How to Make Money Selling Printables

This is a question I get all the time. This post has been my most popular post since the month it was published. With over 100,000 people reading this article I felt I needed to really improve it and best answer your question: How do I make money selling printables?


How I First Made Money with Printables

Each year the town I grew up in, holds it’s annual Market Street Festival. Market street is lined with food vendors and craft vendors. I love attending and walking around to shop.

One year, however, I actually decided to sell my printable artwork. By the end of the day, I had $900 in sales! This was an amazing feat because I was a stay at home mom and that money went really far for us!

Since then my business has evolved and I no longer work festivals or Facebook groups. Now 90% of my income is generated from my website affiliate sales, product sales, sponsored content, and ads.  The truth is now I make more money teaching women to create their dream online business that I don’t have time to run my Etsy store!

How You Can Make Money Selling Printables!

The Resources:

If you have a flair for the creative, creating and selling photography or digital products might be for you. There are plenty of resources for creating materials.

My personal favorites being:

PicMonkey has an easy to use program with clip art and fonts already integrated into their site. It is very user-friendly, I would highly recommend it for beginners.

If you are really serious about getting started with digital printables and graphics I strongly suggest that you get the paid version of PicMonkey, it’s well worth the upgrade. I recorded a short video tutorial to get you started with Picmonkey here.

Finding Amazing Graphics

Getting started is easy with a few free resources. When I create my printables I like to use clip art to enhance my educational printables. For the other types of printables that I make, clip art helps them look good. I also love to support other small business owners by purchasing their clip art!

To get started here are some places to find clip art is so nice because everything is free for commercial use but the choices are limited. You can buy clip art to use in your work from sellers on Etsy and Creative Market- just be sure to read the terms of use.

StockUnlimited is great because it is an inexpensive stock photo site with clip art and they have great deals that run all the time. I have a lifetime membership! I use stock photos for my blog so StockUnlimited is dual purpose for me!

Finding Good Fonts

I use different fonts that I find on PicMonkey or buy from Etsy or creative market. Sometimes I will make my own images/fonts in a bind using my graphic tablet but honestly, if you are just getting started that is for another day!

If you use a font from PicMonkey you can Google the font specifically, to see if it is available for commercial use. Sometimes the creator only asks for a small donation via PayPal to use their font commercially. Each week creative market offers freebies and I have acquired some great fonts from them as well.

Invest In Yourself

When I got started, I was a total cheap skate. I purchased no tools to help me grow my business. I never took paid training on blogging or online business. Somewhere along the way though I had a change of heart and saw that I was going to have to invest in order to grow. There is plenty of free information online, but it takes time to sort through what works and what doesn’t. Paid training gives you the opportunity to grow without wasting valuable time.

How Do I Sell Printables?

When you have your digital product made and ready to sell, there are also plenty of places to offer them. If you have your own blog you could sell via a plugin platform like Woocommerce. Etsy also has a widget for bloggers.

Selling On Etsy

Utilizing the free resources listed I was recently able to open and stock an Etsy store for free. If you would like to open your own Etsy store with 40 free listings you can follow my referral link here.

This is truly the best way to test your business because there is only your time involved. You don’t have to worry about throwing money away on a business that might not succeed. The bonus with a digital business like this is once you have created your product, it’s a mostly passive income.

Sell Locally

Even if opening an Etsy store isn’t for you creating printable art and selling it locally might be an option instead. I have sold items on both a local Facebook site and at local street fairs. Like I mentioned, I actually made a nice profit of $900 in one weekend thanks to street fairs.

I found photos of local landmarks or beautifully shot pictures of flowers sell nicely in a street fair setting. You can place typography over your photos or sell them plain. I do both. I also usually mount my photos in a frame like.

Presentation of Your Print Locally

I also usually mount my photos in a frame like this one. I use Shutterfly codes to print my images or I print them at Staples. It usually costs $4 or $5 to print and frame a photo and I charge $15-$25 at local street fairs. As you can see I usually walk away with a nice profit. I use my Canon T5 to shoot most of my pictures, and I highly recommend this for beginners!

If you’re interested in learning more about creating printables, you can learn how to start your own printables you need to sign up for the DIY Printables Workshop. It has all you need to know about creating printables from tutorials on my favorite programs to how to group and flatten your documents. I will also show you how to add watermarks and more to protect your work! Don’t spend months trying to figure it out. Invest in yourself today.

Don’t forget to check out my update on how I now bring in $5000 (and growing) a month with my digital products!

*this post has referral and affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission or gain free products. These links do not affect the article in any way. 

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68 comments on “How I made $900 in a weekend selling printables!”

  1. I have free printables on my blog and have been thinking about creating some more detailed one to sell. Do you collect sales tax on digital files you sell through Etsy? I’m not sure if I’m supposed to and that’s what has kept me from jumping in.

    • The answer is no because I no longer have a nexus in my state (used to have a clothing store). Etsy has a great article here. I personally live in Pennsylvania but depending on your state you may find this article even more helpful!

  2. Hi I am interested in making pictures like with a chevron/stripe background using text and clipart. What would you suggest is the best program to use for something like this to make them and sell on etsy? Thanks for your help.

