The Dashing DIY Hand Strap

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

“Butterfingers”, they called us. “Slippery Sam.” “Ol’ Johnny Drop-a-Lot.”

Fine, we said. Names can’t hurt us.

But then we dropped our 17th battered camera for the 143rd time and we knew it had to stop.

That’s why we’ve whipped up this natty lil’ hand strap for our SLR!

It’s simple to make from simple materials, plus it’s fetching as can be.

And since we love you (and your cameras), we’re teaching you how to make one too! Click on through for the full scoop.

How to Make a Dashing DIY Hand Strap

p.s. Thanks to ScanCafe for sponsoring Photojojo this week. And BIG UPs for giving all Photojojo readers a free photo restoration today only! (Up to $50-worth.)

Help us spread the word and your followers can get a free restoration, too!

p.p.s. We’re hiring a writer/editor/DIYer in San Francisco. Apply or pass it on!

How a Dashing Hand Strap Will Change Your Life

As soon as you get this hand strap onto your camera, your life will be one sweet song.

Attractive strangers will ask for your number. Dollar bills will rain from the sky. And Queen Elizabeth will call you personally to sing you to sleep at night.

What You’ll Need

ingred-sm1″ wide nylon or polyester webbing, 14″ long
Matches or lighter
1″ double slideit’s the little plastic thingy you see on backpack straps
Small metal keyring
Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
Large eyelet and eyelet-attaching tool
1/4″ bolt, 1/2″ long
1/4″ nut and washers (optional)

Step 1: Slash and Burn

burn-smIf the piece of webbing you have is long, cut it down to 14 inches with a pair of scissors.

Light a match (or lighter) and hold it near the cut edge of the webbing. Wave the webbing through the flame until the frayed edge melts a little and seals together.

Now put out that fire you nutty pyro you.

Step 2: Sew the Strap onto the Slide

sew-smThread one end of the strap through the slide, then use a needle and thread to stitch it permanently onto the slide.

Step 3: Slip the Ring onto the Strap

ring-smSlide the metal keyring onto the loose end of the strap.

Loop the strap back and thread it through the slide.

Some plastic slides may be too thick to accommodate two layers of webbing, so look for metal ones or the widest plastic ones you can find.

Step 4: Cut a Hole in the Strap

hole-smUse sharp-pointed scissors, an X-acto knife, or any other pointy implement to snip or dig a hole through the snap.

The hole doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to be about 1/4″ wide.

Step 5: Put an Eyelet in the Strap

grommet-smNow it’s time to break out the eyelets.

Eyelets have two parts, a deep one and a shallow one. Push the deep part through the hole in the strap. Slip the shallow part of the eyelet onto the deep one.

The eyelet tool consists of a post and a disk. Put the strap on top of the disk so the shallow part of the eyelet is centered on the disk face-down.

Insert the post part of the tool through the eyelet, then tap it with the hammer a few times. This crimps the separate parts of the eyelet into one permanent ring.

Look at you, learning new skills all the time!

Step 6: Attach the Ring to Your Camera

attach-smThread the keyring onto the strap attachment bit of your camera.

Step 7: Attach the Strap to the Tripod Mount

screw-smScrew a 1/4″ bolt through the grommet and into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera.

If you can’t find a 1/2″-long bolt, a longer one will work fine. Just use a couple of washers and/or a nut to tighten up the connection and keep the eyelet from rattling around on the bolt.

Step 8: Adjust the Strap and Start Shootin’

attached-smOnce the strap is on the camera, you can use the slide to adjust the length so it fits comfortably (but snugly) over your hand.

Now you can go out and wave your camera recklessly about, knowing that if your white-knuckle death grip fails, you’ve got some backup.

More Ideas

ribbon-gr-smIf you want to get extra-fancy, try gluing or sewing a ribbon onto the webbing before you start to assemble the hand strap.

And no, it doesn’t have to be girly ribbon — stripes are sufficiently manly, right?

Or try barbed wire! It looks so good and feels so right. Oh yeah.