• Traveling With Calligraphy Supplies

    My ideal vacation includes time to create calligraphy and art. Most people create their best work when they’re relaxed and uninhibited, and I’m no exception! Today, we’re going to talk about traveling with calligraphy supplies — and you can score a free nib tin to take on your next trip.

    Traveling With Art and Calligraphy Supplies | The Postman's Knock
    Traveling with calligraphy supplies allows you to create pointed pen works while enjoying stunning locales (like Madrid, shown here).

    I love being at home and getting to create things in my workspace. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to step out of everyday life and get to relax in a new place. I rarely go on a trip without a basic calligraphy travel kit! Today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned over the last decade about packing smart to set yourself up for successful vacation creation sessions.

    1. Skip the Ink

    While traveling with a jar of ink can be done, a suitcase black ink spill on an airplane in 2016 made me realize it’s not worth it. (Airplane pressure changes can cause containers to leak or burst, resulting in a messy situation.) If you’re traveling by car and you have the ability to store your ink upright in a cup holder, that will be fine, but I still don’t think it’s worth the fuss. Instead, try bring a watercolor palette with you and use your watercolor as ink.

    A (Free!) Watercolor Calligraphy Worksheet | The Postman's Knock
    If you’ve never used watercolors as inks before, try filling out TPK’s free Watercolor Calligraphy Worksheet.

    Using a watercolor palette as your go-to “ink” for traveling with calligraphy supplies is a no-brainer. Dry pans of watercolor don’t spill and can easily be tucked into a carry-on. Plus, you have infinite and instant ink color combinations. You can learn how to create watercolor calligraphy by visiting the How to Create Watercolor Calligraphy tutorial.


    2. Roll Up Your Writing Utensils

    It’s a good idea to use a pen roll or some sort of protective pouch to store your writing utensils safely while traveling. If you don’t have something like this, you can use a scrap piece of fabric to roll everything up (a cleaning cloth works).

    Every once in a while, TPK stocks a pen roll like this one, which is created by a talented artist/seamstress in Australia. (When I have a new batch, I announce their arrival in the TPK Monday newsletter.)

    The writing utensils (and writing utensil-shaped calligraphy supplies) that I normally travel with include:

    3. Put Your Nibs in a Tin

    You don’t have to get too fussy with nibs. You goal, really, is to just ensure that they’re not going to get jostled and bent. A very easy way to ensure this is to keep them in a small, durable vessel, like a tin.

    Now through Wednesday, August 9th, you can get this nib tin for free with any $20+ Supplies Shop purchase. Type the code NIBTIN in the “Apply Gift Card” field at checkout to receive your treat!

    Note, however, that anything small and protective works for nib storage. Some calligraphers use pill organizers to keep their nibs sorted and protected, which is a brilliant idea. Still others use mint tins or spice jars. Whatever you can find around your house is fine!

    4. Secure Your Paper

    Naturally, you’ll need a surface on which to create your calligraphy. If you take a drawing pad or larger sketchbook, it’s always a good idea to put bulldog clips on the two loose corners of the paper pad.

    Traveling with Art and Calligraphy Supplies | The Postman's Knock

    The reason for doing this is simple: you don’t want the drawing pad to open and have its pages get all crinkled and weird. The clips ensure that the paper pad stays closed! As an added bonus, you can put various loose sheets of paper or envelopes on the inside of your pad. Let’s say you want to make some cool mail art while traveling; you’ll just stick the envelope inside the paper pad, and it will stay nice and flat. Of course, if you don’t want to lug a drawing pad around, you can a sketchbook with a built-in elastic band to keep the book closed.

    I usually take my Shinola sketchbook with me on trips. (It’s my favorite sketchbook I’ve ever had!)

    Other Miscellaneous Items

    A good calligraphy travel kit also includes an eraser, a cleaning cloth, and a ruler (so you can draw guidelines). You can bet that wherever you go, you’ll have access to water — both to clean off your nib and to moisten your watercolors — and some sort of a cup. But, if you want to be extra prepared, you can bring your own dropper bottle and cup.

    Calligraphy on the go
    A dropper bottle and cup isn’t a must, but it does come in handy when you’re traveling.

    Practicing Calligraphy Away from Home

    I have received a few emails about on-the-go practice (usually at work) using calligraphy worksheets. If you want to practice your calligraphy at work, consider keeping a little container of ink there to practice with when you need a break from the stresses of the day. Secure your worksheet sets with a paperclip when they’re not in use. Then, when you want to use them, you can remove the paperclip and focus on filling out one page at a time.

    Storage Tips for Calligraphy Supplies | The Postman's Knock

    If it’s not possible to create calligraphy using the pointed pen calligraphy technique, you can always use faux calligraphy instead. Faux calligraphy is every bit as therapeutic as pointed pen and only requires a basic writing utensil to create. (Pencil calligraphy is also an excellent idea!)

    @calligraphybysana has the right idea — faux calligraphy Kaitlin Style practice on the beach!

    Free Nib Tin

    TPK’s simple nib tin doesn’t leave any room for doubt when it comes to its contents. The silver top is labeled “Nibs” in neat black calligraphy. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of space for your favorite little writing powerhouses! Now through Wednesday, August 9th, Supplies Shop orders $20+ will receive a free nib tin. Type the code NIBTIN in the “Apply Gift Card” field at checkout to get your treat!


    I hope this article gives you some ideas about traveling smart with calligraphy supplies. It’s always good to have a few supplies on hand so you can take enhance a relaxing vacation with creativity. Thanks for reading, and happy trails!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock