DIY Toy Camera

I guess growing up with a mother who loves to takes pictures has made Ellie a camera lover herself. After she says “Cheese!” (and she’ll say it proud!) she always asks to “See? See?” She loves to run back and forth looking at pictures after using the self timer and boy oh boy, does she love to try to carry my camera around. I’m not too keen on letting her do that, so I decided to make her a camera of her own. She loves to carry it around on our adventures (makes me so proud!) and loves to look through the little hole and tell me to say “Cheese!”

 DIY Camera Strap

This project was super easy, even for me who rarely uses a drill (and for good reason!) I also let Ellie in on the fun, she helped with everything! Well, everything minus the drilling of holes. She helped glue, sew, the works! I love doing toddler crafts with Ellie, it adds a little extra fun to our days at home. Plus, it was so easy, you can do it too! I’ve included a tutorial below.

Camera Toy

Supplies Needed:
(1) Piece of wood cut down to approximately 3.5”x2.5”
(1) 2” wooden circle
(1) 1.5” wooden wheel
(2) 1 3/8” axle peg
(1) 1/2” dowel
Wood Glue
Paint of choice
Fabric/elastic or ribbon for strap


(To make four of these it cost me under $14. I already had the piece of wood and wood glue. Even without having those supplies, it’s a pretty affordable project!)

Camera Toy DIY

First, cut down wood to appropriate size (I had Brian do that part for me!) then sand. And sand some more. I probably should have sanded mine a wee bit more, it was a pretty rough cut of wood. But Ellie was getting antsy, so on this first one I didn't sand perfectly, just enough to ensure that Ellie wouldn’t get any splinters! Also, cut off a piece of the dowel. This will be used as the “clicker” button on top.

diy toy camera tutorial

Next, drill a hole on each side of the wood. This is where you will place your axle pegs (to hold the strap). Funny story. After I grabbed my husband’s drill, I noticed it had the wrong drill bit on it. After a few lot of minutes of trying, I actually HAD TO YOUTUBE how to remove the drill bit. Ha! (But seriously, thank you to the guy that took the time to youtube a video!)

cheap cameras

Apply wood glue, then insert wooden axle pegs. Let dry.

diy toy camera tutorial

Now, drill a hole for the viewfinder. Make sure wherever you drill the hole, you have enough room to attach the wooden circle and wheel.

diy toy camera tutorial

Paint all pieces and let dry. I had extra gold chevron fabric lying around, so I decided to paint this one gold and white. While your pieces dry, sew a strap. I used a long scrap of fabric folded over in thirds, then sewed down one side. At the ends, I attached a little piece of elastic in a loop shape. I wanted the strap to be secured when in use, but able to come off when it needs to be thrown in the wash or changed out.

diy camera strap

And last but not least! Glue on wooden circle, then wooden wheel. Glue on dowel button on top. Let dry. Voila! You’re done! Super easy, right?

camera toy

I have enough supplies to make a few more cameras. I’m thinking these would be cute birthday gifts for some of Ellie’s little friends. Plus, I know how to change those darn drill bits, so I better put that talent to good use now, right? ;) Happy crafting!

camera toy