DIY Camera Chest Harness/Mount (GoPro Inspired)




Introduction: DIY Camera Chest Harness/Mount (GoPro Inspired)

For an upcoming snowboarding trip, and after watching some pretty awesome GoPro footage on YouTube, I decided to try to build my own chest harness / mount for my digital camera.

Here's some of my inspirations for the project:
- DIY Camera Chest Mount by SnapShot83

- GoPro HD HERO camera: The Snowboard Movie

UPDATE - The snowboarding trip has now passed and here's the video shot mostly with the harness:

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Step 1: Materials & Tools

You will need the following things to build the basic harness:
- Two 1" wide, 36" long nylon straps with adjustable buckles (I bought mine at Academy for like $1.99 each)
- 2 yards of 1-1/2" wide elastic strap (Joann's Fabric - ~$4)
- 1-1/2" adjustable plastic buckle (Joann's Fabric - ~$2)
- 5" x 5" piece of hard plastic (I used an Ikea Legitim chopping board - $1.99)
- 1/4" - 20 x 3/4" long screw
- 2 fender washers
- 1 friction washer
- Small Piece of craft foam

You will also need the following tools:
- Drill
- Utility knife
- Scissors
- Staplers
- Lighter
- File / Sandpaper

I used the following additional items to complete my setup:
- Pedco Ultramount - Universal Ball Head ( - $12)
- Opteka 0.43x HD² Full Fisheye Lens 37mm ( - $30)
- Zeikos Universal Adapter for 37mm Lenses ( - $19)

Step 2: Cutting the Plastic Center Mount

This is probably the most important step build. I made a simple template on the computer which I used to transfer my shape to the cutting board.

To cut the cutting board, I used a utility knife and a steel ruler to score a square area on the board and then carefully bent it until it snapped along the scored lines.

Once I had a square 5" x 5" piece, I used the utility knife and ruler again to score the lines in the corners and snapped those off too.

I used a file and then some 80 grit sand paper to round off the corners.

To make the strap holes, I used a drill to drill multiple holes along a line and then joined them all together. I tried using a routing bit with my Dremel, but it was hard to control, as you can see on the mangled vertical hole on the right.

I drilled my center mount hole and finished the whole thing by carefully passing it through a flame to smooth out all the sanding and drilling marks.

Step 3: Installing the Center Mount

This is how I put screwed the center mount to the plastic.

Step 4: Installing the Chest Strap

Here you can see how I assembled the 1-1/2" chest strap.

I first cut the 2 yards of elastic to the proper size, leaving a few extra inches for adjustment, threaded through the buckle and used a few staples to secure the fixed side.

Step 5: Installing the Shoulder Straps

Here's how I did the shoulder straps.

Step 6: Final Strap Assembly

Here's how I finished the strapping.

I used five keepers in all to hold all the strapping in place.

Step 7: Finished Harness

Here's the finished piece.

I originally intended the camera to rest above the plastic center plate, but found that having it below made it more stable. That's a great advantage of using the Pedco mount, because you can modify and adjust the position to your liking.

I hope to post some sample videos soon.

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    9 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I am a wheelchair user and have been working on a "Mobile Phone" mount/harness so that I can use my phone whilst using my chair without having to keep stopping! I will take a couple of your steps and add it to my prototype if you don't mind? With most modern phones now having the ability to use "voice recognition", I should have a stop free journey!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It looks like the camera is mounted upside down. Won't your videos come out upside down?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, upside down seemed to make it more stable the way the camera "hangs" vs having it above the mounting plate if mounted right side up.

    I just flip the videos on the pc when I edit them. If you use a GoPro, there's a setting to tell the camera which orientation it is mounted and it flips the videos for you.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, just making sure I saw that correctly; it makes sense. Do you think it reduces shakiness that way?

    I am just using a small hi-res digital camera with a helmet mount made from the top piece of a Dollar Store mini tripod mounted to a piece of plastic, which is attached via Zip Ties to my helmet. Primitive but solid.

    Anyway, I want to make something like what you've presented so I can see which will produce the smoother video on the bumpy hills I ride. Good job on your Instructable.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I found this to be very useful. Thank you for such an awesome Instructable.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing Instructable!

    Nicely laid-out and very easy to follow - thanks for all the detailed instructions and photos. I have a Contour HD Camera and was looking for something just like this. I hope to use your plans sometime this Spring. Are you still happy with the design? Any mods?

    All the best, Paul.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment, glad you liked it.

    Yes, I like the design very much, although since getting the GoPro I don't use it as often. I like to mix camera mounts (helmet, pole, chest) to keep the videos interesting so this gets less use now. I did get the tripod mount adapter for the GoPro and it works pretty well with the harness.

    The straps, staples and the plastic are still holding just fine.

    With the Ultramount, I have a lot more options in terms of where I want the camera to point than with the normal GoPro mounts, which may be similarly limited for the Contour with the factory hardware.

    I think it's important to use the thick elastic (1-1/2" in my case) because it makes everything more stable around your body and keeps the harness from moving around.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, would you buy a Gopro camera again.?
    i am going on a trip and wonder if it would be good for video and stills at various tourist places.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    First of all, that is not a GoPro in the instructable, but I do happen to own one. I think it's a great camera for action sports, self shots and hooking up to strange places. I don't think it's the best option for everyday shooting: no flash, no LCD screen (unless you buy the add-on) so you can't see what you are shooting, no zoom...