Friday, May 6, 2011

Make Your Own Camera Bag!

How many of us would love to have a camera bag like this!?


High five cause I certainly would too! But at $170 a pop it's juuuuust not in the cards for me right now. Besides I think I would rather spend that extra cash on a new lens, or filters, or editing software. Not saying I wont buy one of these show stoppers one day but in the mean time, I made my own show stopper for, get this, $25.00!!! Yep, you read that right sister (or brother, or whoever)!! $25 dollars!! And you could even make it for cheaper if you wanted too.  

Did I mention that it's super basic and easy too? I know my way around my old sewing machine but I am no pro by any means! And it only took about an hour and a half to make. =)

Another reason I love making it myself? No one else will have my camera bag. Well, it's not so much that no one else will have my camera bag because that kind of stuff doesn't really bother me. If someone has my same dress or shoes I'm more likely to squeal and throw up a high five because sharing makes my heart happy. But! It is fun to have something unique that I made. I'm proud of it. And I hope I can help you be proud of an awesome camera bag that has you written allll over it too!

So how did I do it? Well, I didn't make my own bag in the truest sense of the meaning. I actually bought a big purse that I thought was cute and that would have room in it for what I wanted. Then with some half inch thick foam and some cute material I sewed myself an insert that would fit into my bag perfectly. Thus, creating my camera bag! I was totally inspired by this post. How easy is that!?

I chose a purse that had lots of room! If I want to take my camera out for a day of shooting I don't want to have to bring it plus my purse so having lots of room with a couple big pockets works perfect for me. For the days I took it with me it HAD to do double duty. Camera bag and purse in one. I also chose one with a long shoulder strap so I could throw it over my neck, allowing the bag to hang onto me rather me hang on to it. If you absolutely love a bag though that doesn't have a shoulder strap, then still get it! Shoulder straps are super easy to make. Mine is really thin so I might end up making a new one anyway. I'll post about it when I do. =) When picking out a purse though really think about what your needs and wants are with for your camera bag.

Here is the cost break down:
  • Purse from Ross: $18.00 (you could make this more expensive or cheaper depending on what bag you get. Or if you're in the mood you could also make or thrift one!)
  • Fabric: About $2.00. The fabric was $5.00 a yard and I used a little over a third of a yard. 
  • Half Inch Foam: About $1.50 worth. It was $3.50 a yard and I used a little over a third of a yard once again. 
  • Fourth yard of sticky Velcro: $3.00. 
  • Thread. A couple cents worth maybe?  
Total: $24.50


This was totally in my budget! Score! Lets jump in here and get going on making this thing!

DIY Camera Bag Tutorial!

What you'll need:
  • Purse of your choice
  • 1/2 yard Material of your choice (you'll have a little material left over probably but it's better to have more then less)
  • 1/2 yard of Half inch thick foam
  • At least 1/4 yard of Velcro. I used the type that has the sticky adhesive on it. The "No Sew" type.*UPDATE: After using my camera bag for a while I found the Sticky Velcro has not held up! Go ahead and just get the normal stuff (same amount) and sew it on. Otherwise the insert has been GREAT! 7/20/11.
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Soft Tape Measure
  • Sewing Pins

1. Measure, measure, measure! First I measured my Camera. The camera body is 6 inches wide. Then I measured the camera with the lens on and it is 7 inches. Now time to measure the bag! I measured the length of the bottom and then the height of the walls of the inside of the bag. I only measured as high on the walls as the inside pockets because I still wanted to be able to use'em! The inside, walls and floor included, was 19 inches and the width of the bottom was 12 inches.  Since the camera is 6" wide, that's how wide the bottom is going to be so the camera can sit width wise with the lens attached. Since the width is 6", the end pieces and the center divider piece is 6" as well wide as well and I made them 5" tall. There was one more divider piece that I made 7" wide, with a 5"height as well. The 7" wide piece is for making 2 divided compartments for accessories, or an extra lens or two.

This can be made to fit any bag. Just follow the instructions but measuring your specific bag and your good to go!

