Craft Tutorial: DIY Camera Strap Cover


A few days ago, I posted this photo of a camera strap cover I made for my DSLR camera. Several of you expressed an interest in learning how to make one. So, as promised, here is my attempt to post a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own basic camera strap cover. I’ll warn you: I have very little experience explaining this type of thing, so bear with me. I really hope this makes sense.

Supplies you will need:
Fabric, cut into two 5″ x 28″ strips
One piece of 2-sided fusible iron-on web measuring 4 1/2″ x 22″
A spool of thread in a color that matches your fabric
A handful of straight pins
An iron & ironing board, sewing machine and scissors

On an ironing board, lay out both strips of fabric and press them to remove all wrinkles. I chose this cute foodie fabric because I dream of becoming a better food photographer some day. Hey, you can’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Place one strip of fabric face down (good side down) and center the fusible web on top. Center the fusible web horizontally and vertically (it will not be as long as the fabric, which is fine). If you are using a 2-sided fusible web that has paper on one side, place it paper side up! You don’t want to melt this stuff onto your iron.

Press the fusible web to fuse it to the first strip of fabric. Once it has cooled, remove the paper backing.

You should have approximately 1/4″ of fabric showing at the top and bottom of your fabric strip. Fold that 1/4″ strip down over the fusible web, and press it so it lays flat. Be very careful not to touch your iron to the fusible web, or it may melt onto your iron. Do this on both the top and bottom edges.

Take your second (non-fused) strip of fabric and lay it out on your ironing board with the good side facing the board. Place your first strip of fabric (with the fusible web) on top of the second fabric strip, with the good side facing up. Center it vertically so that there is approximately 1/4″ or so sticking out on both the top and bottom edges, as shown in this next photo.

Using your iron to press the hem into place, fold the unfinished edge of the bottom piece under – aligning it with the hem of the top piece. Working horizontally from side to side, press the bottom 2″ of the fabric strips to fuse the two pieces of fabric together.

Now turn the unfinished edge under on the opposite side of the strip, working horizontally from side to side, and press it into place so that the edges on the other side are aligned. You’ll want to press this 1/4″ edge under all the way out to each end of the strip, even though the fusible web does not go out to each end. At this point, you’ll have one 5″ by 28″ band of fabric with pressed edges along the top and bottom, and unfinished edges at the ends. Once your fabric is pressed and fused, you’re ready to work on finishing those ends.

At this point, check both sides of your fabric strip. Does one side look better than the other? If it does, use that as your “finished” side and place that side face down on your ironing board. This is where I take a quick measurement for length. Place your actual camera strap next your fabric strip, centering it to determine how much extra length you have on each end. What you want is about 2″ of fabric past the end of your camera strap (you should be measuring from the edge of the woven strap, not the leather end). If you have more than 2″ of fabric past this point, just cut it so that the overage measures 2″.

To finish both ends, fold the unfinished edge in approximately 3/4″ and press, then turn it under again another 3/4″, and pin it in place.

Left photo: the first 3/4" fold; Right photo: the second 3/4" fold

On your sewing machine, set your stitch to a straight stitch (standard default setting on most machines). Using a 1/8″ seam allowance, stitch a rectangle to secure both folded ends of your fabric strip. That folded edge will be inside the camera strap cover so that only the stitching shows on the outside.

Moving back to your ironing board, fold your fabric strip in half length-wise so that your “good side” is now facing out on both sides of your 2 1/4″ strap cover, matching the edges as perfectly as possible. (Remember: your folded ends should be facing the inside of the strap cover now.) At this point, I like to actually lay my camera strap inside the folded cover to make sure I have enough room for my seam allowance. It should fit, but I like to have visual confirmation before I stitch it down. Once you’ve checked to make sure it fits, remove your camera strap, then press and pin the entire length of your camera strap cover.

Moving back to your sewing machine, stitch the entire length of your pinned seam using a 1/8″ seam allowance.

I like to sew the first 1/2″, then use my “reverse” stitching feature to back up over that first 1/2″, then move forward again – just to really secure the edge of the opening and make sure the seam doesn’t accidentally rip out when taking it off and on your camera strap. Better safe than sorry, I think. Once you’ve sewn the entire length of your pinned seam and you’ve secured both ends to keep them from ripping out, remove the pins and sew once more, right over the top of the same stitching you just did. Double-stitching the length of your strap cover will prevent it from ripping out or coming unsewn after multiple sessions of pulling it on and off your camera strap. Once it’s finished, it should look like this:

Congratulations! Your camera strap cover is now finished. If you’d like, throw it on the ironing board and give it one final press, then you’re ready to put it on your camera strap. The easiest way I’ve found to pull your camera strap through your new cover is to use a ruler with a hole in one end. Using a piece of twine or embroidery thread, tie your camera strap to the hole at the end of the ruler.

