Camera Bean Bags are extremely handy when you want a steady shot -
like in long exposures and you either don't have access to a tripod or can't use one at the particular location. Like a bean bag that we sit on a camera bean bag is just a simple bag filled with some 'filler material'. The whole thing forms a base on which the camera rests. The filler material is such that the bag can rest on uneven surfaces like rocks or tree branches or balustrades or the like. The commercial varieties available start from around $25 and many of the expensive ones even have specialized shapes like some H shaped ones to fit on your car door (with the window down). Here we are going to make one using materials one can easily find in any home - so it is basically free (hence the DIY) in the title. Once you get the gist of the construct you can tailor make it to suit your particular needs. Mine can easily hold a large sized Point & Shoot and even a smartphone. Let's get started..
Step 1: Materials Needed
1. Some cloth to house the filler material. Here I am using some left over cloth from an old jeans that I got re-fitted for my height. I chose this because 1. It was easily available 2. It is sturdy - unlikely that any small tear would damage it easily and 3. It already has two of its sides sewn together thus leaving just 2 sides for me to sew together.
You can also use old bags, gunny bags etc - a friend of mine recently made one using an old sock - not the most pretty sight but he rests his mobile phone on it for group photos!
2. Filler material. Here you can use any filler material that you like. If you have a bean bag at your place then you must have some filler already available. Otherwise you can also use rice or pulses but given their small size it would make the whole thing bulky. I am using Kidney Beans. They are light, they are cheap and they are easily available. Use your imagination if you don't have any of these materials at your disposal. Try to use things which are easily available and you don't have to spend much for them otherwise it defeats the whole purpose of a DIY.
3. Needle - Needle needed for sewing purposes. Use the largest needle that you can find.
4. Thread - Again for sewing purposes. I am using a nondescript plastic thread. Again try to use stuff that you can find at your place.
Step 2: Start the Process
Sew one side completely using your large needle and the thread. Finish off the sewing with a simple knot. Nothing too fancy. It just needs to close the whole thing together.
Now you must be left with just one open side. Start sewing this side too till you have sewn around 3/4th of this side.
Step 3: Fillers Here
Fill your choice of filler material here. Fill around 3/4 full. Don't fill it all up as you need the filler material to be able to move around so that it can settle around un-even and rough edges and surfaces. Again you can mix and match to suit your particular needs.
Step 4: Finish
After finishing with the filling part just sew the remaining portion and finish it all off with a simple know like the one used earlier. Here - it's all finished and ready to be used.
Feel happy and proud - You made something all by yourself. You made something useful. You saved items from the waste bin and the landfill. You helped the environment. You now have a camera bean bag which very few people who click photos have.
I am including some photos of the bag that I made being used along with a video to better explain the process and also a video that I made using a bean bag
And this is one of the videos I captured using my camera bean bag - a video which would have been not possible for me had I not had this bean bag with me. Have a look...and do try to make this DIY project - it hardly takes any time, is very useful and you save some things from going into the landfill.