Introduction: 5 Minute Shock-Resistant Camera Case for Under $5

Picture of 5 Minute Shock-Resistant Camera Case for Under $5

This camera case takes only a few minutes to make, is completely customizable, and on average, should cost like $1 to make! This project uses simple materials you can pick up just about anywhere. So what are you waiting for?

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You know that squishy stuff you can get to line drawers, or put under carpets to keep them from sliding?  Non-skid mat type stuff?  That's what this is made of.   I will henceforth refer to this material as "squishy stuff."  I also deem squishy stuff to be shock resistant, mostly based on the number of times I've dropped my camera in this case without any damage.  Just don't try it from the top of a water tower (you know who you are).You've been warned. 

* 1 sheet squishy stuff
* 1 piece velcro
* Needle and thread, or sewing machine
* A piece of paper
* Scissors
* Ruler (opt but handy)
* Pen or pencil (opt but handy)

Step 2: Make a Template

Picture of Make a Template

The easiest way to make a template is to put your camera on a piece of paper, and fold the paper up around it, creasing along the edges.  When you uncrease the paper, you'll have your stitching lines.

The second picture shows me folding the paper up along the bottom of the camera.  You don't necessarily want it to go all the way to the top edge of the camera.  Think of an envelope - the extra open space at the top makes it easier to remove the contents.

Crease the edges too so you know how deep to make the case.

Fold the top down and crease where you want the edge of that to be.  (third picture)

Unfold, and mark where your creases were.  Notice in picture 4 how much space is on each side of the camera.  This will allow the fabric - pardon me - squishy stuff to bend around the edges of the camera without being too tight.

Step 3: Cut Squishy Stuff

Picture of Cut Squishy Stuff

If you like, taper the edges of the top fold of the camera case to make it more envelope like.  Totally optional.  Use your paper template to cut the shape out of the squishy stuff.

Step 4: Add Velcro

Picture of Add Velcro

Before you sew the sides shut, you want to make sure to add your closure.

Sticky velcro will not cut it, not for one second.  Well, it will for the first second, but after you open it once, you're done.

So cut a piece of sew-on velcro about 1" big.  Sew it to the outside of the bottom flap and the inside of the top flap.  If this is confusing, just fold the squishy stuff around your camera like it will be when it's finished.  You'll see where the velcro needs to go.  Or look at the picture.

If you're sewing by hand, go forth.  If you're sewing by machine, you'll need something to help the squishy stuff slide over the feed dogs.  The solution: paper! 

Get the scraps of paper from the pattern you cut out, and place one between the squishy stuff and the sewing machine.

Sew sew sew, and then gently tear the paper away from the case.

Step 5: Sew the Sides

Picture of Sew the Sides

Again, if you're using a sewing machine, you'll want to cover the squishy stuff with paper.  This time we'll cover both sides, since I discovered presser feet don't like the squishy stuff any more than the feed dogs do.

So take a scrap of paper, and fold it over the edge you're going to sew.  Might as well get both of them ready to sew at the same time.

Sew sew sew, (remember to backstitch at each edge!) and carefully tear away paper.

Step 6: Now for the Hard Part

Picture of Now for the Hard Part

Oh, hey! You're done!  That's it - no hard part at all.  Put your camera in your new case and hit the road.  Or, if you're feeling generous, make a bunch more for your friends. Make cases for your phone or mp3 player.  You've got all that squishy stuff left over, after all.  It makes a great, thoughtful (and inexpensive!) gift that your friends will love.  Just ask Randofo!


bobert610 (author)2010-07-14

Where can i find me some of that "squishy stuff" online? or does joanne fabrics have some cus theres one in my town.

static (author)bobert6102013-11-16

Walmart generally has it next to the drawer and shelf liner. I use it in the drawers of my mechanics tool cabinets/chests. A lot less inexpensive than the official product for sold that purpose.

