how to make printables and how to sell them too

How to make and sell your own printables

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how to make and sell printables

Don’t you love printables?! There’s just so much variety! Being able to pick a unique design that’s not the cookie-cutter prints that stack the store shelves, and better yet, pick your own frame to put it in.

Printables come in all shapes and sizes, as you’ll see on our website here.

From calendars, planners, wall art, bullet journals and so much more. If you’ve ever thought about making your own printables, then read on!

Have you ever thought about making and selling printables?  There’s a huge market for them and you can sell printables to anyone around the world on lots of different marketplaces. And guess what? They’re actually really easy to do!

The best thing about them? They are the perfect way to earn passive income. Once you’ve designed a dozen or so of them you can just let the money come in, you don’t have to do anything with them again.

Who doesn’t love the sound of that?!

You can also make printables simply to give away on your own website if you have one, as they are a great way of attracting visitors to your website, as everybody loves a freebie!

What are printables?


Printables are downloadable files, primarily image files like jpg or pdf files. They’re designed to be quick and easy to print so that when you find one you like you can buy it for a few dollars and you can instantly download and print it. It’ll be on your wall within minutes.

Printables may sell for just a few dollars but believe it or not there are some designers who are making 6 figures a year selling printables.

The great thing is you don’t have to print, pack and ship your printable designs, simply by making a printable digital download your customers can instantly download and print your printables after purchase. They can either print them at home, or they can take the digital download along to any print or photo store and have them printed there, as large as they want.

a smile is the best makeup a girl can wear mockup 2 - Printable Wall Art

You can even make collections. Many people sell wall art printables in sets of 3 with a theme that runs across the three prints. This not only makes a nice touch to any home but also helps you bump up your revenue. What’s not to love about that?!

You can make a variety of different kinds of printables such as:

  • Wall Art Prints
  • Wedding invitations
  • Wedding programs
  • Resume Templates
  • Gift Certificates
  • Party Invitations
  • Calendars
  • Planners
  • And much more!

The more printables that you design along with the more places where you make them available then the more money you can potentially make.

Bonus Tip!

Did you know that by designing printables you’re actually doing a lot of the process for designing art prints too – so as well as selling printables you can also sell art prints.

You’ll just need a good printer such as Pixma Pro 100 or use a print on demand service that will print and ship directly to your customers.

And as well as making art prints you can also offer your designs to print-on-demand services and they will print, pack and ship your designs to customers all over the world. 

Better yet your designs can grace many different types of things from apparel such as t-shirts, mugs, to furniture, duvet covers, canvases, framed art and much more!

What skills you need

To make printables you just need to be a creative person, you actually don’t need to be an expert graphic designer or know software such as Adobe Illustrator. In fact, it’s easy to make printables with tools such as Canva. Canva makes it very easy to design everything from Business Cards, Invitations, Birthday Cards and so much more.

So using tools like Canva or Illustrator you can very easily create designs that can be printed by others.

You can also use resources such as Pexels for free stock photography should you want to add any photo elements to your designs and the website Freepik has millions of things that you can use to enhance your designs even further.

Online courses to learn how to make printables

There are even lots of courses that you can take online to help you learn how to make printables or use tools like Canva. We highly recommend Skillshare, you can sign up for a free trial and start your creative journey today! There are literally thousands of courses on all aspects of creativity, from design, printables, photography, blogging, crafting and so much more! Definitely check them out if you want to learn things from professionals!

Canva – Our favorite online tool for designing printables

We talk about Canva so often here on World of Printables and Meant to be Made, it’s our most favorite tool which we use almost every day for designing more printables to add here on our site, but also for designing blog post images, Pinterest pins and Instagram posts and much more.

With Canva you can create a design in a matter of minutes. Whatever inspires you, Canva can help you create it.

If you haven’t already, we recommend you sign up for a free Canva account and take a look around at all of the things it can do.

You can learn the basics of Canva in just an hour or two, simply by playing around with it. Although if you want to learn it quickly and inside and out, check out the Canva tutorials and courses on Skillshare – you’ll learn how to make all kinds of designs using Canva, along with many other courses on things like design, illustration, photography, blogging and much more.

Canva has thousands of templates available, so you can get started designing anything from invitations, flyers, business cards, cards, photo collages, wall art and so much more.

You simply pick a template as a starting point, one which you like the look of or resembles something that you are looking to create, then change the text, colors, pictures and within a few minutes you will have created something unique, professional and stunning.

Best of all, the experience is completely enjoyable!

If you are a complete beginner thats new to design then Canva is the perfect tool for you. It’s specifically designed with the beginner in mind, but it has so much possibilities that even professional designers use it as it’s so very quick and easy to create stunning designs in minutes.

Learn Canva quickly for free!

You can create pretty much anything in Canva – it’s awesome for bloggers, creators, teachers, just anyone who wants to quickly and easily create something. But if you are new to Canva and want to learn everything about it and all that it can do, or just want to learn it quickly, then check out these Canva courses on Skillshare.