Feed the opposite end of the ruler into the camera strap cover, until it pops out the other end. Pulling gently on the ruler, thread the strap through the cover.

You may have to help it start through when the widest part of the strap starts to go into the cover. Sometimes the edges can get caught on the stitching. Pull the camera strap through the cover until each end is sticking out evenly.

If you want to make a 2-sided (reversible) camera strap cover using two coordinating fabrics, cut each fabric into a 3″ by 28″ strip and stitch the “right sides” together lengthwise. Press to flatten the center seam and use that new 5 1/2″ strip as the “outside” side of your camera strap cover. For the “inside” of the strap cover, use either of the two fabrics you chose, cut to the original 5″ by 28″ length. If you like to match fabric patterns, making a reversible cover can be a lot of fun. Here’s a sample of the covers I’ve made so far. Today’s tutorial version uses one fabric, but the other two are reversible. Now I can change my camera strap covers to suit my mood or my outfit. {Note: I’m totally joking here. I am neither high maintenance nor high fashion. Not even close!}

A quick note about 2-sided fusible web: if you’re unsure which type to buy, I’m including this photo of the package I purchased. It is 2-sided fusible web with a paper backing on one side, which makes it much easier to iron on. This package came in 9″ x 11″ sheets, which I cut in half. I used two 4 1/2″ x 11″ strips. Fabric and craft stores sell iron-on fusible web in many different forms and sizes. All you really need is one strip that is 4 1/2″ wide by 22″ long.

If you have any questions or need any steps clarified, please post a comment and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. Now hit the fabric store and start crafting. And send me a link to any photos you post of your new camera strap covers!

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13 Comments

Filed under Craft Projects

13 responses to “Craft Tutorial: DIY Camera Strap Cover

  1. I’m so excited you posted this!! My mom told me to print out this tutorial and she would use it to help me learn how to sew! I see my first sewing project in the near future! My grandmother also said if we don’t get around to it by the time she arrives for Bugaboo’s birthday in a few weeks that she is going to sit me down and teach me. I’m really excited. I want to learn how to sew and make these camera straps!
    I shared your post with my co-workers and now they want to try and make one too. Thank you for sharing!

    • Well then, I sure hope the tutorial made sense! I can’t wait to hear about your sewing lessons and your first camera strap. This is just the beginning! Next, I’ll have to post a tutorial on how to make a simple apron. You could be opening your own Etsy shop just in time for Christmas shopping!

  2. Kat

    Lady, for a first time craft tutorial I’m TRES impressed. Now, I’m mostly just disappointed that I don’t have a camera strap to cover! This is 11/10 for sure.

    • Thanks, Kat! But wait…. didn’t you register for a DSLR camera for a wedding gift? You’re going to need to take fabulous photos of your honeymoon in France, right? Sounds like a good excuse to me! ;-)

  3. Fabulous tutorial! I love the thought of using fusible web – your seams look so nice! Thanks for taking the time to do this…I know it was probably a lot of work! :)

    • I think I stressed over this post more than any other. It’s one thing to sit down and sew something. It’s quite another to try to put it in writing and photos and try to teach it to someone else without the benefit of showing it to them in person. I have a new-found respect for craft bloggers! God bless ‘em. I made one camera strap with a thin quilt batting, and I love the way it feels, but the fusible web version is easier to make, and the webbing makes the finished product come out much more polished. The padded quilt batting makes it more casual and puffy.

  4. Excellent tutorial! I must admit to being very jealous of how even your stitches are–mine always wobble a bit. VERY cute strap. I may have to dig out my sewing machine and make one with some of the cool fabric remnants that I seem to be collecting.

  5. Jackie Paulson Author

    Thanks for the details on this, make this your hobby turn it into money

    • It’s already being done all over Etsy.com. That’s where I got the idea that I could make my own. Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. I appreciate it, Jackie.

  6. The Baby

    I just made me one, but I used a piece of polar fleece for the inside to give it padding. I didn’t give the details your level of attention, I just eye-balled cutting the fabric and stiched it in a hurry so I’d have it for a camping trip this weekend. Wish I’d made it sooner!

    • Cool! The polar fleece sounds nice & snuggly. If I didn’t suffer from menopausal hot flashes, I’d consider making a new one. Maybe for fall. Is it to pretentious to have a spring/summer/fall camera strap? Nah, I don’t think so (as long as they’re all super cute).

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