How to Pack for a Crafty Retreat/Vacation

Disclosure: I have never in my life brought this much stuff on vacation. It just worked out that I needed it all due to upcoming Design Team due dates. You can easily eliminate half of the items by bringing one brand of inks, etc.
Hi Crafters, I have had so many requests from you this month about doing a video on how to pack craft supplies for your vacation or to pack for a retreat. I was out of town for the entire month of August and was able to craft on normally. I go through everything in detail on the video. Normally I go on 1-2 week vacations and usually I will just bring my Kit and Clowder monthly colouring class with me. That is super light on supplies – pencil crayons, printed off images, an eraser and a sharpener. I keep up with my blog and videos by filming in advance. However, this time was different. I was going to visit my boyfriend in Germany (who works all day) and since I used to live here, there isn't a whole lot for me to discover and do all day. I knew I had a lot of down time so I wanted to take advantage and craft my little heart out!

I am able to fit all the supplies below into one carry on and one medium sized suitcase. Keep in mind, it is summer and very hot so my clothing is light and smaller than during winter. I have access to laundry so I didn't bring a lot. Also, be sure to buy all heavy toiletries on arrival (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste), that way you can maximize you space and weight. Easy on the shoes ladies!

While I was here I was sent several items to play with from companies, so traveling back is a little more challenging than it was traveling here. I won the complete set of Visible Image stamps (73 sets in total but I mailed some to friends to reduce my load a little), I was sent the Catherine Pooler Stamp of Approval and the new Create a Smile release. I wasn't expecting that but it worked out fine in the end.

I found bringing my Bunkie Bags, Junkie Tote and Misti Pouch (bought from Simply Charming Bags) helped me stay organized when I arrived and was crafting out of my suitcase. I couldn't imagine having everything just floating around everywhere. So pack in totes or 12×12 plastic bags to help stay organized!

To get started with packing, try and think what you want to accomplish and techniques you want to do. I recommend anything that isn't heavy. For example if you can live without embossing, you can save room on powders, heat tools and versa mark. If you can die cut some rectangles and things in advance, you don't need to bring a die cutting machine. If you are going to a retreat, they may already have heat tools and die cutting machines for you to use.
Recommended Supplies:
The Basics You are going to need the basic supplies whether you like it or not. Here are my list of “can't live without” materials that I use on every card. You can replace the MISTI stamping tool with blocks or the stamp platform from Fiskars of course to reduce the weight.


Paper and Ink I don't use patterned paper very often when cardmaking so I tend to leave it at home. If not, I recommend bringing a 6×6 pad that you enjoy. I also purchased a sample pack of paper with a bunch of different colours. I mostly use white paper so one pack is more than enough to last me. As for inks, the mini inks are so great – I recommend MFT, The Ton, Altenew, Gina K and Distress lines of mini cubes. Store them in the Tim Holtz tins and you are good to go. I had many design commitments this month which resulted in me bringing multiple brands – this is not necessary! Choose some colours you like, mix brands, whatever! 

Stamps and Dies
Stamps and Dies can be the hardest to choose. Grab some that you haven't had a chance to use yet or follow my rule – lots of sentiments, a few classic images. This is really going to depend on your style. I like to create a wide variety of cards and sentiment stamps help me do that more than image stamps.  As for dies, I always bring my nesting dies (rectangles, circle and squares) and some basic sentiments. Remember you can die cut some shapes in advance if you don't have access to a machine! Here are so typical stamps and dies that I take with me on vacation.

Other Considerations Consider the techniques you want to do – if you want to colour you will need to bring along some coloured pencils or markers. If you want to do masking – you will need masking paper. What about adding dimension? Pack the 3D foam tape. If you're into mixed media you may need to bring paints.
I really think more is less. The better prepared you are and the more you think about what you want to accomplish will help you narrow down what to create while on vacation or at your crafty retreat. And if you happen to arrive and forget something, don't sweat it. Tuck away the card and move on to the next one. Remember there is always Amazon Prime!
Click here to download your packing list!


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