Monday, 17 June 2013

DIY Camera Bag

 Have you guys been over to see Casey at Pretty Organized?  She's kind of a big deal. She's got some amazing organizing ideas!  Combine that with her love of photography, and you get a feature of my DIY Camera Bag  (with pictures made extra awesome by Casey's mad photo editing skills). Head on over and check it out y'all! 


 I am in L-O-V-E with my new, super easy, DIY Camera Bag....from a purse!

I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of love for my camera, and I really want to be able to take it out and about easily.  For the first month of DSLR ownership, my camera sat in a basket on my desk.  I did not have an easy time finding a camera bag that I sort of liked could probably tolerate, and £45 seemed like a lot to spend on something I didn't even really like...

 Somewhere during this process, I  discovered Jo Totes. They're all "Hey....I'm a camera bag!.....or am I?" Camera bags masquerading as handbags is just a genius idea. Sadly, having just forked over a chunk of cash for the camera itself, I could not justify buying a Jo Totes bag.  Even though they are probably the most affordable brands of beautiful camera bags designed for women, they still cost about £100 a pop after shipping for the cheaper designs. Sad face.

Then, it occured to me that I could probably make something similar if I found the right bag....

So, I picked up a bag for £20 from TK Maxx (yes, it's "TK" Maxx in England), some 3/4" foam for £2.50, a yard of fabric for £5, and I got to work!

  • When choosing your bag, think about the features you want it to have.  I knew I wanted both a zipper, and a fold over flap enclosure.  I also wanted it to have a shoulder strap, and to be big enough to fit other basic necessities (wallet, phone, etc).  I didn't want it to be black. And it would be good if it had feet.  I scoured the racks at TK Maxx, and gave myself a budget of £30 or less.  This was literally the only one that fit all most of my criteria. (It's like I was being too specific or something?!).  As a bonus, it was teal, so I just figured it must be meant to be.
Here's what I did:
1) "Measured" the inside of the bag, and then cut foam pieces to size until they all fit together.
  •  3/4" thick foam was the thinnest I could find without searching high and low, so I just went with it.  It ended up being good, because the bag was a little "floppy", but using the thicker foam made it a lot sturdier.  
2) With my mad seamstressing skills (not), I used the various foam pieces to make what you may or may not call a "pattern". (After doing this once, I just used the foam pieces themselves as patterns, rather than bothering with a paper pattern).
3) I cut two pieces of fabric for each piece of foam.
4) Then it was time to sew. I just sewed the fabric together on two of the long sides and one of the short sides, forming a sort of pillow case type apparatus.
  • Obviously you need the "right" side of the fabric facing each other. This may seem like a no brainer....but for those of you whose mad seamstressing skills rival my own, I just thought I'd throw this in..
5) After I sewed the cases for the foam, I ironed them, turned them right side out and slid the foam in.  Then I sewed them shut on the second short side. So, I had a stack of little padded "pillows".
  • My mother-in-law, who is actually a seamstress, suggested that I go back over the closing side with a zig-zag rather than a straight(ish) stitch to make the padded inserts more durable...I haven't done this yet, but I will!
6) I pieced them together into the bag, and ended up with this...

I've sewed one other time in my life, so the sheer terror of working with a sharp metal object moving up and down in close proximity to my fingers is something I'm still getting used to.  I did feel a little less terrified toward the end of the sewing part, and I was so happy with how it turned out!

I played with the idea of using velcro to secure the two dividers in the middle, but decided I like the flexibility of being able to move them around depending on what accessories etc I want to bring along. The only draw back is that they kind of flop over when you get the camera in and out...I may play around with a solution for this!

Here's a (cell phone) picture from the other side of the bag, with my camera in it's new home...
That little white strip is the manual, which fits just perfectly in the little side zipper pocket.

In total, this project cost £30, and only took about 2-3 hours.  (You could probably do it more quickly if you have any knowledge of sewing, including but not limited to how to thread the needle of your sewing machine.....)

I'm so glad I thought to do this, and my camera is glad too. :-) I think this will do just fine for a while, even though I'd still really really like a Jo Totes bag someday!

Where do you store your photography equipment?  Does your camera feel all snug and ladylike in a girly camera bag?

 I'm linking this post toGive me the Goods, Made By You Monday 


  1. I'm jaw-on-the-floor shocked and impressed by this idea!! WHY have I been carrying around such an ugly camera bag and it NEVER occurred to me that you can make your own?! Seriously: yours looks SOOOO good! Totally pinning this so I can try it!

  2. Thanks Kelly! I'm sure you'll be able to do it quite easily, with your curtain sewing skillz. (Sewing Machine Jammer?! As if! ;-) Let me know how it goes!

  3. I just found your blog on Commona-my house blog and just love the tutorial on making a camera case. I had on break not to long ago and this case sure would have been helpful.
    I would love it if you would link up with us at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

  4. My poor camera gets thrown in my real purse all the time... I think I need one of these! Thanks for linking up to Give Me the Goods!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...