View Full Version : Flying with art supplies/pastels

09-07-2016, 08:16 PM
I'm planning a trip to Phoenix at the end of September. I would like to take art supplies with me.

1. What will airport security think of my Pan pastel plastic palette knives? Or any other supplies?

2. I can't take it all. Tips for choosing what to take when you don't know what you might need?


09-07-2016, 09:57 PM
Always check with your airline before flying with art supplies. You need to know ahead of time and they are the only ones who know their exact rules and regulations.

As for choosing what to take?... Don't know - never traveled with art supplies! Perhaps do a "pretend trip and sort out the supplies you would take. Use only those supplies for a painting or two and see what you might be missing - and what you didn't use. You might also consider what you can purchase in Phoenix, if you had to.


09-09-2016, 07:07 AM
I flew from the USA to the UK (so even more security than a national flight) with all my stick pastels, pan pastels, and pan pastel tools in my checked luggage and had zero issues. I wrote on sticky notes "artist pigment chalk" (since people know what chalk is, and the guidelines expressly allow "pigments") but I don't think they even looked at it.

Unfortunately, my big wooden box opened up at some point and messed up my pastels but I didn't want to make it difficult if they did need to inspect it so I feared that may happen. If you have some way to secure your boxes that is also easy to open if they need to inspect, I would definitely do that.

09-29-2016, 12:39 PM
I've flown only a couple of times with my pastels, but they have been opened to check by security - they look similar bullets on the x-ray scanner. As mentioned above I labeled them. A couple of notes, security won't let you open the pastel box if they check it, but be kind and normally they will let you explain how to open the box so the pastels are spilled out everywhere. As far as palette knives, if they are metal I would recommend putting them in checked luggage to avoid any issues. Certainly wouldn't want them to be considered "potential weapons" and have to leave them behind.

09-30-2016, 11:22 PM
Thanks, everyone. I ended up just mailing them ahead and then mailing them back. My knives aren't metal...they are the plastic ones for use with Pan Pastels, but I still just didn't want to risk it.