Tips for Travelling With Your Cross Stitch | S3E6

In this post, I’m going to share my best tips for travelling with your cross stitch projects! I’ll answer questions such as “can I take my cross stitch on a plane?” and “what is the best travel bag for cross stitch?”

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Have a listen to this post or scroll down to read the tips instead.

When booking to go abroad for the first time in a while I was hit with a whole host of questions about going on a plane with my project. I assumed embroidery scissors were out of the question (hint: I may be wrong!), but what about the needle?

I’ve travelled a lot around the U.K. (where I live) so I’m used to cross stitching in the car. Hopefully, these tips will help you whichever form of travelling you’re doing this year.

General tips for travelling with cross stitch:

  • Get a project bag! I love my big cotton ones for travelling because they can fit so much in. And you can even stitch on them if you finish your project before your trip is over! But another of my favourites are Sarah Ashford’s project pouches. These are good for holding just your project and then popping in a bigger bag.
  • Put your hoop on back to front. This stops the front of your design rubbing against the bags as you are taking it in and out and just gives the front a bit of extra protection because it has the “lip” from the hoop sitting in front of it.
  • Take a reading light. They can clip onto your hoop or frame and come in handy when you’re travelling at night.
  • I like having a specific “holiday project” so I can save it for being on holiday/travelling and it gets me even more excited. I do make it a small one though (see below).
  • Take a smaller project. The smaller the project the fewer supplies you will have to take and it’s just easier to pack it and get it in and out. Also, there’s more chance of you finishing the full project on holiday and I love that finished project feeling! If you have a holiday specific project you will probably want to finish it before you come home. If you are worried you will finish it and get bored then you can take 2 small projects! Or just start stitching on that cotton bag holding your supplies.
  • Don’t take a project you really care about/an heirloom piece. You could spill something on it, or even lose it/leave it there. Save that one for the comfort of your home so you know exactly where it is.
Putting your hoop on back to front keeps it cleaner! This is my personalised monogram kit.
Take a specific holiday project like this ice cream one!

Tips for travelling on a plane with your cross stitch

Ok so everyone’s airlines will be different but I am in the U.K. and you can read their guidelines here – and the TSA here –

Can I take scissors on a plane?

In the U.K. you can take scissors with a blade less than 6cm on. I measured all of my scissors and the biggest pair I had were 4.5cm so embroidery scissors should be fine but I’m taking a pair that I won’t mind losing just in case. I will put another pair in my checked bag too (wrapped securely).

Sewing needles are also ok but again I’m taking lots of spares in my checked bag.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s similar rules for the US too. But some people have had problems with scissors, so again if you risk taking them, make sure their not your favourites!

A way to get around the scissor dilemma is to cut all your threads before you go. You can use the tip I share in my 15 Hints and Tips post about cutting all the loops at the bottom of the skein to make 24 equal strands of thread. This way if you lose your scissors you will still be able to cross stitch, and you can just snip the threads from the back when you’re off the plane. I know you might not like the lengths of the treads this way, but I better safe than sorry.

New to cross stitch? Why not check out my How to Cross Stitch for Beginners Course. You can see all the modules and even preview a few lessons here!

Can I take a sewing needle on a plane?

According to the guidelines, sewing needles are OK on both U.K. and U.S. airlines, but again be prepared to potentially lose it. And pack more in your checked bag if you have one with you.

Although it would be good to be able to cross stitch on the plane (mainly to take my mind off the fact I’m on a plane) in reality I probably won’t even get much done! With 2 kids who are bound to be over-excited by their first plane ride, I’m sure they will keep me busy. I am taking my project to stitch when I’m actually on the holiday. But I will come back and update once we are back!

Tips for travelling in the car/RV with your cross stitch

You might be travelling by car, coach or RV and the reading light will definitely come in handy here. I have been stuck a few times in a dark car kicking myself for forgetting a light! There was also a great tip shared in my Facebook group about wearing a head torch while stitching.

Stitching in a moving vehicle takes practice but it is possible. I find it easier the larger the car/vehicle is as there’s less vibration and so your project stays steady while you’re trying to stitch. So if you have tried in a small car before and it didn’t work, don’t be put off! If you are travelling in a larger car/coach then try again and see if it makes a difference.

A good tip here is one I’ve shared before but it’s to stitch the outlines of your design first and then fill in the middle. Or stitch in half stitches first and then go back over. Both of these ways will allow you to not look at your pattern as much when you’re stitching and the less you have out in a car the better. You don’t really have a lot of space to spread out, and no drop down table with you like on a plane. Concentrate.


Cross stitch pattern of the month

This month is a 4th July pattern – “Land of the free because of the brave”. It comes from SpookyAndSteve on Etsy and costs around £3.92.

If stitched on 14 count aida it measures 7.4 x 9 inches, uses 3 DMC colours and is made up of just whole cross stitches so perfect for a beginner.

The pattern says “Land of the free because of the brave” on it and has stars, the flag and an arrow. A great stitch for celebrating this year.

Extra cross stitch resources:

Pin for later!


8 thoughts on “Tips for Travelling With Your Cross Stitch | S3E6”

  1. Thanks for tips for travelling . I’m from Australia and will be doing a tour of England Ireland and Scotland, and I wondered if I could take scissors and needles with me, for something to do at night. Very informative. Love my crossstitch. Tracey Penn

    1. hannahhandmakes

      No problem Tracy! Your trip sounds amazing!! How long are you over here for? Do you have your stops planned yet? Hannah.

  2. Cassie Cunningham


    I used to do a lot of traveling on airplanes in the U.S. for work. Although I never had my scissors confiscated, many times I would just take a pair of nail clippers to cut my floss. Works like a charm!


  3. I use a storage case with a clipboard for the cover. Most are deep enough to hold a small hoop and pattern flosses and snippies. Came n handy on planes and cars. Gives you a “table” for your lap.

    1. Wow, that’s an amazing idea! I am definitely doing this for my car journeys. Thanks for sharing Paula!

  4. I don’t think it matters which way you use your hoop – smaller ring on top or on bottom – because I never leave my hoop on my fabric for extended periods of time. Left on too long can leave marks that are hard to remove.

    1. Yes, that’s a great point Becky! I usually frame mine straight in the hoop I use for stitching so not always something I think about doing, but it’s a great reminder!

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