If you’re like me and you love photography, then you might just love this next project on camera straps. OK so I’m no photographer, but I’ve always been inspired by photographs. That perfect shot the photographer just happened to catch is just breathtaking. I know we’re all guilty of framing a photograph by some famous photographer, as am I. I remember for a couple years, I would ask my mother to buy me a camera for Christmas. I guess in some part of my life I wanted to become a photographer, but Acting took over lol. In my last few years of college, my Uncle Francis, whose a photographer, gave me his very own Zenza BRONICA.
For those who have no clue what that is…In lamest terms, it’s a very old camera. Not many people use them, but most photographers that have seen it are amazed. A Zenza Bronica, suitable for professional photographers, provides the user with high quality performance, simple handling convenience and extremely useful versatility plus automatic motorized film winding and shutter cocking operations. AWESOME RIGHT! I may not be a professional photographer, but I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.
I’ve had this camera for years, but I’m just starting to use it because I didn’t know where to find film and battery for it. Luckily, I work with most photographers at Smashbox Studios, who were very helpful with suggestions on where to find film and how to use such an interesting camera. So I went to Samy’s Camera for my battery and a friendly co-worker bought me black & white film.
Since the Zenza Bronica camera is quite Ancient; it’s also very heavy and I’m afraid of dropping it. Because it didn’t come with a camera strap, I decided I’d make one that way I run the risk of dropping it. Of course you know I did my research on Pinterest, and the first photo I found was a camera strapped to a scarf. I thought it was cute and girly, but my Camera is neither cute and girly. In fact, he’s Ancient, Vintage and more masculine looking, therefore, he needs a camera strap with that type of look. Then I looked up leather camera straps and I thought “Yes, this is it.” So I used two types of leather for my strap: Black leather and Elephant leather. Below are the items focused to make my Camera strap. Let’s take a look.
Items I used:
- Leather fabric (JoAnn’s)
- Leather punch (Michael’s)
- Leather scissors (Michael’s)
- Key rings (2) (Hobby Lobby)
- D rings (Hobby Lobby)
- Belt buckles (Hobby Lobby)
Normally I would use my sewing machine to create my Camera strap. Unfortunately, it’s not in good use so I hand stitched the straps. It wasn’t easy and it was also time consuming, but I still believe I did a fairly good job on my own.
First, I started with the straps. I cut out a nice thick piece, from my Elephant leather fabric, like the size of a thick belt. Also I made sure that the piece would fit around my neck. Then I folded the ends about 1\2 in. and hand stitched from top to bottom. On the back of the strap, my stitches are large (Run stitch), but in the front it’s small stitches (Prick stitch), making it invisible to the eye, yet giving it a clean look. The photo above is what my strap looks like.
Next, I cut two small pieces from my black leather fabric. Make sure to check it fits over a piece of the Elephant fabric before continuing. If it fits, perfect then you can continue to the next part, which is adding the D rings. Put the leather fabric through the D rings and then hand stitch. Stitch across and diagonally so it won’t pull apart. I mostly followed the same guidelines for how camera straps were sewn. The picture above looks similar to photos I’ve checked out on Pinterest.
The next part was a bit tricky. I could have stopped, leaving my straps short, but I wanted to add an additional piece that way I could adjust my straps if I didn’t want them up so high. Above, the picture shows the size of my additional straps. I cut 11×1 inches, folded the ends and stitched exactly like the first strap. Following the same guidelines for making a belt, I used both small straps as a belt to adjust my straps from loose to tight. It was a bit tricky for me at first because I cut the straps too thick, making it difficult for such a small belt buckle to fit. Then I cut the straps too thin making it impossible to stitch the ends. Finally, I came to the right consistency.
Up close you can see the detail on the hand stitching. I’m not too proud of it, but hey, it was my first try at hand stitching leather straps.
In order to adjust the small straps from loose to tight or vise versa, I added the gold key ring for the strap to wrap around. The key ring is latched in the small hole of my Camera, being used as a strong hold for my Camera strap.
(The gold accessories are used to give a nice finishing touch for the straps as well as the camera)
With just a little bit of research and a follow up of the guidelines, you can make your very own camera strap. I hope this DIY project was helpful. If this project seemed too difficult, there are plenty of other simple DIY Camera straps to try. For any questions or concerns you may have please feel free to ask. Remember it’s always fun to try something new.
Now I get to enjoy my Zenza Bronica camera and get my feet wet! Enjoy!