"Make" Your Own Luxury Camera Bag

If you are anything like me, you probably drool over Kelly Moore bags and ONA bags, but you may not have 200-300 bucks to spend on a bag just because it is pretty.  That extra couple hundred goes towards actual equipment when I've got it.  If I DID have extra cash lying around I would definitely go for a leather ONA bag, but in the meantime I need to cart around multiple bodies and lenses and need to make sure they are protected.  What to do!?

Well...in comes the "ALLENAIM" bag.  I say that rather jokingly because...well...you'll see...

 This is my camera bag....nice color, good construction, well padded inside with padded inserts for lenses,
bodies and more and 2 little pockets on the sides.  How much did I pay?  $8.00.  Not $80...EIGHT.

Wanna know how? 

I frequented thrift stores looking for two things.  1.  I found an old medical equipment bag for $2 a few years ago and have been using it as my camera bag for the last few years.  It is black, no frills, but nicely padded with various sections perfectly sized for lenses.  2.  I recently found a cute blue bag with cute pockets all over...and I looked at it wishing it had the requisite padding and divisions a camera bag needs.  Then the light bulb went off.

I simply cut out the lining of the blue bag and inserted the black bag inside.  I had to make some choice cuts to get everything to fit, but now the two bags fit together 'almost' seamlessly.

I pulled the lining out and rolled up portions in order to fit the large black bag inside.

There are 2 small pockets on either side of the bag.  One is just the right size for holding business cards and a little cash, while the other has room for a few photography essentials...Sharpies, lipstick, Burt's Bees and deodorant.  (Yes...those all are essentials and it is also essential they stay VERY separate from your expensive camera equipment.)

Wanna see inside?

Here is a view from the top.  The two pockets on the sides hold 4 little compartments for lenses while the large middle compartment holds two bodies.  One has a 200mm lens on it while the other just has a 50mm.  One of the reasons this bag works out really well is because the material and seaming is very flexible.  The bag opens up widely at the top allowing for access, but closes up tightly for security.

Not bad for 8 bucks, eh??  
Although if ONA were to say, Hey Amy - wanna try out one of our new bags?? 
 I would so be on the first train...just sayin.... 



Since many of you have asked what is IN my camera bag, here goes!

1.                           2.                                3.

Want the best camera ever?  Sorry -- I can't help you.  I CAN however tell you what got ME started!
I started out on a D40 (camera 3), currently shoot with a D7000 (camera 2) and recommend the D3000 (camera 1).
Whatever you do, save your money you had set aside for that Nikon Coolpix or Canon Powershot and buy a used DSLR.  Trust me.

...oh and PS -- these tips work JUST as well for a manual camera as they do for digital cameras...


Mood Swings said…
Woah! This is really, really neat!
Jessica said…
Nice! I love the color, too. That's so neat!
Wilma said…
That's a great idea! Like it a lot better then my plain bag. I'm really gonna look out for a bag like this!
Kat Bennett said…
Excellent combination and great thinking!
I used to make camera bags in a sweat shop and still use alot of those techniques now in my bags (when I can get away from my brushes and paints). Your solution is MUCH easier!
Thanks for sharing this.
Holly said…
Very nice! I just made basically a padded shoe-box shaped insert to put in a large bag for my camera. Then today I pulled out my son's padded lunchbox and realized it was almost exactly the same size. I probably could've hacked one of those and saved myself some steps!
Amy Renea said…
Thanks all!

Holly -- that is a perrrrrrfect solution! Why didn't I think of that?? (The cry of bloggers worldwide after a single lap of pinterest...) :)