Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 07 Jun 2009 (Sunday) 21:47
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

DIY camera bag insert

Senior Member
560 posts
Joined Nov 2008
Location: Rockville, MD
Jun 07, 2009 21:47 |  #1

The photo series is on my Flickr page, with some helpful descriptions and mouse-over-notes on the photos: …n/sets/72157619​327939335/ (external link)

Basically, I wanted to have a Domke style insert for a bag I had laying around, without spending a bundle. I looked around the net and some local stores for foam, and it seemed that if I actually bought all the supplies I needed new I may as well just buy the Domke insert(s), because the cost savings wouldn't be significant.

Ultimately I decided to scrounge what I could. I found an old camping pad, about 3/8" thick. This seemed just right to me. I knew I wanted to reinforce the bottom with a second layer of foam, as well as a thin sheet of plastic for stiffness and extra protection. I found a cheapo poster frame from my wife's college days. The front cover was about 1/32" thick--exactly what I was looking for. I took it out and cut out the piece I needed.

As for design, I measured the inner dimensions of the bag and figured out how much space I would have left after the foam sections were in place. I decided on two large sections for lenses and camera, and a smaller one that would hold my flash. I designed the dividers about 2" shorter so that the camera back would be flush with the top of the insert when mounted lens-down.

I cut out two fabric pieces for each insert. My mother in law helped me sew the fabric into pockets for the inserts. Each pocket had generous amounts of extra fabric on the sides and bottom to allow them to be sewn to each other. One side was left open to insert the foam later. Since it would have been impossible to sew the completed panels together, I sewed the pockets together with the foam removed. I started with one outside corner and worked my way around in a circle, sewing only the vertical seams. It was a bit trickier to do the seams including the dividers. The dividers had to be lined up so that they were recessed a bit, plus those seams included three flaps of fabric, rather than two. Once this stage was complete, I filled all the panels with foam. I was able to sew the bottom of all exterior panels shut with the sewing maching, but the recessed dividers had to be done by hand.

For the bottom panel I sandwiched the thin sheet of plastic between two layers of foam and stuffed it in a fabric pocket with 4 wide flaps to attach to the bottom of the assembly. The main section was designed so the bottom panel would be recessed inside. I didn't want it to meet the main section corner-to-corner, because then the edge would be unpadded. I hand sewed the bottom panel in place. This took a long time.

Finally, I hand sewed all the rough edges so the cloth would stop fraying. The synthetic stuff I used frayed horribly and got all over everything, so leaving it rough was not a smart option.

If I had to do it again, I would make it slightly smaller so it didn't look quite so square when loaded into the bag. Also, I would make the fabric pockets differently. I would sew an oversized three-sided pocket. I would then turn it inside out. I would then sew seams about 1/2" in from the edges to create the flaps used to attach to the other panels. This would result in nice finished edges without me having to go back and do it by hand.

Flickr (external link) | Gear & Feedback | DIY Padded Insert

Todd ­ Lambert
I don't like titles
12,643 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Likes: 132
Joined May 2009
Location: On The Roads Across America
Jun 07, 2009 22:11 |  #2

Nice work. I'm totally happy with my Domke inserts, and might (someday) figure out something similar to yours - maybe even tear my Domke inserts apart and "re-do" them.

The ­ Moose
Cream of the Crop
5,106 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jan 2009
Jun 07, 2009 22:12 |  #3

Nice! I've thought of trying something like this but I was never going to learn to sew or anything like that :lol:

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

12,541 views & 0 likes for this thread
DIY camera bag insert
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member is kponiato
554 guests, 295 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.