Most cameras come with a lanyard but if you’re ready for something a little more unique that shows off your personality, then keep reading! We’ve laid out some steps below to help for a DIY camera strap made out of recycled climbing rope. For you rock climbers out there, finding a rope to use for this project should be no problem! Not a climber? No worries, see if your local climbing gym will donate some or sell it to you at a discount. The one in Asheville did just that. (Thanks, Climbax!)
It’s been a while since we did any DIY projects but we actually had a lot of fun doing this one (for the record, Caroline is much craftier than I am). One thing we recommend before starting your project is gathering all of your materials in one place ahead of time. It’ll save you time and frustration (trust us, we learned this the hard way!)
Tired of Pinterest fails? You can buy a rope camera strap here (the one Esther and Jacob have).
WHAT YOU NEED
- Climbing Rope
- Measuring Tape
- Two 1” D-Rings
- Straight Pins
- Sewing Needles
- 12 Inches of 1” Wide Ribbon
- Spool of Thread
Find a used climbing rope about 60” long or buy some online. If you have extra, you can use it for another project or make a camera lanyard for a friend.
Drape the rope over your neck to see how and where you want the camera to lay (we both prefer ours a little bit below our chest). After measuring out where we wanted the camera to rest on our body (46 inches), we cut the length with scissors.
Even though the scissors will cut the rope fairly clean, we melted the ends of the rope with the light a little bit to prevent fraying. As always, when using fire, do so safely and at your own risk!
Cut 2 pieces of ribbon (Have fun coordinating the color of rope with a pattern on your ribbon). Each piece should measure four and a half inches long. At each cut end, fold the ribbon over a ¼ inch and pin it with a straight pin to keep it in place. This way you will have a clean edge.
Slide the keyring onto each ribbon and fold the ribbon in half.
Pull 24 inches of thread onto the needle and bring the two ends together to tie a knot. You will have a double thread to sew with. Starting near the key ring, sew one side of the ribbon together until you reach the end. Make sure the cut ends of the ribbon you folded over and pinned are facing the inside. You will have what resembles a pocket.
Place one end of rope inside the ribbon with the cut end near the key ring. Pull the ribbon snug to encapsulate the rope and pin that side shut.
Continue with the needle and thread to sew the short end of the ribbon together sewing straight through the rope. You may need to push the needle onto a hard surface when sewing through the rope because it’s very thick. Once you get to the end of the ribbon at the top, you can pull out the straight pins that were holding the folds closed. Continue sewing down the last long side until you get to the key ring. Tie a triple knot, pull it tight, and cut off the excess thread.
Attach your camera and feel proud!
Disclaimer: Use this camera strap at your own risk. Although climbing rope is made to hold up to 80 kg (176 lbs), the weakest link will be the ribbon and how well you sewed it onto the rope.
Did you make one of these camera lanyards or do you plan on making one? Be sure to tag us on Instagram if you do! What’s the last DIY project you did?