Introduction: Camera Bean Bag

Picture of Camera Bean Bag

Tripods do lovely work for camera's. But when shooting from the ground you can't use a tripod and it's sometimes difficult to get a good surface to put the camera on and point in the right direction.

This is where a Camera Bean Bag comes in handy. And instead of buying one, I thought I would make one myself.

You can make this for almost nothing, you can use stuff laying around in the house. Or if you don't have the items, you can buy them for real cheap!

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

It's actually pretty easy to make this Camera Bean Bag, and you don't need allot of stuff.

- Piece of fabric  (I used 2 sheets about 20cm x 30cm each)
- Thread
- Beans (I actually cheated and used green peas)

- Needle
- Scissors

If you have a sewing machine, please use that. It's allot easier and faster then using a hand and needle.

I think it's called a bean bag because they used to stuff it with beans. Nowadays they fill it with all kinds of materials.

I used dried green peas. Since they are round it's easier to get a good form for your camera.

Most of this stuff you probably already got laying around the house.
Except for dried green peas I hope... because that stuff is just disgusting.

Note: Some countries don't allot you bringing in seeds. So if you're going to travel with this bean bag, you rather don't fill the bag with beans or peas, but use  polystyrene beads.

Step 2: Sewing the Bag

Picture of Sewing the Bag

Ok, I don't have a sewing machine... but if you do have one, use that!
That's allot easier and faster.

- Cut 2 pieces of fabric in the same size. I made 2 sheets of 20cm x 30cm.

- Start sewing in a corner and work your way around the bag.

- When you're almost around, stop sewing and leave a hole (see picture 3).

Note:  I have no sewing experience at all.  So in the pictures it probably doesn't look like good work, but you get the idea :)

Step 3: Filling the Bag

Picture of Filling the Bag

- Turn the bag inside out (see photo 1 and 2).

- Fill the bag with the beans, green peas or whatever stuffing you've got (see photo 3).

Note: Don't put too much in it. You still need room for the peas to move around inside the bag, so that when you put your camera on it will fit nice and snuggly.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up
All you have to do now is sew the last bit and close the bag.

Now you have made your own Camera Bean Bag!

As you can see on photo 1, i'm not used to sew :)
It's not the most beautifull Camera Bean Bag, but it works like the best.

If you're making one yourself too, share your experience and photos with us!

Here's a small moving testing my new camera. For several shots in this movie I used the Camera Bean Bag.


MCSchaeffer (author)2010-08-05

Any suggestions on how to make one that's refillable? I need to stay very light when I travel so I want to be able to pack it empty, then fill it with dried peas, coffee, sand, etc. when I get where I'm going.

kriemer (author)MCSchaeffer2011-06-15

In that case why not just bring a plastic zip lock bag and fill it with "what ever" when you get to where you are going.

motadacruz (author)MCSchaeffer2010-08-05

Thats an easy one. Just sew a zipper in there :) They're really cheap and easy to sew in there. Then you can pack it empty and fill it with somehing later.

StasinG (author)2013-10-05

Nice idea! It will keep my camera clean when I shoot from ground. Thanks!!!

amarzian (author)2011-09-01

If you want an even faster solution, a large ziploc bag will work in a pinch.

andreiu21 (author)2011-07-17

I'm waiting to get a 550d, than more than probably I will make the project because i have a good bag of BB's but i don't have airsoft gun... The BB's should be great for the bean-bag

tat2duck (author)2011-05-08

If you use a waterproof vinyl material for one side and water resistant nylon for the other, you can use it to get really low shots on moist ground and not worry about wet fabric later. It also cleans up easier. I love bean bags for steading cameras.

Zmathews (author)2011-04-26

i love this , works great for a docking station for your camera wile you add the photos to you computer too, i use mine every day

RabidAlien (author)2011-04-25

Also works in a pinch for a rifle rest if you just want someplace to rest the barrel, or a quick pillow for taking that nap in your truck over your lunch break.

Heh...its a testament to how long its been since I grabbed my camera for a day of random driving/shooting, that I thought of making this as a rifle rest first, before a camera rest....

mosley1912 (author)2010-12-31

How do you finish the stitching off so it looks good and professional

mosley1912 (author)2010-11-07

what are the stitches called that you used? thanks

motadacruz (author)mosley19122010-11-07

I call it the 'All-I-Can-Do-Stitch'... because basicly... it's all I can do. Haha.
I have no idea if there is a name for it. But I think any stitch will do.

terrella (author)2010-08-22

If you put a zip in the fabric bag you can then insert a ziplock bag as a liner and fill it with dried lentils, pearl barley, rice, and split peas, then you will have an emergency meal as well. If needed as food, add water to the ziplock bag and allow it to soak and soften, then tip it in the billy to cook it. Just the thing to add to a wildlife photographer's survival kit!

