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DIY: The $10 gliding camera strap

Make yourself a camera strap that slings over the shoulder and allows the camera to glide across the strap for comfort and quick access to your dSLR when you need it.


Back when I discussed the seven things every photographer should have in his arsenal, I mentioned replacing the neckache-inducing camera strap with one of the many alternatives that can be found online. From necktie-inspired straps to the geeky-but-awesome Spider Holster, superior options are abundant.

Originally made popular by Custom SLR, the gliding camera strap is my favorite of these alternatives. Using the tripod mount as an anchor, the gliding camera strap gives you the comfort of an over-the-shoulder hang with the convenience of grabbing your camera and hitting the shutter button at a moment's notice.

The unexpected genius of the strap is that it allows the camera to glide along the length of the strap. So the camera hangs by your side when it's idle, but can be drawn at a moment's notice when you need it.

One drawback, however, is that these gliding camera straps start somewhere around $60. Ouch.

But if you're willing to take a trip to the local hardware store, you can make your very own, fully-functional gliding camera strap for no more than $10. Here's how.

Now playing: Watch this: Make a gliding camera strap

You'll need:

  • The strap that came with your camera
  • A snap bolt key ring
  • Short quarter-inch eye bolt, with the accompanying nut
  • A quick release or secure carabiner
  • Sturdy 2-inch (or wider) key ring OR carabiner for heavier cameras

The great thing about this tutorial is that it completely adaptable, so if you find a comparable part, feel free to substitute it for one listed above.

Assembling the strap couldn't be easier. No sewing, no stitching, no cutting, no headaches. Just a little tinkering.

  1. Grab the camera strap included with your camera and tie the two ends to form small loops, as if you were attaching the strap to either side of the camera body. Make sure the loops are tight and will not come undone.
  2. Insert the two ends of the camera strap into the quick release (or carabiner). Secure it. Your camera strap should now form a complete circle.
  3. Screw the eye bolt into the camera as far as it will go. Then screw the nut over the bolt so that it's flush with the camera body. Tighten it with an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers. A little twist is enough to ensure that the screw won't come loose while the camera is dangling by your side.
  4. Secure the clasp around the eye bolt. Then, insert the key ring into the opposite side of the clasp. Finally, secure the key ring around camera strap.
  5. To properly wear the strap, place it across your body and adjust it so that the thick part of the strap is in front of you. Your camera is now ready to glide.
  6. After creating this tutorial, I ventured out to Home Depot and found a part that lends itself to an even easier solution. Using the Husky Hang-All, you can simply secure the eye bolt into the camera, clip the Husky Hang-All onto the eye bolt, and secure the Velcro around your camera strap.

    Tweet photos of your camera strap to @CNETHowTo and share your ideas in the comments below.