When you shoot up to 10 hour days during weddings, comfort is key! Camera straps are notoriously uncomfortable, but my hands hurt if I don't use them and I'm also terrified of accidentally dropping my camera. I've been seeing lots of adorable scarf straps float around my Instagram feed lately, so I thought I'd invite my photographer friend, Ashley, from Ashley Marker Photography, over to give making one ourselves a shot! It turns out it was a little more complicated than we thought (doesn't that always happen with DIY projects?), but in the end we made it work!
This strap can be modified for almost any type of camera that takes a strap, so read the rest of this blog and give it a try!
What you'll need:
piece of leather
2 large split key rings
2 spring snaps
2 small split key rings or keyhole clips
heavy duty sewing needles
Step 1: Cut your scarf into the length that you want. Remember, the leather, split rings, & spring snaps will add quite a bit to the ends. We found out the optimal length is 115 cm (or approximately 46 inches). This should leave enough room for the strap to sling around your shoulders!
Step 2: Cut your leather piece in half; each of those sections will make one leather end. We didn't trust ourselves enough to just cut into the leather, so instead we made a paper version to make sure that it'd fit perfectly with the large split key ring. You want it to have an hourglass shape.
Step 3: Once you have your leather pieces cut, put the large split key ring in and fold it over. Gather the end of your scarf in an accordion style and put a few hand stitches through the middle of it to hold it together while you sew the rest on the sewing machine.
Step 4: Tuck the ends of the scarf into the folded leather pieces and head to the machine! This is where we ran into a little trouble. The sewing machine did alright sewing through the two layers of leather, but not through the folded scarf as well. We had to improvise a little and sewed the sides and bottom on the machine and hand-stitched the top closed.
Big thanks to my Grandma for letting us use her machine and for sewing the leather for us when we figured out it was beyond our abilities!
Step 5: Snap the keyhole clips onto your camera and attach the spring snaps. Ta-da! A gorgeous comfy camera strap!
As you can see, my leather sewing skills need some serious work, but for the first attempt, I was pretty satisfied! One mistake we made was cutting our straps too long. Both of us are going to have to undo one side and cut a few more inches off. Until I gather the mental strength to tackle hand-sewing through leather again, I'm just going to knot mine a few times...
These scarf straps can go for anywhere between $60 to $90, so we saved quite a bit of money by doing it ourselves!
2 Spring Snaps ($2)
2 Split Key Rings ($0.50)
2 Keyhole Snaps ($1)
1 Leather Piece ($3.50)
3 Heavy Duty Needles ($3)
Upholstery Thread ($2.50)
Total Cost: $27.50
*Ashley was smarter than me and bought her scarf for only $3 at Walmart. That brought her total cost down to only $15.50!