How to make a custom padded photography suitcase for just £50
- One basic suitcase of whatever size fits your needs. I got this one for £20 from Aldi. It is 60cm tall, 40cm wide and 20cm deep.
- Foam sheets. I chose closed cell foam because it is strong but provides good padding and is also water resistant. You can either buy it as large sheets or you can get it cut it to specific sizes for you. I had these sheets specifically cut for me as 38x38x2cm making it easy to modify them to the internal dimensions of my case. I got them from this company for about £25: https://www.anyfoam.co.uk/
- Strong double sided tape. I got this from amazon for about £6.
1) Place one sheet of foam at the back of the suitcase behind the handle mechanism bars then tape or cable tie some foam around the bars then zip up the internal cover.
2) Measure the internal depth and width of your case and cut the first piece of foam into shape with a sharp knife or saw to fit around the wheels and frame etc.
3) Cut the side pieces to the desired length. You could pad the whole of the inside of the case but I decided I just wanted the bottom section padded leaving more space at the top for general items that don't need heavy duty protection.
4) Decide on how you want your partitions and cut out slots to allow them to fit together and stay in place.
5) Insert all the pieces and use the double sided tape to fix them into place.
6) Finally insert one piece of foam into the outside front pocket therefore giving protection from all sides. You can still use this pocket for things like an ipad or document folio as they will fit behind the foam sheet.
There you have it, a custom padded case perfect for photography equipment or anything else delicate for just £50 rather than over £200 to buy one off the shelf.
Dr Chris Harper