Brennn10 (author)bobert6102010-07-14

Do you have a Bed, Bath & Beyond store near you? The "squishy stuff" is the material that people put underneath of their rugs, so that they don't move. I was in BBB the other day, and saw it there.

bobert610 (author)Brennn102010-07-14

yup ill go there tomorro thnx.

abizar (author)2010-07-16

You might be able to heat seal the drawer liner stuff. That is fuse, the edges together with a heat sealer used for vaccum packaging. This is for the macho guys who are afraid of using a sewing needle!

gnach (author)abizar2010-12-28

I always thought staples or pop rivets were for macho guys.

static (author)gnach2013-11-16

Nah "real" men aren't afraid to sew. Around here the aftermarket auto trim work has been done by mean for decades. I was thinking that heavy trot line used for fisning could be use for men without sewing chines Though lighter thread and needle would be needed for the Velcro.

mariaclemente2000 (author)2012-09-02

Love it. The instructable is simple. I am going to try it. Thanks.

djbenter (author)2011-05-29

I suppose that another alternative to sewing would be to hot glue a strip of felt along either side of the bag? My sewing machine is currently out of commission, so that might be my alternative

ellequoi (author)2011-02-05

After the 'official' camera case (came from the manufacturer with purchase of the camera) actually caused damage to my camera, this may be a better option for me!

longsl (author)2010-12-25

It's easy to make it. Thx you so much ^^

Sorokahdeen (author)2010-12-24

Very nice project. Great idea and one that I think would be wonderful for adapting for use with an Amazon Kindle.

One thing though: Considering how small the amount of material outside the stitching is, why not position the velcro pieces so that they mate on the sides opposite where they are currently placed so that the final product can be turned inside out with the stitching hidden? It would double the material inside the pocket along the edge, giving a little extra padding for shock-proofing the edge of the camera.

alix-cool (author)2010-11-13

i love this idea, Brilliant :D :D
this is my attempt :)

tahwer (author)alix-cool2010-12-23

hahaha,ur 1 is more better!

verence (author)2010-07-14

Very nice idea. I just would not store my camera (etc.) for a long time in this "squishy stuff". These mats often contain plasticizers (to make them soft an squishy, of course). During a long time contact between the plastic camera body and the case, those plasticizers might "melt" into the plastic of the camera. For a short storage on a trip or on a holiday, you (and your camera) should be fine. And the green one should be very easy to find even in the biggest bag.

jauncourt (author)verence2010-12-23

Just an observation from someone who has done exactly this with this stuff and PVC foam board, but this is not as big a risk as you are making it out to be. My costume group uses this stuff to keep costume armor plates from slipping, and a number of us have left armor plates in storage for a couple of months at a time with the foam mesh right up against them, with no visible marking or softening.

I wouldn't leave it for a year or more, in a hot storage area, but a couple of months in a warn-temperate climate is certainly not unsafe.

Of course, you could always add a lining, which would completely negate the problem.

dacker (author)verence2010-07-15

Your comment about plasticizers is very good and accurate . I've seen the results you describe and it's not pretty.

Another commenter suggested lining this project with Tyvek, which is white-colored 99% of the time. I suggest an alternate liner, felt from your local big box or local craft store. Felt would eliminate the plasticizer issue, a near-matching or complimentary color could be purchased, it adds padding, and it's unlikely to scratch your camera, GPS, MP3 player, cell phone, etc.

I suppose felt could be used  as an alternative to  the shelf liner material as well.

ck0050 (author)dacker2010-12-23

An another alternative for the material could be EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate). I use it everywere. It comes in diferent colors, and density.

killbox (author)2010-12-23

I love this stuff, i keep a square of it in my laptop bag, and in my camera bag,

I call it Friction Enhancer, years ago i needed to run some mapping software on a laptop in my car, i could not figure out how to seatbelt it into the car, so i tried a large square of that stuff under the laptop on the seat, and it was amazing, i could slam on my brakes (did it as a test in a parkinglot and the laptop did not slide at all.

since then ive used it on my lap to keep said warm laptop from cooking me and keeping it from sliding around. Also used it as a makeshift tripod using a car roof and the grippy pad and my camera to take long exposure evening sunset shots.

waif69 (author)2010-12-23

This is exactly what I like to see here at Instructables! A cheap, easy, creative project that isn't obvious until you see it and then smack yourself in the forehead and say "now why didn't I think of that!"

dismissie (author)2010-12-12

What a great idea! My camera is always sliding out of it's felt holder- one of these would fix that!

sidthecat (author)2010-07-14

This strikes me as useful for a cell phone as well.

jakyo (author)sidthecat2010-12-02

I am thinking the same thing ,maybe line it ? cheers

donteatsoap7 (author)2010-11-21

This is a great gift for my friend and sister, thank you!

chanceler34 (author)2010-09-14

I have an old yoga mat made of "squishey stuff" that i dont use anymore, I'll Be sure to try this before shelling out 20 bucks for a case...

pop88 (author)2010-07-24

Good idea thank you

nishant9999 (author)2010-07-17

i may use it for my hard drive !

bookfreak53 (author)2010-07-15

I love this idea as I have a camera and I'm the kind of klutz who might also drop it from a water tower...strictly by accident, of course. Sigh... The squishy stuff (wonderful name) is also good for using to anchor light weight things like my home mobile phone charger. The dumb thing kept fell off the table every time my rescue kitties batted it. Now it sits on its own square bed of squishiness and I have one less reason to despair of teaching my kitties good manners. Thanks!!

rednecktech1 (author)bookfreak532010-07-17

First I thought you said your kitties "battled" it and I thought, how cute! Luddite kitties with little swords. Oh, wait, "batted". I'm a dork. Kitties are cute so that they can get away with no manners. And another great instructable, Smoochie!

