US City Slicker Herbasaurus: DIY Fifteen Minute Camera Strap Upgrade!

2012-08-23 7

Looking to change or upgrade your camera strap? Feeling down about the teeny tiny camera strap included with your new camera? Want to express yourself and set yourself apart from other Lomographers out there? You just might need a new camera strap! Today, I am here to help you break free from boring straps! Let’s get started!

Credits: herbasaurus

Dilemma: When I first got my Diana Mini and Diana F+, I was super stoked that I did not even realize there was a strap included in the deal. I would run around town tossing my camera to and fro, without a care in the world. Then I discovered the classic black strap included with each camera. My eyes were opened to the camera strap world. However, there were some slight issues with the classic black strap. It felt…well, not as secure as I would want my cameras to be and it was not too comfortable running with me. What was I to do? Make my own camera strap! (Actually, the first thing to do is to ogle camera straps online and try to find some sort of justification for spending massive dough on a fancy strap…) But after reading this, you can skip that part.

Credits: herbasaurus

Materials you will need:
1- old belt (preferably cotton or other sort of sew-able material)
1- spool of thread
1- sewing needle
1- pair of scissors
1- pair of carabiners ( I used the 6.0 mm sized ones)
1- box of Split Rings (also known as key chain rings)

The most expensive things were the key chain rings, which were about 5USD. However, you get 24 of them, this comes in handy later! The idea to use key chain rings came from Photojojo .

First, grab your belt (of sew-able material) and one of the carabiners. Loop the belt end through the carabiner like so:

Credits: herbasaurus

The larger your loop is, the shorter your strap may end up being. I leave about an inch or so, because you can buy different color carabiners and it can be fun to swap them out.

Next, grab your needle, thread it, and snip the thread with your scissors. You will be sewing the loop across the top- where my finger is at. Sewing is definitely a skill I need to work on. I typically just keep going until I feel like the loop is secured, which is about two or three times across the top. You could even do a simply little thread design. Most bag straps have an X, feel free to unleash your inner sewing persona.

Credits: herbasaurus

Next, you need to do it on the other side! Make sure that the carabiners are facing the same way. It technically does not matter, but matching pairs is stylish- so do it!

Here is what you should have so far:

Credits: herbasaurus

You are almost done! This next part is fairly easy and unfortunately only works on some cameras. When buying split rings, look for the smallest and thinnest ones. I found 24mm rings, which were not too huge. The thickness is important because some rings wont fit on some cameras! Slip the key rings where you would normally put your camera strap!

Credits: herbasaurus

You made it! You’re finished. I am confident you know what comes next! You clip those carabiners onto your split rings. Yay! You have a brand new strap to strut around in. Styles will vary with the different belts you can get your hands on. You can find a variety of different belts everywhere.

Mr. Tree is one of my most prized models

The split rings worked really well on the Diana Mini, Diana F+, Fisheye No.2, and the thing that screws into the bottom of the Sprocket Rocket.

Credits: herbasaurus

Here is my new strap!

Credits: herbasaurus

A few things to take note of:

  • if you put key chain rings on all of your cameras, you can swap your favorite straps out very quickly! You could not do that with some of the fancy straps out there!
  • you can use any sew-able strap you find! My current favorite strap use to be used at hospitals to help lift people during physical therapy. It is super sturdy and thick. I feel much safer attaching my camera to this strap than the classic plastic stock strap.
  • the belt straps are not adjustable, but there is definitely a way to do it. You will need a longer strap, as well as, something to cinch the strap to itself (similar to straps on a backpack that tighten when you pull on them).

Thanks for reading! Have you made your straps yet? There are a variety of different straps you can create using the carabiner technique. I love it! Check out your local thrift stores for used interesting old belts that are just yearning to be used. The only things I bought for this project were the carabiners, the split rings, and the belt. Everything else, I just found around the house. This could be an alternative solution to your camera strap search! Did you make one yet? What other materials could you use? I would love to see some straps you made!

written by herbasaurus on 2012-08-23 #gear #tutorials #art #fashion #tutorial #homemade #seattle #tipster #cheap #easy #dianaf #strap #dianamini #handicraft #straps #cityslicker #herbasaurus #uscityslicker #carabiners


  1. twinklecat
    twinklecat ·

    I love how you took the process photos with a Diana!

  2. herbasaurus
    herbasaurus ·

    Thanks for the likes everyone!

    @twinklecat I didn't know we could use digi's for our articles. [blubber blubber]. oh wells!

  3. egeedee
    egeedee ·

    Love it Herbert! I thought the camera straps were a bit too flimsy for running around too.

  4. tracyvmoore
    tracyvmoore ·

    Completely awesome! I have been wanting to make my own camera straps for a while now. Your instructions are superb!

  5. herbasaurus
    herbasaurus ·

    @egeedee, Thanks! I feel more safe jumping over things and running around the city!

    @tracyvmoore, You should make one! We should all make one! I wish I knew how to punch leather straps, so I could make a leather one!

  6. tracyvmoore
    tracyvmoore ·

    @herbasaurus punching leather is super easy. I have tons of leather and a couple sets of leather punches. I can bring some stuff to the Annex...or better yet...we should have an end of summer Lomo Meet out at my studio in Issaquah and we can all make some.

  7. herbasaurus
    herbasaurus ·

    Nice! Maybe my next project will be handstraps! (because I kind of really want one...

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