With Skillshare you can learn about Canva, and so many other things too! We love Skillshare and are looking at hosting our own courses on their soon. You will find courses on Canva, printables, design, blogging, photography and so much more. You can sign up for a free trial and access courses and tutorials right away and if you like it you can use the coupon code aff40dtp to save 40% off an annual subscription!

Creating Printables in Canva

We create our printables in Canva by starting with a blank page, by clicking the Create a design button and choosing US Letter Template from the drop-down options. We find that the US Letter size is the most commonly preferred dimensions and is just so easy to print as most people have that size of paper at home.

We then add any text, photos, elements, or backgrounds from the sidebar options. Canva has lots of premade items of the above that you can drop right into your blank page. You can even upload your own graphics and photos. If you are a Canva premium subscriber you’ll have access to thousands more items and templates.

When you’ve created your design you can then simply download it directly from Canva and add it to your store within minutes.

It’s amazing how quickly you can create a new design in Canva, download it to your computer then add it to your online store with customers being able to buy it just a few minutes later.

Making mockups


When you’ve made a dozen or more printable designs now would be a good time to think about selling them.

But before you do that we recommend that you mock them up first so that your customers can get a better idea of how they would look in the real world, plus this makes them more appealing.

There are many mockups available online which will be perfect for your designs. Take a look at some of these from CreativeMarket – they look stunning and the great thing is, it only takes a few clicks to make your designs look this good, it’s all pretty automatic.

Mockups generally require photoshop or illustrator, so if you don’t have either of those then you can download a trial version, the trial will allow you to knock up your mockup at no further cost!

Just find a good mockup and open it in photoshop or illustrator and it’ll guide you through the steps from there. There are always instructions included with the mockup files, so you’ll have easy to follow steps to make sure you don’t get lost, but believe us, it’s really easy!

We recommend that you have 2 or 3 mockups of your designs, this makes your products look more appealing and sellable. People like to flick through the product galleries before making a purchase rather than one static image, so if you want to increase sales then use mockups!

Printable Wall Art Instant Download

Exporting the images

Once your printables are finalized you need to export them and make them ready for purchase. Hopefully, you have designed your print on the artboard size that you want to sell them (A4, A3), etc and so you should export them at these sizes. Make sure you export your printables in jpeg format at 300dpi (the highest resolution).

When you are happy with your mockups, you need to export them so you can upload them to your store. We recommend exporting your images in jpeg at a thousand pixels wide with 72 dpi resolution. You don’t want to create your mockup images to large or else other competitors could take your design and replicate them.

Where to find business / where to sell your printables

When your designs are ready for selling, you can open an Etsy store to upload them for people to buy, although there is a lot of competition on Etsy and you need to learn how to build your ranking.

Better yet, we recommend you open a Shopify store which gives you much more control over what you can do and will save you money as Etsy and other online marketplaces take a cut from your sales.

More importantly, there is no competition as your printables won’t be displayed next to other competitors, it’s just all of your printables located in one central location that you promote on places like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and more.

If you’re interested in starting your own online store for selling printables then check out this amazing guide.

How soon can you make money

When it comes to how soon you can make money, it all depends on how well you start and how you promote. If you launch your store (Shopify or Etsy or ideally both) with a large choice of great quality printables and some promotion to back it up then you can expect your first sale quite quickly.

From personal experience, when we created our first Etsy store, we sold our first product within a couple of weeks of opening, but when we created our own online store we sold our first products almost instantly!

Courses to take / books to read

If you want to learn more about how to make printables, make mockups and even market your printables online then check out many more guides on this and more at Skillshare, where you’ll be shown how to take your designs and convert them into a printable download format and how to upload and sell them online on places such as Etsy or Shopify.

Have a blog/store to represent yourself

Remember, having your own blog or website is the perfect way to promote yourself. When you use social media to promote your products they’ll link back to your own website, where your potential customers can browse all of your products, buy your printables and come back again and again.

You shouldn’t promote your Etsy stores and the reason for this is that your potential customers are landing on Etsy, seeing your products but also seeing other competitor’s products, so they can quite easily and may very likely go browsing other competitors.

That’s why we recommend you have your own Shopify store, promote your products on Pinterest and other social networks, but link back to your own store.

This way if anything fell through with Etsy (and it does happen!) it doesn’t matter as your own online store is the main income stream.

Use social media to promote your products

Pinterest is by far the best way to promote your printable products. Pinterest is not just a social network but it is also a very powerful search engine. So your pins will remain there indefinitely unlike other social networks where your posts will soon be swallowed up by fresher content.


So you’ve learned how you can make money each month from designing and selling printables, so what’s stopping you from getting started? Even if you only make $100-$200 a month that’s still something.

Lets sum up the steps needed.

  1. Sign up for a Canva account and start making some great designs.
  2. Check out courses on Skillshare to learn about Canva, Printables, Shopify and more.
  3. Sign up for a Shopify store, or set up your own website
  4. Create an Etsy store (if you haven’t already got one).
  5. Mockup your designs to make your products look amazing.
  6. List all of your products on the various stores and let the money roll in!
how to make and sell printables

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