Small DIY Camera Stabilizer that Won’t Hurt Your Pocket, Literally and Metaphorically

DIYCamera Stabilizer

When it comes to stabilizing your camera on the go, there are quite a few options out there. However, they tend to come at the cost of size or price, neither of which is appealing to many. That’s where the DIY “Stringpod” will help you.

Making use of a stabilization method most of us have seen before, Instructable user inspiredwood turned to plywood, string, a rubber band, a bolt and standard tools to get this little contraption finished at extremely minimal cost.

To briefly summarize the process: he first cuts a predefined bow-tie shape into 9mm plywood. Then he drills a hole in the wood where he inserts the nylon string, followed by the bolt (which pulls the string through). He then secures the bolt and string in place, and the process is all but complete.


All that’s left from there is to simply wrap the string around the plywood and you have yourself a cheap, portable DIY camera stabilizer on the go.

It’s a neat little project and although I’d suggest a different color of rope so as to not make yourself standout any more than you already will when using this contraption, it doesn’t look half bad. It’s not exactly elegant, but it definitely takes care of both the size and cost factor that many other options present.

Of course, my summary isn’t going to do much towards getting you looking perfect, so if you’re interested in building one for yourself, head on over to the Instrucables post below and check out the detailed step-by-step.

Cheap Simple Tripod For Your Pocket [Instructables via Lifehacker]

  • Theo Lubbe

    If one can implement a way to shorten the string, it ought to be possible to use this same setup while on one’s knees for a lower angle.

  • Albin

    I’ve seen single string-to-foot suggested before, but the triangle is interesting. A lot of photographers keep their tripod mounts on and I’d rather loop the string around that than shape, build and screw in a separate wooden gadget.

  • Peter “Pots”

    If you are on your knees, elbows help a lot…no string.

  • Jon Peckham

    Cheap and innovative but i still prefer an inexpensive monopod.

  • Theo Lubbe

    Not sure what you mean?

  • Global

    Using some kind of rubber or stretching string would significantly shorten the length of the cord.

  • Global

    Also, you could probably use a bottle cork instead of the wood piece and it would be much smaller. If you have the cork with a bulb end itd likely wrap around nearly as well.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    I’ve tried something like this before, but it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped.

    A more effective alternative would be to use the default camera strap, adjust it to a ridiculously short length, hang it across one shoulder as if it were a shoulder bag, then use it to anchor the camera to your face and back. It’s neither comfortable nor easy to readjust, but it’s surprisingly stable, and camera straps draw less attention than lengths of rope or string during security inspections.

  • Joshua Tobias George Barrett

    That would only work if you were almost prone, perched on your knees, not however if you were kneeling upright with a straight back.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    I wouldn’t advise that. The technique requires keeping the string taut; any kind of stretching, however slight, would render it useless.

  • christopher

    What’s wrong with a simple monopod?

  • Eden Wong


  • Burnin Biomass

    Not to mention, something stretchy would basically make a slingshot aimed at the ground.

  • Smarten_Up

    If you have one. With this, you could ALWAYS have stability, and almost no security hassles, unless someone thought you were going to fish illegally.

    Lots of places do not want to admit you with a “stick” of any length in your bag–big museums, for one.

    Interesting to note that BOTH cameras shown here have viewfinders, as this will work best with a viewfinder camera–that crucial THIRD leg, your neck.

    Holding a camera out to chimp at its screen is a guaranteed way to sway in the wind–and no wind is even needed.

    I made one of these from a small bolt and looped string decades ago, used with several of my pocket Rollei 35s–great film cams, sharp collapsing lenses.

    Still, good to know about accessories that do not need batteries, software upgrades, or extended warranties…

  • Peter “Pots”

    One knee back straight elbow on that knee.

  • Smarten_Up

    If you use your neck as the third leg and hold (viewfinder) cam to head tightly, and not out to chimp at screen!

  • Darth Willie

    So if you can put a monopod in your pocket I don’t see what’s wrong either :)

  • hugh crawford

    “Lots of places do not want to admit you with a “stick” of any length in your bag–big museums, for one.”

    Pick up a cane from your local drugstore, the uglier and more medical looking the better and attach a small ball head to it. Under the ADA they can’t ask you why you need a cane


    With a big DSLR, simply holding it upside down so that your forehead is firmly pressed against the body will do a remarkable amount of stabilization by adding about 5 pounds to the mass of the camera, which should be about 2 stops worth of stabilization

  • Mr Hogwallop

    Hmmm, how to shorten a string. Maybe one could have the R&D boffins implement a knot into the system?

  • Richard Cooper

    same results by moving your elbows to your body, slightly bend your knees and hold your breath. It’s a free bee.

  • jazz

    you can use the one for the drawstrings i, reckon…

  • Sarmad Berlin

    Great! Or for those short of time try this search maybe…
    Steadepod Camera Steadying Pod

  • christopher

    In my pocket? Newsflash: If I have my DSLR with me, I either have my camera case or a backpack. My monopod telescopes down to 21″. In my pocket?

  • greenarcher02

    Newsflash: not everyone is a pompous ass who thinks everyone carries a DSLR with backpacks and huge camera cases. This is perfect for mirrorless bodies with viewfinders and no stabilization. This is perfect for DSLR users who opt out of bringing a bag when out walking and shooting. You know, just because you equate DSLR bringing with bag bringing, doesn’t mean everybody else does it.

  • christopher

    LOL. Because only pompous asses carry backpacks, right? And my camera case is smaller than a lunch pail. Does calling people names make you feel better about yourself?

  • Theo Lubbe

    Only pompous asses think everyone carries backpacks or that they or monopods are practical in all situations. Ever been stopped and told you’re not allowed to take photos somewhere because you’ve got a monopod out or a big ol’ camera backpack on? Ever gone back to that same place with just the camera, maybe sans battery grip if you’re using a camera with one, and been left alone since you look like just another tourist?

  • Theo Lubbe

    “Under the ADA they can’t ask you why you need a cane”
    Not all countries have the same regulations.

  • greenarcher02

    Butthurt much? ‘Cause it’s true? LOL indeed. And my camera case… oh wait, I sometimes don’t bring it.

  • David Portass

    I replaced the crappy strapping on my monopod with new webbing and plastic clips so I can clip it around my belt or thinktank harness when i’m not using it, great for festival work where bag is impractical

  • Mark Brown

    Knowing my DIY skills, I’d end up with the string a foot too short…

  • Ken

    As dorky as some people with their unnecessary giant gripped DSLR shooting their kids, ducks crossing the street, trees, etc. This does NOT help their image.
    Please stop making photography looks bad for the rest of us. Maybe drinking less coffee, you can be as affective as this “low cost” solution ;)

  • Glen Berry

    Someone once complained that Washington DC prohibited tripods in many areas, at least not without a special permit. I suggested buying a “walker” like senior citizens use, and mounting a ball head on that. They have 4 legs, and some even have wheels with locking brakes. That should be plenty of stability. :)