I bought a new lens a couple of weeks ago. It’s a lens I’ve long dreamt of owning. A fast wide angle. That was my reward for working 26 days straight. It was grueling. I still tense up whenever I hear a tractor go by, but that’s becoming less frequent, much to my happiness.

Back to the lens thing….I now possess a Canon Xti camera, a standard 18-50mm zoom, a 70-300mm zoom, a fast 50mm portrait lens, and now a fast 20mm wide angle lens. Add to that my lens cleaning supplies, a dust gun, and a pile of filters, my previous camera bags were way too small. I didn’t even have one bag that could hold them all. And let’s not get in to the issue of taking them out somewhere to a shoot. Which ones do I take? Like leaving a baby behind, I tell ya. If one doesn’t come with me then I will surely need that one.

I’ve been searching high and low for a decent camera bag. I like the ones that look like purses, but 1) they are not my style nor available in any colors I like, and 2) most of them are more than $100. Everyone knows that I’m waaaay to cheap for that.

I found a great camera bag tute over at Maryland Photographer where she converted her kate spade diaper bag into a camera bag using the guts from another bag. She made another one by creating her own guts for a purse she already owned. I used that idea and made this one for myself.

It it designed to fit a variety of bag sizes and can be easily configured for whatever I want to carry with me.

Step 1
I started with a bag I really liked that had plenty of room for what I was going to do. I needed the base to be at least 4″ wide and 14″ long. The straps needed to be heavy duty, and I wanted extra pockets both inside and out for miscellaneous things.

From there, I grabbed the long pieces of chipboard, quilt batting, pretty fabric, velcro and some tape. I also used my sewing machine.

Step 2
I created a frame with the chipboard and tape. This included some general configurations for the supplies it would hold. I created a bottom, a wrap around side, and three dividers.

Step 3
Then I covered them with a couple of layers of the batting, and sewed little pockets for them all out of pretty fabric. Before I sewed the wrap around side, I sewed a couple of velcro strips onto it.

The whole thing is removable, and with one open end on the wrap around, I can adjust the width of the whole thing. It can either wrap around the base or sit on top of it, as they are not attached. The dividers all have strips of velcro on either side so that I can configure as I like.

I have enough space for my mommy wallet and my ginormous glasses case, too. And I still have access to the three internal bag pockets and two external bag pockets.

I took this one with my iphone, so you could see how everything fits snuggly in and is easy access. I managed to fit all of my lenses, a few of my filters, cleaning supplies, wallet, glasses case, small makeup bag, keys, iphone, and camera into it. It weighs a lot but I’ve certainly carried around more. I don’t think this will be my standard supply list for every time I leave the house, but you can bet your sweet bippy that my camera and a few lenses are going everywhere with me now.

Total time spent: 4 hours over two days.

Total money spent: lined guts cost around $4, which I can use in other bags.

Bag alone cost under $40.

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