camera mini-strap

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Here’s about the simplest strap you could make… but as with most of my DIYs on here, it was created out of a certain necessity. I recently purchased a solid pocket shooter – testing my theory that I might just take more photos if I had a smaller camera. The size is certainly more convenient, but I still am not used to having such a lack of grip. I didn’t want to use a long strap all the time, so I came up with this.

It provides just the right amount of handle, but still be very pocketable. You’ll need a small strip of pliable, yet strong leather. I’m using a small piece of the leather we use on our bags, from SB Foot tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. About 4.5oz weight works really well for this.

Cut your piece into a 3/8″ strip, about 22 inches long. If you need a longer or shorter grip, adjust to your preference. One one end, we’ll use an oblong punch to create a slot – about 5/8″ from that end. I also cut that end at an angle for decoration.

On the opposite strap end, I thinned the overall width with a rolling blade and ruler. We’ll be tying an overhand knot here, and it looks more elegant with less weight. I thinned about 5.5″ length of this end, to have some overhang after tying the knot.

If your camera has loops like shown, you’re set. If you have a lugged camera, you can buy some small rings to attach first. Make sure your knots are big enough to keep from slipping through the rings. Or, if you’re using detachable rings, you can use the slotted end on both sides.

Feed your piece though the slotted end first, and smooth out the curve. Insert other end though the second ring and knot to the appropriate length. Then cut the overhang length to whatever looks/works best for you.

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Exploring materials: new watch straps

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Lately I’ve been working with some new leathers from SB Foot Tannery from Red Wing, Minnesota. They have a long history in fine leathers since 1905, but also more recently known for being a part of the Red Wing family. We’re proud to be working with them and here’s our first release using their leather. The surface feel and weight is perfect for watch straps and our camera wrist strap. The colors are more diverse, the strength is amazing and finish is wonderfully durable.

Most of you know how I love watches, and the obsession has grown since making my first watch strap on the blog. Now, for those of you that liked the tones and texture on those early straps, this new leather has a great resemblance. Colors are a natural khaki, saddle tan, olive brown and black. Pictured on the watch is the olive brown, which looks amazing on military styled watches like this Maratac.

Also used on the camera wrist strap, this new leather looks great on your favorite vintage lug-mount shooter. Perfect for a little extra grip on a small camera. The one pictured is saddle tan on an old Olympus Trip.

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W&F Camera Strap Giveaway

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It’s been a loooong time since I have put something up here, and I KNOW I owe you folks some new DIYs. I’ve got some in progress and I’ll update soon, but I hope you’ll forgive me with a little giveaway in the meantime.

We finished the new camera neck strap shortly after the holidays and have been enjoying its release, but figured it deserves a proper introduction. It’s constructed with some amazingly beautiful oiled latigo leather, and created with the vintage style that I love, but with sturdy modern details. Nylon attach points hold heavy cameras with great security. It’s a good compromise when you’re carrying your favorite baby, but still want that timeless styling. Hardware was kept to a minimum with a few hand-hammered copper rivets and a simple buckle for some adjustment.

Well, how do you enter to win one? If you’re like me… You’ve got a favorite camera(s) that might look great with one of these on it. Comment below with the camera you’d use it on, and I’ll randomly pick THREE folks to receive one. You’ll get your choice of tan or brown and free shipping too, anywhere in the world. Please only comment once though… Even if you have about 5+ favorite cameras like I do! I’ll draw winners Feb 28 and will announce shortly after.

Update Mar 01 – Using a random number generator, we’ve selected the winners! Numbers 30, 94 and 182. Congrats, Joe, Heather and Bob – I’ll be sending out emails to you shortly!

 

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Wool Camera Wrap

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You’ll need some tools:
  • sewing machine
  • scissors or rotary knife
  • pencil
  • paper
You’ll need a few materials:
  • heavy wool fabric
  • strap material — leather or canvas

One thing I’m typically seen lugging around is a camera. Most camera bags are overkill, especially when you just want a bit of protection walking around, or you’re packing a camera in another bag for a short trip. I picked up a nice looking, heavy wool remnant from the Pendleton outlet last weekend, so I figured I could try my hand at a simple camera wrap. Now I’ve got just the right amount of walk-around camera protection without the “tourist look.”

Making a structured camera with soft fabric is kinda crazy unless you use a stiff liner, so I was aiming for more of a protective wrap. This way, you can relax about making things exact and just enjoy sewing what is essentially a pocket with a flap. You have options for an enclosure; just make sure it doesn’t involve any metal that would mar your camera. I went with a simple strap closure that ties into itself.

1. Start with the pencil and paper and loosely trace the dimensions of your camera. If it’s small and square, easy! If it’s got an external lens, you’ll have more facets to your pattern. I traced the bottom of mine for the lens profile and used that pattern for the bottom and top but added extra for the flap. I traced the back for height and then just measured what a front panel would be and cut a long rectangle to fit.

2. Add about 1/4″ to your traced pieces to compensate for sewing the panels together and to add some wiggle room for you camera. Cut your paper template pieces out and then use them to cut your fabric panels. *Note: If your lens is off-centered, be sure to flip your bottom template over to cut the top panel of fabric.

3. After the fabric was cut, I carefully sewed all pieces together inside out. Sew any raw edges over to prevent fraying. Remember to leave openings for your strap, too. Once all panels are sewn together to your liking, turn the pocket outside in and test with your camera. Since I was using some loosely drawn templates, I did have to tighten the fit with another line of stitching on one edge.

4. For a closure, I’d envisioned using a piece of leather to wrap around the camera and tie into itself. Measure a strap piece long enough to wrap around your camera a couple times and tie to itself. Since I didn’t flip my pattern for the top and bottom flaps (see the *note above), I had a bulge in my bottom panel. Rather than re-sewing another wrap, I found this to be the perfect attachment point for the strap. You could sew your strap on the back, or just find a messed up piece on your design like I did and rivet it in place. If you do use a rivet or another hardware attachment, make sure the rivet cannot touch your camera. Since my rivet uses the outer fabric goof, I was safe.

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Camera Wrist Strap

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Well, I’ve devised a new project to keep myself busy, and I wanted to share it. I’ve been experimenting with a camera strap design, and I think I’ve finally got it. I’m going to be producing a small quantity of these and putting them for sale in the store soon. I don’t have an actual release date yet, because I want to have all of them built before listing. Quantity will be no more than 40 and I’m hoping to keep the price under $50.

The finalized design is one piece of leather, that wraps around and through its own scratch guard. These are made for cameras with a lug mount, and the split-ring will be supplied. If you’re interested in ordering, make sure your camera will work with the strap, as it won’t work if you have a loop attachment point on your camera.

In other leather working news – After much demand, I’m going to start making belts for the store. I’ll have more details soon, and should start production shortly.  I’m proud to make them as a regular store item for those wanting one. I think I’ll stick with the simple construction as used on the belt project, but might make a couple refinements. Thanks to everyone that’s been so interested!

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