Craft Your Own DIY Camera Strap from a Belt, Shirt, and Boot

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A photography professor once told my class that the mark of a pro was a non-standard strap — boasting the brand and model of your camera was far too bold for his under-the-radar approach.

We prefer style over subtlety when it comes to our accessories! That’s why we developed a fun and budget-friendly way to create custom camera straps from a few thrifted belts, an old boot, and some simple supplies from the craft store.

I’m snappier with a camera than I am with a sewing machine, and this project only took a bit more than an hour to complete. So the next time your shoot is shuttered by rain or snow, focus on fashioning a picturesque neck or wristlet-style camera strap!

If the finished product is picture-perfect, be sure to share a snapshot — you could win this month’s DIY-themed Facebook photo contest!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
A belt that’s woven or made of fabric
Durable material for trim (I used scraps from an expired faux leather boot and faux suede from another project — just make sure it’s not too thick for your sewing machine)
A soft plaid shirt, for lining or concealing of the belt
1 foot of woven cord in a coordinating hue
Metallic rings and clips (Make sure they’re strong!)

Floral Camera Strap

DIY Streetstyle Wrist Strap
You’ll get your shot in a snap with this petite strap, which keeps your retro rangefinder close at hand!

1. Trim the belt to 14″ (shorter for smaller wrists) with each edge pointed. Then measure one piece of cord to be 5″ in length. The faux leather trim is crafted from two 3″ squares with any backing removed.

Trace the outline of an angled end onto the wrong side of a square with chalk or a marker. I allowed the belt to extend 2.5″ across the square. Draw a perpendicular line across the traced point, so that the base of the small triangle is the width of the cord you have chosen.

With the wrong sides facing, pin the squares together. Then slowly sew along each traced line, leaving one large opening along the edge and one small opening at the mark you created. For extra reinforcement, do this twice!

2. Fold the cord and pin it to the end of your strap, with about 1/2″ overlapping.Then sew a series of stitches across the width of your strap to secure it. I did about 8 passes.

3. Clip any extra material from the trim piece and notch each interior corner, then flip it right side out. Slide the trim onto the end of your belt, making sure that the cord passes through the smaller hole.

Beginning on the inside edge, sew a series of stitches across the width of the belt. Then sew a diagonal line to the opposite edge and reinforce this side the same way. Complete this step by sewing another diagonal line to the opposite corner, securing the trim.

4. After attaching the hardware, head out on a photo excursion with your camera at your side!

Plaid Camera Strap

DIY Neck Strap with Plaid Lining
Comfortable enough to wear during all day excursions, this neck strap is perfect for a classic SLR or a modern mirrorless camera!

1. Measure your current strap, then prepare to cut your materials. Trim the belt about 4″ shorter than you’d like the final product, with each edge pointed (for a 36″ strap, trim the belt to 32″). Then measuring one piece of cord to be 5″ in length. The faux leather trim is crafted from four 3″ squares with the backing removed.

Trace the outline of an angled end onto the wrong side of two squares with chalk or a marker. I allowed the belt to extend 2.5″ across the square. Draw a perpendicular line across the traced point, so that the base of the small triangle is the width of the cord you have chosen.

With the wrong sides facing, pin the traced and blank squares together. Then slowly sew along each traced line, leaving one large opening along the edge and one small opening at the mark you created. For extra reinforcement, do this twice! (If you’re not adding plaid, skip to step 4!)

2. To create the lining, cut a panel from the longest part of the shirt (usually the back). It should be as long as the belt and about 6″ wide. Fold the edges in, and experiment to get the right width. I chose to cover the entire belt, which was a bit easier. But if you choose a bright or patterned belt, you can show it off by making the lining more narrow. Once you’re happy with your measurements, pin the fabric and iron it to create crisp lines. Then pin it perfectly onto the belt!

3. Attaching the lining is simple if you go slow! Just sew along each side, about a 1/2″ from the edge.

4. Fold the cord and pin it to the end of your strap, with about 1/2″ overlapping. Then sew a series of stitches across the width of your strap to secure it, about 8 passes. Repeat this step with the other end.

Clip any extra material from the trim piece and notch each interior corner, then flip it right side out. Slide the trim onto the end of your belt, making sure that the cord passes through the smaller hole. Then repeat this step on the other trim piece.

Beginning on the inside edge, sew a series of stitches across the width of the belt. Then sew a diagonal line to the opposite edge and reinforce this side the same way. Complete this step by sewing another diagonal line to the opposite corner, securing the trim. Then — you guessed it — repeat this step on the opposite end!

After that, all you’ve got to do is attach the hardware and hit the streets!

Chris

About Chris

Every day, Chris gets one to three scoops closer to his dream of an ice cream-only diet. If he's not indulging his sweet tooth, Chris is using his child-like energy levels to play rubber snake pranks, converse with countless puns, and capture the world in photos as he walks. If you aspire to have a perfect Pittsburgh accent or have a passion for periodicals, he would love to talk over afternoon coffee.

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7 Responses to Craft Your Own DIY Camera Strap from a Belt, Shirt, and Boot

  1. Christina 03/05/2012 at 10:11 am #

    Awesome way to jazz up your camera! I love the plaid one.

    Come see the Loaded Baked Potato I made on Sat.
    http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/2012/03/loadin-up.html

    Christina

  2. Corrie Kartchner 03/05/2012 at 10:45 am #

    SNAP! I LOVE THAT! I’m doing it….when I get a camera.

  3. Britt 03/05/2012 at 11:39 am #

    I have been looking to change out my camera strap and this is a perfect tutorial to do it! Love all the different ideas!

  4. Naomi A. 03/05/2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Totally making this, I’m still using my ugly boring strap!

  5. bonnie weller 03/13/2012 at 10:36 am #

    When I’ve time, I’ll try it for my camera – but better than that – for my phone. When working outside, both items get in the way or are constantly on the verge of falling off! Would be nice.

  6. Eliza 03/31/2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I really like this…so unique! I love how you can customize it using your shirt/belt/boot! Every one is different, and every one represents the person who made it! Heart it! ;)

  7. Mayette 12/05/2012 at 11:50 am #

    This is a fantastic idea! I have to try it once I get sewing machine-savvy.

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