Friday, July 30, 2021

Crafting When We Travel

As we wrap up July here at Crafty Neighbor, we are still focusing on crafting when we travel. I love taking my crafts with me when I travel, and I’ve been known to take crochet, embroidery, and, of course, scrapbooking along on my trips. Packing projects like embroidery and crochet are pretty straight-forward; you just need needles or hooks, thread or yarn, some scissors, and a pattern. But traveling with paper-crafting supplies can be a bit more challenging, especially if you are someone like me who likes to take everything I own. I have been known to completely fill my SUV with supplies when I head out to a retreat, but I’m trying to learn to bring less so I can get more done.

I recently went on an over-night canoe trip with my family, and my daughter and I both wanted to take our craft supplies along so we could document our trip. Since we have such limited space in our canoes (and not a lot of time for documenting), we restricted our supplies to travelers notebooks and a simple set of drawing/journaling tools. 


For this minimalist kit, I included three pens: a Tombow Mono Twin, and two Tombow brush pens, a hard tip and a soft tip. I also brought several pencils of varying hardness, including a .9 mm mechanical pencil, 4H and B graphite pencils, 3 black charcoal pencils (4B, 5B, and 6B), a white charcoal pencil, and a white 2B colored pencil. I also threw in a pencil sharpener, a Tombow Mono eraser, and a couple of bulldog clips to hold the notebooks open/closed as necessary. Since we were in canoes, we stored them in water-proof zipper bags. The idea behind this kind of kit is to do more drawing and journaling. I can still leave room for photos, but I will add those later. Mainly I just want to get the stories into the book before I forget them.


For other kinds of travel, I will often add other supplies to my kits. A cruise to the Bahamas for an Aggie Mom’s fundraiser in 2016 allowed me to bring my dual-tipped Stampin’ Up markers (which I am slowly replacing with Tombow markers), scissors, glue pens, Wink of Stella brushes, a white Uniball Signo pen, Tombow Mono adhesive, a Xyron adhesive eraser, a corner rounder punch, a small blender sponge (for use with the markers), Scor-Tape and red line tape, a 6”x6” paper pad, StazOn ink, and a very small assortment of stamps (numbers, letters, weather, travel). In the end, I wound up with a lot of things I never used, so for later trips, I went back to a more minimalist approach with just a few items.


My travel kits have evolved a lot since then. The addition of an HP Sprocket photo printer has allowed me to add photos on the spot to my cruise scrapbooks. And since the printer runs on a USB charge, there was no need for electricity. Washi tape allows me to tape ephemera and memorabilia into the album without gluing it down. And the pens, markers, and pencils change according to whatever is my favorite at the time.


When I traveled to Las Vegas last summer with my daughter’s bachelorette party, we both took along craft supplies for documenting in our traveler’s notebooks. My kit this time included stickers, an assortment of diecuts, a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, a date stamp, alpha-numeric stickers, a small assortment of patterned papers, the usual pens and scissors, Versa Fine black ink, a black Uniball Signo pen, plus my watercolor pencils and my Canon Selphy printer (great for photos up to 4”x6”). What got left behind? All those colored markers, most of the stamps, the Wink of Stella, and the blender sponge. This kit fit in my suitcase with my other belongings, and has become my standard go-to kit for traveling.


Sometimes, when I am going to be crafting only for one day, I will bring a single project to work on. For instance, one year at our Think Pink crop, I brought my Christmas cards to work on. The supplies for this were very limited: cardstock, scissors, paper trimmer, adhesive, Score-Pal, ink, and a stamp. I’ve also been known to bring my planner and a few stickers, or a bullet journal and pens. I’ve also brought mini albums I made in a class and finally took the time to add photos and journaling.


Learning to take smaller kits and one-off projects has helped me get more done when I do travel. When I bring too many supplies, I find that I actually get less done because I spend more time setting up my crafts and choosing supplies and less time actually crafting. Plus it’s a nice change not to lug all those supplies around in a second suitcase or tote bag. 


You can read more about taking crafts with you when you travel in our August newsletter, which will go out on the 1st. Brandi is going to share her travel kit, and I’ll have a new blog article about documenting your travels on the go. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at, and you can subscribe to this newsletter using the links on the left.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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