• TPK’s 10 Best Art Projects for Traveling

    Don’t miss this article if you plan on partaking in summer travels! In it, you’ll find ten suggestions for travel-friendly art projects that you can make almost anywhere. These projects don’t require dip pens, ink, paint, or brushes. Instead, they center around dry, portable mediums with zero spill potential.

    Sharing My Sketchbook So Far
    Almost any illustration project is easy to do away from home! Consider packing your sketchbook and some portable art supplies next time you take a trip, and explore TPK’s favorite art projects for traveling.

    As June unfolds, many of us find ourselves amidst the flurry of planning for summer adventures. Amidst the chaos of pre-vacation preparations, remember that vacations are meant for joy and leisure. For many TPK readers, creative projects go hand in hand with relaxing, so in today’s article, we’re going to explore ten art projects for traveling. Each of these projects demands minimal setup and supplies, ensuring that they’ll seamlessly blend into your vacation agenda.

    1. Simple Lettering Art

    I love this lettering art concept as a way to celebrate your relationship with a loved one. This piece that I made for my husband, Hernán, uses hand-lettered special memories to make an “h” silhouette.

    Simple Lettering Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    You can find the Simple Lettering Art Tutorial by clicking here.

    No-mess packing list:

    2. Talavera Mexican Tile Mail Art

    Mail art is a fantastic project to create away from home. You can send your decorated envelope directly from your travel destination to switch up your usual postmark.

    (Seriously Gorgeous!) Talavera Mexican Tile Mail Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Tip: When you’re packing, put loose stamps directly inside your (unsealed) blank envelope. Once you’ve finished your mail art, you can affix them to their proper place. Find the Talavera Mexican Tile Mail Art tutorial by clicking here.

    No-mess packing list:

    3. Hand-Lettering Exemplar

    I love to practice hand-lettering styles by writing out nice, orderly alphabets. These alphabets double as works of art; after all, there are few things that are more pleasing to the eye than an artistic alphabet. You can write out one or more of TPK’s hand-lettering styles, or you can work on developing your own style.

    "Circus Lettering" Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    This is TPK’s “Circus Lettering”. You can learn how to make it here.

    No-mess packing list:

    4. State Lettering Map

    Another great way to practice your lettering? Do so within an outline of your state or country. Once you finish, you’ll have a stunning and gift-worthy piece. As a bonus, this is one of those projects that you can work on a little bit here and there over the course of your travels.

    California State Artwork
    You can find the tutorial for how to make this state lettering map by clicking here.

    No-mess packing list:

    5. Ink Wash Art

    Sometimes, non-waterproof pens offer amazing artistic opportunities. I love using a cotton swab and water (or a paintbrush) to smudge whatever I’ve drawn with a G2 pen. The smudging leads to a lovely, vintage effect that looks much more complicated than it actually is.

    Ink Wash with Pilot G2 Pen + Cotton Swab
    You can learn more about how I made this artistic note for a Paris Airbnb host in the 7 Tips for Making Art and Calligraphy on the Go article.

    Here’s more ink wash art inspiration:

    Elegant DIY Mother's Day Card Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Can you believe that this pattern was created using a gel pen and water? It looks like watercolor art! You can find tips for making this artwork here. (Something like this would look awesome in a sketchbook.)

    No-mess packing list:

    • Pilot G2 pen
    • Cotton swab or paintbrush (in a pinch, your finger could work to smudge the ink)
    • Paper (or sketchbook)
    • Water

    6. Brush Pen Drills (or a Worksheet)

    A brush pen is just a marker, really, so it travels very well. You can pack several brush pens in different colors to make projects; or, if you just want to get in some practice, take a solo brush pen along.

    Not Your Average Brush Pen Drills Sheet | The Postman's Knock
    You can practice your brush pen calligraphy practically anywhere. Consider printing out a copy of this free drills sheet to work on later.

    No-mess packing list:

    7. Botanical Letter

    This botanical letter just needs a few modifications before you take the project on the road. First, use a waterproof pen (such as Muji) instead of a dip pen. Second, if you don’t want to travel with watercolors, use colored pencils or markers instead to give the project some color.

    The completed letter!
    You can find instructions for making this gorgeous Botanical Letter by clicking here. Remember, the tutorial needs a couple of modifications to truly classify as travel-friendly.

    No-mess packing list:

    • Pen (preferably Muji because it’s waterproof)
    • Pencil + eraser
    • Paper (or sketchbook)
    • Printed outline of your letter
    • Watercolors + brush, colored pencils, crayons, or markers — just something to add color!

    8. “Juicy” Brush Pen Calligraphy

    If you want to make brush pen calligraphy with panache, you’ll need a small collection of brush pens (in different shades of the same color). If you want to make mail art using this concept, then feel free to bring along a couple of light-colored envelopes. Otherwise, you can write out brush pen quotes on loose leaf paper or in a sketchbook.

    "Juicy" Brush Pen Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    You can find the tutorial over how to make vibrant, “‘juicy” lettering like this here.

    No-mess packing list:

    9. Crayola Calligraphy

    If brush pens aren’t in the budget (or washable markers are a better fit for your trip), consider “Crayola calligraphy”. This is just calligraphy created with a broad-tipped marker. It’s portable, kid-friendly, and you don’t have to worry about messes.

    Crayola calligraphy used to write "Colorado" with mountains in the background
    Broad-tipped markers aren’t just for kids — they’re powerful creative tools.

    No-mess packing list:

    10. Hand-Lettered Envelopes

    If you plan on sending out greeting cards this summer, try making some envelopes during your vacation! Whether you’re traveling or staying at home, lettering your envelopes with a regular pen makes the process mess-free and totally portable.

    "George Style" Printable Hand-Lettering Exemplar | The Postman's Knock
    I used George Style lettering to write on this unique envelope. To see several more eye-candy examples of hand lettered envelopes, check out the 10 Drool-Worthy Hand Lettered Envelope Examples article.

    No-mess packing list:

    I hope that this collection of project ideas will enrich your journeys with joy and inspiration! As you embark on your adventures, consider packing essentials like a sketchbook, a trusty pen, a pencil, and a watercolor set along with a couple of paintbrushes. After a busy year, taking time to doodle can offer a refreshing respite, helping you relax and recharge during your summer adventures.

    Happy trails,