GonzoCooper (author)2010-08-06

Good work. Thanks for the writeup. One tip. If you cut just one piece of fabric instead of two, simply fold it in half. You only have to sew three seams instead of four.

LobosSolos (author)2010-08-06

Actually, you did a very good job of sewing it. I've definitely seen and done much worse jobs of sewing myself.

LobosSolos (author)2010-08-06

Actually, you could probably use dry rice as well. It's easy to come by and since all the grains are small, you can probably get a really good form set up.

uberklok (author)2010-08-05

super slacker version I built, which has held up for years: fill a stretchy men's dress sock (I don't know where it came from, but there was one lone one in my sock drawer!) halfway with dried beans, tie a knot in it and fold the remaining unfilled top section down over the filled part. That's it. Took about 1 minute.

Katie5757 (author)2010-08-05

If you are travelling internationally with your camera, you may well choose not to use any seeds in your bean bag.. Border Control might not like it.. Why not use polystyrene beads? Otherwise a brilliant idea. I am in New Zealand and we are paranoid about any live plant matter crossing our border.. we dont even like dirt on your shoes.

motadacruz (author)Katie57572010-08-05

My bean bag wasn't really designed for travelers. But yea, if traveling with it, polystyrene beads work great with it also. And they are light!

lej619 (author)2010-08-05

might help the hand stitching at the end.... if you make the "hole" in the middle of the end / side then you don't have to work with the corner. as for the "look better" stitch you can do a whip stitch or a latter stitch. You could even use contrasting thread and have it as a design element. Thanks for the great tutorial. Think I'll have to make one very soon!

motadacruz (author)lej6192010-08-05

Never sew before, so don't know all the tricks :) I just thought I would give it a try. But thanks for your comments, very helpfull for others trying to make this aswell!

sgsidekick (author)2010-08-05

Very nice! Love the 'ible AND the video! Thanks!

lej619 (author)2010-08-05

I think that would be called a blanket?LOL If you could even attach the bean bag to the blanket. that way they stay together. There is something called a quillow (sp). but it is simply a blanket with a pillowcase sewn to the middle of the blanket.For the quillow you would only sew about half the pillowcase to the middle(ish) of the blanket , then when your finished laying on it you fold the sides in towards the middle and fold up from the bottom and when you get to where the pillow is you can tuck the folded portion into the pillow case. But in the case of the bean bag you could place the bean bag in the pillowcase part then the folded blanket and the blanket would keep the bean bag from falling out. Well it works in my head, I have not actually made one yet.

skootles (author)2010-08-05

Well done. I might have to make one of these myself. Is that a T2i/550D by chance?

motadacruz (author)skootles2010-08-05

Yes, it's the Canon 550D. Just got it, it's really a great camera!

skootles (author)motadacruz2010-08-05

I know how you feel, I've had mine for a few weeks and I'm loving it.

merijnvw (author)2010-08-05

I usually use a fistful of old plasticine clay and press the camera in it, this is also a good idea

Booyaka3 (author)2010-08-05

Brilliant video, and such great quality. I certainly enjoyed it! Well done.. I also enjoyed the instructable.. ;)

motadacruz (author)Booyaka32010-08-05

Thank you, much appreciated! Good to hear you like both :)

p.ingenhoff (author)2010-08-05

super id..

David Catriel (author)2010-08-05

Very nice, but I'd be concerned about rot. How about sand? I'd probably add one of those silicate baggies in there to absorb humidity (you can get them in shoe boxes for example).

technodude92 (author)2010-08-04

this is great, but that last seam looks a little unfinished. I know that my grandmother repaired a beanbag with a hole in it but managed to not leave a visible seam. Does anyone know how to do this?

ianturton (author)2010-08-02

Cool - and if I combine it with I can use it to easy my sore muscles after a day shooting with the heavy camera.

Sall07 (author)2010-08-01

This is brilliant. I've not thought of this before and its a perfect solution to that low angled shot problem! Great Job! :)

Sall07 (author)Sall072010-08-01

Just whipped one up quickly! Fortunately, I do have a sewing machine, so it was a cinch. I took pencilneck's tip on using an old pair of blue jeans and I decided to stuff it with dried lentils 'cause I didn't have any peas. :3

motadacruz (author)Sall072010-08-01

Hey, that looks great! Having a sewing machine very helpfull with this instructable. Thanks for sharing!

anonymouse197 (author)2010-08-01

Fantastic video :)

ChrysN (author)2010-07-31

Those are nice stitches for someone that doesn't sew. Great photos by the way!

motadacruz (author)ChrysN2010-08-01

Thanks, much appreciated!

pencilneck (author)2010-07-31

I've made a few of these in the past, best thing I found for the case is an old pair of blue jeans. I've found plastic beads work good, light in weight and no issue if it gets damp/wet.

motadacruz (author)pencilneck2010-08-01

Thats a very good tip, thanks!

cleage001 (author)2010-07-31

Actually... your sewing is better than mine. LOL

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