Camera straps are absolutely critical for a photographer, yet the ones that come with a camera are often uncomfortable, ill fitting or just plain don’t look nice. Here’s a quick guide to making your own DIY camera straps.
Strap. There are a variety ways to approach this. You can make a trip to the local fabric store and purchase a strip of cloth, which can then be folded over itself multiple times to make it strong. Other people can cannibalize old backpacks, luggage, belts, purses, whatever you might be inclined to use. You can be as stylish or as practical, as comfortable or as minimalistic as you desire. You can even just create a fabric sheath to fit over another, more durable strap for greater comfort while still being strong. The variations are endless.
The length is also up the personal preference; while the traditional way to “wear” a camera is around the neck, some people dislike how conspicuous this is (a “nerd necklace”), preferring it around the shoulder so it sits at the waist. These same guidelines also apply to making wrist bands.
Clips, another thing with considerable variation. Most people prefer the strap to be clipped to the traditional holds on either side of the camera, while other people prefer a direct connection to the camera mount. If you prefer the former, any clip will do, as long as it fits and is strong. Keyrings, carabiners, snap swivels… all are possibilities.
Other supplies vary according to your choice of strap and clip, but nothing out of the ordinary is necessary.
How to Make the Camera Strap
Whatever the strap you use is, your first step is to make sure it won’t fall apart. Are there any frays in the fabric? Any holes or places where the material has worn through? If so, a sewing kit is in order, and hopefully as few pricked fingers as possible.
Making it look a little professional might be tricky. Polishing leather, sending reused material through the washing machine…while it doesn’t have to be ready for a fashion magazine photo shoot of its own, having one that looks at least a bit respectable will send good vibes as to your abilities as a photographer.
Once you have the strap completed, it’s time to look at how you’re attaching these to the clips. Depending on the clip, you’ll probably need to create some sort of eyelet on the strap, either with careful cutting, a thick needle to make room between the threads, or even just a very careful clip job to bore a hole in the fabric. Whatever you decide to use, make sure that it will hold tight: pull on it, tug a bit, test it with the weight of the camera. Once you’re satisfied, you’re done!