How to make a camera beanbag

Written by g.k. bayne
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How to make a camera beanbag
(Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Beanbags can be a photographer and filmmaker's friend when a camera needs to be placed in a tight location or where a standard tripod isn't feasible. Camera beanbags are available for purchase from most camera stores, but they are so simple to make that for the price of one bought at retail, you could make several and still save money.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Flannel
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Rice, dried peas or dried beans

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  1. 1

    Measure the base of the camera at its widest point (side to side). Add 2 inches to the measurement.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of flannel twice as long as the camera base is wide (plus the two extra inches). For instance, if the camera measures 6 inches wide, you need to cut a 16-inch long piece of flannel. The width of the fabric in this example is 8 inches (6-inch camera plus 2 inches).

  3. 3

    Fold the flannel in half, inside out, on the longest side. Using the example, this will give you an 8-inch square. If the flannel does not have a printed pattern (a visible inside or outside), either side of the fabric can be folded.

  4. 4

    Sew the outside seam adjacent to the fold on both ends of the fold. The stitch should be 1/4-inch from the fabric edge. Stitch right to the fold; you are creating a pouch, and any gap between the stitching and fold will lead to leaks. This step can be done by sewing machine or by hand. Make tight, tiny stitches as close together as possible if sewing by hand.

  5. 5

    Turn the bag right side out to hide the stitching. Fill the bag half full with rice, dried peas or small dried beans.

  6. 6

    Fold over the open fabric edges of the beanbag to the inside of the bag by 1/2 inch. Sew the fabric edges together to complete the beanbag.

Tips and warnings

  • Any non-slippery type of fabric can be used instead of flannel for this project.
  • A good source for flannel, and an option that is often cheaper than buying the material from a fabric store, is old flannel bed sheets.

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