Let’s be honest. Factory camera straps are not very pretty, and the ones you want to buy are usually pretty pricey! So why not make your own DIY camera strap? While you are doing some spring cleaning in the next few months, grab a couple old t-shirts and give this nifty tutorial a try. It’s super simple, and great for gifting!
Gather your materials! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Leather cloth
- T-Shirt (L or XL works best)
- Sewing Machine/Thread
- Split Rings (2)
- Lobster Clasps (2)
- Optional: Tape
Using your marker, create the outline on the leather for the base of your camera strap. This is where the strap will connect to the camera. You can trace a camera strap you already have to get the proper dimensions.
You should have two outlines, one for each end.
Cut out the outlines. Do not cut the middle line!
This is what your outlines should look like after being cut out.
Connect your lobster clasps to the split rings.
Slip the split rings through the piece of leather and center.
If the center of your outline is two wide, trim down until the split rings fit just enough to slightly move around. Set aside.
Lay your T-Shirt flat on countertop, hot dog style (the long side of the shirt facing you).
Line up the bottom seams of the shirt smooth out to get rid of as many wrinkles as possible.
Cut off your side seam. Using your ruler, cut 6 strips – each 1 cm wide from one end of the shirt to the other. Be sure to cut your shirt widthwise.
You should now have 6 strips with loops at both ends.
With your strips stretched out, cut one of the ends. Only one end should have a loop now, as if you just folded a long piece of fabric in half.
Grab one end of each strip and lay on top of another.
Knot the strips close to the end.
Divide your strips into 3 stacks of 2. Doubling up the strips will reinforce the braid and create a stronger strap.
Now you can begin your braid! We taped down one end to keep the strips from moving while trying to braid.
When you have braided a significant amount, fold in half to check the length. Continue braiding until you reach the desired length.
When finished braiding, trim the end. Leave at least one inch of fabric on the end.
With one leather strip open, place the 1 inch of fabric from the end of your braid. Flatten the fabric as much as possible to create even distribution across the leather. This will help when sewing together!
Untie the knot on the opposite end of the braid and repeat steps 11 and 12.
Using your sewing machine (or needle/thread if you do not have one), sew the edges each closed leather strip. Sew each side, and then diagonally.
It’s not perfect, but this is essentially what your seams should look like!
Clip to the sides of your camera.
Voila! You have a brand new camera strap. Keep it for yourself or gift it to your favorite photographer friend!