Mini Wooden Cameras + Project Idea Gallery

Instagram, filters, selfies, GPOY, OOTD, and all the other current photography associated buzz words and hash tags you can think of, insert here. The excitement around photography can be pretty intense, especially now with the ease of taking smartphone photos and the abundance of photography apps, everyone is a little bit of a "budding" or "amateur" photographer in one way or another.   

If you're a photography lover, or know someone who is, then hopefully you'll love this mini camera charm craft. It's a simple constructed charm in celebration of a popular hobby that can be   crafted, designed, and personalized in a myriad of ways. Make some for yourself or give them as gifts. Have an idea of how you would use them not listed below? Leave your idea in the comments section; I'd love to know!

All of the supplies to make the cameras came from Hobby Lobby. Wood rectangles are used for the camera body. Dowel caps or furniture  plugs serve as lenses. Furniture buttons, both big and small, are the shutter buttons. Construct as shown above and you can make a bunch of these pretty quickly.

I realize that my shutter button is on the opposite side of where it should be (not wrong, just opposite - it's called artistic license), but aesthetically, I liked the shutter button on the right. Since it's not taking real pictures, I don't think it's going to hurt anything, nor does it take away from the charm being recognized as a camera.

But overall, pretty simple right? As well as inexpensive to make. If you're ready to create something with your charms, keep reading - ideas below!

1. Cardmaking, scrapbooking, and other paper crafts embellishment

If you want to add some depth and dimension to your paper crafts, these camera charms would make a nice addition to any project. For this particular project I simply painted the entire charm a bright red. I created this card with papers, a blank card, and stickers that I already owned. I would put this card in a clear plastic sleeve so that camera wouldn't distort a regular envelope. Plus the colors are so vibrant, it deserves to be on display! Can I say how much I love this color palette as well - yellow, red, white, and blues? It's a very cheery and uplifting mix of hues. I glued my charm to the card, but if you stick it to the card with a glue dot or a double sided adhesive dot, it can be removed and reused by the recipient if they so choose. 

This design, or one similar, would also work on the front of a blank journal,or in a scrapbook layout. If going with the journal idea, include some matching pencils. You can also create a scrapbooking ephemera pack for yourself or friends with a few camera charms, some bottlecaps, candles, stickers, and other bits and pieces. 

 2. Photo and decorative paper holder

This is probably the most obvious use for these camera charms. If you're looking for a new way to display your photos, create photo holders by gluing them onto one inch wood circles and gluing a mini clothespin or paper clip to the back. A paperclip will work best if your photos are larger and heavier.

I used a pink, mint, and yellow color palette to create these photo holders, and added similarly colored scrapbook paper pictures with cute designs to display.  

3. Gift tags and monogrammed embellishments

Print your own gift tags are all over blogs and the Internet, and I have to admit, even when I shop for gift tags in store, I'm pretty picky. If you're a gift tag enthusiast or connoisseur of sorts, add a camera charm as a little something extra special for the recipient. The above tags are Christmas themed holiday paper cut in the shape of packaging tags. I drilled a small hole in the upper left corner of the charm with a hand drill and added a loop of red and white bakers twine, topped with a burlap bow. 

You can further personalize the charm as I did with an initial embossed on the back. The charm can be reused as an ornament or made into jewelry. Either way, this tag will be saved from the fate of being tossed out with the trash in a crumpled heap of colorful paper. It's the gift tag gift that keeps on giving!

4. Chalkboard table number holders

If you're having a small soiree and want to keep your guests in order, just follow the same construction as the photo holders by adding a wood circle base and a mini clothespin to the camera charm. For the table holder, however, I used chalkboard paint. If you want to write a message on the charm, it can be easily changed for different occasions. It's a small space, but you could personalize the charm with any message, such as the holiday or event, or a person's name. The table number was created with a scrapbook paper tag and a puffy sticker number. 

5. Commemorative keepsakes and ornaments

Since photographing our lives is such a big thing, you can make commemorative keepsakes and ornaments from your Instagram and phone gallery photos. Just resize and print the pictures, and then mod podge them onto the back of the camera charm. 

You can commemorate first dates, trips, and other special occasions throughout the year.  Add messages about the event with a paint pen or the year in which the event occurred with stickers. At the end of the year you can use them as ornaments and holiday decorations. Just drill a hole in the top with a hand drill and add a loop of twine or yarn and you'll be ready to go once December rolls around. However, you can also display these year round on a shelf or in a curio cabinet, and watch your collection grow as you make memories throughout the year. 

6. Jewelry and accessories

You can turn pretty much anything into jewelry. All you need is the right findings, a little E6000 glue, and some type of embellishment. These camera charms make a perfect focal point. I made each of these in two different colors, and added a ball chain to make a necklace,  pin backs to make brooches, and adjustable ring bases for rings. The perfect gift for jewelry and photography lovers that you can personalize in any color.


These camera charm bookmarks would make the perfect companion to photography book gifts. If you're a bibliophile just looking to add to your stash of bookmarks, these are simple to create. Just mod podge scrap book paper onto large wooden sticks and then glue the camera charm to the top of the sticks. I used papers that included colors that coordinated with the color of the camera charm. Make a set, or use as party favors. My frosted letter vase DIY would be a great way to display these bookmarks if used as party favors. 

8. Realistic styles and designs: 

If you want to create more detailed mini cameras, you can add embellishments and colors to them that mimic actual cameras. Just search different camera images online for inspiration. I  added a few touches with paint and stick on gems to give this set of cameras a more realistic feel. My favorite parts are the real leather straps. Some of the straps I folded and glued onto the shutter button to give the straps movement. You can turn these into necklaces by stringing a chain through the strap's loop. These would also make great magnets. As with the other designs above, these are just as versatile to use and customize in any way you can imagine. 

Are you a camera or photography lover?

 If so, what would you create with these charms? 

 If you have another idea not listed here, please share!

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the ideas. There's always something new to learn and improve on in this mad internet world. Uptiming is surely something to keep an eye on.

    making bracelets, making earrings, jewelry making for beginnners


© Urban Curio
Maira Gall