i was tired of my plain ol’ black uncomfortable camera strap and wanted to create something with more comfort and “cuteness factor”. i’m not much of a sewer, so I would consider this a pretty simple tutorial.
what you’ll need:
- muslin: about ¼ yard
- decorative fabric: 1/8 yard (or leftover fabric strips)
- thin fleece: 1¼” wide x length of camera strap + 1″
- colored felts: couple sheets
- medium sized hard bristle brush
- acrylic paint: raw umber, orange or color combinations of your choice.
- small beads(optional)
everything is easily available at your local Michaels(www.michaels.com) or Jo-Ann Fabrics(www.joann.com).
to start, take your camera strap off. camera straps can come in different sizes. measure it. (measure up to where the strap meets the leather.) add a bit more than a ¼” to each side and ½” to each end. then, tear your strips of muslin to those dimensions. you will need to tear 2 pieces per strap. don’t worry about being perfect; it actually looks cool if one of the pieces is a hair smaller or larger.
now we’re going to work on the back. take the same measurements and take your pretty fabric and tear it. you could also panel together some smaller pieces for fun like i did in the photo on the 2nd one from the bottom. then cut your strip of fleece about 1¼” wide.
now take just your backside, not your muslin, and pin your fleece down the center. i started with stitching right down the center so i could determine about how many stitched lines on each side i could fit in. to add a cute little detail, i actually did the reverse stitch several times down each line. now take your time and really watch the fleece. it likes to move around, even with it pinned down.
pick your coordinating felt colors and have some fun! i chose simple circles with some alternating colors. remember: you are going to be stitching in on each side just a bit over ¼”, so don’t get too big.
after you have circles all laid out where you want them, go ahead and mark where they go with a pencil. there is no need to pin them because you’ll end up taking it out anyways!
using your free form/motion on your sewing machine, take your two-piece circles and starting in the middle, doodle your flowers or whatever you choose on your two pieces of muslin. take your time to watch the smaller circle so it stays flat. have fun and don’t be afraid to be messy. messy in repeat is organized pattern that doesn’t look messy anymore!
now you’re going to sew the front and back together. i like the frayed edges so I don’t turn mine inside out. make sure to check your camera strap to your fabric one last time to see how far in to sew. you don’t want to get too close to the edges nor be too loose on the strap
mix Raw Umber and Azo Gold(or colors of your choice) acrylics with quite a bit of water to get an antique brown that I just love. you can also just use a good orangy brown. then, loosely brush it around all the circles leaving a rough ¼” of original muslin. don’t worry about covering every square inch, it will add character. i’m sorry i don’t have a better picture of this stage. if you need to, take a paper towel afterward to soak up the extra moisture.
take the colored acrylic paint and again, loosely paint it on with a large hard bristle brush. leave areas of the brown to show through. i say “large dry bristle brush” because that way you can’t be too perfect! you shouldn’t have to water it down since you will already have so much moisture on your strap. also be sure to hit spots on the outside of the seam, this will help the muslin from fraying more than you want it to.
finish by hand sewing some beads on and you’re ready to make you’re camera oh so pretty.
putting on the new strap: tape the end of your strap to the end of a paintbrush and work your strap through your cover. you might have to “cup” your strap a bit to get it in but there should end up being a bit of give in your fabric by the end of it. if your cover seems too long for your strap it’s supposed to be that way. it will soon bunch up a little and you want it to be long enough to still cover the strap.
if you end up making one i would LOVE to see what you come up with!!!
good luck and if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section and i’ll answer them. 🙂