Julie Lakewood (author)2010-07-17

This material is very useful for a number of different purposes. I work at a nursing home and we call it "dycem" for some reason. We put a large square of it under wheelchair cushions to prevent the cushions from sliding out and putting the resident at risk of falling onto the floor. I also use it at home between plastic-covered mattresses to prevent them from sliding around. It will also keep sheets tucked in. I also have thought of cutting a small square of the material to prevent my cell phone from sliding out of the small open storage compartment in the care as I am driving around. It may be the new "duct tape" phenomenon.

sparkleponytx (author)2010-07-16

I love this idea! Thanks for posting it.

rodreid (author)2010-07-15

I have a portable hard drive that I have been unable to find the right case for. This will be perfect. Thanks for a great idea.

DavidNZ (author)rodreid2010-07-15

I also been looking for a case for my hard drive but never found one .This would be perfect thanks

disconnect (author)2010-07-15

this is brilliant!

evilution (author)2010-07-15

I wouldn't have thought that anything would slide that easily into a case made of non-slip matting. How about making a 2 ply case with a velvet layer on the inside. That would help it slide in and out of the case, would prevent scratches and would stop dirt and dust going through the holes onto the camera. Needless to say you could use a different colour velvet for an interesting 2 tone pattern. The velvet type layer would also provide a stronger sewn seam.

scoochmaroo (author)evilution2010-07-15

Sure could. You could even just use a layer of lining inside. I like that it's not slippery, as it doesn't slide out of its case unless I make it, meaning even less opportunity for me to drop it :D

jabowk (author)2010-07-15

You can also get the squishy stuff at Big Lots and Dollar Tree.

dwhole (author)jabowk2010-07-15

I bought some a while back @ Costco - $ per foot is way cheaper than 'bargain' stores. It's a big roll, and I've used it for many projects. Although I guess it does require you to pay for a membership, but if you already belong why not? I'm a bargain hunter, but sometimes the dollar store price per unit is way higher than most.

garavin (author)2010-07-15

Neat, and a good use for the "squishy stuff". Have you tried turning the case inside out to hide the stitched edges? Of course, you'd need to sew the velcro on the opposite sides of the lid and case front...

lynlet (author)2010-07-15

The "squishy stuff" is drawer liner or shelf line, available at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, etc. You can also sew a loop on the back to take a belt, wearing it around your waste for easy access.

piratequeenfaber (author)2010-07-14

A thin yoga mat would preform the job just as well and would give a solid, not mesh, look to the finished product.

EvlPwnda (author)2010-07-14

you can also get it at walmart or target

bobert610 (author)EvlPwnda2010-07-14


Dr.Paj (author)2010-07-14

I've always used this "squishy stuff" to open jar lids that don't want to budge. I just cut out circles about 2 inches in diameter larger than your largest jar lid and use them. They really grip the lids well...

Anyway, I like what you did, but the only problem I see is that the case would be difficult to put in and out of a purse or whatever you put it in other than just carrying it by the string.

Ninzerbean (author)2010-07-14

Buying a teflon presser foot is a great investment because you can sew over just about anything, they love shiny plastic. I know that the feed dogs don't like this squishy stuff but I just thought I would mention the teflon foot anyway. This is so cool, thank you for sharing!

dwhole (author)2010-07-14

Maybe to make it a little more durable, make an outer shell from Tyvek. You could then sew both layers together. Admittedly it wouldn't look as cool, but would be the best of both worlds. I've been abusing my homemade Tyvek wallet for months, and it still holds up just fine. Great instructable!

coolpizzadude (author)2010-07-14

WOW sweet idea gotta try this on my psp.

Mongpoovian (author)2010-07-14

This is great!

bscarano (author)2010-07-14

I wonder, could you melt the edges together instead of sewing? I'm going to try and see how it works.

Tututu (author)2010-07-14

Wow, very easy and very cheap Love it, great instructables!

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