August 24, 2013 @ 9:05 PM

How to make your own custom great Pelican (or similar) case foam insert easily!

So you have a Pelican case that came with the pluck and pull foam and you customized it for your camera gear.  It's all great at the start but what happens if you add more gear and make changes?  You can go buy another blank foam set for about $35+ dollars and start over.  Do this a few times and it becomes expensive.  You could go get the padded divider set but I feel that it's not as good looking as using foam inserts. - Victor

Custom Pelican Case Foam Insert

What I don't like about the pluck and pull foam that comes with the Pelican case is that once you pull the mini square columns out, the inside walls are not smooth looking.  Also, you can only create holes that are composed of squares.  What if you have a round object like a lens?  I want my curvey sexy camera and lens to fit perfectly!All you need to do is to go to your local foam shop.  I got mine from   For the Pelican 1500 case pictured above it was 3" x 11.5" x 17.25".  The cost was under $20.  You probally can find it cheaper somewhere.


You'll also need a box cutter blade and an electric knife like the one you use to carve a turkey with.  It may be tempting to just use a box cutter but you are going to make walls that are not smooth.  It also takes a lot more time.  Trust me, you need to use the electric knife.

Firstly place your camera gear on top of the foam and organize it neatly.  Leave a good amount of space between items.  Use a "washable" kids black marker to outline your gear.



Use the box cutter to make the initial cut in the middle of the cutout you want.  This will allow the electric knife to easily go through the foam.  The electric knife will make a smoother cut compared to the box cutter so don't start on the edge.  Hold the electric knife perpendicular to the foam at all times and slow cut along the outline.


Custom Pelican Case Foam Insert


Cutting out circles, believe it or not, seemed easier than cutting straight lines.  

After you are done cutting the foam get a wet paper towel and remove any traces of the black marker.  It's easy if you used a washable marker. 

Finally, place the foam insert back in the case and place all your expensive gear inside.  You have an awsome looking case and you'll feel good you did this yourself and same money also.


Custom Pelican Case Foam Insert


I got all of my essential camera gear securely packed.  A Nikon D800 body, 24-70 f2.8 lens, 70-200 f2.8 lens, 35mm F1.8 lens* (dx format), SB600 flash, and a battery grip is pictured above.


Have fun making this yourself!




* need to get the 50mm f1.8 AF-S for something simular to replace the DX lens.  It still works but with vignetting on a full frame camera.