Tutorial: How I Roll - A Practical Way of Carrying Films


I have my film rolls sorted neatly inside my refrigerator but as soon as I go outside to shoot, whether on a whole day or on a weekend, I usually take extra films with me. In minutes, the film’s order just turns into a total chaos, not to mention the loose rolls inside my bag. Don’t you get annoyed when this happens? I finally found a simple remedy for this. Read on.

Through this tutorial I’d like to help everyone get rid of such annoyance brought about by the loose rolls when shooting outside.

What you’ll need:

  • Broad elastics for clothes (about 2 – 3cm / 1 inch minimum)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
  • Film roll canisters (for fitting)
  • Some left over fabric (not necessary but it will really be cool to use them)

What to do:

1) Take a piece of elastic with the length you want (anything over 30cm / 1ft is impractical)
2) Fold the elastic with your desired length. Make sure you have a pin near you.

2) Place the film canister (in this case a 35mm one) in the fold that you made.

3) Pull the elastic a little bit more so that the roll is snug inside the fold.

(Sorry about the clutter in the background)

4) Put a pin in the place where you feel the roll is tightly secured.

5) Take a needle and thread (or a sewing machine) and sew a straight seam in the elastic to create the first compartment. Make sure you sew it with a strong thread because eventually there will be some tension on the elastic upon use.

6) Repeat step 1 through 5 from the seam you just made. To skip the process of inserting and pulling out the roll, it will be easier to just measure the first compartment you made. In my case, it was 4cm for the 35mm rolls and 3.2cm for the 120 rolls.

The measurements will probably vary per elastic, so do take your own measurements!

Just continue doing the process until you are satisfied that you have enough film compartments.

7) Optional: When you get to the end of the elastic, cut-off the ends and sew it together to make them secure. If you want, you can make a little handle by re-using some cute left over fabric. Just fold it around the end of the elastic and sew it all together. Voila, you’re done!

I’m quite happy with this simple yet effective solution. Now, I can easily carry most of my films and I can pull them out of my bag in just one gesture. I can even identify the rolls easily by putting little round stickers as labels on the lids of the canisters. Because of this, I will never have to turn my bag upside down again!

written by pretletterp on 2011-09-07 #gear #tutorials #travel #film #diy #tutorial #rolls #sewing #archive #tipster #netherlands #nederland #dutch #holland #handicraft #nld #archiveren #rolletjes #dhz #elastiek #elastic #hand-craft


  1. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Great idea.

  2. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    nice... like in the horizon bag...!

  3. realisticdreamer
    realisticdreamer ·

    Haha:D that's great

  4. miiksy
    miiksy ·


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