Do you need a chalk bag for yourself or a one-of-a-kind gift for a mate? Do you want to do the planet a favour and save yourself a few bucks along the way? Maybe you should make your own one-of-a-kind chalk bag masterpiece from recycled materials.


Our outdoor gear shouldn’t negatively impact the environment that it’s taking us into. In a world of fast fashion and consumerism, creating something of our own from recycled materials lets us reduce our footprint and make a personal and unique item to see us through decades of adventures.

A sewing machine, six salvageable materials, and some basic tools are all you need to make a fleece-lined, drawcord-closing chalk bag. How much does that rock?!

How to Make a Chalk Bag for Rock Climbing

Materials Needed:

  • 18 x 36cm rectangle of stiff fabric, such as canvas or denim (I sewed four pieces together for my bag. This rectangle is your opportunity to crazy with your unique design!)
  • 18 x 36cm rectangle of fleece, wool or other fuzzy material for the liner (dark colours are best for hiding the dirt)
  • 20cm of webbing about 1.5cm wide
  • One cord lock (pinched from an old drawcord bag in the cupboard)
  • One eyelet
  • One shoelace
  • Optional extra: a small loop of elastic for a brush holder

Tools Needed:

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Eyelet pressing tool
  • Matches/lighter


How to Make a Chalk Bag for Rock Climbing, charlie potter

Step 1: Sew the Outer Cylinder

Take the 18 x 36cm rectangle of fabric, fold it in half lengthways inside out. Pin then sew the side together about 1cm away from the edge to form a tube.

Remove pins and while keeping the tube inside out, shift the sewed seam to the centre of the tube, then pin and sew along the base again about 1cm away from the edge. Doing this will make the join hidden at the rear of the bag.

To make bottom corners, pinch and fold to form a triangle. Pin flat and measure and mark a line 6.5cm across. Repeat on the other corner. Sew along these two lines then snip off the excess material at a point a little bit back from the sew line.

Invert the tube so the good side is facing out.

Step 2: Sew the Inner Cylinder

Repeat the exact process above with the 18x 36cm rectangle of fleece. Do not invert the cylinder (this will keep the messy parts hidden within the walls of the bag).

Step 3: Punch the Eyelet

Cut a tiny hole in the outer about 2/3 of the way up the front of the bag and install the eyelet.


How to Make a Chalk Bag for Rock Climbing, charlie potter

Step 4: Thread the Cord

Slip the shoelace through the eyelet into the outer bag, make it into a loop around the inside, then pass it back out the eyelet again.

Step 5: Install the Inner

Slip the fleece inner into the outer, making sure the cord loop still wraps around and sits in-between the fleece tube and outer shell.

Match together the seams of the inner and outer at the back of the bag, then sew the two tubes together around the top. If they don’t match perfectly together, simply trim into a straight line after you’ve sewed them so that they do.

Step 6: Sew the Black Edging

Flip the bag inside out again so the fleece is on the outside. Pin, then sew the webbing all the way around the top. Sew as close as you can to the lower edge without going over.

Invert the bag back to the correct way out.

Flip the black edging over so it folds down to be visible from the outside. Sew along the webbing, as close as possible to the bottom edge without going over.

Step 7: Finishing Touches!

Cut two pieces of webbing 4cm long and melt the ends with a match or lighter to prevent fraying. Position them on the back side and sew into place along the top and bottom to create two weight-belt loops. Trim all excess threads and add the cord lock.

Optional extra: Sew a loop of elastic onto one side to hold a brush!