Which embroidery supplies should you bring with you on a long road trip?

I typically break supplies into two categories: essential supplies for hand embroidery (i.e., supplies you need to get started, many of which you may already own), and optional supplies for hand embroidery (i.e., supplies you might add as you become more interested in pursuing the craft). In today’s post, however, I’ll provide you with a list of embroidery supplies you might consider packing in preparation for a long road trip. This list is (arguably) a hybridization of those essential and optional supplies lists, with caveats along the way to help best prepare you for embroidering while on the road.


Phot of embroidery supplies scattered about a white surface, including: a cut of fabric, colorful floss, embroidery scissors in pink with heart-shaped handles, pencil, needles, and a small embroidery hoop.

As is the case with all other topics in hand embroidery, there is no right or wrong way to do this, and I’m not here to tell you what you “must” do! Instead, my hope is that this serves as a good jumping off point for you, especially if you’re a beginner and aren’t quite sure where to start!


Start by choosing something to carry your supplies


For today’s example, I’m using this small, round tin to prepare my personalized “travel kit.” In the past, I’ve used zippered pouches, small cardboard boxes, and plastic containers. Choosing your container first will help you to determine which supplies to bring; otherwise, you might end up with a suitcase full of embroidery supplies and run out of space for your toothbrush.


Hope holds up a small, round tin, on top of which she's stuck a circular sticker featuring a photo of colorful bits of embroidery floss.

(P.S. You can get this sticker I've stuck on top of my tin in the stickers section of my shop!)


Hoop


I like to bring small embroidery hoops with me on trips so I don’t feel so much pressure to create a bigger finished piece. This 3” hoop is a great option for quick and easy projects!


Overhead photo of a 3" wooden embroidery hoop, which sits on a white surface next to the opened tin.

Pencil


A simple pencil makes for a great transfer tool when embroidering on the go – and these golf pencils fit perfectly into those smaller project bags or tins you’ll use to carry around supplies! If your container is a bit bigger than mine, you can always add in larger transfer tools in place of a pencil, such as blue or white water-erasable pens.


Overhead photo of a small golf pencil on a white background, which sits next to the opened tin.

Scissors


These small embroidery scissors are super travel-friendly, fitting into smaller spaces and allowing you to more easily snip off the ends of your floss.


Overhead photo of three pairs of small pink embroidery scissors (one with squared handles, one with heart-shaped handles, and one shaped like a stork).

You can find embroidery scissors in most craft stores, in loads of online shops, and of course I also carry these beautiful and handy scissors myself!


When choosing a pair of embroidery scissors to bring with you on a trip, please note I'm recommending these for road trips -- not flying. If you do plan to fly with embroidery scissors, please be aware that TSA can (and often will) take them away from you, even if they're technically small enough to be included in a carry on bag. Pre-pandemic, I usually left my embroidery scissors at home and instead used a dental floss container to help me snip off the ends of my embroidery floss.


Floss


I like to travel with a handful of embroidery floss in colors I know I love, even if I don’t have a particular project in mind just yet! A random assortment of floss allows you to be playful -- who knows what you'll make!


Four skeins of embroidery floss in pink, orange, green, and yellow, sit on top of a white surface, just next to an opened tin.

Needles


Don’t forget your embroidery needles! Consider bringing more than just one – we all know how hard it can be to find a stray needle in general, and you don’t want to risk losing your one and only needle on a trip!


Photo of two embroidery needles and a metal needle threader on top of a white surface, next to an opened tin.

If you have the space, you might also consider bringing a needle threader along with you. I include these in most of my kits because I've always had such a hard time threading needles, and being on the road could certainly contribute to the potential difficulty of that sort of task!


Fabric


Consider bringing enough fabric for more than one project, just in case you want to start over at some point, or spill something on your hoop, or get around to making more than one piece! If you can’t fit a larger pair of scissors into your travel kit, you might also consider pre-cutting your fabric into smaller pieces before packing it into your container.


A folded up cut of linen fabric in a honey-like color sits on top of a white surface, next to an opened tin.

Bring whatever fabric you like to work with most -- there's no "best" fabric for hand embroidery, so trust your instincts and preferences here!


Remember this list is only a starting point!


This list should only serve as a starting point, so be sure to include or exclude supplies depending upon your own ever-developing personal preferences. Do your best to trust your own instincts, and avoid bringing supplies that will only end up taking up space and frustrating you on your trip.


The tin Hope held up in an earlier photo is now opened, revealing a neatly packed container with all of the supplies outlined in today's post.


Thank you for being here, and I can’t wait to see what you make!


I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make - whether you create something from one of my kits or patterns, or from a design of your very own! If you'd like to share your work with me, you can always tag me on your social media accounts (@hopebroidery on Instagram and Twitter, @hope.broidery on TikTok). If you don't have public social accounts, but still want to share, consider emailing me a few pictures (hope@hopebroidery.com), I would love the chance to tell you how much I love your work!


Happy stitching!