Safety pins can be very useful for sewing or crocheting, but can also be invaluable when traveling for situations when you need to secure loose buttons, fix broken zippers or straps, hold together a tear, and more.

The good news is that if you have an upcoming flight, according to the TSA you can bring safety pins on a plane, packed both in your carry-on and checked bag. You might even be able to keep them on your clothing, too.

If packed in your checked bag, make sure that you store them in such a way as to not injure baggage handlers and inspectors, such as in a small container.

Safety Pins Are Unlikely to Set Off the Metal Detector

As most safety pins are made from steel, brass, and stainless steel, you might be wondering if you will set off the airport metal detector as you go through the security screening process.

While safety pins have the conductive properties to set off the airport metal detector, it is unlikely that they will because they are too small to do so.

If you are traveling with many safety pins on you and/or they are large in size, it is more likely that you will set off the metal detector.

On your next flight, you can do a test run by keeping your safety pins on you and seeing if you set off the metal detector or not.

If they don’t, you can be confident in the knowledge that the next time you fly, you won’t need to remove the safety pins and place them in your carry-on. If you do set off the metal detector, then place them in your carry-on during screening in the future.

Decorative, Badge, Lapel, Hat, Hair & Other Pins

Besides safety pins, there are several other types of pins that you might want to bring on a plane.

Whether you want to bring decorative, badge, lapel, bobby, button or collectible pins on a plane, you’ll be fine to do so in both your carry-on and checked bags.

The only thing to be aware of is hair pins. If they are too large, a TSA officer may see the hair pins as a security threat, so might confiscate them.

In any case, it would be best to use non-metallic hairpins to secure your hair, as this would reduce the likelihood of requiring additional screening.

Additional screening in this case would involve a visual inspection and a hair pat-down.

Collectible pins attached to your backpack are also fine, even if you have many attached.

Sewing Supplies or Crafts You Might Want to Bring

If you want to bring safety pins on a plane because you want to sew or crochet on the plane (this is totally fine, by the way) or at your destination, you might be wondering if you can bring other sewing supplies or crafts.

  • Sewing Machines: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Crochet Hooks: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Nail Clippers: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Scissors: Yes, but only if under 4″ from the pivot point
  • Knitting Needles: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Tweezers: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Spray Starch: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Staplers: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Tape Measures: Yes, in both your carry on and checked bags
  • Rotary Cutters: Yes, in your checked bags but not your carry on

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).