DIY Camera Bean Bag

If I were to pick the single biggest improvement in my blog since it began, I would have to choose the photography.  Now I'm not exactly Ansel Adams over here, but when you compare this...

Original post here.

...to this, for example...

Original post here.

...you can tell that there's been progress.  

There are a number of things that account for the change but most significant is a photography class that I took last month.  It was only nine hours total but it was a good starting point and helped me get over my fear of the camera's manual settings, etc.

On the last day of class, the instructor took questions about equipment.  One of the questions that came up was about tripods and whether or not to invest in one.  While the instructor didn't try to dissuade us from purchasing a tripod, he did recommend something we could use as an alternative.  

He suggested that we make a "Camera Bean Bag."  All you need is some neoprene fabric (because it's "grippy") and some lentils.  He told us to create a pocket with the neoprene, fill it with the lentils and sew the whole thing up.   The bean bag then serves as a stable place to put your camera if you want to take pictures using your timer, etc.  And because it's filled with lentils, it's malleable, which enables you to point the lens exactly where you want it.  

Of course doing this on my own would have required me to take my (six-year-old) sewing machine out of the box... and learn how to use it.  And since I can only handle learning one new piece of equipment at a time, the sewing machine (and thus the bean bag) was going to have to wait.  

But then I had an epiphany!  On a recent trip to Marshall's I had admired a neoprene bag designed to protect an iPad.  I set out to find another one and see if it could save me from the clutches of my sewing machine.

Imagine my delight when I found one at Tuesday Morning.  (You know how I love Tuesday Morning!)  And check out the price:  

Hmm... this picture is kind of crummy.  Let's just pretend I was trying to be ironic.

That's right, $4.99.  As my husband likes to say, "I couldn't afford not to buy it!"  (<-- He usually says that while making fun of me, but I digress..)

(As an added bonus, it's pretty!)

Shortly after finding the bag, I hightailed it over to Smart & Final for some lentils (which they were out of) so I got myself some split peas instead:

Then I poured them into the bag and zipped it up, no sewing required!  (I ended up supplementing with some rice since I was short on peas.)

And that's it!  Now I have a stable place to rest my camera until I'm ready to pull the plug and buy a tripod.



  1. Oh that is genius! I thought you were going to make me sew!!

    1. I think I'll put pop corn in mine incase I get hungry

  2. Wow that's a great buy and a good idea!! :) Ha....my hubby has said that to me before too! :) Have a wonderful weekend! xx Holly

  3. New follower from Strut You Stuff Saturdays at Six Sisters' Stuff!

    Wow...that's using your noggin! Great idea!

  4. awesome idea. I DO NOT sew so the idea of a neoprene sleeve is PERFECT!!! Going to do this for sure.

  5. Brilliant! I'm off to find an Ipad case now - love this. Pinning!!

  6. Elena, what a brilliant suggestion. I am impressed how you creatively and frugally got around 1. buying a tri-pod and 2. avoiding sewing your own camera bean bag. You are impressive and so are your improved photography skills.

  7. What a clever idea! Thank you so much for sharing! I am always looking for easy photography ideas!


  8. I'm avoiding buying a tripod too... It just seems like enough to haul around with the lenses alone! Nice alternative. (Oh and my boyfriend would tell me the same thing...!)

  9. Love this so much! Wasn't sure what neoprene was but I definitely know where to get one of those iPad covers!!! Thanks!
    buttonsandpaint.blogspot co.uk

  10. Such a great idea. As a professional photographer I always have more pictures of other people then myself and my family lol. Sometimes I just don't want to bother with a tripod. This is a great simple solution. :-) Thanks for sharing. I'll be pinning this and using it for sure.

    I'm visiting from "Mop It Up Monday" and now following your blog via GFC and Pinterest. Have a great week!

  11. What a neat idea. Thank you for telling us about it.

  12. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I have never heard of this - love the idea, and LOOOOVE your no-sew brainwave!

  14. Super cute project!Love it, very clever!Thanks so much for sharing. Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a great week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  15. New follower and love your blog! I could spend hours going through all your content. I like the post on the shiloutte I have been contemplating ditching my cricut for one. Also my photography journey looks to be on the same path as yours! Thanks for the tips!


  16. This is fantastic! I can never resist a good deal either, and love figuring out a way to re-purpose something, and this is genius :-) Will be on the look out for a case just like this! Thanks for posting, have pinned it :-D

  17. Oh I love the camera bean bag idea! I don't know how many times I've balanced my sweet camera on a rock to get the perfect shot!

    Thanks for the awesome idea!
    Your newest follower
    Jen @ throughmycreativemind.blogspot.com

  18. And, yes, I've noticed a serious improvement in photography! Love the backdrop too. And the new sew bean bag filled with peas camera "tripod" ...

    :) Linda

  19. What a fun, and unique, idea. I have some spare fabric laying around, perhaps I'll use this. Just stopping by from Naptime Creations linkup party :)


  20. My dad has all of the photography toys. 9 times out of 10 he uses his beanbag instead of lugging around his tripod.

  21. Genius!! Totally pinning this :)


  22. such a clever idea. never thought of that!

  23. Um, you are kind of a genius. Great tip! Now following!

  24. I absolutely love this ~ pinned it and would love for you to share at Project Inspire{d} ~ http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/2013/03/project-inspired-linky-party-week-4/

    Don't you feel like a debutante with all of these requests? :)


    Mary Beth

  25. I have to try this, Thanks for sharing

  26. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing!


    Stopping by from I Gotta Create Hop

  27. What a great tip! I love that it is a no sew project. Ingenious to use a zipper neoprene sleeve! I can see many times where this bean bag would be easier to set up than a tripod. Pinning this!

  28. I just got a new camera & this is the perfect solution for some shots. I am going to pin this. Drop by sometime if you like. I found you via a blog hop. I am visiting from DearCreatives.com

  29. Awesome idea!!!! Love Tuesday morning too:) Swing by

  30. haha this is awesome! What a great way to get out of sewing something. I love the idea of a camera bean bag too. I usually use hand towels or my camera strap to point the lens where I need it, but this is definitely a better way to do it!! :)

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

  31. Love this idea! You're a STAR ~ shining the spotlight on you over at I Gotta Create!
    Pinning and sharing on Facebook, too :)

    Thanks so much for linking up,
    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!


  32. This is a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    Nici @ Posed Perfection

  33. Now that is SO clever! I love it! I've been wanting one! I'm including a link back in this week's highlights. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  34. What a great idea - so going to try this. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do:)

  35. This is such a great idea. I'm definitely getting a beanbag for photo shoots!

  36. Thanks so much for linking to Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill. You are being featured later this afternoon!
    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, and join me later this evening for Make the Scene Monday #65!

  37. What a genius idea to use the zip up neoprene bag!!! I need to keep my eyes open for one of those!!!!

  38. I seriously adore this idea! I have a tripod from our old film camera, but it's such a pain to screw and unscrew a dozen different things, I just don't use it.

  39. This is a great idea! So I started looking for a sleeve in my country and when I saw the price, I had to give up. The sleeve costs about R$ 150,00, wich today is 68.75 US Dollar (http://www.fnac.com.br/sleeve-neoprene-built-p-ipad-2-3-e-retina-built/p/631566). So I think I'll buy the green pod, that will be cheaper, even considering mail costs and taxes. http://www.thepod.ca/green%20pod%20page.html


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