One of the biggest reasons that you should consider a DIY camera bag instead of an expensive high-end bag is the fact that it won’t be attractive to thieves. People who steal electronics know what brand name camera bags look like and look for the best targets to steal from. A DIY camera bag will also allow you to customize it to fit your array of equipment so that you can always take everything you might need with you and have the right tools for every job.
To make a camera bag, you will need to choose the item that will serve as the shell. This may be a laptop bag, tote, or duffel bag. Keep in mind that the cushioning you add will take up a large portion of the space so you will need to account for added space. Cushioning will be the most important part of the bag because it is what will hold the camera and accessories in place and protect them from becoming damaged.
Two types of foam that are commonly used are open-cell foam and Styrofoam. Open-cell foam is thicker and “fluffier” than its closed-cell foam which is much more like cardboard. Creating the bag is as simple as using ripstop nylon to create the shell for the foam and then putting the foam inside of the nylon. Once you have done this, just hand stitch the opening together and glue the compartments to the foam on the bottom of the bag.
The compartments you create should be sized to give the camera and each individual lens a good, snug fit so that the items are held in place. The foam can be cut to fit the camera and provide cushioning all around the bag. Velcro might be used to hold the compartments in place. Your DIY camera bags will be custom made to fit your camera equipment at a much lower price than a designer bag that is made to fit any camera and equipment.