Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY PROJECT: Vintage Camera Bank

 Remember that awesome post I did about FUN into FUNctional (there's an update to that coming next week…oh yea and its awesome -I can't wait)! Well, for anyone following twitter and Facebook (you're NOT?! Get on that! Now!) found out that my original project failed. Before it started. Only because I thought I had the material..and I didn't…and yea that hasn't been working…YET! I will get it finished…someday! Anyway, I realized I had to find something else and while scoping out ZGallerie I saw these cute silver camera figurines…and for some reason that reminded me of my vintage camera collection ( does one forget 30 vintage cameras in your bedroom???). And thus this idea was born…The Vintage Camera Bank. 
One day while surfing Ebay I came across a lot of vintage cameras, I have an obsession for brownies (nomnomnom-oh yea, the cameras too), and jumped on a lot that contained two. It also had this great Polaroid Land Camera. Unfortunately the dumb seller literally threw all of the cameras into a box without padding or anything and shipped it. It came to me in a hundred pieces (did I mention there is a guide to buying off of Ebay coming soon? No, well hit subscribe because there is!) I was sad, and took it to the camera doctor who told gave me a time of death. (RIP land camera!!) It has been sitting, collecting dust ever since.

broken camera
steel wool pad
Quarter (for sizing)
wood burner
box cutter
Spray Paint (I used silver metallic)
Tape (whatever you have on hand)
Total cost everything on hand): FREE

1. So the first thing I did, was took a steel wool pad to it, got the dirt and rust off (I know it looks so innocent and put together here doesn't it? Don't let it fool you, this baby was a goner). I left it in the sun to dry while I gathered my materials.
 2. Next I opened it up: mind you every camera you use will have a different interior, and I actually got lucky that the land camera was built this way to be easily torn apart. I took out the back slide, and used the screwdriver to take out the metal springs, and the box cutter to cut out the string until everything was cleared. Note: I forgot to get a shot of it empty
 3. I decided where I was going to place the coin hole after measuring (using the quarter) both inside and outside to make sure it would fit. I used the box cutter to cut a straight line where the hole would go. Now for the wood burner, I used a small fine tip, and found I didn't have a spot outside (preferable), so I had to do it inside. The smell from melting plastic is not good, and definitely not good for your lungs, so either find a spot outside, wear a mask, or do it in a venerated spot. I chose the bathroom because it has a fan. As soon as it started to heat up I used it to go over the line I had already made, just deep enough to get started. Then I left the room and waited for it to heat up all the way. When I did I took a huge breath, ran in, stabbed it all the way through, dragged along the line and left the room for a few minutes. (Dramatic? Yes. But my nose/lungs thanked me). I repeated until the line was to my liking, and the quarter fit through the slot perfectly. Note: you could use a flat tip to cut off the excess on the top, or sandpaper. I chose to do neither because it really didn't bother me.
 4. Next I had to decide what color to paint it, it went back and forth between metallic silver and hot pink…I decided on silver because its classic and timeless and goes well with everything. Then I had to decide whether or not I wanted the glass to show and if I wanted to keep the handle on it. (Apparently I'm indecisive!) I decided I wanted both, so I taped off the glass and covered the handle with paper and started painting.
 5. I propped it open because I didn't want the camera to get stuck closed, using a piece of wood to prop up the handle out of the way. I lightly dusted the camera, and came back 10 minutes later and put a thicker coat of paint on. About an hour later I put a piece of tape in the door and closed it so I could sit it upright to paint another coat and make sure everything was even. NOTE: these pictures were taken before the final coat of paint which is why there are fingerprints! You also may notice the glass is silver, I decided I liked it better fully covered.
What I learned:
-Turns out it took 24 hours to dry, apparently what covers the camera doesn't love spray paint, so I ended up covering the silver with a clear coat just to get it to dry!
-If you don't have a wood burner, you could use a thin metal rod, heat over a candle to do it.
-I almost didn't post this project because I'm afraid people will run out to their closest thrift store and buy a perfectly good vintage camera and destroy it. PLEASE DO NOT. You CAN purchase broken cameras off of ebay etc for projects like these. Please leave the working ones for those who use them (IE : ME!)
•Shared on link parties Tuesday-Monday!•


  1. That's pretty amazing! I love vintage cameras!

  2. Cute post and really a cool idea. Love how you figured that all out. I'll save this and see if I ever have enough vintage cameras to ever let one go for this project. Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much Liz! When I found out my lil baby was gone, I've been saving her for the perfect project. Check on ebay and thrift stores, I see broken vintage cameras all the time just waiting for someone to give them new life! Thanks for stopping by! =)

  3. This is a seriously awesome idea!!! So clever and so fun and we appreciate you sharing it with us last weekend at Inspiration Friday. :-) We'll be featuring it this week so be sure to stop by!

    1. Aw! You just made my day!! Thanks so much I'm honored! And thanks for hosting the party! <3

  4. Great idea! ThIs is one I haven't seen before. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!

    1. Thanks so much and thank you for stopping by! =)

  5. What a creative idea. I love it! We have vintage cameras sitting around but I'd never be brave enough to try this - unless I accidentally break one. ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Haha, I wouldn't have either if I didn't happen to have a broken one laying around! Now its perfect to hold my camera fund, and I have an excuse to keep a broken camera! ;) Thanks for stopping by! =)

  6. This is so creative. I have seen something similar done in an art class with books and other "unwanted" itmes, but yours looks way better.

    1. Aw thank you!! =) I love, its so 'me'-although I'll probably paint it a few times a year since I get bored easily! ;)


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