DIY Projects

DIY: How to Make a Camera Case from a Handbag

DIY camera bag

My camera is one of my most prized possessions. I take it almost everywhere — and when I don’t, I feel like I’ll miss out on capturing a life moment. The thing is, I think camera bags are some of the most hideous types of bags around. That black canvassy-plastic fabric? Yuck. When it comes to camera totes, why do we have to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality? There are a few cute places to buy camera bags on the web, but many of those bags have pretty steep price tags. With a bit of stuffing, fabric, and a sewing machine, you can make your own camera insert so that you can carry your camera in any handbag you choose.

DIY camera insert for purse

This is what my camera-holding insert looks like. I bought the dandelion print fabric from They have really cute prints on their site. Essentially this insert is just a little bag to go in a bag, but I made it have a flap to protect the camera from all sides, while still allowing the camera’s strap to hang out. (You can carry it like that, too!)

cute camera case

To make the camera case you need:

-Sewing machine
-Bias tape to go around the edges (You can make some with this print-out)
-Quilt batting or stuffing
-Velcro or snaps

Step 1:

camera case fabric
Choose your fabrics. I chose a soft leopard print fabric for the inside and a thicker, more canvassy feeling fabric for the outside. The polka dot fabric was used to make bias tape. (See the link in the supplies list on how to make bias tape.)

Step 2:

how to make a camera case
Next you need to cut out the shape of your bag. For the first side of the bag, I traced on the fabric the general shape of my camera, and then cut 3″ outside of the tracing to make the bag roomy enough. Then I cut the same shape out of the black dandelion fabric. For the second side of the bag, I used the same width and shape as the first, but made the fabric a lot longer so that it could be a flap and velcro around the camera to keep it secure.

Step 3:

how to make a camera case
Next take the quilt batting or stuffing and cut it to be the same size as your other fabric. Then pin a fabric/batting sandwich together and sew it up. It should go: soft fabric, then the batting, then the canvas fabric. Make sure both of the soft fabrics face each other on the inside.

Step 4:

how to make a camera case
After you have the two sides of the case done, you can pin the two together and stitch them. This part is a bit trickier because the fabric layers are so thick by now. If you sew slowly or stitch by hand it will work well. After you have the two layers of fabric together, you can then pin the bias tape around the outside to make the edges look nice. (In this photo I have a little metal bias tape maker that I bought at Jo-Anns.)

Step 5:

how to make a camera case
After you have everything stitched up, all you have to do is sew on the Velcro or snaps. Then you’re done! A camera case meant for a lady. :)

Camera case messenger bag
Here is where to find the leatherette messenger bag that I used!

Good luck! :)

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