Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DIY Camera Bag

Ok, I'm really excited about this project. So for Christmas, my dad handed down his old Canon to me and the husband since we had big hopes of taking better pictures. I'm still not that good (yup, still working the auto mode) but it is way better than my little Canon Powershot. With the big Europe Trip coming up in just under a month(!), I was still without a camera bag for my DSLR beast, so I searched around and found this lovely little tutorial on how to make your own camera bag. Well, make the padding to put inside a purse/bag of your choosing. No, I did not construct that leather bag. Sorry to disappoint. I've seen quite a few fancy camera bags around that I would love to have, but let's face it, the spending diet does not allow for such things. I ended up spending about $15 for this project. And the best part is I can switch it with any purse (as long as it fits) any time! Spending diet likes!

What you'll need:
1/2 - 1 yard of fabric - Depending on the size of your bag, you can probably use less. I could have gotten by with 1/2 yard, but got 1 yard just in case I messed up (which I did).
Foam - JoAnn's sold the foam in 1" x 15" x 17" squares, which was the perfect size. Note: If I did this project again, I would probably use the 1/2" foam - the 1" is a little thick. But, I know my camera will be super protected!
Needle and thread
Velcro (optional) I decided to go without. The inserts actually stay in place on their own pretty well.
Sewing Machine! Yes, I hand sewed this whole thing! I wouldn't recommend it, but it's definitely doable (Mom - I want my sewing machine back!!)
Purse/Bag of your choosing! (I went with my most favorite cognac fossil bag... which I love).


Love the fabric... I wanted something that would go with my bag and still have a fun pattern.



I measured my bag and decided that it would be easier to make one large piece and then just sew through the foam to make the creases. In other words, the big piece would cover the bottom, and both of the long sides of the bag.

Bag dimensions: 12 x 10 x 3
Main foam piece: 11 x 15 (made one)
Side foam pieces: 3 x 6 (made two)
Divider pieces: 2.5 x 5 (made two)

I started with the big foam piece. I cut the piece, which would end up being 11" long on the sides, 3" wide on the bottom, 6" high on both sides after I sewed the creases. Can't envision what I'm talking about? Hold on, I'll get there...


Then I cut a piece of fabric so that it was about 1/2 inch bigger than the foam. I made it so that it was one big piece folded in half so I would only have to sew three sides instead of four.


Now, bear with me. I sewed this little guy by hand, and had no pushpins, so I used clothespins instead. Worked pretty well, actually. I used a ruler and pencil to measure and mark where I wanted my stitching to be so I would get straight lines.


Then I put the good sides together and started sewing... It wasn't that bad once I got started. Just took a lot longer than it would have with the machine. I have no idea what kind of stitch this is (anyone?) - my sewing knowledge is limited to what I learned in High School Home Ec Class.


I sewed two sides and left one side open for the foam to slip in.



Next, I ironed the edges so they would lay flat once I turned it right side out. Oh, hello Mr. Sharky. It's been a while.

Then, I turned the fabric right side out and stuffed the foam inside. I folded the open ended sides in towards the foam and pinned it all in place. 

I used a hidden stitch (just googled that one) to finish it off and I was finally done with the first foam pad! 

Next up was sewing the creases so it would fit right in the bag. I measured to the middle of the foam (7.5 inches) and then measured 1.5 inches on either side of the middle line so I got 3 inches right in the middle to fit in the bottom of my bag. I made a line with my pencil on the foam and then used my heavy duty needle to sew through the foam all the way down. I was a little skeptical if it would work, but it did!  

I repeated this step (minus the crease) 4 more times to get all my inserts.

Overall it took me quite a few several hours to complete, but well worth it. Next time I will definitely be using a sewing machine! I really liked how they turned out. The only thing is that the foam is a little thick, but it still works. 

The camera fits perfectly when the lens is off, and puckers out a little bit when I put it in as is. I can deal with that though. 

I haven't sewn anything since high school, so if you have even a little bit of sewing know-how, you can do this. Especially if you have a sewing machine. Oh, the luxury! I hope I was clear in explaining, but if not, feel free to email me or leave a comment! 

I love love love the result and can't wait to use my new camera bag on our Europe Trip!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a smart idea!!! I've been in NEED for a small camera bag and I didn't think of this! Thank you, I'm going to be making one for myself soon!!!

    ReplyDelete

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