Literally Free DIY Camera Strap




Ok, so mine wasn't really literally free, but that's coz I didn't wanna sacrifice any of my belts.

So I made mine from a discarded belt bought from a roadside stall at a Thieves' Market for $1. I was looking for a nice colorful one. =) Got the other materials already at home, or someplace cheap too.

This strap I made is not really adjustable, so measure properly. Or you could improvise and make it very adjustable too! I didn't think about making it adjustable before I started cutting... =P

Anyways, read on!

Step 1: Materials

As listed in the photo:

1. PVC sheet from a previous project (which didn't come to fruition coz of my laziness)
2. A pair of scissors
3. An old belt that is nice!
4. Buckles (you'll need 2 pairs)
5. Nylon strap that fits through your camera's lugs
6. Thread
7. Needle(s) (I only used one)
8. Marker

Step 2: Measure and Cut!

Pretty self-explanatory title. You can choose whatever shape you want the ends to be. I chose mine to be a trapezoidal shape... or a better term would be tapering.

Step 3: Measure and Cut 2

Measure and cut an appropriate length of the black nylon strap. Make sure it's not too long otherwise your camera would be hanging in front of your crotch... which is very uncomfortable... especially if you're a guy.

I was contemplating making this part adjustable so you can adjust the length, but I didn't measure my belt strap properly so now it's abit too long to make this small strap any longer. Maybe the next strap I make will have adjustable length.

Step 4: Loop and Sew!

Loop the small black nylon strap through the buckle slot. I made both sides equal length so I can sew both sides to the belt at the same time. I used red thread here so it's easier to see. Practically, the thread used here won't be seen in the final product.

Do the same on both ends of the belt.

Step 5: PVC Sheet Sleeves

Cut 2 strips of the PVC sheet. I would've used leather for durability, but I can't seem to find leather sheets on sale where I am.

Anyways, make sure the width is wider than the belt, and the length is twice that of the length of the end of the belt strap.

Step 6: Sleeving the Ends

Cut the PVC strips into halves.

Overlap and cover the end of the belt on both sides, then sew along the edge of the belt WITHOUT penetrating the belt. Don't sew the sleeve onto the black nylon strap either. When you're done with sewing all round the 2 PVC sheets, it should be able to slide out onto the small black nylon strap and back onto the belt again.

Trim the excess PVC to the shape of your belt end. Do the same for both ends.

Pull down the sleeves tight and taut against the belt, then sew across to secure the sleeve onto the belt. Yes, this time, sew THROUGH the belt.

Almost done...

Step 7: The Coupling Straps

Now we need another 2 straps to attach to the camera before the main belt strap can be attached.

I used some more of the same black nylon strap, made this slightly adjustable.

Sew one end to the buckles, but leave the other end free. The free end will be looped through the camera's lugs. Loop this free end through an adjustment figure of 8 thingy (this came with the black nylon strap coz it was supposed to be a camera strap by itself. I'm sure you can find an equivalent somewhere in a craft store) before looping through the camera.

And you're done with the strap!

Step 8: Your Reward!

Now all that's left is to have a camera to loop the strap to.

I've shown here the shorter straps attached to my beloved FE2, and then attached to the whole belt strap. If you notice, the buckles on the FE2 can be coupled together too. This makes for easy storage sometimes, or if you don't want to use the strap. If you made it long enough, it can even be used as a palm/grip/wrist strap! Once again, OpTech's ingenius design.

Step 9: The End!!! Yay!

I hope you enjoyed this instructable. It's my first, but I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. Now to enjoy your new (almost) free camera strap!



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    23 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 5

    For inexpensive leather scraps - try a shoe repair shop - they ususally have lots of scraps - in a past life I assisted with cub scout crafts & we had the shoe repair shops tied up for their leather scraps. Give it a try!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You know, this is a silly situation.

    The strap I have for my Pentax MV1 is what I assume is the original one. It's white and says PENTAX PENTAX PENTAX in garish red lettering.

    And I really like your idea and intend to follow your instructions; only one thing is stopping me: I need a belt like that. It's a real pain because I used to have one, but I already turned it into an instructable of my own ¬¬.

    All of the belts of this general kind I've seen on ebay look like they'd be too coarse for neck usage; so do you have any like.. brand or something for that one I can search? Thanks.

    1 reply

    Haha! I don't think it'd be "free" if you specifically go and buy a new belt just for this. Look at junkyard sales or garage sales, or 2nd hand stores like the Salvation Army or something. If you really want to buy, I thought the belt I got resembled a design from a brand called Springfield (don't think Simpsons).

    Anyways, I'd advise not to use the nylon belts. Try to use cotton or other soft material where possible. I'd imagine nylon belts to cut into the skin quite uncomfortably... =)

    Good luck on your search! And yes, I do dislike straps with branding all over...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    So, how is it literally free?  Do you mean practically? 

    And if you already have the other parts, how are they free?

    1 reply

    Hmm... perhaps "practically" would be a better word.

    It's free coz you can use an old belt, and you can cannibalize the straps from old camera straps if you don't want them anymore, and you need not use PVC to cover the fraying ends if you don't want to.

    And I'm quite sure everyone has thread and needles at home right? =)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice camera! I have an Olympus OM-10 thats about that old that i need to get working... 


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You could have used black thread or thin-gauge nylon/fishing line to sew the PVC to the strap. It would add a nice finish. Nice project though, nice belt too  :)

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! Yeah, I could've used black, but I thought that would be boring. Should've used orange instead of red though, but what the heck. It was a first piece. =) 

    Oh, I didn't wanna use fishing line because I imagined it might cut into the PVC. Perhaps it wouldn't, but hmm... I dunno. Didn't really think about that then. I was just thinking in terms of color. =)

    Just change the name on the front, people won't know unless they get close enough. That does look like a nice camera though.

    Hahaha! Nah, it's ok. I love and am proud of my Nikons. It IS a nice camera, though not fully mechanical. Seems like I'm using my film cameras these days whenever I'm shooting for leisure...


    Do you mean belt buckles or the buckles I used on my strap? Belt buckles you might find them at flea markets or used equipment stores. The plastic buckles I used can be found at craft stores. Not sure if you have Art Friend where you are, but in Singapore, I got mine there.

    It can be abit tough to sew through, depending on the materials you use. But yeah, I love DIY and I love to be have something unique... And since you can use any old (or new) belt, there's an almost limitless range of designs! You could even use car seat belts, although they're abit too wide for my liking. =) Or use the black leather with metal studs kinda belt... ooooo.... hahaha!