I love my camera. I love the pictures I can produce with it while I’m traveling, but pulling out a full-size DSLR tends to attract attention, and the fact that the name ‘Canon’ is embroidered on the strap certainly doesn’t help. Now I keep a pretty close eye on my camera gear, and I’ve never really been worried about it being stolen, but I figure it can’t hurt to disguise my camera a bit. Plus, camera straps covers are really cute!
- a camera strap to cover (obviously!)
- at least 23″ x 4″ of fabric
- thread to match your fabric
- ruler/tape measure
- marking device (pen, pencil, marker… whatever you like to mark fabric with)
- sewing machine (or just a needle if you’d rather hand-sew)
All camera straps will vary a bit, so be sure to measure yours before starting and adjust accordingly. Mine was 1 5/8″ by 22.5″. To figure out how wide your fabric needs to be, double the width of your strap and add about an 1/8″ to account for the thickness of the strap. Then add in about 1″ for seam allowance (1/2″ when it’s folded in half). My seam allowance ended up being just under 1/2″, which worked just find.
I used a cutting mat and rotary cutter, because that’s how I roll (yup, I really just said that), but a scissors will work just fine. My cutting mat also does double duty as a sanding board- seriously the best way to get a nice, flat surface!
Trim the edges of your fabric so they are nice and straight.
And yes, I use a framing square as my cutting guide. What can I say, I use what I’ve got! Also, my rotary cutter desperately needs to be replaced. Or just sharpened, because I’m cheap.
Now cut a piece that is 4″ wide (or whatever size you determined you would need after measuring your camera’s strap).
Here’s where things get tricky. Measure the length of your camera’s strap (just the section between the leather ends).
If you want a single color cover (for example, if I was just using the black fabric), add an inch to the length of your strap and cut your fabric accordingly. If you want to add a splash of color on the ends of your strap, cut the strap to exactly the length of your strap.
(yes, my strap was 22.5″, but I tend to start my measurements from 1″ because I don’t like to trust the endcap on my tape measure. Confusing, yes, but it works for me. Measure twice, cut once and you’ll be ok!)
If you are using a single color, fold the short ends over 1/2″, pin, and sew. Then rejoin us here.
If you are using 2 colors, cut your second color now. I used a scrap of red that ended up being 4″ wide by about 1″ tall (x2).
Pin the one of your second colors to the main color, right side to right side, and sew. I used my feed dogs as my guide because I wanted a narrow ring. All Canon L lenses have a red ring on them, and I thought this would be a cool (albeit kinda dorky) way to tie in with that.
The width of your seam allowance will determine the width of your ring. Let me try to explain… Press open the seam you just made.
Now fold the second color (in my case, the red) over the opened seam (right sides out).
And pin along the seam.
I hope that makes sense. Now sew along the edge of the main tube, between the two colors, like this:
Now fold your cover in half the long way and pin.
When you’re sewing, it’s more important to make sure your cover stays the same width all the way down than it is to keep your seam allowance even. An easy way to do this is to make a little mark on your sewing machine to act as a guide.
(an even easier way would be to use a quilting bar, but mine’s gone missing and this is quick and works for me. When I’m done, I just rub the little mark and it goes away)
So sew along the long end of the strap, using whatever method works for you to keep an equal width as you go.
When you’re done, you’ll be left with a long tube. Iron the seam open, centering it along what will become the back of your strap.
When you’re done, it should look like this:
Now comes the fun part- turn it right-side-out!! For smaller tubes, I put a safety pin on one end and feed it through, but this one was wide enough that I just stuffed it through with my fingers. No pictures, sorry!
Disconnect the camera’s strap at one side.
And start feeding the strap through your cover. I’ll warn you now: There is no easy way to do this… I’ve seen suggestions to wrap a rubber band around the leather section to make it easier to slide the cover on, but that didn’t work for me- the rubber band added too much bulk. I suppose you could either wrap the leather part tightly in saran wrap, or tape it in a circle, but I just held it in a U-shape with my fingers and worked the tube on. I did use a clamp to feed the tube over the thin webbed part, and that helped a lot.
The main thing to watch for is twisting of the tube. You want to keep the seam on the same side. Go slowly and just keep at it- eventually, you will be able to slide the cover into place.
Voila! Enjoy your new, stylish camera strap cover!