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Picture of Leather Case for GoPro
IMG_20190427_114337_otherHue.jpg

I recently bought a Go Pro Hero 7 Black action camera, and I wanted to make a protective case for it. Not that it really needs it, but I just wanted to protect the lens and screen from scratches while I'm carrying it in a backpack. These instructions are of course equally valuable for making a case for any other brand of action camera (or even for other objects).

Since I'm primarily a woodworker, who sometimes dabbles into other crafts, I incorporated wood into the design. Not only is the combination of wood and leather very appealing, this design requires absolutely no stitching. So in essence, it's very easy to make, if you can get the measurements just right. Moreover, you can make it entirely with hand tools!

Let's get to it!

Step 1: The Mock-up

A mock-up is a kind of prototype. Although you put a little extra effort into making one, it's usually worth it. Especially so when trying a new design, like in this case (no pun intended). All the necessary materials are shown in picture 1. The blue plastic is some kind of PVC foam board that I got for free from a company that prints billboards. Thick cardboard would work equally well.

First, mark the thickness of your GoPro onto your sheet material, adding a couple of millimeters extra on each side (pic 2). Then cut off of the excess with a sharp utility knife (pic 3). This PVC is easy to snap after giving it a couple of passes with a knife. Next, mark the height and cut to length (pic 4). Don't forget to take the mounting loop into account.

Next, mark the center and draw a round-over (pic 5). Cut the corners off with a coping saw (pic 6), but make sure you don't go past your line. Work towards your line with a file (pic 7). Once you've made one side piece, you can use it to trace the shape onto the other one (pic 8). Repeat sawing and filing to make the second side piece.

Prepare a piece of cardboard of the right width. It should be slightly wider than your GoPro, with the thickness of the wood added on each side (pic 9). To glue the cardboard to the side pieces, use a hot glue gun. Because the PVC is thinner that the wood we'll be using, off-set the side pieces so the inside edge lines up with the pencil lines (pic 10).

Once it's glued together, determine the length of the cardboard and decide how you want to shape the flap (pic 11). You should have a decent overlap. Cut it out (pic 12) and test fit your GoPro (pic 13).

By making this mock-up, I learned 2 valuable things:

1) The GoPro has too much play from side to side -> leather should be about 3 mm narrower

2) The case is unnecessarily deep -> wooden side pieces should be shorter

LiesH14 months ago
Wow, this looks so nice! My boyfriend has a GoPro, so now I know what I'll have to make him :)
BossyRangs (author)  LiesH14 months ago
Thanks! I'm glad I inspired you.
Cherzer4 months ago
The wood and leather look great together! Clean, simple, and elegant. :)
BossyRangs (author)  Cherzer4 months ago
Thank you so much! I also love the leather/wood combination and will use it in future projects as well.
audreyobscura4 months ago
This looks so good! Thanks for the inspiration for something to do with my leather and wood scraps!
BossyRangs (author)  audreyobscura4 months ago
Thanks, Audrey! It's indeed perfect to get rid of scraps. Although you shouldn't underestimate the length of leather required. It's deceitfully long, because it's wrapped around the wood.