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  • by Felix Russo

HOW-TO: A DIY camera beanbag/ stabilizer

A DIY beanbag for photography is an easy project that can be whipped up with a bit of sewing know-how for under $10.

Besides using the beanbag as a ballast in the studio, it can be handy to steady a camera in an endless variety of outdoor situations; a car door, a rock, a fence, a tree branch, etc. You can customize the bag to whatever colour, size and shape you want.

All you need is:

• Scissors, needle and thread, (or a sewing machine, if you have one)

• Some sturdy fabric (e.g., denim or twill)

• A zipper to fit along a side of the beanbag

• Some filling (e.g., small beans or lentils)

• An extra bit of fabric or ribbon to sew a hook at one end of the beanbag, for attaching it to the centre column of a tripod


Measure and cut.

For the sample shown I used a piece of fabric 40cm x 30cm. The final size of the bag is 20cm x 30cm. To make the loop use a piece of fabric 6cm x12cm folded lengthwise.


Sew the zipper so that the two long ends come together. Place the loop on the short side near the top of the zipper. Turn the bag inside-out and sew the top and bottom of the bag.


Reverse the bag and add the beans. Test it out for proper support of your camera and lens, adding or taking away beans to suit.


Recycle and save $

Grab an old pair of jeans to re-use the denim and the zipper for this project. Cut the legs off, turn inside-out, and sew the three open sides closed to the size required. Turn outside-in and fill

with beans — voila!

A travel bonus

A bonus of the beanbag is that it’s super easy to pack for travel. Simply empty the bag and fill it with beans when you arrive at your destination.

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