Looking for something to carry around your camera gear that won't cost a fortune? With these easy steps, you can make your own camera bag out of material that might already be lying around your house.
Find an ordinary nylon backpack. It only has to be large enough to fit your DSLR body and lens. You may already have one lying around the house, or you may have to purchase one. Of course, these are much cheaper than professional padded camera bags.
Depending on the size of your camera and lens, create a sleeve out of bubble wrap. An appropriate size for this sleeve can be found by simply wrapping the bubble wrap around the lens. Do not make this too tight so that you can comfortably accommodate other lenses as well as lens hoods, if desired. Allow the length of the sleeve to run at least a few inches longer than the length of your longest lens.
Cut a strip of cardboard that is the same height as the bubble wrap fitted in a cylinder around the lens. Bend the cardboard at short intervals along its corrugated lines so that it retains its vertical rigidity, and then wrap the piece all the way around the layer of bubble wrap, corrugated lines running parallel to the length of the lens, until ends meet.
Cut off any excess cardboard and tape the cylinder firmly together at each end. Now you should have a cardboard cylinder wrapped around a bubble wrap cylinder inside which your lens can fit.
Wrap another layer of bubble wrap around the outside of the cardboard cylinder as you did with the cardboard layer, and tape the ends together. At this time you should also tape the inside layer of bubble wrap to the outside layer with tape so that the cardboard layer is firmly stuck between the layers of bubble tape.
For further precaution, create a cap on the bottom end of your cylinder of either a spiral wrap of polystyrene sheets or a few layers of bubble wrap taped to the inside of the end of the cylinder. With such padding in place at the tip of the tube, even in a direct fall of your camera bag when the cardboard could crumple a few inches, the lens will be protected from direct impact.
For a more professional look, replace the bubble wrap and cardboard with foam strips and cloth, sewing them together instead of taping.