How To Make A Vintage Camera Half Case

Here is an awesome entry to our How I Took It Contest from Mambastik. It’s a vintage case for vintage looking cameras. This specific one is for the Olympus Pen EP1, but the process described makes it a breeze to adopt to any camera.

How To Make A Vintage Camera Half Case

Speaking of How I Took It, the submission period is over and we are working hard an rallying up the dozens of entries and reviewing them all. Results soon.

I decided to do this build as an alternative to expensive camera cases found on various online shops. I’ve always asked myself, “why is it so expensive? I could probably make it myself!” And so I took on the challenge. I made this a while back, but have made improvements since then.

Step 1: Foundation and measurements

Having no measurements available, the best way to start this project was to trace around the base and start from there. Basically eye-balled the rest, holding up a ruler to the camera and measuring out the lcd, release button, etc…

Step 2: Refinement

Here you can see my sketches, a trial and error until it was a perfect fit.

Step 3: The mold

I used the typical folder that you can find in any office store. I layered it 3-4 times and used Elmer’s glue. I then stacked the base several times to create the mold and used rubber bands to hold it in place.

Step 4: Dressing up

Found some nice blood red silk from some scrap fabrics. Traced out the insides and used rubber glue.

Step 5: Leathering

Same thing as the inside, but measured for the outside. Here I used leather from a broken bean-bag chair we had lying around. Alternatively you can use a faux leather shelf liner (though I haven’t tried). You can find those at Home Depot. Seems trivial, but just a reminder when you’re tracing, make sure you mirror it since you’ll want the leather facing out. You can see from the tracings thatI’ve made that mistake already.

Step 6: Finishing touches

Here I’ve lined the case with suede laces. I’ve also added velcro to the straps.

The final result!

I really could make it myself! Cost of alternative: $50+. Total cost: $0.00.Build time was around a week and a half.

Update: Redesigned case

This is an update to my original build. After a while of constant use, it was showing a toll. Adhesive was weakening, the suede laces were coming off, and the velcro came off as well. This is a quick gallery of the newly designed case I made.

Update 1: Stronger

Along with adhesive,I also sew it tight for a stronger structure.

Update 2: Buttons!

I replaced the velcro with buttons. You can find these small buttons at the arts/crafts section of mostly any store. Here I’ve also sewn down the suede lace so it won’t start pealing off.

Update 3: Flipbac compartment

When remaking my case, I added a small slit. I wanted to add a flipbac, but not having it permanently there. In this picture, I show that you can slip it on and off whenever you want to.

Update 4: Completely covered

The new back! Perfect if you want to just shoot in Auto mode and not worry about fumbling around with buttons.Also great forstoragewhennot in use. Buttons and LCD are protected.

Update 5: Transform!

The button coveris a flap, so you can fold it inwards to access the buttons. Here you can also see the flipbac in action. You’ve probably noticed a leather skin on my E-PL1. Earlier I mentioned a faux leather shelf liner, which I used to cover both the camera and the EVF3.

  • knkytht

    Thanks for sharing! Any chance you have your measurements saved? I’m building one for an e-pl5 and I believe they’re the same dimensions!