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I’m not a huge fan of commercial travel sewing kits. They are expensive, bulky, and never have the right color of thread for my clothes. I decided to make an itty bitty travel sewing kit that served my own needs. Now you can do it too!

DIY Travel Sewing Kit

Step 1 – Collect Materials

This sewing kit uses common materials that you should have at home:

  • A source of light cardboard – in this case I used a paper plate
  • Various colors of thread found in your capsule wardrobe
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing needles

I didn’t include spare buttons in my sewing kit because I have already sewn them into my garments. That way the buttons  are always available. I use the cutter on my dental floss as a substitute for scissors. It’s crude but it works. 

materials for DIY travel sewing kit

For this sewing kit I chose colors that I wear in the summer; tan, coral, navy, chambray blue, and olive green

Step 2 – Draw the template on the cardboard

I drew a rectangle approximately 1 inch by 1-1/2 inches (1/2 cm by 1 cm) on my cardboard.  I used 5 different colors in my sewing kit, so I spaced out 5 dots on the cardboard – one for each color.

Step 3 – Create points by adding in zig-zags

I added zig-zag lines to my template.  The triangular shaped points will keep the thread in place when I wrap it around the cardboard.


Step 4 – Cut out template, add in notches

I add keeper notches to each triangular point.  These will keep the ends of the thread secured. Note that I’ve added one notch on the last triangle on the left side.

Step 5 – Add Thread

Wrap the thread around the cardboard.  Secure the thread in the keeper notches.

Step 6 – Add in Hardware

I add in safety pins and sewing needles to finish my kit.  I usually slide safety pins in one side.  I slide sewing needles through the threads on the other side.

Step 7 – Finished!

I usually place my sewing kit into a pill size plastic bag.  I also add in my eyeglass repair kit.  Everything fits into a pocket of my toiletry kit.

The DIY Sewing Kit is much smaller and lighter than any commercial sewing kit. As a bonus, it has colors that you can actually use! The most important part of this kit is that it reduces the bulk and weight of a commonly carried item. It is just one more technique for travel with a personal item. Don’t leave your stuff at home to travel lightly – just cut bulk and weight!

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