camera strap diy

Yesterday Geoff and I went to a camera fair put on by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada. We both enjoy looking at vintage and collectible cameras, even though my knowledge on the subject is pretty limited. We've been talking about the fair for a few years, especially around the time that Geoff was on the hunt for a TLR, but always miss it (Celine went last year). It was the perfect day for an outing. I bought a couple of small things, including a few stereographic cards and a cat postcard from 1906.

I also bought a whole bunch of camera straps, 5 for $2. I had always admired Karyn's re-covered camera straps, here and here, and I wanted to make one using some floral tapestry ribbon trim I had found at the Designer Fabric Outlet (Mokuba has some beautiful tapestry ribbon on clearance, but the DFO ribbon is so cheap at 99 cents a yard). The only problem was that I couldn't find the hardware for a strap, and to be honest, I have no idea what the hardware is even called. D-rings and snap hooks and split rings and so on. It seemed much easier to take existing straps apart, and I wanted this to be a quick project I could work on guilt-free in the face of my to-do list. No sewing of little leather bits, no rivets.

Two of the straps I bought were made of black cotton webbing that had started to look a bit dingy. I took the hardware off, sewed two pieces of trim together so that it would be reversible, and a few minutes later, I had my very own camera strap. So easy and so satisfying.

The nice thing about the hardware on the original straps is that the hooks swivel. There will be no twisted strap.

This is a Canon A-1 that I got on eBay a little while ago off someone who was clearing out his personal collection. I had become obsessed with finding a Canon SLR for myself, and had settled on this model. I like that it has auto features, since I am just learning about how to take a proper picture. Kate has the same one, which makes me feel good about my choice, although I had no idea she had it when I bought it. The camera came with a generic black nylon strap; I think mine is much prettier.

Cat tail outtake:


The Book of Right-On, Sip-n-Snap, Natasha, Elena R.: Thank you!

Jenny: Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! And yeah, that meowmania website is pretty amazing!

Hello Lindello: Haha, yeah, our sales tax is higher than the Cook County sales tax. I don't even notice it.

La fille d'or: Thank you! Oh, I wish I could go out for a cream puff run, although maybe it's for the best that I can't go.

fashionforwriters.com: Oh, that's funny. I wish I could have brought home the catalogue but I had to save my pennies for all the Mexican food I was hoping to eat (and did eat).

iris: Thanks for the information -- I had been in the middle of updating the links after making the photos public but got sidetracked. I hate when the photos don't show up.

Kate: Yeah, seriously! So delicious!

veronika, tick tock vintage.: I'm sorry!

mbuenger: Oh yes, the tots! Some people at the next table over had ordered them. They smelled so good but we had just eaten a heap of food. Next time! (I've been saying that a lot lately.)

jackie: Thank you! Weird! I thought you had already asked but I can't seem to find that comment? Maybe it spontaneously disappeared? Anyway, I remember seeing the question in my email. The film I buy is from Black's. If you buy one pack it's about $6-8, something like that, but I recently got a pack of five 200 ISO Black's brand film for $30, processing and prints included! That is an insane deal. I don't think it's bad film, either. I don't know enough about film to know the difference, and our friend who is a professional photographer said that it's fine. The only thing is that the CD is $5 extra (I think you can get at least two or three rolls per CD). I have a scanner at home that I use to scan my negatives.

Lara: Oh -- I thought it was Ukranian Village because when I looked it up, Yelp has it listed that way. I don't know enough about Chicago to know the difference! My personal preference for places to drink are places that aren't too expensive and where the music isn't so loud that you have to shout. I guess dive bars sometimes fall into that category!

Mallory: I'm glad you liked them!

vanessa joie: You should get it!

craftysunday: Oh, yes. I think we were able to do so much thanks to the friends who drove us around. But the transit system in Chicago is really good and we were prepared to do a lot of walking. Thanks for the recommendation! Those earrings are so great. I wanted to pick out a few pairs! Picking out one was hard.

Neon Relish: Thank you! It was so great to meet you too, although it would have been nice to be able to sit and chat (I was so distracted by those clothes!). So glad you got Cat Paint -- pretty mind-blowing, isn't it!

Caroro: Oh wow, that is so dangerous! Will have to make a few road trips that way, I think. Thanks for letting me know! I know some people who are very excited.

Jane: Let's go back!


  1. I think I'll try this, it looks really pretty and so much better than just a generic camera strap.


  2. Dang! That is so rad. I always take the straps off of mine because they get in my way. And I like to drop cameras, it's fun. Maybe if I had a cool one I'd keep it on.

    It's so funny, Billy's uncle gave me that camera and I had no idea it was so rad! I've had it since December, I figured it would take generic looking photos that wouldn't look too different from my digital pictures. Wrong, so wrong.

  3. oh and forgot to mention - that cat photo steals my heart. which I'm sure you knew it would!

  4. omg, sunshine and shadow! How perfect!

    That is the coolest camera strap! Will you toss some up in the shop someday? They'd be fantastic gifts :D

  5. I love the strap! I really need (want) one for my camera. And I love that kitty postcard too!

  6. that makes camera straps so much more interesting now! just yesterday as i was walking through the woods with my camera, i was thinking that i'd like to have one that wasn't so boring! great, that's just one more thing to add to my ten mile long to do list!

  7. Love the camera straps! It looks really cute.

  8. Anonymous17.5.10

    It looks great!

  9. This strap is so lovely! What a great idea too. I'm with Kater, these would be fantastic gifts for people.

  10. oh yay! your camera strap is absolutely awesome and the perfect fabric choice for you. love that you used vintage straps, the hardware is so cool. i was just looking at a vintage strap last night thinking i might need to make myself a spare strap!

  11. I love the ribbon used. It is so pretty. I want one now.

  12. Anonymous17.5.10

    Great idea...and fabulous way to personalize your camera. I am still learning the photography thing too and really need to start muching around with my DSLR more. That fair sounds awesome.

  13. I know, weird eh? I thought I left a comment, but since I didn't see it I just assumed that it didn't get posted.
    Anyway, your floral strap is so pretty, I wish I have one like yours!

  14. woah it's so pretty, i totally love that camera strap

  15. I just got my second Canon- AE-1! My first one gave out - it travelled all around the world with us as kids, and when I was 16 my dad gave it to me. There was an ant in the lens that crawled in there in Cyprus, and dings from being dropped down a cliff in Nepal. It just gave out a couple months ago, and i was just gifted another last week. They are beautiful, memory making machines.

  16. love the floral camera strap
    a really badass blog-will definitely be following


  17. amazing idea. I h-ate the strap that came with my nikon, but have been to lazy to do anything about it. this would work!

  18. KILLER! that's the best idea ever! I need to do that...get a fabric w/cats on it...

  19. Such a pretty strap.

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  21. Okay, now I'm jealous of your camera strap. If only I was crafty and could make one ... hmmm... I think you should make a bunch and sell them so I can buy one and also feel cute as a button with a rad camera strap. What do ya say? Say yes!

  22. Strong work!
    But in regards to your newer post... Do you need a photography class?
    Looks great to me! :)

  23. I LOVEEEEEEE the bottom postcard. SO JEALOUS~!

  24. nice work on the camera strap!!

  25. i love those covered camera straps and really want to make one. the cat tail outtake is the best.

  26. Anonymous7.10.13

    I adore this strap.
    If you could make one like this, I would seriously buy it.
    I'm not kidding.
    You can email me if you'd like.