VW Camper Van


With Free pattern download :-) see below



What can we say about the iconic VW Camper Van, it holds a special place in everyone’s hearts especially those that can remember the 1960s/70s! We are thrilled to finally get to make our own version to hang on the studio wall.


The Camper Van began life in Germany in 1950 thanks to Dutch importer, Ben Pots, it wasn’t long before the first generation Type 2 took shape, with the famous cylindrical headlights, circular logo and split windscreen or “splitty” as it became known.


The Camper became synonymous with the carefree, no strings lifestyle of the counter culture movement, and the affection we have for this endearing van continues right up to today.  The love and time spent restoring them clearly demonstrates the affection remaining and the appeal of stepping out of the rat race, even temporarily.


As the saying goes “ it’s not about the destination, its about the journey!” that’s why you cant help but smile when passing a VW Camper!  So, with The Mamas & The Papas, California Dreamin’ playing in the background, lets get started!


. . . . . See below a fantastic photo of Beatrix Brockman's Camper . . . .


Getting started

First think on the pattern, which can easily be adapted to suit your own requirements, regarding size, colour and also the choice of either adding as much or as little of the detail, i.e. the larger the pattern the more detail you can have, whereas a smaller pattern requires less detail as some of the pieces would be far to small to handle safely.



Small quantity of 9 & 6mm Tulipwood – or wood of choice

Small quantity of 2 & 6mm plywood

Small quantity of Veneer


01.  Begin by make 4 copies of the pattern, 3 to be cut into sections and used, and the 4th to be retained as a reference.

Select your wood in 2, 6 & 9mm thicknesses, cut, align and attach the sections of the  pattern onto the appropriate wood thickneww, matching the directional arrows on the patterns with the grain of the wood.


02.  Use a pillar drill fitted with a 3mm drill bit, to drill the blade entry holes within the lights.


03.  Change to a smaller 1mm drill bit to drill the blade entry holes in the VW sign, windows, number plate and the small holes within the letter B and number 6.


Cutting out

04.  Its important to set the Scrollsaw blade accurately, this time with a No 5 reverse tooth blade, use either a small square or triangle to confirm that the blade is exactly 90° to the table, this will ensure that all your cut out sections of the VW will fit snugly together, it’s a good practice to follow this procedure whenever you loosen or change a blade.


05.  To begin, cut out and remove the lights from within the main body pattern, thats to the attached to the 6mm wood.



06.  Then check that the cut out circles match up with the patterns for the replacement lights (attached to the 9mm wood), if need be use a sharp pencil to make any adjustments, by retracing the inside of the circle.


07.  Cut out the replacement lights if necessary following the new pencil line, continue in this way until all the main sections of the pattern are cut out.


08.  Change to a smaller No.2 blade to cut out all the pieces within each section i.e. the number plate, . . .


09.  The glass sections within the windscreen. . .


10.  The wiper blades. . .



11.  Not forgetting the VW badge and the small letters and numbers that make up the number plate.


12.  Once all the pieces have been cut out, remove the patterns and then to make it easy to identify each piece mark the underside with a pencil, for example and R to indicate the right hand side wheel.


13.  Then mark the position of each wheel onto the bumper.


Sanding and shaping

14.  The VW already has a few height variations with using the different wood thickness, but with a little more sanding and shaping the VW will take on a more refined 3D look

Use a Disc Sander to lower the height of the bumper by 2mm.


15.  This will make the surround section of the number plate sit slightly proud of the bumper, next sand down the inner section of the number plate by 2mm, then carefully remove the edges from the lights, to make it a little easier when hand sanding.


16.  Next hand sand all the pieces going through the grades of paper, to give everything a more refined/rounded finished look.


17.  Cut 2 thin strips of veneer to act as extra packing for the wiper blades so they to can sit slightly proud of the window.



18.  To make the backing for the VW, place the pieces in position onto a small piece of 6mm plywood use a strip of masking tape to hold the majority of the pieces in place while tracing all around the edge.


19.  Once you have traced the perimeter of the VW, trace around the inner sections by removing one section at a time, there is a reason for doing this, which will become clear later.


20.  Using a no. 3 reverse tooth blade cut all around the outer edge of the backing.

Then remove any bur from the edges with a fine 320grade of paper and then lightly sand the reverse side before applying a sanding sealer, allow to dry.


21.  Apply black paint or stain all the way around the outer edge.


22.  When dry, use a thick black marker pen to trace all around the top edge and then over your pencil lines.

Using black in this way will make any gaps you may have between the sections of the pattern less noticeable and generally give the Camper a more finished look.



When the need arises, our first choice when colouring/staining wood is nearly always acrylic paint thinned with a little slow dry gel medium, this allows the excess paint to be removed easily, so the grain of the wood is still visible. Also in acrylics favour, is a vast choice of vibrant colours, no odor, quick drying and brushes wash out in just soapy water.

Begin by placing the pieces into groups of colour, tape down a small strip of of masking tape and then attach the letters and numbers onto it (to make painting them easier), have to hand a dry brush for removing the build of paint from small areas, and a few small pieces of cloth to wipe the excess paint.



23.  Mix your chosen acrylic paint with a 50/50 acrylic slow-dry medium, use an artist brush to paint the pieces, not forgetting to remove the excess as you go.


24.  Allow the pieces to dry completely, then lightly nib each piece taking care not to remove any of the paint, apply a coat of acrylic matt varnish or clear wax polish.


Gluing up

25.  In preparation, lay the pieces out in order of gluing to one side of the backing have to hand an old artists brush and a slightly damp cloth for removing any excess glue that may ooze out.

Use a craft knife to remove the painted letters & numbers for the number plate from the masking tape.


26.  Cut a new strip of masking tape to approximately the same depth of the black inner section of the number plate, then attach the letters & numbers in order face down onto the tape, lift the tape to check that everything is aligned, apply a very small amount of glue to each letter/number and carefully glue in position.


27.  Continue to apply glue to each piece in turn, position firmly onto the backing wiping away any excess glue as you go, work your way down from the top or up from the bottom, whichever is easiest for you, allow to dry completely.This is a text! You can edit, move, copy or delete it.



Free VW Camper Van - Pattern Download

To finish

28.  When dry attach a hanger (D hook) to the back, to establish the correct position hold the pieces between your thumb and forefinger until it hangs the way you want, mark the position with a pencil and then attach the hanger.


VW Camper van - pattern.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]



Beatrix Brockman

Our big thanks to Beatrix from Germany, for sending us this fantastic photo of the VW Camper Van, made for childhood memories of her Dad having one and going to church in it every Sunday :-)

We particually like the use of all natural woods.



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