and us happier than being tagged on your creations so we can check them out! @coucouliberte @simplerwaysco

Coucou Liberté ("Hello Freedom") is the name Maggy and Gilles gave to their travel blog. This french couple has been living out of their self-built vintage Mercedes 410D van, Pépère, since 2018. Their copilot is a beautiful cat named "Minoutte".

Coucou Liberté

"As a maker, the tiny space we chose to live in has been a constant source of inspiration."

We've built our vintage Mercedes van, Pépère, from scratch — and absolutely loved the process. But my favorite part started after we moved in, when I realized how living on the road created constant design challenges. Every day, I would face new limitations, and started thinking about all the way it could be turned into an opportunity! As a maker, the tiny space we chose to live in has been a constant source of inspiration.

I've made DIY tutorials for a lot of those creations, which for the most part share a core design challenge: optimizing space. In this article, I've hand picked 10 of these creations, and you can find many more on our Simpler Ways page!

I hope you enjoy these tutorials, and see you on the road!



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Optimize your walls

Underused yet prime real estate


An often unused part of people's homes-on-wheels are the walls. Stickers and postcards are great, but there are better ways to use this prime real estate to store your stuff. Thanks to these four ideas, you'll be able to have a dedicate storage space for some of the things you use most!

DIY Storage net

DIY Storage net
View tutorial

DIY Spice shelf

DIY Spice shelf
View tutorial

DIY Ukulele holder

DIY Ukulele holder
View tutorial

DIY Mug holder

DIY Mug holder
View tutorial

For the stuff you'd rather not see

Keep it out of sight

A home-on-wheels is still a home, only way smaller. And while it's a lifestyle that pushes you to own less, you'll still have to carry around trash, dirty shoes and laundry. If you don't have these things sorted, they'll easily get in your way and your nest will turn into a stink box. Here's a few ideas to sort this out!

DIY Shoes holder

DIY Shoes holder
View tutorial

DIY Pullout bin

DIY Pullout bin
View tutorial

DIY Drying rack

DIY Drying rack
View tutorial

Keep the kitchen clear

Everything in its right place


The kitchen is by far the area of your home-on-the-go that will be the most prone to chaos. Leave it unclean once, and it will turn into hell in no time. Here are some ideas to keep the space organized so that you don't loose your mind after cooking your fresh pesto pasta.

DIY Over Sink Cutting board

DIY Over Sink Cutting board
View tutorial

DIY Fruit hammock

DIY Fruit hammock
View tutorial

DIY Van broom

DIY Van broom
View tutorial

DIY Strainer

DIY Strainer
View tutorial

Minimize the electronics

Clear them away

For most of us, moving into the van means bringing in all sorts of electronics, from the basic phone charger to fancier objects such as drones, tablets and whatnots. These create specific design challenges I had fun trying to solve over the years. Here are 3 simple hacks that have made my life as a digital nomad way more comfortable!

DIY Computer stand

DIY Computer stand
View tutorial

DIY Cable tie

DIY Cable tie
View tutorial

DIY Phone stand

DIY Phone stand
View tutorial

Daily hacks

Stuff we use every single day


Here are some of the things we use the most. Some solve a specific need, like covering our windows or a removable, modular table, while the straps and cords we keep finding new use for every day.

DIY Insulated curtains

DIY Insulated curtains
View tutorial

DIY Door strap

DIY Door strap
View tutorial

DIY Table leg

DIY Table leg
View tutorial

DIY ball bungee cords

DIY ball bungee cords
View tutorial

More from our free DIY tutorials library

Possibilities are endless. You've got some cool ideas, too? Add them to Simpler Ways!

DIY Art or book display

DIY Art or book display
View tutorial

DIY Glass mug

DIY Glass mug
View tutorial

DIY Pet basket

DIY Pet basket
View tutorial

DIY Concrete succulent pots

DIY Concrete succulent pots
View tutorial

DIY Soap holder

DIY Soap holder
View tutorial

DIY Wood carved spoon

DIY Wood carved spoon
View tutorial

DIY Perfume diffuser

DIY Perfume diffuser
View tutorial

DIY Coat hanger

DIY Coat hanger
View tutorial


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