2. Get Cutting! I measured a piece of foam that was 19" by 12" and cut it out. Then I simply laid that piece over the fabric which was folded in half so you do one cut but get the front and back pieces. I cut out the pieces of fabric around the foam, and left about a 1/3" extra for seam allowance.




3. Now it's time to sew! Turn the fabric pieces so the outsides are facing each other and sew 3 sides. I did about a 1/4" seam. Leave the top open so you can turn the covers inside out and you can slide the foam in.

Now turn your pockets insides out. Do a top stitch on the outside around where you already sewed your pockets. Leave the top open as you did before. Once that's done slide your foam in. If you have to cut your foam down a little to fit into your pocket, no worries! =) Then slide your foam in.


Now to close up the pockets, you'll want to fold the fabric inward making a seam and then pin it down. 

Top stitch the seams down! You'll have something like this.


Two more stitches and you're done! Take the larger piece that will make up the bottom and walls of the camera bag insert and find the center. Mark it and then use that has your guide to figure out where the bottom of your bag is. Since the bottom of my bag is going to be 6", I measure 3" out on either side of the middle mark. I then marked where that measurement hit.

Sorry they're so light in the picture! I thought the arrows would help. =)

Then follow your line and sew them down. 


And you're done sewing! It should look something like this.



4. Velcro! I just cut the Velcro up into as many pieces I would need. *UPDATE: Get the sew on stuff and use it instead! The sticky stuff has just not held up. 7/20/11.

I chose to Velcro the end pieces on instead of sewing them so if I wanted to use this insert in another bag that was longer, I could simply make another piece to add on to it instead of a whole new insert. It just adds some versatility. I made sure the the ends and the center divide had a piece of Velcro on the wallas and the bottom. The other compartment divider just had 2 piece of Velcro to attach it to the walls.  I used the type of Velcro that had tape on the back to make it easy. I figured that if it doesn't hold for some reason I could just sew it down anyway.  (which is what I ended up doing! =D 7/20/11)


5. YOU'RE ALL DONE! Congratulations because you just saved yourself at least a $145.00!!


Here's how mine fit everything.

I love this bag! Besides fitting my camera and all it's goodies, it also fits my wallet, ipod, cell phone, a little note pad and pen, chap-stick, lip stain, mirror, and my keys! Even with a little room to spare! How rad is that!? It's pretty flippin awesome!


And here I am rocking my new camera bag!
Look at me in all my teal glory! Haha! Love that dress. I think there's a Fat Fashionista post coming about it too! P.S. What append to my eyes? I kinda look like I got stung by a bee! LOL!

Anyway, I hope this helps some people feel confident that you can make yourself an awesome camera bag that fits your needs without spending a small fortune! 

Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if anyone tries making of these. I would LOVE to see it and any variations. =D

-Andrea 

P.S. So why such a big deal to make a little old camera bag? Because I'm a photographer! And we photographers wanna look good out there while we're snapping away. If you're interested in seeing some of my works you can see my photography site at 


Thanks for lookin! =D


Time to Party!















































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37 comments:

  1. Cute idea!I really need to upgrade my terrible black camera bag.

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  2. What a fantastic Idea!! Would you mind if I shared this on my blog with a link back to you?

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  3. Great idea! I'm sending this to my friend who is almost always on the lookout for a new camera bag. Thanks for sharing! I'd love to have you stop by my blog sometime, www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

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  4. Nice! I have the same exact wallet!

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  5. Hi Molly! I got my purse at a Ross out here in CA. I don't think they have them all over the USA but it's basically just a discount clothing store. =)

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  6. I don't have enough cool camera stuff to bother making a bag, but I may consider making a laptop bag similar to this. <3.

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  7. Thanks for contribute such excellent idea, i love it and definitely did one for myself.

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  8. WOW, I found this post via pinterest 7 absolutely loved it! I'm traveling to NYC this week & didn't want to lug around my big industrial camera bag around everywhere & have it in pictures, thanks for the tutorial!

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  9. Oh my GOSH!! This is amazing.. You have inspired me. :) Off to find a cute purse at Ross... :)

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  10. This is GREAT!!! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I've been eyeing a Kelly Moore bag, but can't afford that junk!

