Grab A Project Bag And Cross Stitch While You Travel

When I first started cross stitching I remember finding a photo of Mr X Stitch cross stitching on the train! I thought it was insane! OK, I was a manbroiderer so may have preferred to stitch indoors, but I thought his work must get so dirty!
That’s the thing; your work doesn’t have to be dirty. With a great project bag, you can stitch wherever you like (including on a plane). But when I first started, no one spoke about project bags, and to be honest, they still don’t. So I plan to shine some light on some of the most useful bags you’ve ever come across!

Plastic Mesh Bag

We’ll start with some of the most obvious options, and right at the top goes the plastic mesh bag.
These bags are specifically for projects, come in a whole variety of sizes, and can come in pure mesh versions (with holes, kind of like aida) or plastic-covered mesh.

Gingham Mesh Project Bag (Source:
Gingham Mesh Project Bag (Source:

As the go-to for many people when first looking for a project bag, they do a good job, however, there are a few issues that actually make them somewhat problematic. The first is that some of these have unprotected mesh; this is great for designing and stitching on it yourself, but just allows dirt and water through!
Secondly, all your tools need to be stored within the same pouch. This is just asking for trouble when it comes to scissors bouncing around, but if you have the mesh variety you need to be careful your needle doesn’t drop out too!


  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • You can stitch the outside of them

Draw Backs

  • Not water proof
  • All tools & thread need to be stored with project


Vinyl Project Bag

For many who have felt the pain of mesh bags, they move to a vinyl project bag, most commonly found on Etsy or similar handmade websites.

Sewing Project Bag by TheTinySewingCompany (Source: Etsy)

These bags are very similar to a mesh bag but are made up of cotton, normally with a vinyl window (which gives them their name). These have a few advantages over mesh bags, such as being dirt proof (although still not waterproof), have a window to see what is where comes in a whole range of designs, and if cross stitch isn’t your only hobby you can stitch your own!
You still have to keep your tools with your work, but they are better than mesh bags. This is where most people end up. However, there are better choices.


  • Can come in multi designs
  • Can be stitched yourself

Draw Backs

  • Dirt proof, but not water proof
  • All tools & thread need to be stored with project


Laptop Bag

So right now the biggest issues are that we need it to be waterproof, dirtproof, and holds your tools in their own section. This is where we start getting creative. It’s time to look in your attic for that old laptop bag.

Laptop Bag used as a Cross Stitch Project Bag (Source: Amazon)

You don’t have to use a second-hand one, of course, you can pick up good laptop bags pretty cheap, and even some that market themselves as project bags. But laptop bags have all of the things we need. They’re waterproof to keep the laptop safe, you have multiple flaps and sections for your cables cross stitch tools, and thanks to the way these bags are constructed you can keep your work in the frame (and we mean big frames here, not just the hoop!).


  • Water proof and dirt proof
  • Keeps your work separate from your tools
  • The bulky construction allows you to keep your work in the frame

Draw Backs

  • Not very pretty


A Hangbag

Want something prettier? We don’t blame you. So what about your handbag?
Well, we’d suggest you have a handbag JUST for cross stitch as no one wants makeup getting anywhere near your project, and going for a bag with a zip-top is a massively important step to keep it clean and dry. However a handbag doesn’t really solve that much other than being pretty; all your tools will still be with your project, and having two bags on the go at once is a pain (and will inevitably end up with one being left somewhere).


  • Pretty

Draw Backs

  • Bulky
  • All tools & thread need to be stored with project
  • Open top bags mean some are not dirt or water proof


Knitting Bags

So what do we suggest? Knitting bags.

Knitting Bag (Source: Amazon)

Handbags and knitting bags can look similar, but knitting bags actually have a whole range of designs, some similar to laptop bags, some like clutches, and some like backpacks, so you have lots of variation here to pick from. But knitting bags are made in a way that protects your work, be it knitting, or a cross stitch frame, from dirt and water. They’ve got multiple sections for tools and storage. They have pretty designs!
There isn’t much that we can say negative about them; that’s how good knitting bags are. It’s our personal choice for cross stitch project bags. Sure, most have a single hole in them somewhere to let wool come out, but that’s hardly a big thing!


  • Tools and work are stored seperately
  • Pretty, and come in lots of different types and designs
  • Dirt and water proof

Draw Backs

  • Normally have a single hole in the site (for wool to come out)


The Sewing Roll

But what if you’re not looking for pretty? What happens if you already have a good vinyl bag you like, but want to keep your tools separate? Well, for you, we’d suggest a sewing kit roll.

Sewing Kit Roll (Source: Flickr)

These babies store all your tools in a nice and safe space, that you can drop into your bag (be it a handbag or project bag), and you can pull out at the drop of a hat. You can make these yourself or pick one up at Etsy or even sewing shops. Or, if you prefer, a makeup bag, makeup roll, or a simple pencil case will work too!


  • Keeps tools safe and separate from project
  • Lots of options
  • Can be made yourself
  • You can use makeup or pencil cases instead

Wondering what you might want to add into your travel kit (like a reading light), we’ve got you covered with our tips for traveling with cross stitch. If you have any project bags you think we should mention (or even have a photo) drop us a line below!
Happy stitching!
Lord Libidan

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Cindy Jo

    I have a little tin for needles, it has a flat magnet to hold them and folding scissors in a cosmetic bag in my purse for smalls. My larger travel project bag is a small tote that zips, made of cloth. For tools, you can always put a small bag in the bigger bag.

  2. Lindsey Lichtman

    I use a pencil case, like you mention under the sewing roll suggestion. You can get cheap ones with two zipper pockets, and I use one pocket for floss and the other pocket for tools. When I have multiple projects going at once, I keep the floss and extra needles in the pouch with each project, and end up just moving my scissors to whichever project I’m working on at the moment, and throw the pouch and project together in a handbag or tote if I’m travelling with it. Also I know some people may keep their printed out patterns in a 3-ring binder, and pencil pouches usually have holes meant for clipping them into binder rings.

    1. LordLibidan

      Oh, that’s clever! Keeps the threads away from the scissors/needles…

  3. Sevothtarte

    Thank you! I love your page, thank you for all you do <3

  4. Sevothtarte

    The problem with stitching on the plane is that they would never allow scissors on board…

    1. LordLibidan

      Ah, but they do!
      The TSA have confirmed you can cross stitch on planes.
      The link details some of the options for scissors, and we plan to make a full list soon to go through all the options. I short you need a “pair of scissors that are less than 1 inch from the pivot point, and are rounded off on a 1/1 curve and aren’t larger than 4 inches total”. We suggest micro snips!