Finding (and Making) the Perfect Camera Bag

May 10, 2013

DIY Camera Bag Liner

I recently upgraded my camera. After a lot of research and angst over the overwhelming amount of brand options, price points, camera capabilities…and on and on…I finally made a choice and purchased my very first DSLR camera. For the past four years, I’ve been taking pictures solely on my cell phone, and before that, all of my pictures were taken with a point and shoot I could fit in my back pocket. So, this was truly an upgrade for me.

Since this was an investment that I wanted to keep in a safe, yet pretty, place, I decided to hit the internet to see what my camera bag options were.

I knew that I didn’t want a black, boring, practical, normal camera bag. I wanted something with a little pizazz. So I checked out my options on Etsy.

I found great, fairly affordable, options like this polka dot pretty and this monogram-able one.

Source: 1-Jean00, 2-Borsabella
Source: 1-Jean00, 2-Borsabella both on Etsy

While these were great, I wanted a cheaper option. And what do you do when you want something cheap, yet fabulous? You make it yourself. So I went in search of a tutorial.

I found this great tutorial on Creating Happiness that shows step by step instructions on how to make your own camera bag from the ground up. The tutorial gives a list of supplies and easy to follow pictures to illustrate each step.

Source: Creating Happiness
Source: Creating HappinessI was torn, because I really wanted to do this, but buying all those supplies would still be a bit pricey, even with coupons.

But then I found this great up-cycling option, and I was sold. A lot of diy-ers are taking a big purse they already own and making a pretty padded lining to just slide inside the purse, thus creating a camera bag!  Well, I have plenty of over-sized bags that I don’t often use, and I already had some fabric that would work perfectly

I found these three tutorials that all basically use the same idea, they just execute it in slightly different ways.

Sources: 1-Wine & Glue 2-The Crafted Sparrow 3- Make It Love It
Sources: 1-Wine & Glue 2-The Crafted Sparrow 3- Make It Love It

But I ultimately ended up following Ashley’s tutorial over at Make-It Love-It.

I made a few minor changes to better fit my needs. First, I didn’t use ¼ inch foam. I searched three different stories and just could not find ¼ inch or even ½ inch foam anywhere! I bought 1 inch foam thinking I could cut it in half to make it ½ in foam. Guys, this is not a good idea. Do not try this, ever. I made a HUGE mess and ended up cutting the foam in a million pieces (some of this was accidental; some was on purpose out of frustration J). It’s really too bad I didn’t get a picture of this catastrophe.

Anyway, after buying a second piece of 1 inch foam, I was good to go. Using 1 inch foam though, took up a lot more room in the bag. So I was only able to fit in one divider, creating just two compartments. But I feel that my camera is extra secure in this bag!

Camera Bag Divider

I only bought enough Velcro for just one strip around the inside of the padding. This seems sufficient, however, to keep my divider in place.

DIY Camera Bag Insert

And lastly, I didn’t sew the bottom piece to the rest of the lining. Mostly because I don’t like to hand stitch. But it all fits so snuggly in my bag I didn’t see a reason to sew my bottom on.

Camera Bag Insert Bottom

This was a fairly quick and easy project to tackle (especially after I got the foam situation figured out), and it resulted in fabulous little camera bag that meets my needs completely. And was super cheap to boot.

DIY Camera Bag Insert

I love my new camera bag!

DIY Camera Bag Insert

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