Turn a Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag into a Camera Bag

First, let’s all take a moment to revel in the glory that is the Ephipanie Belle Camera Purse:

via AngryJulieMonday @ Flickr

Heavy sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been known to spend exorbitant amounts of money on a bag. Especially if I can rationalize the purchase by defining it as a necessity for child-rearing.

Two kids, two years of daily wear and still looking good!

This my friends, is the Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag. It is awesome. It was described to me by a saleswoman as “The bag you buy when your kids are toddlers”. I retched at the price tag, poo-poo’d the idea of yet another bag I didn’t really need, and left with my Crumpler messenger bag (free, purchased used for $20 by ND on Craigslist, natch) slung over Lu’s stroller.

That night I was haunted by the memory of the smooth satiny paisley print. The matchy-matchy change pad and wipes holder. The interchangeable straps! The stroller clips!

One year later, Lu was toddling and I was the proud owner of the Most Expensive Purse I Have Ever Purchased.  This is the toughest, fanciest, most complimented bag I have ever owned. But, it’s time as a diaper bag is drawing to a close and I need a camera purse. So, here we go!

Step 1 – Get your materials (one PPB diaper bag, its matching change pad, thread to match the lining, foam camera bag inserts and extra velcro) and your supplies (scissors big and small, sewing needles and glovers needles and/or sewing machine) and set up in the most blindingly bright spot in your apartment.

Step 2 – The change pad is sectioned into quarters. Cut along the two of the three dividing seams. This will create two single pad sections and one double pad section. I didn’t bother cleaning the edges up as they’ll be hidden, but I suppose you could run the whole thing through your serger to cut and create a neat new seam if you really want the extra work. Me, I’m half-way, all the way.

Step 3 – Turn your purse inside out and open up the stitches that divide the large front and back inner pockets. You will end up with two giant pockets, one front and one back.

Step 4 – Still working with your purse inside out, open up just one of the bottom side seams of the bag.

Step 5 – Fold the double change pad section along its seam and slip it into the bottom of the bag, via the side seam you just opened up. It’ll fit perfectly. Whipstitch it closed.

Step 6 – Figure out where you want your camera bag foam inserts to go in your bag, and measure the length of velcro that you will need to attach it, and pin it in place. For example, I wanted a simple square shape to enclose my camera, so I used two inserts to create the walls to completely enclose it.  Each insert has two velcro’d sides, so I cut a corresponding length to match to be attached to the bag liner.

When I originally did this project, I jumped to Step 7 and then did Step 6, which was a bit more work and had to be all done by hand. I used a glovers needle to get through the industrial velcro I used. I would recommend that you machine stitch the velcro to the loosen pocket sides where you pinned it, then move on to Step 7. If your foam inserts don’t already have velcro on them, machine stitch some on there too at this point.

Step 7 – You’re so close to turning your bag right side out and using it! But first, with the bag inside out, stuff the two single change pad sections into each of the front and back inner pockets and whipstitch them closed.

Step 8 – Turn your bag right side out, stick your foam inserts in and you’re good to go!

PPB Camera Bag, without camera!

I may go back and pick out my inner pockets’ whipstitching and machine stitch the velcro to the sides, I think it’ll be more secure. If I do that, I’ll take more pictures to update what has turned into my Very First Tutorial.

Even though I’ve lost six pockets in this bag, I still have the two inner elasticized side pockets – which are great for securely holding extra lenses – as well as the two outer side zippered pockets (SD cards!), the outer front magnetic snap pocket (Metropass, wallet and keys!) and the large outer zippered back pocket (battery charger and flash diffuser!), so really, I’m good to go. Plus, there’s still more space on either side of the camera cozy for an extra diaper or two. Just in case.

I hope this post has inspired you to mod your diaper bag into something better and more useful – send me pics if you do!

About Michelle

Woman. Wife and Mama. Crafty.
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2 Responses to Turn a Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag into a Camera Bag

  1. Shell Atkins says:

    What a great idea! Irrespective of how beautiful the bags might look, I think there is always going to be that underlying feeling that it is a diaper bag…until you reappropriate it as you have done! Honeslty, brilliant work!

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