#4: Vintage Samsonite Camera Bag//Project ReStyle

A few weeks ago, I saw a picture of this lovely camera bag online and immediately fell in love.

Made by Jo Totes, this bag (in any color) was just what I needed to carry around my new camera that I got a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I was going to have to save my pennies before I could buy this baby though, and with a price tag of close to $100, it would be a while before I found that many pennies.

Luckily, the next day I ran across a vintage Samsonite travel bag in a thrift store and got a brilliant idea. For less than $5, I got this yellow bag that was the perfect size to hold not only my camera equipment, but also all my cords and my laptop! It was a little roughed up, but I knew that could be fixed. Plus I needed to add some extra padding for my goods, but I had a plan for that as well. After a few hours of sewing and cleaning, she’s good as new and just the thing I needed!

Here’s how I did it, in pictures:


Before, not bad, but not quite awesome yet.

I cut up an old laptop case to use as my padded layers.

Using some leftover upholstery fabric I had, I sewed sleeves for the padding. I also added a layer of quilt batting for some extra cushion.

The finished cushions.

The bottom was already reinforced with heavy cardboard...

... but I added a layer of cushion.

I fashioned a coozy of sorts for my extra lens out of one of the cushions.

Because the pads are removable, I can pretty much fit whatever I need in here.




Camera, lens, laptop, planner, cords, even an external hard drive, all snug and secure!

Without the cords and laptop, I could fit my wallet and purse goodies in here instead.

A little mink oil rubdown and the exterior leather looks good as new!

I even found a spare Samsonite luggage key lying around, so now I can lock it!




3 thoughts on “#4: Vintage Samsonite Camera Bag//Project ReStyle

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog via the ReStyle Flickr group.
    Funny enough, I just restyled an old bag into a camera bag myself šŸ™‚
    Though I used a camping mat instead of a laptop bag. How did you attach the cushions to each other to make sure they stay in place?

    • Good question! For the part that wraps around my extra lens, I sewed on some velcro (I actually reused the pieces from the laptop case) to keep it wrapped tight. THe other pieces fit so snuggly that they pretty much stay in place on their own. The cushions wound up being quite sturdy, though I have thought about attaching some velcro strips to the sides as well if they start to soften up with use.

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