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  11. Wonderful! I'm going to make this for my daughter's birthday. Thanks for the great instructions.

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  12. AHHH! This is amazing, I just re pinnnedit :)

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  13. Great tutorial. Thank you. I used it today to make myself a camera bag. I posted a link to your instructions, I hope that's okay?

    Please stop by and take a look when you have a moment.

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  14. This is awesome! I just found my purse to use now I just need the other supplies...can't wait to get started!

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  15. Getting the perfect SLR camera bag is never easy, because of the constantly changing technology. '

    scrapbook album

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  16. Great Idea! Going to try this soon!

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  17. Thanks for the idea. I was looking for a cool bag and you gave me the idea to sew my own.

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  18. I am so going to do this! It's great! Thanks for the idea. =)

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  19. OMG!!! I love it :)

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  20. Brilliant Andrea... thank you for the step by step tutorial... Ive been looking online for a camera bag/purse, but they are sooooo expensive, Im off on a holiday to the UK in 3weeks, and dont wont it to look obvious that Im carrying my expensive Nikon.... I wonder if I have time to make one of these....

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  21. Thank you so much for this perfect easy to read tutorial. I just recently bought a new dslr and this project is just what I was looking for.

    I have one silly question to ask. Everywhere I've searched I've only been able to find foam board, not foam by the yard. Could you maybe suggest some art stores that carry it?

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  22. Hmm, I got mine at my local fabric store. If you have a Michale's or a fabric store that's where I would look. Hope that helps. =)

    -Andrea

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  23. Thank you for this fantastic idea! I've been looking for a cute version of a camera bag and they don't seem to exist with less than 200 bucks. This is awesome.

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  24. Great idea! I'm looking for some way to convert my camera bag into one with a little more room. Something that doesn't scream "I'M A CAMERA, STEAL ME." Maybe I will borrow some of these ideas. :-)

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  25. This is such a fabulous idea - and make's me wanna try it :). I just need to buy the stuff. I have a bag, but it's a back pack and I really want a "neat" just bag type thing and this is perfect, maybe then I can ALWAYS carry my camera around and not look like I have one :)

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  26. Thank you for taking the time to put this together, it is exactly what I have been thinking about doing for ages now. I have been looking at the handbag type camera bags out there and can't justify spending $300 on one. Now to see who's sewing machine I can borrow!

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  27. Hi, this was such a great idea! I bought a leather bag from Topshop in London and made the compartments. I did the bottom piece and all the four side pieces from one cross-shaped foam. Worked well. Thank you for sharing this idea. Now it's been used all the way in Finland :)

    Anni

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    1. That is so awesome!! I'm so glad this tutorial is bein used! =D

      -Andrea
      BLH

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  28. Hey there, I apologize if you mentioned somewhere in this entry already, but I have no idea where to buy foam that isn't online/in bulk; do you have any suggestions for which stores would carry it?

    Thanks.

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    1. Hey there! I found mine at my local fabric store. Otherwise I might check out somewhere like Michaels or another craft store. I hope that helped! =)

      -Andrea
      BLH

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  29. You are so cute! I love the bag! I think I am heading to the thrift store to see what I can find to do one for myself!

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    1. Aw, thank ya! I hope ya find good bag! =D

      -Andrea
      BLH

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  30. I am smiling SO big right now!! I love my current, albeit boring, camera bag, but having just entered a drawing for an adorable $299 fancy bag I got to googling bags and came up with this very thought you just shared, buy a cute purse and make my own insert. And lo and behold, I search pintrest and YOU are here showing me exactly how to go about making said insert! I'm so excited!! Thanks so much!!!!!

    Cristy

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  31. I also pinned it to Pinterest and am so excited to get started on my own "designer" camera bag - designed by moi with a little help from your brilliant idea! :D Thanks!

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  32. It gets more complicated as the cameras become more sophisticated and they generally are large and use more accessories and optional equipment. There are two main types of bags for these cameras and often the choice is a matter of personal preference depending partly on the individuals approach to photography.

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  33. You should sell on etsy and make money for your great work!

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