Fitted Camera Case From Old Tool Case




I've got some pretty heavy camera gear that I want to go in a flight case. I bought some of that cubed foam but it was too soft to protect my camera and lenses and distorted pretty quick. I needed something firmer than the foam. I had considered upholstery foam but its messy to cut and not easy to get straight. Then I found some packing foam, expanded polyethylene. Perfect! Easy to cut and stiff enough to support my vintage Soviet gear!

Step 1: What You Need



foam big enough to fit. I had three pieces about 1.5 inches thick

Long ruler



contact adhesive

Step 2: Cut the Pieces to Size

I measured the case and marked the foam with the sharpie and cut them to size using a sharp penknife. The corners of the case are rounded so I chopped a little off each corner.

Try the pieces for size. When they are all cut out go to next step

Step 3: Organise and Make Cutting Guides

I measured my foam and I only need two pieces to cut through. The uncut piece could stay on the bottom, the case is quite deep so the gear had to be lifted a little so the foam in the top will hold everything in place.

Place the equipment on the top of a piece of foam and mark round it with the sharpie. I have balanced the camera with the tele lens as both are very heavy.

Put both pieces of foam together and wrap some parcel tape round it all to keep the pieces together.

Cut the pieces out with the penknife making sure both layers are cut.

I got into a little difficulty with the filter and lens hood part so at the last moment I decided to cut one large hole for various accessories.

Step 4: Joining the Layers

As I mentioned, I made a big hole for accessories. I cut a corresponding hole in the bottom layer so the compartment is nice and deep.

At the last minute I decided to make holes in bottom layer below the lens compartments for film. I can now carry about 8 or 9 films with my camera.

Glue the layers together with the contact adhesive. Polyethylene foam is not affected by the glue, but if you are using polystyrene foam (styrofoam), the glue will melt it.

Press all the layers together and wait an hour or so for the glue to dry.

Step 5: Finishing Touch

I put all the gear in the case. It was nice and snug. With the lid down there was no rattling. Perfect.

While I was waiting for the glue to dry I got one of my acrylic paints and painted a scrap piece of foam. It covered nicely so decided to paint the interior.

I painted the compartments black and the top in red. Snazzy!

You can see the film compartment in the last photo.

Let the paint dry for a day or so as it may be wet under the dry surface.

This instructable may be adapted for anything - not just cameras.

Good luck!


Step 6: Edit: Just a Little Extra

I have another camera body which unfortunately won't fit the case. To make room, I could have put the two smaller lenses upright in the foam. I'll have a look see if there's any more foam...

And yes the Salut C lenses will fit the Kiev 6C with an adapter. Hmm, there's an instructable there too..



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    how did you get the case.


    3 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks for the information! I'm looking for a foam to use for storage of table top miniatures. I've looked into pluck foam but this looks a little more resilient.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Much more resilient. It's extremely rigid.


    Reply 3 years ago

    its used inside laptop bags also.


    Reply 3 years ago

    The foam was packing material I found at work. It is also known as ethafoam. The generic name for it is 'closed cell polyethylene foam'. Its quite expensive if bought by the sheet. I was lucky I guess. The products protected by this material were framed mirrors, it may be worth asking at any big store that sells this material if they have any.

    You could use expanded polystyrene foam (styrofoam) but be careful with the glue!


    3 years ago

    This is great! I love fitted cases! I've been slowly collecting camera equipment over the past few years. It might be a good idea for me to make something similar to this!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for your comment. I made a mini one for my little Leica setup, and one for my Gopros using pick&pluck cubed foam, but this gear is just too heavy.

    I use mine more for storage than transport. It keeps everything together.