DIY Padded Camera Bag

Nick was away this weekend for a guy’s trip, so what did I do? If craft was your answer then yes, you are correct!

Awhile back Nick and I bought a new DSLR cam­era and a few times I’ve run into the issue of wanting to bring the camera along with us, but not wanting to carry the large camera bag. So I’ve been on the hunt for a small, lightly padded pouch that would easily fit into my purse but still protect the camera from any dings or scratches. I wasn’t having any success finding what I wanted though, and so over the weekend I decided to pull out my sewing machine and make my own.

The camera pouch is very basic – I did almost no measuring or cutting (I’m sure any real sewer would cringe at my process) – but it took less than 15 minutes, only cost a few dollars, and perfectly meets my needs. Who doesn’t love that?!


I started out with a 20 x 20 inch chevron print napkin that I bought at my favorite local home goods store for only a couple of dollars. Although it photographs much darker, the fabric is white and  a really light khaki-green (not only am I a novice sewer…but also a novice photographer 😉


After ironing the napkin to get rid of any creases, I measured and cut a thin piece of quilt batting to cover one half of the napkin. I lightly sprayed the batting with craft spray adhesive before laying it down, which I thought would help keep the batting in place during the next couple of steps.


Next, I folded the fabric in half over the batting and ironed it flat again (I did this on low heat so I wouldn’t melt the batting). Then I stitched along the open seam on the long side of the napkin as close to the edge as possible. After that I stitched a line about an inch below my other line (along an original napkin seam), this created the “pocket” that will hold the ribbon drawstring.



After I’d created the drawstring pocket, I folded the fabric in half crosswise and sewed closed both of the open sides, again stitching as close to the edge as possible. I made sure to stop before getting to close to the drawstring pocket opening, so I didn’t accidentally sew it shut.


I used white ribbon as my drawstring because I already had some on hand. To thread the ribbon through the drawstring pocket, I taped one side of the ribbon to an un-sharpened pencil (a thin dowel also works) and pushed it through the horseshoe shaped pocket opening. Once the ribbon was pulled through, I measured the right amount of ribbon, tied it off and made a v-cut to the end. To keep the ribbon from fraying I sealed the edges with some Fray Check.


I now had a functional padded pouch, but I wanted it to have a flat bottom. So I turned the bag inside out and formed triangles perpendicular to the bottom seam. Then, I measured about 1.5 inches from the top to each side of the fabric, and drew a line across with a disappearing fabric marker. Next I stitched along the line and trimmed off the excess fabric, being careful to stay about 1/8 inch away from the stitches. Finally, I repeated this same process on the other side.


Voila! Once I turned the bag right side out I had a flat bottomed pouch!


That’s it for my super simple padded camera pouch. Now I just need Nick to take me somewhere photo-worthy so I can try it out!



4 thoughts on “DIY Padded Camera Bag

  1. What the WHAT? You have really stepped up your game. 20 minutes!?! That would have taken me 1 month to plan, and another to make. Haha.

    I got a little lost at the second pic that had stitch lines, but as I was writing this comment, I think I just figured it out. You left a little of the two side seems open so that when it was time to do the “top”, you make one line at the very top, and one like 1/2 or so below. Am I close?

    That’s a pretty awesome project. My lens bag has a cardboard bottom to help absorb some shock when you put it down. Might be something you can just cut up and push to the bottom.
    Great stuff!

    • Thanks Seth for your nice comments! I swear writing the instructions for the post were so much harder (and took three times longer) than sewing the little pouch! Yes, you are correct about the top – you just sew two parallel lines across the fabric and keep the side seams open. Thanks for the tip about the cardboard, that’s a super easy thing to add . As for the camera, we wanted to start with an entry level model and got the Nikon D3100 – so far we really like it, it takes much better photos than our point and shoot, but we still have plenty to learn about taking better pictures!

  2. Pingback: Padded iPad Sleeve | Isn't It Sweet

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