So I am ashamed to say that it has taken me years before I finally got round to replacing the generic camera straps with my own unique strap. Amateurish or what! Anyway now that I have made one I could not be happier with the result! This strap is both easy and enjoyable to make.
I am off to Seville in a week so the timing of this DIY project couldn’t be better. I was lucky enough to be given a beautiful Lumix camera last year and have decided to take this one along for my weekend break. Leaving my Nikon behind for this lighter alternative will mean I won’t get weighed down whilst out exploring the city – a first for me as I am rarely without my Nikon abroad!
You can buy your leather from a range of places depending on your budget. I chose to go for a vegetarian leather from Etsy. The quality of this strap is really great. I went for a wide strap (35mm) to ensure it sits comfortably on my shoulders and doesn’t dig in.
Some tutorials recommend using fabric glue as a quick and cheap way to seal your leather strap in place. I was unsure about just how strong this glue is (especially if I was to use this strap on my Nikon camera in the future) so I decided to use rivets and a multi hole punch tool instead. Check out A Pair & A Spare’s camera strap tutorial for more inspiration on this approach.
To make the strap extra special, I couldn’t resist purchasing a set of adorable tiny alphabet letters. These can be used to stamp both leather and metal so I am considering having a go at customised jewellery for a future project. Simply mark up where you want to place your name and using a hammer carefully dent the leather with the stamp. See my tips below for more advice on stamping leather.
- Leather strap
- Multi hole punch tool
- D rings
- Swivel hook clasps
- Small split rings
- Rivets / screw studs
- (optional) Alphabet stamp kit
The first thing you need to do once you have your materials is choose the length you would like your strap to be. You can use scissors or a scalpel to cut your leather to the right size. Attach your swivel keyrings to your d rings (pliers might be needed to get a big enough gap in your d ring). Next, slide your D ring into the strap and fold the leather over. Using a leather punch tool, punch a hole through both layers of the leather (by punching the hole through both bits of the leather in one go you won’t have to try and line up the holes later). Next screw your rivets in to secure the leather in place. Now that your camera strap is complete, add your split rings to each side of your camera. Clip your keyrings onto the rings and Voilà, you are now a proud owner of a home made camera strap!
- If you would like to stamp your leather, make sure to check that the leather you buy will take well to the stamps. Some types of leather will not hold the impressions well and the letters will fade quickly. Vegetable leather which is perfect for stamping.
- You can soak the leather before stamping to get a nice deep impression. Use a sponge and some warm water and dab it over the leather, letting it soak into the leather for 5 minutes before stamping.
- My letters were not overly straight (in fact my practice run was much better – always the way isn’t it!). The reason for this is because when I tested a piece of leather first using tape to line up the letters I realised that the tape leaves a slight mark on the leather. So for the final attempt was done by eye.
- It took me a long time to find D rings that were the right width and thickness. At first I purchased some that were too larger and really bulky. These did not suit the camera so I ended up spending a long time searching thinner versions. I now have quite a few
- D ring packages at home. If you are in need of any, I am definitely your gal.
Go the extra mile
- Why not use your alphabet stamps on other projects such as leather wallets, clutches, belts and labels.
- Instead of using a traditional leather colour you can buy coloured straps.
- Leather is not the only option for your strap. Try out using a light weight patterned scarf, decorative chain or even a colourful guitar strap. You can find plenty of inspiration for this on Pinterest.
- Silver is not your only option for the d rings and swivel clasps. Gold would look equally great!
- I choose small round stud rivets but if you want to be bolder there are plenty of other shapes, sizes and colours to choose from. Pyramid studs would give your strap an up to date style.