How to make a DIY chalk ball? I have a love-hate relationship with chalk balls. There is nothing nicer to squeeze for a climber than a fluffy and squishy chalk bag… Well, maybe there are other things but let’s just stick with chalk ball for now.
Components of a chalk ball
A refillable chalk ball filled with chalk costs approximately $10 retail. To break it down, a refillable chalk ball is a piece of stretchy cloth with an elastic cord containing about 50 grams of chalk in it.
So what is the problem with the tried and tested chalk ball? Well, everything. The elastic cord loses tension and the ball opens up slightly pouring chalk into the chalk bag. The pores on the stretchy cloth get bigger after a while and guess what? You have more chalk in the chalk bag than in the chalk ball. I love chalk balls and I need them in my chalk bag. I believe a chalk ball can be made at zero cost and can outperform and last longer than any brand of chalk ball you can buy.
DIY chalk ball
Instead of buying a brand new chalk ball, you can use things like an old sock. For ladies pantyhose or stockings are a much better option compared to socks. Because most socks can be a little too thick making it harder to chalk up your hands. For the single men out there maybe you can get an old pair of pantyhose or stockings from your mum. Or you can use this excuse as a good conversation starter with a lady you like… You are most welcome.
Problems with retail chalk ball
Topping up chalk
All retail refillable chalk balls have a small opening and you’ll need to use one hand to force the opening out wide enough to pour chalk in. If you make a blunder you’ll have chalk all over your floor.
The elastic band lock has a tendency to work itself loose. When this happens you’ll find lots of loose chalks spilling out into your chalk bag.
Elastic band breakage
Rubber elastic band after prolong usage will break. Once the elastic band breaks you’ll need a new chalk ball. Unless you replace it with a new elastic band and we all know how difficult that can be.
How to make a DIY chalk ball
- Get an old preferably non-smelly sock or stockings and since taking one will make the other obsolete you should make 2 chalk balls. If you are using a stocking you’ll be able to make quite a few chalk balls with just 1 pair of stockings.
- Get a container preferably one that is tall with an opening big enough to put your hand in. This will minimize the chance of spilling chalk on the floor.
- Put the opening of your sock or stocking over the container and wrap the open end of your sock or stocking over the opening of the container
- Pour the desired amount of chalk into the sock/stocking. Compress and pack the chalk to the end of the sock/stocking.
- Push the chalk to the end and twist the opening end until the chalk is tightly packed and tie a simple overhand knot to close up the sock/stocking. Alternately after twisting the open end, you can wrap the excess top end of the sock/stocking back onto the chalk to have a double layer which will reduce the amount of chalk permeation through the fabric. Finish by tying an overhand knot to close up the open end and cut away the excess.
- You can close up the open end of the excess which you cut off and use it to make another one by repeating the steps above.
Make one for your climbing buddy
DIY chalk balls using old socks or stockings are free. You can make a few chalk balls depending on the length of your sock/stocking. So make one for your climbing buddies today.
Get a swanky new chalk bag for your DIY chalk ball