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I recently purchased my first DSLR camera. And I have to say, I absolutely love it! So of course I want to take it on a trip to Paris coming up. But then I was faced with a problem... how can I carry it around? I didn't want to bring the big clunky bag that it came with (not only was the bag clunky, but also has Nikon printed on it... advertising my camera bag to possible pickpockets).

So I decided to make my own camera bag, by creating a removable insert for my purse. Using materials that I already had around the house, I developed this cute, customizable, and easy to make travel bag, perfect for fitting my camera, while still being large enough to carry all my other travelling needs. It's the perfect carry-on!

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project you will need:

- a large purse (I found one on sale at Sears, but any big purse will work)

- 1.5 cm wide foam

- 1 yard of fabric (I used blue fleece that I had lying around)

- Velcro

- black marker

- Sewing supplies (needle, yarn, pins, scissors)

Step 2: Cut the Foam

First measure the height, length, and width of the purse.

Lay the foam down on a table, and using the black marker, draw 6 rectangles of the following dimensions:

- Base: width * length

- 2 of Long Side: height * length

- 2 of Short Side: height * width

- Divider: width * (height - 1.5 cm)

Cut along the lines to produce the foam for the insert.

Note: In the picture I combined the sides into 2 of height * (width + length), and then separated the rectangles when cutting them out

Step 3: Cover the Foam

For each piece of foam:

a) Cut a rectangle of fabric large enough to cover all sides of the foam rectangle

b) Secure the fabric (good side facing down) around the foam

c) Sew around the edges of the fabric, leaving one end open

d) Remove the foam, turn the fabric inside out (so the good side is facing out) and put the foam back in the sleeve

e) Sew up the final edge

Step 4: Attach the Velcro

The divider will be attached to the purse by velcro, which enables the divider to separate the purse at any point, enabling variable sized compartments.

a) Cut the soft side of the velcro into 4 equal pieces, a little shorter than the length of the purse

b) Attach two pieces of velcro to each of the long side panals

c) Cut two pieces of the hard side of the velcro, and attach to two of the edges of the divider.

Step 5: Sew the Sides Together

For each side:

a) Position the side against the base and pin together (refer to picture for example)

b) Turn over. Sew the side to the base

Step 6: Form the Insert

a) Lift the sides and pin together

b) Sew along the outer edge of each side

Step 7: All Done!

Place the insert into the purse and you are all set!

Step 8:

The divider can be placed at any spot for customized compartments. The original pouches of the purse should still be accessible on the edges of the insert. Now the camera is safe and well protected with plenty of room for other necessities while travelling.

I am so excited to take this camera-purse-in-disguise with me on my travels! And I hope you will have many adventures with yours too!

<p>I love these. People turn so many things into camera bags. This one looks spiffy. And as you start collecting more lenses, you can probably sew in one more divider and fit two lenses side-by-side in the compartment you are using for miscellany now. One thing I would change personally is the felt. Perhaps this is not a problem, but I would fear the pills from the felt or felt dust, what have you, would dirty my lenses and make it into the sensor when I changed lenses somehow. I guess if you stick with the one lens, though, this is not a problem. I do know photogs who buy a separate body for each lens, and while this seems a little finicky to me, who am I to argue?</p>
<p>About 20 years ago, I converted a kid's soft side lunch box into a camera bag. Not only did it look nothing like a camera case, but I only needed to add a partition, as the insulation was enoigh padding outside.</p>
<p>What a great way to re-purpose a lunch bag! I hadn't thought of that, but I imagine it worked wonderfully</p>
<p>What a wonderful idea! Why did it take so long for someone to come up with it?</p>

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Bio: 22-year-old mathematician in training, who loves to make things, DIY style. Mary believes homemade gifts are the best gifts, and is always on the lookout ... More »
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