Guest Project — Turn a Purse into a Stylish Camera Bag!!!

18 Mar
Hello, fellow readers of Tater Tots and Jello!  This is Valerie, from The Crafter’s File Box.  
I am super excited to hijack Jen’s blog today and share with you my tutorial for making a regular purse go to fab camera bag!

I am sure you have all see the amazing camera bags that have been out there lately.  They look like a purse, so they are still feminine, but the insides are made to function like a camera bag. 
What I didn’t love was the price.  I would rather spend the $$ on equipment than a bag, so I created my own.
Here’s how you do it…

STEP ONE:  Find the right kind of bag.
Look for one that has a more rigid outside, like leather or coated nylon, which is what I am using here.  Then, look at the innards.  You want to find one that has a larger base, with SEAMS going down the middle and across the two ends.  Lastly, check to make sure you are comfortable with the strap.  You want to make sure you can wear it AND shoot with it on. 
STEP TWO:  Turn the bag inside out.
STEP THREE:  Open the seam along the middle with a seam ripper.
Stop about 1/2 inch before the ends.

STEP FOUR:  Make the bottom.

(Is it totally childish that I laughed a bit at typing “bottom”?)
Cut plastic needle point canvas to the dimensions of your bag’s bottom. (snicker)
STEP FIVE:  Cut headliner fabric to fit the canvas.
Headliner fabric is the fabric they use to uphoslter car ceilings.  I found mine at Jo-Anns.  You could substitute any foam or neoprene type fabric’s here.  If you would like to make your bag even more plush, you could double the headliner fabric here and wrap the canvas twice!

STEP SIX:  Wrap the fabric around the fabric and sew ends closed.
It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect.  This will be going inside the lining, so no one will ever see it!
STEP SEVEN:  Repeat Steps 4-6, but use the SIDES of the bag as your template.
You might have to sew the canvas together at places to make it long enough to wrap the whole bag.  I simply
overlapped it for about two bars and did a straight stitch down.

Your finished pieces should look something like this!
STEP EIGHT: Reinforce your bag.
This is where we give your regular bag more support so that it can cushion your camera in safety.
This is done in two parts, going through the hole you cut with the seam ripper at the bottom of your bag.
Take your long, side piece and “stuff” it through the bottom and put it into place at the sides.  It should look like this when done.

After the sides are in place, put the short, bottom piece in place at the bottom.

STEP NINE:  Pin the bottom closed with straight pins.
Try to follow the bags original seams and make sure the raw edges are folded over so it looks neat.
STEP TEN: Sew closed with a blanket stitch.
You can stop here if you don’t carry additional lenses, but for those of you who would like lens dividers… read on!
STEP ELEVEN:  Repeat Steps 4-6 , but this time measure the width of the bag.

You will want to add about 1/2 inch to your measurement on the sides, so you can sew a velcro strip on each side.
STEP TWELVE:  With a high adhesive glue, like E- 6000, apply glue to the mates of the velcro on the divider.

STEP TWELVE:  Apply the glued pieces to the sides of the bag where you want the divider.

…and it should look like this after you insert the divider!
Ahh.. safe and cozy lenses. 🙂  You can repeat as many times as you like to give yourself a custom made inside.  Also, you could cover the divider with a custom fabric to match the insides for a fun, high end look.  Just sew on the velcro AFTER sewing on the fabric.
And that, my friends is how you go….

Thanks for having me at Tatertots and  Jello, Jen!  Hope to see you all over at The Crafter’s File Box from time to time!
Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the safety of your camera if you use the tutorial.  You assume all risks if you make your own camera bag using this tutorial. I can say that I have used my bag for over a year now, with no incidents whatsoever.  Use your best personal judgement and care when handling an sort of electronic equipment.  Whew! Had to get that out there! 🙂

Valerie — that is GENIUS!!! 

I love it!! Thank you so much such an awesome tutorial!!! 
If you don’t follow The Crafter’s Filebox, you are missing out!  

Valerie has great ideas on her blog!


{Royal Tea Towel tutorial guest post by the Magic Bean on The Crafter’s File Box}
 {check out Valerie’s Amazing Kitchen Redo – love that colored beadboard}

And, Valerie has a beautiful and smart new business. She has come up with these beautiful camera strap covers that ZIP Zipcoverz.  Such a great idea!!

You will love the ideas at The Crafter’s File Box! 


PS It’s Friday. You know what that means!!! It’s time to show off YOUR ideas. Come party with me at The Weekend Wrap Up Party tonight — it’s gonna be fun. The linky goes up at 6 pm {MST}. I can’t wait to spotlight YOU! 


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