DIY Overhead Camera Mount

Camera Stand with PVC

I have to say I am mighty proud of myself for this project.

Several weeks ago I attended a Bloggers Retreat at Pondersa Ranch near Zion’s National Park.  The entire week was absolutely amazing.  Throughout the retreat there was a big emphasis on video and capturing your adventure.  So we went on many adventures including horseback riding, four wheeling, and I even got to go on a helicopter ride.  Now that was truly amazing!  Anyways, we also had a couple classes on video, and how to do lighting, sound and editing.  The weekend was indeed an awesome adventure and when I left I had a new excitement for videos and decided I wanted to take the leap and do more videos on my blog.

I do hands only videos at work (meaning an overhead shot and all you record is your hands, no front shot of your face) and I have really enjoyed doing them.  I began to think about how I could do that at home.  At work we have a really nice set up that probably cost several hundred dollars, if not more. But I need something on a smaller scale but still produced a high quality shot.  After exploring online and seeing what others have done I came up with this set up.

What you will need:

  • 1, 10 foot piece of 1/2″ PVC Pipe
  • 2, 1/2″ PVC Caps
  • 2, 1/2″ PVC Elbows
  • 3, 1/2″ PVC Non-threaded Tees
  • 1, 1/4-20 x 12 bolt

I got my PVC pipe at Lowes, and the best part was that they cut it for me.  So I didn’t even have to mess with a hack saw.  While I had a good idea of what I wanted I had them cut a couple extra pieces so I would be able to to place around with what I had envisioned.  Here Is what I ended up having the Lowes gentleman cut the PVC pipe into.

Camera Stand with PVC

  • 3, 13″ pieces
  • 2, 11″ pieces
  • 1, 7″ piece
  • 1, 3″ piece

Once I had all of my pieces and they were cut to the lengths I wanted it was time to begin assembly.

Have you ever noticed the little screw hole in the bottom of your camera?

Camera Stand with PVC

That is so you can screw it onto a tripod.  Well for all intensive purposes, that is what I am creating.  So I needed to fin a bolt that would fit that hole so I had a way to attach my camera to the mount.

I took my camera with me to Lowes and found that the 1/4 – 20 x 1/2 bolt fit it perfectly.  What all those numbers mean, I have no idea.  I just know that it fit.  Keep in mind that you don’t want a pointy ended screw but a flat ended bolt.

Camera Stand with PVC

I wanted that screw to go into one of the Tees.  So I started by making a mark on the inside center with a black marker so I would know where to drill.

Camera Stand with PVC

Using a 15/64 drill bit, I drilled a hole where that black dot was.

Camera Stand with PVC

I found the 15/64 drill bit to be the perfect size.  It allowed me to twist the bolt in and keep it nice and tight.

Camera Stand with PVC

Twist the bolt in as far as it will go so the end is poking out of the tee.

Camera Stand with PVC

That is really the hardest part of the whole assembly.  Next you simply push the pieces together.

Camera Stand with PVC

The tall 13 inch piece is standing up in the center can really be any length that you need.  I had the gentleman at lowes cut me a 7 inch piece to go right there but I found for my camera I need the longer piece.  Out of my left over pipe I actually cut me an even longer piece, closer to 17-18 inches for my DSLR. It really is personal preference and what works best for your camera.

Camera Stand with PVC

The very best part is all of the pieces only cost me about $6.  Now I bet you can afford that!

With my new set up I did a practice video.  Now I know this is really pretty lame, so remember this was a test for my new overhead camera mount.

So what do you think?  Are you ready to do more videos too?


  1. Barbra says

    How impressive and creative. I just can’t figure out where you ( and your sisters) got all of your creative talents from.

  2. Robin says

    Thank you so much for this posting on making a camera mount for hands only video making! I’m thinking this will come in handy – no pun intended! I am a constant viewer of your blog stalking. This posting just makes me admire you even more. You are one fantastic digital friend!

    • Katie says

      Oh, thank you for such a kind comment!

      I haven’t done a lot of videos with it yet, but I am excited about the possibilities.

  3. says

    OK this is great. Really love it. I don’t have much experience with videos (might need to do a retreat to learn) but I can definitely see this as being very useful.
    Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Social. Looking forward to seeing what you have for us next week.
    Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader

  4. says

    I love this! It is so inexpensive. It would also be great for taking tutorial pictures if you don’t do video. :) I’m assuming that you stand behind it, with your arms around the upright while filming?

    • Katie says

      Thank you, I am glad you like it. I put the straight up pole away from me when filming so I don’t have to reach around anything, but I think either way would work.

  5. says

    AMAZINGLY CREATIVE!!! Thank you for sharing this awesome tutorial. Wish I could have been to the retreat, it looked so fun. Maybe next year. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  6. says

    This is an amazing project! I did 31 days of crafting with PVC pipe last October and this would have been a great addition to my month of crafts! I would love it if you linked up with us this week, I could totally see something like this being featured!

  7. says

    Such a great idea! Amazing! Thanks for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on ! I hope to see you there!

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I loved this post so much that I chose it to be featured for this weeks party. :) Go grab a button you deserve it!

  9. says

    What an awesome tutorial! I take a lot of overhead photos for my blog, and my hands are so shaky that I have to take a million pics to get one focused shot;) Thanks for sharing this!

  10. says

    Oh my gosh I love this! Featuring it on SSM this week. A few weeks ago I was trying to rig up something just like this to photograph the planners I make. Just one little nit-picky detail: flat ended screws are called bolts. That might help to make sure people understand what you’re talking about! (I could totally see myself missing that detail and damaging my camera!!)

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing at the Say G’day party. I’ve just pinned your posts to the Say G’Day Saturday Board.

    Hope to see you again this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  12. says



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