Safer DIY R-Strap




This solution is very similar to the other DIY R-Straps on this site.  The one distinction is that I believe this is safer.

The other DIY R-Strap examples found here are awesome.  Carrying your camera with the standard issue camera strap around one's neck is uncomfortable and unwieldy.  So when I started using the R-Straps listed here, I was thrilled with the comfort.  However, securing my beloved SLR via a screw in the tripod mount always seemed unsafe while hiking about.  What if it unscrewed when I didn't notice?  Disclaimer: it never DID come unscrewed, so perhaps I shouldn't complain.  However, this is a more secure version of the strap based on a similar premise.

This solution has advantages over tripod mounted solutions in three ways:
1: It's safer.  Nothing can come unscrewed and allow your SLR to crash to the floor
2: Your camera can be mounted on a tripod without first removing the strap.
3: You camera can sit flat on a table while the strap is installed.

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Step 1: Tried-and-true Connector

This is the spot where people have connected a strap to their camera for years.  Let's use it.

Step 2: Tool: Razor Scraper

You can use this to cut the nylon.  Heat with a lighter so it cauterizes the cut as you go.

Step 3: Tools / Parts: Grommets

You'll need to get a grommet and the tool to set the grommet.  You can find the 1 inch grommets at most hardware stores.  However, these are usually brass in color.  I prefer the silver colored, and I had to find those in a leather store (Tandy Leather in the bay area).

The right-most tool in the picture is the "punch" which cleanly punches a whole in the wide part of the camera strap for the center of the grommet to fit.  I didn't cauterize the inside of the punched hole, though you could.  I think the grommet holds it plenty secure from fraying.

Step 4: Camera Strap.

Start with your existing camera strap.  And mold it to your desires.  Each end of your old camera strap can be used to make a connector for one of these new straps.  So make one for a friend, too!

Step 5: Punch a Grommet Hole

I chose to punch the hole for the grommet before cutting the strap so I was sure to have the right amount of space.  Measure with the grommet ring in place.  Use a hammer to punch it out.  Careful, as it will mar the table beneath it.  Use a piece of scrap wood, if you like.

Step 6: Hammer in the Grommet

Place the male end of the grommet through the hole.  Then place the female part of the grommet over the male end.  Then, using the punch that comes with the kit, hammer it into place.

Step 7: Trim the Strap to Size

Here's where you heat the razor blade with a lighter and cut / cauterize the cuts you make on the straps. 

Notice there is a leather connection sewn between the skinny trap and the fat strap.  You will cut the fat strap part approximately 1 1/4 inch away from the leather connector.  They you'll cut the skinny strap approximately 5 3/4 inches away from the leather connector. 

You will need to "cauterize" the cut so the nylon does not fray.  One way to do this is the cut with scissors and then melt with a lighter.  Another way is to heat a knife (or razor blade) with a lighter, and cut with the hot blade.  This cauterizes the cut as you go and looks very clean.

Step 8: The Piece Is Complete!

This is about what the finished product should look like.

Step 9: Thread the Skinny Strap Onto the Camera

So now you thread the skinny part either onto the left or right mount point on the camera.  I chose the left side so it didn't get in my way when I grabbed it with my right to shoot.  You choose!

Now just get a strap with clips at each end (like from a messenger bag).  Buy a clip at any hardware store and you're done. 

I adjust the strap so the camera is right about at my hip.  And I point the lens backward as it hangs.  This makes it comfortable as it sits there.

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    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Really great instructable! Brought me into the useful (and easy to use) world of gromets!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I destroyed a clearance Target Camera bag to make mine complete with film holster (yes, I'm old skool). Sorry no DIY is available but instead of using the camera strap I used the photobag strap, cut off the plastic and threaded a keyring on. The film pocket was actually the lid so I cut off the lid/zippers and had stitching go all the way around as well as the base heavier material to look the strap through to make it work.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


    If you live in the UK you can get a 'universal strimmer strap' from B&Q This it turns out is a perfect DIY R-strap and has the sliding loop and all for under £6 though not pictured mine also had a little loop of velcro which perfectly fits the standard strap attachment loop on the camera.. long term I dont think it'll last (the metal is wearing the velcro) but when that happens I will likely make something sturdy from the old neck strap. the metal hook on the end is quite bulky (designed for a strimmer after all) but is acceptable - it also means its easy to unhitch the camera from the strap which is nice


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This also allows my wife to attach her own strap to our camera.

    I use an old leather briefcase strap while she uses a purple laptop bag strap.

    I wasn't entirely happy about sacrificing the OEM strap but it's totally worth it.

    And you're right, even with a locking washer, thread glue, etc, there's still a chance that with all the movement the bolt from a DIY solution could loosen. Probably not so much the R-Strap since it has turning joints but vs other DIY solutions this is the safest.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I never even KNEW about the R-strap!    [WEBSITE: ]

    What a awesome invention! - I have a Canon 5D Mark II with a 400mm zoom
    lens, and the R-Strap looks like a AWESOME solution to me, (and I bought
    one immediately) but I added on your idea, and made a DUEL strap mount
    and hooked the R-Strap onto them so I have the sling and the security of a
    double strap holding the camera.

    I also added a Magnetic mount, so when I need to mount it on a tripod,
    (and one day I should post that hack here) so when I need a steady surface
    it clicks right on, I shoot, I yank and back to slingin!


    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    You dont trust the tripod screw but you trust that eyelet/material combo? hmmmm............ :-)

    I own a genuine "R-Strap'.  The main feature of the R-Strap (what makes it an R-Strap) is the fact that it allows the camera body to slide up the strap into shooting position from the hip.

    This strap does not appear to have the slide feature - so I fail to see how this compares in any way to an R-Strap?

    2 replies

    It's true, this strap has no sliding mechanism.  However, it has, in my opinion, 3 nice things about it:

    1 - It can be worn like a sling across the body (rather than around the neck) which is much more comfortable than a standard strap (equal advantage as with the genuine R-Strap)
    2 - It doesn't use the tripod mount which I feel is unsafe (better than R-Strap, unless you have a large lens and would rather mount to the lens itself -- your call)
    3 - It's cheap and fun to make.

    I'm sure the slide feature is nice on the genuine r-strap, but I have not yet felt like I needed that.


    Oops.  I forgot to mention another advantage of this model of the strap: you can attach your camera to a tripod without removing the strap first.  You also don't have to remove the strap to set the camera flat on a surface when you don't have a tripod.  I hike a lot and I do that all the time.

    That all being said, the R-Strap is a great idea and I'm sure it's a wonderful product to own.  I wish them all the success in the world!  I just happen to like my strap better.  :)