For about as long as I’ve had my camera, I’ve been meaning to replace the strap that came with it. Cute straps are kind of tough to find, though, and pretty expensive. But you can convert an old belt into a camera strap that’s easy to switch out whenever you feel like a change. I can’t wait to scrounge up a couple of cheap belts and make a few more. It’s the time of year for spring cleaning, so maybe you’ve got an old belt in the back of your closet you never wear, or perhaps you can find a friend or family member who’s cleaning out their closets, and offer to take their belts off their hands. Sturdy old leather belts are just perfect for this project, and a great way to recycle.
Belt, long enough between the holes and buckle to replace your current strap (about 34″ for me)
Hammer or mallet
D-rings (you want ones that will fit snugly on your belt)
Split rings (12 mm size)
Keychain lobster clasps
Leather punch (optional)
1. Remove the old camera strap, and attach a lobster clasp to a split ring, then attach the split ring to the camera. Every camera model is slightly different, but I was able to attach split rings to both my Nikon DSLR and my roommate’s Canon DSLR (pictured). Important: USE SPLIT RINGS, NOT JUMP RINGS. Split rings are much stronger and more reliable than jump rings!
2. Remove the buckle from the end of your belt by either unpicking the stitching, or just cutting it off. Measure your belt, and mark where you’ll add the D-rings.
3. Use the leather punch (or an awl) to make small holes for your rivets in the leather. If you’re at all worried about the strength of your rivets, you can use two or even three. Repeat on the other end of the belt, or you may just be able to use the already-existing belt holes.
4. Wrap the belt around your D-ring, lining up the two holes.
5. Add the rivets according to the instructions on your kit. Mine came with two parts, a setter (the stick), and an anvil. I just lined up the pieces and gave it a couple of taps with a hammer to set the rivets. Repeat on the other end of the belt.
6. Use the scissors to trim excess leather from the ends of the belt.
7. Clip the lobster clasps to the D-rings. Now you can easily switch out your strap whenever you feel like it.