Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[DIY] Camera Bag

Recently, I added another camera to my photography arsenal. As lucky as I am to now have two amazing cameras, my adorable little vintage camera bag by Diamond was just not cutting it anymore. I needed a larger bag that would fit both cameras, all of their lenses, battery chargers, cords, and accessories. Dedicated camera bags usually look like lunch boxes, and I wanted a bag that would look more like a purse and less like a place for my turkey sandwich. Why can't something functional be pretty, too? This tutorial will show you how to turn any regular purse into a functional camera bag.
You will need:
Bag or purse
Thick foam
Needle and Thread (or Sewing Machine)
I found this black patchwork leather bag at Salvation Army. I was looking for something that was simple on the eye, large enough to hold everything, and that had a lot of zippered pockets to hold all of my cameras' smaller necessities. I think the bag I found was actually meant to be a camera bag, but it lacked the padding I needed to keep my cameras safe.
The foam I used was leftover packing material from some electronic my parent's had bought.
First, cut your foam to fit across the bottom of your bag. I just eyeballed this step because foam is squishy and forgiving. Err on the larger side and trim down if needed. Leaving the bottom piece of foam in the bag, cut foam to fit the sides of your bag. You can line all four sides of your bag if you like, but I didn't have enough room (or foam!). If you have more than one camera or extra lenses, you can cut one or more separators as well.
Lay your foam pieces out on your fabric end-to-end in the order they are in your bag, leaving about an inch in between each piece (side - bottom - side). Leave your dividers out, for now. Double your fabric over, cut around, and sew a tube for the foam pieces.
Slip your foam into the tube and sew closed. Sew two more seams across the tube in between each of your foam pieces.
Push your foam down into your bag. Your foam lining should stay in place, but you can glue it to your bag if you want it to be more secure.
To make dividers, lay your foam piece on a doubled piece of fabric, leaving 2 inches on either side. Turn your fabric right-side-out and sew around your foam piece. Turn the edges of your leftover fabric under and sew to make a clean edge. Do the same for the bottom of your divider.
Add Velcro to the tabs you created on your divider. The best way I found was to add velcro to the front of the left tab and the back of the right tab. Although the Velcro I used was sticky on the back, I sewed the velcro to my tabs.
Place your divider where you want it to be in the bag and find where your corresponding velcro should go. Because I couldn't sew onto the leather of the bag, I used strong glue to hold the Velcro in place.
Go ahead and put your camera in your new custom camera purse! No more ugly lunchbox bag!
Have you ever customized something to make it more functional? Do you hate lunchbox camera bags as much as I do? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

[DIY] Marquee Letter Light

I recently changed around some of the decor in my bedroom, including painting some furniture and hanging curtains to add a few touches of sleek and sophisticated black into my girly room. I had come across a DIY tutorial for a marquee light on the Oh So Pretty blog and was dying to try it. I followed their basic tutorial with just a couple of changes to make it my own.
Because I wanted a black letter, I used black foam core instead of painting over white. 
All of the edges of my letter "H" were straight, so I used all foam core instead of a combination of foam core and poster board. This definitely helped to make my light more sturdy, but it was not easy to cut all of the edges perfectly!
I also wanted to give my letter an old-timey circus feel. I searched all over for little globe Christmas lights, but it was the wrong time of year when I made this project and there were none to be found! I had to compromise, so before I put my strand of regular lights in, I popped small clear ornament bulbs that I found at Michael's into the front of my letter, used hot glue to secure them, and then added the lights from behind.
This is how it looks hung with the cord tucked in the back, but if I want to use the light, the cord shows. Any ideas how to hide it?
I love how this marquee light looks as a focal point in my room! Don't forget to head over to Oh So Pretty: The Diaries for their tutorial and make sure you check out Casey and Savannah's other adorable DIY's while you're there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

[DIY] Tiered Tray

You will need:
Two Brass Candlesticks
Three Wired Metal Bowls (in different sizes)
E6000 or another heavy-duty metal glue

I collected the pieces for my tiered tray over time at thrift stores and on eBay. The metals I used are not exactly the same color, but have similar tones, giving it a vintage feel.
 First, clean all of your pieces, especially if you got them from thrift stores. Put a thin line of E6000 glue around the bottom of your candlesticks and glue them to the center of your two larger bowls. Let the glue dry overnight.
 After your glue has dried and cured, glue around the top of both candlesticks and stack the middle bowl on top of the candlestick on the larger bowl. Glue the smallest bowl to the top of the stack. My smallest bowl is actually another wider candle-holder turned upside-down. Let your glue dry overnight again.
If you don't like the look of metal, you can thrift other items instead. Glass plates or bowls with crystal candlesticks would make a beautiful version of this project.
 Tiered trays are so popular right now in home decor and can be used to organize lots of things. The first couple of pictures show my tiered tray holding my sewing supplies, and the last few pictures show it corralling my makeup on my dresser.

If you did this project, what would you use it for? Leave a comment and let me know!