Build a cheap, durable leather belt camera strap

May 30, 2015

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

Build a cheap, durable leather belt camera strap

May 30, 2015

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

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leather-belt-camera-strap-01I love cameras. I love leather (take that however you wish). And, while I don’t love camera straps, I kinda dig this DIY leather belt strap from green-liver and photo enthusiast Tyler Lloyd. (We assume he devised the idea one night as he was twirling his mustache by a crackling fireplace and sharpening his straight razor on a leather strop.)

The project itself is rather simple, requiring minimal tools and materials. So, let’s take a look at what eating raw vegetables will lead a man to build.

The Materials

  • An old, leather belt (he used on from a very fit 36″ waist) – As Tyler advises, if you don’t have one on hand, pick one up at a thrift shop, although, since Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ve heard they are increasingly rare to come by.
  • Copper wire – From the looks of it, I would advise picking up something used for house wiring. This can be sourced from scrap yards, hardware/home improvement stores, or from your neighbor’s house while they’re on summer vacation (perfect timing, I know).
  • Iron-on fabric patches (optional) – These are what your grandmother used to patch the holes in the knees of your jeans as a child. Pick them up in the sewing section of your favorite chain store or local craft supply shop.

The Tools

  • A box cutter, utility knife, or that very sharp object you found under your spouse’s pillow.
  • Leather punches, an ice pick, or a drill with appropriately-sized bits should work for making new holes.
  • Wire cutter and stripper, although I’ve found that removing the insulation from a wire can be done with the above-mentioned knives.
  • Needle-nosed pliers (or, really, anything that allows you to bend the copper wire).
  • Iron (optional…for the patches).

The Basic Process

1. Trim and shape the belt

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2. Add fabric patches to the ends (optional)

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3.  Punch holes into the ends of the leather

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4.  Strip your wire and attach the strap to your camera

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5.  Enjoy your new strap with increased personal satisfaction

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Now, one downside I automatically see with this is the inability to easily remove the strap from the camera.  On the other hand, a definite positive is that your camera will not become easily detached.

[Leather Belt Camera Strap]

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Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery

Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.

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5 responses to “Build a cheap, durable leather belt camera strap”

  1. Nadir Khan Avatar
    Nadir Khan

    i use a guitar strap with keyrings in case you have both laying around. gives tall folks arms a little more breathing room.

    1. Allen Mowery Avatar
      Allen Mowery

      I have both…perhaps I should give a regular camera strap another shot!

  2. ext237 Avatar
    ext237

    I was right there with you for this build, until you got to the wire. plus, wouldn’t the original buckle make an interesting end?

  3. Scott Szakonyi Avatar
    Scott Szakonyi

    Sorry, nothing metal is going next to my camera’s plastic body. It was bad enough in the film days when metal rings were pretty much the only choice you had, and even then there was a leather “shield” that went next to the camera body to protect the metal surface. There’s a reason all the “come with your body” straps are using all plastic fasteners, and it’s because of the damage metal can do to your body, screen and lens. Bad idea.

    1. Tracy McDonald Avatar
      Tracy McDonald

      Try a tie of paracord or strong shoelaces.