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You’re finally booked for that dream vacation you’ve been wanting for a while but now the question arises – what are you going to do on the plane?

Granted, most flights provide in-transit entertainment these days in the form of movies or television shows, but the selections aren’t always the best or the most up-to-date.

So what can you do?

Why not take your traveling time to finish off a craft project you’ve been working on or maybe use the time to try something new? It’s 100% possible to do crafts while on a plane (maybe barring woodwork!), but you do have to choose the best ones for the space available.

Best Crafts You Can Do While On A Plane

Choosing a Plane Friendly Project

Adult elephant coloring in book

It’s obviously not feasible to take a woodworking project on a flight because you won’t have the tools or the space needed. And you probably also won’t have a charging outlet for any tools which need electricity.

Another project that might not be the best option is painting. You won’t have the space to spread out your canvas and mix your paints, and depending on the kind of paint or oils you are using, they could have an odor that bothers other passengers.

Plus, any type of turbulence and your colors go everywhere – people around you are not going to thank you for it!

The kind of craft that you need to take on the plane is something that you can do in a smaller space (because everyone knows that the space in a plane seat, is well, tiny).

So, what are some of the best crafts you can do while travelling on a plane?

Sketching or Drawing

Sketching the world travel drawing RF

Sketching or drawing is a perfect plane craft because all you need is your sketchbook or blank pages and drawing pencils. Pencils have no odor, easily fit in your bag, and are capable of wielding magical images in classic colors without mess.

They generally have differing sizes for their tips to allow for shading, contrasts, and more. Sketchbooks are available in a wide range of sizes from little pocketbooks to bigger legal size pads.

Not only are the tools needed for sketching and drawing easily placed in your carryon, being in an airport and on the airplane opens up new possibilities when it comes to subjects for your next work of art.

If you enjoy sketching people for instance, the people watching throughout international airports and on planes is second to none – you have a wide and diverse mix of humanity to watch!

Knitting or Crocheting

Knitting RF

Knitting and crocheting has come back into fashion with a bang. With its sustainable and green methods for creating art, clothing, and even practical items such as cell phone holders, it is truly a reemerging craft.

Generations ago, knitting was the source of clothing and items used around the home when it wasn’t as easy to hop online or go to the store for something new, such as socks or mittens. The knitter could reuse the wool and yarn to make new items out of the old, making this craft a godsend for those with large families.

Crocheting was a form of knitting or sewing that not only made pretty objects for the home, but it also added a touch of delicacy to clothing. Looking for the best yarn for crocheting? Then click here.

That is why both of these art forms are coming back into fashion and they are also perfect for a craft while on a plane because of the small amount of supplies needed. You only need the knitting or crocheting needles, wool and/or yarn, and a pattern if necessary.

The only thing to check into before taking needles on the plane is the airline’s policy regarding them. On domestic US flights, knitting needles and crochet hooks are fine in carry-on (the TSA suggests that wooden or plastic needles over metal).

This will vary from country to country though if you’re traveling internationally, so, for instance, you may be allowed to fly into a country with knitting needles in your carry-on but may need to check them on your return flight.

Beaded and Handmade Jewelry

Bead jewelery RF

Do you love making your own jewelry? Why not use your traveling time to complete your latest set just in time to wear it on vacation?

Using rope and beads, you could have a new necklace complete with a matching bracelet and even earrings! You might even have the time to make them for your traveling companions for a truly unique look.

The only thing to remember is to leave your beads in their protective containers so that they don’t roll around the plane! Turbulence is definitely a thing that could make your seat tray rattle and send those little buggers flying – literally.

Coloring Books

Coloring books are not just for children anymore and now there are lines of coloring books marketed to adults. They range in pictures from easy to hard, with numerous opportunities to exercise your creative side while in motion.

You choose your type of coloring utensil, from crayons to markers to colored leads, and unwind your entire flight by creating bright pictures.


Traveling doesn’t have to be boring while stuck on a plane; it can provide some much needed downtime for a person, time to gain new skills, time to work on something that has been begging for completion, and time to hone your creative senses.

Look for the items you will need for your plane crafts at your local craft store or even department store. And remember to choose a craft that will not take up valuable space in your luggage or your carry-on!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. My wife bought one of those adult coloring books, a mandala. What a fun time. How therapeutic too. Good for mindfulness which helps one circling the globe in a steel tube 6 miles in the air up there.


    • Ive become obsessed!

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