How To Custom Made Camera Bag


Apr 1, 2020
So a bit ago my collection grew too large for a single small shoulder bag, and while in the market for larger bags/backpacks I figured, I could do better for cheaper.
I decided to take my backpack from college and modify it to accept all my photography gear along with other useful items (First aid, 250' paracord, contact solution, etc).
20 bucks at Joanns, a piece of water tank, and 2 hours later I had myself quite the nice setup.

First things first, the bag:
A decently made OGIO bag that served me well though college. Benefit, its designed to hold laptops and other sensitive electronics, so it already has some padding along the flats.

Next was the foam and velcro I would need for the actual construction, any normal - high density foam would have work, so I chose this :

I then took a slice out of an old square water tank and cut it into strips, just smaller than the height of the gear I was trying to house, followed by accompanying foam slices a tad taller than the equipment:

After that, it just came down to finding the right sizes to fill out the edges of the backpack.
Once the sizes were done I hot glued the plastic reinforcements to the foam to create some rigidity. The rigid pieces are only present on the outside portions of the bag, facing outwards to not damage the camera equipment.
I used an old (unused obviously) pillowcase, to soften the foam and make it look nicer.

From there, some bare foam with no plastic reinforcements. Here you can see me planning out the location of each component.

Now that the sizing is all done, more fabric wrapping and the attachment of velcro strips to make the bag fully adjustable as needed.

The final product, camera is set in the wrong way in this picture, but it was just there for sizing.

And thats it! Thats how I managed to make a quality, water resistant, camera and gear bag for under 50 bucks (including the backpack price from costco).
Its held up well over the past few months, currently holds my body, 3 lenses, a flash, charger, remote shutter release, laptop, associated chargers and cables, some extra batteries, and whatever else I need among the other available pockets.