The Sanyo Xacti HD line of camcorders pack a punch in picture quality but lacks the slender form factor its point-and-shoot alternatives boast all too well.
Holster cases typically go for $19.99 (and that’s a reasonable price), so this instructable is recommended to those without much cash and/or an excess of time to kill.
Build Time: Approx. 8 hours
Step 1: Supplies
- Xacti camcorder
- Basic sewing supplies =OR= SuperGlue/GorillaGlue
- Xacto knife
- Tape (ex. Electrical, Duct)
- Pen or marking tool
- A sheet of scrap paper
- 2" x 30" strip of fabric
- Pliable piece of plastic (in this case, a CD jacket)
- Scrapped belt clip
The reason why I suggested both sewing supplies and glue was due to the gradual strength of materials I had to sew through. At one point I was attempting to sew the plastic on with a dinky needle. I still encourage those with proper sewing tools to do so, but for those who lack the sewing skill or supply GorillaGlue does just fine.
Your fabric should be rather durable as it is the primary material for the holster. I personally used a window curtain tie which worked perfectly.
The pliable piece of plastic is the support ring to give the holster its shape. Materials can range from soft cover binders to card-stock. Just remember that it should also be rigid enough to take on wear from holstering and such.
Belt clip came from a tape measure, you want to take a good bit of consideration into this as it is what will make or literally break your camcorder.
Step 2: Make a Template
- Fold the paper long-side into 4 strips and cut / tear.
- Wrap one strip around the pistol grip of the camcorder. Finish the wrap by overlapping the side where you started.
- [This portion will be further called “The Wrap”]
- Wrap another strip around the height of the camcorder to produce a bottom and flap cover. (Start from the same side as the “wrap”.)
- [This portion will be further called “The Flap”]
- Mark all appropriate points on template. Ex. endpoints, connections, and folds.
This template is just a reminder to two things: planning and creativity. Measurements are fine but for those without a concrete design or want to create their own unique design a template is advised. Besides, it’s scrap paper – go wild!
My design intended to have an overlap over the front of the holster and to be formed by a single piece of fabric.
Step 3: Prepping the Wrap
- Transfer the template marks onto the strip of fabric.
- Fold and sew the point where the “wrap” ends and the “flap” begins. (This fold marks the front of the holster)
- Cut the CD jacket down to a 2” x 9” strip
Fold instructions may be seen below. This fold was designed to ensure a square end for the wrap and padding for the camcorder.
If your fabric is rigid such as nylon or such, you may want to cut down the width of the plastic strip to consider seam allowance. My fabric was made of cotton and slightly stretchable. It worked very well with fitting the 2” plastic strip.
Step 4: Assembling the Wrap
- Tape the edges of the plastic strip onto the “inside” of the fabric strip.
- I made about 6 strips of 3” x 0.5” from gaffer’s tape by cutting them out with a Xacto knife, making sure to also snip
off hand tears and bends.
- Punch a hole through the wrap, positioned on the opposite side of the fold (Approx. 5” from start) and mount the belt clip.
- Dry fit camcorder into wrap to adjust and create a snug, NOT tight fit.
- This is done to consider the small hook at the bottom of the camcorder and the d-pad on the back.
- Close up the wrap with either glue or a strong needle.
I did not have any other material to put together the plastic and fabric strips but edging the strips together gave it a nice aesthetic on top of a sense of grip.
Step 5: Putting Together the Flap
- Run the “flap” piece through the “wrap” to form a loop at the bottom; dry fit to reassure a snug fit and then mark.
- Secure (Glue or Sew) the “flap” section inside the “wrap”
- Velcro appropriate parts of flap and front. (Remember, fuzzy side on the front to prevent scratching!)
- Dry fit and touch-up final adjustments. And you’re done!
Step 6: Final Thoughts
- I am very happy with the final product and feel accomplished for making it myself.
- I would advise those who do build this to test the mounting, holstering and un-holstering rigorously before taking this out in the field. Remember, it is better to have broken it yourself during testing than having it break on you outside.
- This project was quite tricky to document especially for the dry fits….hence the ridiculous intro pic. Probably a note to self, but a second camera would’ve been great to have on hand while doing camera mod instructables.
- Some Inspiration for Improvement: a drop design putting the camcorder lens closer to the hip to better balance, more rigid build material, a better clip, a grippy material for the flap to prevent it from sliding off.