How to Design Your Tiny House or Gispy Wagon




The following steps can be done in your own order but my experience says that this is a good order to reduce redrawing allot of stuff (Been there done that!)

You can use any drawing software you want but I recommend to do it in 3D!!

Any Autodesk software is free to get on there website in an educational version.

This doesn't mean you get less of it! It only means that on the side of your final drawings there will be a stamp on the side of the paper not crossing your drawing in any asshole way ;)

Also: Follow this project on my website!!


And go to "the vardo" for the gipsy wagon and "stories" for regular adventures.

I am actually going to build this and on my website you can see my step by step progress!

Step 1: Get Inspired!

Very important!!

If you are not inspired or not willing to really do this then just don't do it!

Watch movies: black cat white cat, straight story, tiny house the movie,....

Look up pictures

Step 2: Frame It Up

In this stage it it essential to choose how big you want to become, where your want your windows, where you want your doors, what kind of design you want...

Also design the furniture according to the frame and not the frame to the furniture. This way you will save space.

Make it strong! This is the backbone of your wagon! If you want to travel with it than it should withstand allot of bashing!

Step 3: Choose Your Looks!

Choose how you want to look on the outside and make it happen!

I slightly follow Fibonacci ratio's to make it more beautiful!

Already add some detail! It can be slightly boring to draw sometimes and adding detail makes your project seem so much more real and fun!

Choose your materials carefully! Go for light and durable!

Step 4: Add Windows and Doors

These parts are a drawing project on there own so draw them separately and assemble them

Step 5: Take a Break!

Sometimes you have a creative block...

Let it all sink in and leave your project

sometimes for a long time but still set deadlines to make you go back to it!

You can for instance wonder upon the comet 67P

Step 6: Find or Edit a Chassis

You can find drawings of chassis on

Insert them into your drawing and make them fit although eventually it is the manufacturer who decides how it will look it makes it easier for you to set conditions on what you want in a chassis!

Here is my model. You can even look at it in 3D!!!

Step 7: Add in Furntiture


You are adding the furniture already?

Yes! because adding your furniture now means that you will need to cover less of your wall with the more expensive finishing. Furniture already covers allot of the walls so why pay for something you can't see?

All these pieces are separate drawing projects

Assemble them after you made them in a seperate drawing!

Step 8: Cover the Inside With Panels and Floors

Step 9: Add Furniture That Will Be on the Floor

why not make it cosy and add a table?

Step 10: Make It Look Good!

The first person who is got to be convinced is YOU!!

Fool around with the rendering options in your software and make some images that will take you inside and immerse yourself inside your design!

Imaging living in it!

It can help to insert a human reference...

Can't imagine living in it?

Start over or maybe realise that a tiny house is not for you...

Virtual Tour of the wagon

Step 11: Make It Technical!

If you plan on letting it being build or building it yourself then you should make some detailed technical plans. Use the software to make plans like the ones on the picture and add measurements. Any carpenter of builder understands these plans and they will help you a great way!!

Step 12: Borat Says: You Made Great Wagon for Stinky Gipsy's. You Will Fit Right in Toilet! I Mean ''tiny House''

Step 13: Ignore Borat and Reward Yourself a Crown!

Djees you have come all this way? You should celebrate! and then make preparations to make your wagon...



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    23 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Luv the Tiny House movement that's been trending for some time now. It will only become stronger as house prices steadily increase making it harder for those single peeps to own and live alone for peace of mind. There's a strong following in Seattle Washington on the West Coast, these are where I Luv Google search results, for finding Groups, Communities, and Pleasures like Tiny, Small, Miniature, Mini, house building and is fantastic for those who love their independence but still luv being part of society in general. Thx so much for helping keep this beautiful movement moving forward with great designs and plans, peeps like yourself stand out a Head Above the Rest simply because, You are willing to share Your Knowledge & Experience, and in my books, that's very Unselfish & Noble. They are the two Greatest traits a human can have.

    1 reply

    Wow, who knew the internet could be this positive^^ thank you so much man. I want to be a giving person, Not a taking one so I am very pleased that this makes you happy and very honorred to be called "noble" that word makes me feel like a knight in shining armor :D

    Oh and one more thing

    I'll probably put my plans on the internet for free in the future but I want them to be solid and correct first. I still need to do some minor changes but I dont have the right PC and software anymore :S so It might take a while...

    I might just throw them out there unfinished but you can go ahead and use the 3D model already ;)


    2 years ago

    How much wood cost you? I'm going to build a gypsy vardo, on my RV. Just like a estimate on the wood, so I know what exactly to spend in my budget. Ty

    1 reply

    6000 euros on my side. but it all depends on which country you are from!

    Prices might be cheaper...


    3 years ago

    Awesome project! Good luck! how much will your wagon weigh? Will you have any insulation there? How is stuff with laws and all that?(any complications)Nice instructables! Cheers

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! My friend is planning on filming me while I am building it and later travelling with it!

    My wagon will weigh around 3500kg but this is still an estimation...

    I will have a good thick layer of insulation of about 15cm. This is basically the thickness of the walls so I am just going to fill them up.

    Laws are different here in Belgium but I can ask for a reference adres (something sailors can get as well). It's basically an adres where your letters will be delivered but I won't have an official adres. This is available for everyone in Belgium although some civil servant can claim that I can't have it.

    I also can't go faster than 20miles an hour otherwise I will have to certify my chassis and that will cost allot. If I want to go faster I will also have to get different brakes and some other prescriptions of the law which will make the cost of my chassis jump to about 20000€. An impossible number and I don't need to go faster than 20miles/hour anyways! It's all about quality and not quantity ;)

    To stay somewhere for a while I can put my wagon in someone's garden and pay them a small amount for rent and water usage.


    3 years ago

    Hi! May I ask what software you used? I've been looking for something I can use to make plans with.

    Ideally I'd like an iOS app, but I haven't found one that does measurements, as in placing measurements on the sketch automatically. I'd be grateful for any suggestions, thanks ;-)

    5 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    An IOS app is still impossible in this day and age... Those programs calculate allot of different things besides just the drawing! You can add a material to any object so that it will have a specific weight. You have apps who can just represent the drawing but that's it.

    In the beginning of my instructable I mentioned Using that you can get any autodesk (which, if you scroll down, is the maker of this website...) software for free under a student licence.

    I use Inventor and I love it! It is not like sketchup or any other fairly easy software but once you've learned the tricks you can make awesome renderings and simulations and technical plans!!

    It's also used by allot of engineers ;)

    If Inventor is to big of a learning curve then you can still draw out your plans in Autocad LT

    (wow so much product placement! I should earn an full licence by now ;P )


    Reply 3 years ago

    It is actually not impossible with cloud-based CAD. Check out "onshape" which lets you work on up to 5 projects for free.

    But I myself prefer inventor, as well. Onshape might get there eventually but I unfortunately have a lot of practice with autodesk and solidworks, and don't feel ambitiously inclined to learn onshape (yet)


    3 years ago

    It's a good point. Good luck on your build. I'm starting mine pretty soon here, just waiting for my taxes to come in.

    3 replies

    I'm going to do a full instructable on it when work starts. I'll be drawing the plans on paper this weekend. I picked up a trailer with a 6' x 12' bed on it to build it with. I have a list of instructables on here that contains all the gypsy wagons that i've looked at here for inspiration.


    3 years ago

    Get inspired?? Totally agree! Good job here. :)