Reuse Your Old Camera Strap to Make a DIY Shoulder Bag

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Hey, you got a new camera strap! Wow, that looks really good on you.

So what are you gonna do with your old one? What?! No way, you can’t just let it lie around in a drawer.

Tell you what. Dig out that old tote bag and put the strap on that. Oh you know — the bag you never use because the handles are too short.

It’ll be easy. Just put an eyelet in each side of the bag and attach the camera strap to those.

Here, look, we’ll show you how. C’mon, it’s gonna look great!

Reuse Your Old Camera Strap on a Shoulder Bag

p.s. Know what else you could do with that tote bag? Turn it into a stealth camera bag.

Why You Cannot Resist It

What you have on your hands is:

  1. an unwanted camera strap, and…
  2. a bag you don’t use because it doesn’t fit nicely over your shoulder.

We feel a mad scientist moment coming on…

Why yes! It’s so simple! Combine the two to make some sort of mutant unstoppable camera/bag hybrid!

Mwa ha ha ha HA! Now where’s that dratted Igor gotten to?

Whatcha gonna need?


  • Camera strap
  • Any old tote bag, purse, satchel or murse
  • Eyelet kit, large or extra-large (found at sewing/craft stores)
  • Hammer
  • Block of wood (optional)
  • Pencil
  • X-acto knife

Ooh, ooh! Shortcut!

ingredientsLook closely at your bag: if there are loops or D-rings on the sides of the bag, you’re already halfway done.

Just thread the strap through the loops, cinch it up tight, and that’s it! Dang that was simple.

What the Hell Is That Thing?

ingredientsIf you have a plain old loopless, ring-free, ordinary bag, you’ll want to get some eyelets.

Here’s what comes in the eyelet kit:

  • Mysterious metal tool, AKA “setter”
  • Round black plastic thingy, AKA “anvil”
  • Flattish ring with spikes, AKA “washer”
  • Ring with tube sticking up, AKA “barrel”

Step 1: Sizing It Up

ingredientsPosition the barrel eyelet on the side of the bag where you want to attach the strap.

Use a pencil to trace the inside of the barrel onto the fabric of the bag.

Step 2: Cut Yer Bag A New One

ingredientsUse an X-acto knife to cut out the hole you just traced.

Put the block of wood (or a cutting mat) underneath the bag so you don’t cut into your worktable by accident.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the other side of the bag.

Step 3: Go Outside Now

Things are about to get very loud. Seriously. Go.

Step 4: Put It Together

ingredientsPlace the anvil on top of the block of wood.

Put the barrel on top of the anvil with the tube sticking up.

Push the barrel up through the hole you just made in the fabric.

Fit the washer over the barrel, on top of the fabric.

You should now have a sandwich that goes from top to bottom:

  • Washer
  • Fabric
  • Barrel
  • Anvil
  • Wood

Step 5: Knock the Bejeebus Out of It

ingredientsThis part is going to be seriously loud. Do it outside so your neighbors don’t complain.

Place the bag (with its little eyelet sandwich) on the ground, preferably on concrete.

Fit the setter tool into the barrel eyelet. Make sure all the pieces of the eyelet sandwich are lined up on top of each other.

Now hit the tool very very hard with the hammer. A lot. Do it again.

Keep banging away until the pieces fit snugly together to become one whole eyelet.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the other side of the bag.

Step 6: Cut Off the Old Straps

ingredientsHoly flurking shnit, that was loud. See? We warned you.

The good news is, you’re almost done.

You can leave the bag’s existing straps on if you like them, but we decided to streamline our bag by cutting them off.

Use the X-acto knife to trim the straps off, cutting close to the body of the bag.

Step 7: Attach the Strap

ingredientsYou ready? ‘Cause this is the last step.

Just thread the camera strap through the eyelet, the same way you would if you were threading it onto a camera.

Tighten it up so it stays on, and you’re all done!

Squee! New Bag Joy!

ingredientsAnd there you have it.

Once you were burdened with an unwanted strap and a so-so tote. Now you have an eminently practical, highly comfortable and trés trés stylish shoulder bag.

You may now commence to do the Loopy Happy Slidey-Socks Victory Dance.

You Want More, Don’t You? Thought So.

  • Ya know those eco-friendly reusable grocery totes? The ones you hate carrying because the strap cuts into your hand?

    Well, our camera strap hack just made your food-totin’ chores a lot more comfortable.

    You’re welcome. (It’s ‘cos we loves you.)

  • We happen to think this trick looks rather fetching with our seat belt camera straps.

    Not that we’d be all skeevy and try to upsell you or anything. Ahem. Sorry. (But seriously, look how awesome it looks in our photo!)

  • The possibilities are just about endless here. Turn your laptop sleeve into a bag. Turn your clutch purse into a shoulder bag. Turn your evil stepsisters into mice!

    Well, maybe not that first one, but you get the idea.