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Building an Epic $15,000 School Bus Tiny Home After Losing Her Job

Make lemonade out of lemons, right? Heidi saw her job lost in the midst of the pandemic as the perfect catalyst to bus life — she had been dreaming of traveling for years! With the help of her dad’s garage full of tools, she was able to transform her short bus for around $15K, including the cost of the bus.

She kept the original handicap door so she can open it up and set up her hammock chair, and she even found room for her large “tiny painting” collection that she wasn’t willing to part with. The interior of her bus has so much character with bold prints and paintings that match her unique taste.

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Her Artsy & Eclectic Short Bus w/ Leopard Print Couch

Heidi Lost Her Job & Chose Bus Life

Images by Tiny Home Tours

You can see her tiny paintings on the wall.

Heidi Lost Her Job & Chose Bus Life 2

Images by Tiny Home Tours

Her cabinets and sink came from Habitat for Humanity.

Heidi Lost Her Job & Chose Bus Life 3

Images by Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Solo Female in Short Skoolie – $15K Total Bus Build


  • Lost her job during the pandemic
  • Decided to travel — long-time dream of hers!
  • Bought the bus for around $3.5K and spent $11K remodeling it
  • Used Habitat for Humanity items
  • Borrowed her dad’s tools (and his expertise!) in building
  • Tons of artistic flair throughout
  • Composting toilet
  • Brought her bed from home and made it work in the space
  • Deep couch for snuggling with her dog

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Diana
    April 14, 2022, 5:40 pm

    Super talented young lady. I love what she has done. Great color scheme. I wouldn’t pain a snake or use leopard print and I would have made a longer kitchen but she’s done a great job and honestly is her.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 15, 2022, 7:15 am

      I love that she has made it undoubtedly *her*

  • LilNomad
    April 14, 2022, 9:39 pm

    What is the year, model & specs of the bus? Thanks

  • Sophia
    April 15, 2022, 9:50 pm

    Very nice. Artistic, warm and cozy. Wish we could have met the dog!

  • Karen
    April 17, 2022, 9:11 pm

    What a marvelous build! I love how eclectic it is. She did a great job.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 20, 2023, 9:27 am

    This is so cute! I love all the sunlight streaming through the windows. Everything is so pretty and economically done. Great job!

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