Introduction: How to Make a DIY Steadicam

Steadicam is a brand name, but the word has become synonymous with a unit to help stabilize hand held camera shots. The real Steadicam units are often MUCH larger and are mounted to a chest harness to help distribute the weight of the rig to your torso. Since we were looking for something on a college student budget, we went with steel pipe from a big box store.

Check out this really simple build below, and if you’ve got suggestions for add-ons/improvements please leave them in the comments!

Step 1:

I started with some 3/4″ steel pipe, fittings, PVC and some bolts & nuts.

It’s really simple, I screw the pieces together, except for the top cap.

Step 2:

I drilled a hole through the top cap, using a clamp to stabilize it.

I pushed a screw up through it and tightened on a nut. A second nut was added, but not tightened.

Then the cap was added to the assembly.

This is essentially finished, but there’s a lot of friction when you hold the pipe directly.

Step 3:

I cut a piece of 1″ PVC pipe a little longer than my fist.

I cut it in half on the bandsaw.

Then I cut it into quarters. Only three of the four are needed.

A sanding block removes the burrs very quickly.

I needed to remove the angle from the cut edge using a belt sander.

This is what they looked like afterward. All three pieces needed this.

Step 4:

The pieces then fit perfectly around the steel pipe.

I laid out a bed of duct tape then laid the PVC pieces in place, outer edge to outer edge.

Using a sharp knife, I trimmed off the tape from the top and bottom.

Then I trimmed off the tape from one side.

The PVC wrapped around nicely, and the remaining tape folded over to make it into a sleeve.

Here you can see why the corners needed to be removed.

Step 5:

After removing the sleeve and the screw/nuts, I sprayed the whole thing black.

I screwed the flange into a scrap of wood to use as a clamping base.

In this case, I clamped a brick to counter weight the camera, but this can be swapped out with whatever weight item needed.

Last I screwed on the camera, and tightened the nut up to it snuggly.

Step 6: More Projects

If you like this project, you might like some of my other ones! I make ALL SORTS of stuff, check out my site at