DIY: Custom Strap
Dec 19, 2013
SHE’S CRAFTY! Our interchangeable strap is a customized gift that’s just right for a loved one’s camera or duffle. Follow our DIY blogger Alana Jones-Mann’s easy steps below to make your own!
I was racking my brain thinking of gift ideas for my boyfriend, and it eventually hit me : a custom strap for his camera, as he’s a photographer and has a camera around his neck at all times. But then I had the idea to add a unique custom strap to his new duffle bag that he’s been carrying around a lot recently and I couldn’t decide which one to go for. While I was debating between the two, I realized I didn’t need to pick one, I could make a strap that could be used for both his duffle bag and his camera! And since it’s detachable, he could essentially use it with any of his cameras. I’m sure you too have someone on your list that would appreciate a little customization to an item they carry, whether it’s a camera, a purse, a travel duffle, or any bag that accommodates a strap for that matter. And since we’re one week out from Christmas, I kept the steps simple and avoided using any intermediate sewing steps for the DIY. So get out your sewing machine (or a needle and thread) and get customizing a great gift for a special someone on your list.
• Cotton webbing (canvas or natural cotton) —1.5” width x 1.5 yards (if you want your strap longer/shorter/thicker/thinner adjust as needed)
• 1.5 yards fabric —(cut to a rectangle that is 4x width and 4 inches longer than the length of your cotton webbing)
• Fabric glue
• Sewing machine + thread (or embroidery needle + thread)
• Vinyl scraps
• 2 x swivel hooks
Step #1: Line up your cotton piece horizontally across the backside of your fabric, leaving one inch of fabric at the bottom. Apply fabric glue to the one inch bottom piece of fabric and fold it up over onto the cotton. Then, apply glue to the front side of the cotton/fabric piece and pull the fabric over the glue-covered piece. Basically, you’re just wrapping the cotton piece with fabric, but working with one side at a time to ensure the glued fabric sets evenly. Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bunching while you’re gluing the fabric.
Step #2: Once you get to your last bit of fabric, fold the additional non-glued fabric in half lengthwise, then apply glue and fold it over to close (see the photos in the directions for clarity). Once glued over, your makeshift seam should be even across the backside of your strap piece. Let the glue dry for an hour or two before moving on.
Step #3: Since I avoided some tricky sewing with that first piece, I chose to sew a couple straight lines down the strap piece to secure the fabric—just to ensure the fabric stays in place and avoids any bunching down the line. So if you too want to play it safe, do the same.
Step #4: Next, follow the image in the materials photo (or use your current strap as the guide) to cut your two rectangular pieces of vinyl, making sure to cut the width about 1/8” wider than that of your strap piece. Once cut, sew the strap piece to the left backside of the vinyl, add your hook to the center, and then fold the right side of the vinyl piece over so that the edges of your vinyl are aligned, and retrace your prior thread line to close the piece.
Step #5: Now you’ll need to add some additional stitches to secure the vinyl strap to the fabric/cotton piece. I’d recommend sewing a rectangle along the border the overlapping pieces and then sewing an “X” across them to secure, but do whatever you think may work best. Once finished, trim the excess vinyl away. As you can see, the sewing of my vinyl pieces certainly wasn’t perfect, but once I was able to step back and look at the strap, the imperfections were barely noticeable —so don’t fret! Plus, it makes the strap all the more personal and unique.
Step #6: Lastly, clip the strap onto your item of choice and wrap up that handmade gift of yours!
I tested my strap out with a bag full of clothes and it worked great. And it also looked awesome as a camera strap. Handmade gift mission accomplished!
Note: The bag used in the DIY is the Fossil Atlas Duffle Bag. Grab your here!