The Makebetter Project: The Camera Bag
When David and I finally made the big purchase plunge a few months ago on a new canon digital slr, the first thing I thought of was ‘what are we going to carry it around in’? A canon bag was thrown in with the purchase ( see above) and although it was practical, it left me completely unexcited about lugging it around. Enter my little ‘make better project: the camera bag’.
From the start it was recognised that David was probably going to do must of the lugging, so I had to keep his classic, “worn” tastes in mind. After a fruitless search for a nice camera bag, I decided to take a nice bag and give it some extra support. I searched all over town for a worn leather bag but either the shape wasn’t right or they were growing mold in them (seriously !) so I turned to the Internet and ordered a leather satchel from grafea. I selected the bag specifically for it’s rigid shape, as well as the side pockets, perfect for storing spare camera cards.
After receiving the bag I was able to do some measurements to allow me to get the rest of the ingredients.
- Dense Foam. I luckily work next to a foam store, but there is always the Internet. Keep in mind the size of your bag and how big your camera is when figuring out your thickness of foam. You can always layer pieces together to make it thicker.
- Fabric. I bought some run of the mill cotton twill fabric ( probably best to avoid synthetics which may cause static). You could go really cute with a great pattern or colour (perhaps even vintage since you don’t need that much), but alas mine is suited for Indiana jones.
- Permanent spray adhesive
- Xacto knife
Pretty simple really…After measuring the interior, I cut out four foam pieces to cover the inside panels. To ensure the panels stayed in their positions, instead cutting out foam pieces the length of the bag, I created them shorter so that they all lean against the other one. I then created the bottom so that it fit in the middle of all the pieces, not below it- yet another form of keeping every piece where it should be.
Cut out the fabric to allow for overlay around the edges- but I didn’t worry about covering all sides as it just created unnecessary bulk. I just made sure that the fold over went far down enough that you couldn’t see the foam when it was in the bag.
Spray the fabric, lay foam in the middle and wrap like a present. When you have all the pieces wrapped, spray one side edge in order to stick to the other and repeat on the other ‘L’. I placed a few straight pins in the side to reinforce the joint. You should now have three units- a bottom and two ‘L’ shapes.
I simply inserted my two ‘L’ pieces and then inserted the bottom inside, and miraculously my pedantic measuring made for a snug fit. You could glue these sides into the bag but I quite liked the flexibility of being able to remove them on whim without leaving a trace. Instead, I have added two pieces of sticker Velcro in as extra measure.
• The bag has worked a treat so far and has made for a much more welcome addition to our holiday photos! See! It wasn’t all about looks… we avoided the whole ‘walking rob me sign’ when using it on holiday, trains etc.
• Depending on your camera, you could create more foam panels lined with velcro to insert inside the bag to create different compartments (house your lens, camera body etc…)
• I’ve been caught out in a half an hour deluge of rain and it was dry as a bone, but since then we’ve placed a large ziploc bag in the back pocket to be able to protect it in just in case.