DIY camera bag insert project

A little while ago I found a wonderful lightweight bag (for $20!) at the Japanese grocery store – it’s roomy with lots of pockets inside and out, and it has fun Japanese characters all over it in bright colors – it’s a very happy bag! It’s just the right size for carrying on a plane or bus for a trip and it’s been great for taking a book (or 3) and some lunch to work.

Today I made it even better. With a bit of help from the internet I came up with a plan for making a removable padded camera insert to hold one, two or even all three of my cameras. And it worked!

I used two layers of 1/2″ foam for the walls of the box and one layer for the dividers. If I was carrying more expensive cameras (or carrying my cameras more often) I would have used thicker padding, but I think what I made will serve me just fine. I covered the foam in indigo cotton fabric that I bought years ago for sashiko stitching – it only took one scrap piece to make the whole thing. I had to buy one small package of sew-on velcro – with the foam that brought the total cost of the project to $9 and I have lots of foam left over.

Of course I don’t have a sewing machine anymore but I do have a friend! M helped me think through the construction, let me use her machine and thread (and scissors and ruler and pen) and fed me lunch and kept me company. Thank you!! Being in someone else’s house (and away from the Pug) helped me keep focused and keep my temper when faced with “design challenges.”

The bottom and ends of the insert are in one piece. I made the sides separately, remembering to sew the velcro on to them before I put the foam inside and sewed them up. The dividers have tabs on the end with male velcro to cling onto the sides and create the compartments. I sewed the box together by hand at home. I didn’t think I would have much fun wrestling the pieces through the sewing machine (and I try not to swear in front of people’s toddlers) and it seemed that handsewing would be neater anyway.

The bag comfortably holds my old film SLR, my Hi-Matic 5, and my Olympus digital camera (the one I used to take these photos). I can even carry a longer lens in place of one of the small cameras. The SLR fits upright if I’m carrying other cameras or lying down on it’s own. I could’ve added more features (extra velcro, more divider, pockets) but for my current purposes this seems to be perfect. It only took an afternoon and it should make packing my carry on bag easier for my next trip (if I decide to take the SLR…)

I am tempted to create a specialized camera bag (someday) like this (this is the post that I kept coming back to while I was researching how to make a camera bag, so I should say thank you, Vanilla and Lace)

btw I always go a bit crazy just before and after a trip home (my alternative reality, opposite world.) I come up with all kinds of plans and obsessions, but 2 weeks of travel, unreality, jet lag and change shakes everything up in my mind. I can never remember what I wanted to do or why – it’s like a black hole in my memory caused by stretching and bending time; losing a day here, re-living a day there, visiting the past…

So I had better reign myself in a bit and get back to real life. It has stopped snow-raining. The clouds have lifted a little. I made bacon macaroni cheese for hubby’s dinner. I need to take a shower and go to work.

bye for now


This entry was posted in crafting, photo, photography. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to DIY camera bag insert project

  1. space says:

    slick! good job!

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