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
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!