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
7. Needle(s) (I only used one)
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.
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!