Stepping Onto My Soapbox (And A Handmade Chalk Bag)

(Side note: Take a moment to check out Free2Work. More info below.)

The University of Montana has a fantastic climbing wall in its recreation center. Truth be told, Montana probably just has some fantastic climbing in general. Too bad I climbed for about 30 seconds in college. Poor life decisions.

Continuing. Wichita’s YMCAs are topnotch and several have walls, so, to make up for my younger self’s poor life decisions, I’ve started climbing a few times a week. Sweaty fingers caused me to lose my grip one too many times and I finally came to terms that chalk is an essential part of climbing. Chalk bag time. Me being me, I couldn’t justify spending $20 or $30 on something with one purpose, so I decided to learn something new, save some money and make one using this nifty pattern.


One tablecloth, one fleece blanket and one set of curtains later…

20130307_Handmade_Chalk_Bag_02…Chalk bag! In effort to conserve my black thread, I stitched the entire bag with red thread. This makes the loop on the bag look really stupid, so when I work up the energy, I’ll redo it. Also stupid: white elastic, but it’s all JoAnn’s had.

Recycled/2nd Hand Materials Used: thread, fabric, sewing machine

New Materials Used: elastic, nylon strap, grommets, cord stopper

I’m taking a sewing class through one of the city’s recreation programs. It’s fantastic, but often I find myself taking the easy way out and buying new rather than used materials. See above as a prime example. This is something I’m trying to work on.

(Side note: I try not to get on my soapbox too often and I also try not to purposely offend people. Therefore, I will keep the following brief! If you do have questions or comments pertaining to my lifestyle, why I choose to live the way I do, and/or steps toward a more minimalistic lifestyle, please feel free to comment or e-mail me.)

(If you hate soapboxes, you should just skip to Through My Headphones and listen to a good song instead.)


Two things I’ve been very interested in since about 7th grade are sweatshops and company labor practices. These are two of the biggest reasons why I choose to live as minimally as possible. (Other strong reasons include my belief that I am happiest with a minimalistic lifestyle, that I get easily overwhelmed by the vast amounts of unnecessary materials and waste in the world, and that I’m really, really cheap frugal.) I’m no where close to a perfect example of these beliefs, but they are beliefs I feel strongly about.

I recently met with Jennifer of ICT S.O.S. on human trafficking, which is sadly prevalent not just in the world, but in American cities including Wichita. Human trafficking has a few definitions, but in general, I think people associate human trafficking with sexual exploitation and forced labor. One of the resources Jennifer passed along to me is this great website that rates companies based on their labor practices. I highly recommend you check it out: Free2Work.


It’s a Macklemore evening. Morning. Whatever. Happy 12:45 am.

Through My Headphones
*Can’t Hold Us -Macklemore


4 thoughts on “Stepping Onto My Soapbox (And A Handmade Chalk Bag)

    • Negatory! I bought a stiff table cloth for $1.48 and used that as the body and then just used my curtains for the chalk cover. Totally omitted the linen. Thanks for answering my one million and a half questions!

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