How to Make a 360-Degree Camera Mount for $15 or Less

If you’ve seen any of our shows on DIY Network, especially those for DIY’s Blog Cabin, you know how important time lapse video is to conveying a slow process quickly. Not only can we make hours worth of work happen in mere seconds, but often the time lapse video conveys the overall process better than real time video. Whether you have a GoPro, point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone, creating videos of your own DIY projects is a great way to share your work with family and friends or the greater online community.

My go-to camera that provides much Blog Cabin B-roll

One camera is often not enough to capture the entire process and if you are like me, you have enough on your hands with the actual work to not fiddle around with moving cameras. Also, DIYers are spending their hard-earned budget on awesome building materials, not on a cadre of cameras. Want to learn how to creatively stretch your video budget with a hands-off approach? In this how-to, we’ll build a 360-degree time lapse motion mount in 10 minutes and for less than $15!

A variety of cameras are available today from professional to prosumer tailored directly for generating time lapse video. For an action camera like the GoPro, a series of non-standard mounts are available and sometimes even come with the camera. These mounts are easy to mount and use, but they have certain limitations. I wanted something much more flexible, so I have always used a tripod adapter with a 1/4-20 threaded mount. By using a threaded mount, you will be able to use different cameras in the future if you upgrade.

Got some great time lapse footage and not sure what to do with it now? Stay tuned for a future blog post on how to create your own incredible time lapse video with free software. Until then, check out the completed mechanism here and an example of rotational footage here!

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Step 1

The key mechanism for this build is a 60-minute kitchen timer. You can find these locally and online for $10 or less. You may even have an extra one in the kitchen (shhhh don’t tell mom!). I chose an IKEA Ordning model since it was stainless steel and had nice flat top and bottoms making it easy to modify.

Step 2

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Choose how you want to mount the camera to the timer. You can use proprietary mounts (step 4) if they came with your camera or standard 1/4-20 threaded tripod style mounts (step 6).

Step 3

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Using rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs, clean any machining oils off the timer and the mounts.

Step 4

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Option A: If you are using a mount with self adhesive, peel the backing off the mount, center on the timer, and press firmly. Be sure to hold the mounting surface firmly to not compress and inner mechanism.

Step 5

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Option A Complete: Your 360 degree time lapse mechanism can be used as is or combined with one of the tripod mounts below.

Step 6

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Option B: I chose to use a standard 1/4-20 threaded tripod mount to increase the versatility of the mechanism, including being able to mount it on clamps or tripods and to use multiple cameras. The most efficient mount to use is a threaded “cold shoe” adapter meant for the flash mount on full-framed cameras. Find an adapter with a 1/4-20 thread and tightening nuts (available for around $5).

Step 7

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Because the mount will be epoxied to the mechanism, sand both surfaces with 80 grit sandpaper to ensure adhesion.

Step 8

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Mix equal parts of 5 min epoxy resin and hardener in a disposable container.

Step 9

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Spread a small amount of epoxy first on one tightening nut. Then center on the bottom of the timer. Next, spread a small amount of epoxy on the bottom of the shoe adapter and center on the top of the timer.

Step 10

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Allow to cure for 1 hour. HINT: to prevent a #diyfail, use a small amount of tape to hold the bottom nut in place until the epoxy hardens. I didn’t and the nut drifted off center. Though usable, not what I intended.

Step 11

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Now this ultra versatile 360-degree mechanism can be used with a variety of tripods and clamps to get your camera in the perfect position to catch all your DIY action!

Step 12

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Don’t have a dedicated time lapse camera? Don’t worry, a point-and-shoot camera can be used on video mode. Using a video editor, speed up the video 1000% to achieve the same effect.

Step 13

 Open Gallerydiy gopro mount

Don’t have a point-and-shoot? Surely you have a smartphone! Using a timelapse app (stay tuned for a future post) and a universal smartphone tripod mount, create some beautiful DIY action!

Materials

  • 60 minute kitchen timer with flat top and bottom
  • Stick on mounts or “cold shoe” threaded adapter
  • Small camera tripod
  • 5-minute Epoxy
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • Rubbing alcohol and cotton swab
About Dylan Eastman 

6Posts

At a young age, I learned how things worked by taking them apart and (successfully) putting them back together. I've always approached life as an opportunity to learn new skills, ...

More About Dylan Eastman

3 Responses

  1. montana says:

    Thank you, now i can check out what my dogs do while i am at work, see if they throw a wild dog party, with all the neighbor dogs. I can see if they get into the liquor cabinet or watch dirty movies. ;-)

  2. Gloq8 says:

    Love it. Thank you for making the process easy to follow!

  3. Trish says:

    A kitchen timer! What a creative idea! Thanks for sharing this idea.

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