When I started my first 'real' job out of university, I bought myself a beautiful silk scarf. I remember wearing it to feel a little more grown up, hoping that people would take me seriously in my new role. Looking back at photos, I looked a little bit like an air-hostess, but at the time it made me feel more confident!
I have moved houses, cities, states and countries many times over the years and each move brings with it a more ruthless cull of unwanted things, but for some reason this scarf has never quite made it into the charity bin.
Pinterest and Etsy are alive with beautiful silk scarf camera straps and this week I decided to give my scarf a new lease on life, and make it into a camera strap of my own.
If you can use a sewing machine, you can do it too.
Here is what you will need:
A silk scarf (or other material)
A piece of leather
Leather specific sewing needles for your sewing machine
2 x D rings
2 x latches/buckles or split rings
I bought everything on the list from Spotlight.
MAKING A CAMERA STRAP - STEP 1.
Cut your leather to shape. I had bought a rectangular strip which was just the right size to cut in half and then use a piece for each end. I used a paper template to design the shape that suited the width of my scarf, the piece of leather and my D ring.
Measure the length of your desired strap. To do this, I measured the strap that was currently on my camera which was 110cm.
Measure the length of your folded leather piece with the both the D ring and clasp (or split ring) attached. In my case this was 11cm.
As you will have 2 leather ends you can work out the length of your scarf the following way:
(Desired strap length) - 2 x (Leather and buckle length) = (Scarf length)
In my case this was:
110cm - (2 x 11cm) = 88cm
I then ADDED 10cm to allow for scarf inside the leather strap, so I needed my scarf to be 98cm (I should also add that I am 6 foot tall, so yours may be quite a bit shorter than this!)
Cut the scarf to the calculated length. I folded mine in half and cut equal amounts from each end to maintain the symmetry of the print. I was a little bit nervous to cut up this piece of my history after storing it for so long and there were definitely a few deeps breaths and crossed fingers as I hoped I had calculated the length correctly.
Set up the sewing machine with the leather needle and upholstery thread. This was the first time I had sewed leather and I was a bit worried that it would be difficult, but the leather needles have a little chisel shaped point on the end which hammers through the leather as it sews. I highly recommend buying these needles as well as the upholstery thread, which is much stronger than regular thread. Your camera is going to be on the end of this strap, so the extra few dollars now are definitely worth it!
Check that the strap and attachments combine for the correct length.
With the D ring fed through the middle of the leather piece, bunch one end of the cut scarf neatly between the two sides of the leather.
First sew closed the end closest to the scarf so that it will be held in place firmly for the rest of the sewing. Sew around the perimeter of the leather, bearing in mind that the thickness of the D ring in the fold will limit how close the foot can get to that end of the leather.
After I had sewed around the perimeter, I lifted the foot, cut the thread, then started on a bottom corner to sew diagonally across the leather. I then ran a second line of stitching across the top edge and completed the cross to the opposite corner. This cross cross adds the extra strength to the attachment and ensures that the scarf is safely gripped from all angles.
Repeat for the other end, double checking the strap length before sewing in case your seam allowance wasn't accurate.
And there you have it, a DIY silk scarf camera strap! I would love to hear from you if you try making one, or if you have any other camera straps ideas that you have made yourself.
Perhaps you can make one for Mum in time for Mother's Day, or splash out and get her a new camera bag!
Emma Anderson. Creating, learning, growing and taking photos of it all!
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