    • I suggest making them with Ribbet, or Canva for someone starting out. If your level of expertise is a little stronger then Gimp or Inkscape might be a great place to work from without purchasing a program. I personally use a variety of software.

    • I use for this. They have a free version of their program which is easy to use. If your really serious about it as a business I’d suggest getting the paid version of Ribbet as well as you get access to a lot more features. I also use Inkscape which is a free program but much more difficult to navigate.

  3. Hello,

    I would like to learn how to create printables to sell on Etsy and at local art fairs. Do you have any suggestions for me to learn from?

    Thank you!

    • I purchase some graphics from other graphic designers, I use my graphics tablet to create others. When you purchase your graphics you want to make sure you have the right to use it for commercial purposes and know what the terms of use are. I do not print on photo paper. I use high quality matte paper. The problem with photo paper is the glare. You certainly offer glare free frames but why eat into your profit margin.

        • Certainly, I use the Huion H610PRO. I love how responsive it is. It has worked well for me. I highly recommend investing in a high quality graphics tablet if you plan to become a graphics designer for a living. I don’t recommend jumping in without a little bit of knowledge and training though. Graphics Tablets are a little pricey and you want to make sure it’s an investment worth making.

          • May I also ask what company you buy your graphis from. And the right to use for commercial purposes, would that be buying a license? Its starting to sound complicated

          • I buy from several places including Etsy, and FreePik- I pay for the subscription here.

          • I have really just done a ton of my own research by google, at the library and reading graphic design blogs. I have taken a few classes here and there but most of my education is just real world, trial and error.

    • I get my quotes from the bible, ones that inspire me and lift me. I do overlay some graphics. I like to play with my layering until I have a design I would feel confident hanging in my house.

    • No, I really do not. I used to run a very successful Etsy store a few years ago. With that Esty shop, I sold clothing. I thought for a while I would enjoy owning a clothing store but as the store grew, I found that was not where my heart truly was. Now I have this Etsy shop but the majority of my money comes from selling on sales sites, my own site and selling educational printables, which tend not to do well on Etsy. I have learned a great deal about Etsy from my past experience but as a home educator the digital product I create really has no market there.

      • Thanks for the reply! I came across your site looking for a course on selling digital printables. Using you course (and lots of hard work 🙂 ) do you thing it’s unreasonable to expect to be earning $500 or so a month within a couple of months? Looking for something me and my wife can do to enable her to be a stay at home mum! Also I’m from the UK, will you course still be a good fit? Appreciate your time!

        • Sam, absolutely, using this course is an easy way to learn a skill that really has limitless possibilities. My goal has been to pay off my house early and become a stay at home mom myself. This last week my income from selling printables on one site alone was over $200. I think you really can achieve your goal if you put your mind to it. It does take some talent as an artist, though. You aren’t able to just put a quote over images and call it a printable, that is a good way to fail. You have to have an eye for what looks good. If you’re willing to put in the hours, this course will teach you exactly what you need to get started.

  4. Hi! I’d like to pre-order your Printable course using the promo code on your website, but I can’t find an area to enter the code during the checkout process. Am I just overlooking it? Thanks in advance for the help!

    • You should have the option to checkout or to go to the cart. Choose the cart. Once you are in the cart you can enter the code before checkout. If that doesn’t work I can invoice you directly from paypal for the corrected amount.

  5. I’m confused. You state you earned $900 profit in one weekend selling “printables”/ Printable means a product “ready to print”, not a “printed” product. So, what you are selling is “printed” and framed images. That is a completely different thing. I sell “printables” on Etsy as “instant downloads”:. That is what I call truly passive income. I have no physical product to make or deliver.
    Anyway, that is my take on printed vs printable products.

    • I am sorry if you found this confusing. What I am selling is also available as a printable from my Etsy store, although I have many more that I have not found time to list in my Etsy store. I am able to generate a nice income selling my printables- instant downloads- online. I think of what you’re referring to as a “digital download” and a “printable” as any product that can be saved as a file on the computer and printed. I actually no longer have to go to craft fairs because of my passive income, although most of my income is coming from other avenues, so Etsy isn’t a priority for me. Sorry for the confusion Troy, have a nice day.

      • Hello and thanks for taking the time to respond. I figured things out after I posted my comments. I guess it’s all in how you look at it. I know my “instant download” printables were selling quite well, but the sales seemed to have slowed to a crawl. I’m wondering if I should make them available as a physical printed item. I checked the printing prices at my local Staples, Wal-Mart, and Office Max, and they were all a bit too high for me to make a decent profit. Do you have any recommendations?
        Troy recently posted…Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 1My Profile

        • Troy, I actually find Staples prices for printing to be OK. I am able to get an 8.5 X 11 printed for $1.19 however I go to a local print shop and they will print at half that price. Have you looked into any local family owned print shops in your area? I found that offering physical prints have helped boost my business into a full-time income. It’s definitely worth looking into. There are still quite a large number of customers who would rather pay more for a physical product then a digital one. It’s still fairly passive. I print all in one day, package and ship (put them in the mailbox) that same day. I really only work one day a week with the physical prints. Also using a shipping service like has helped cut my costs dramatically.

          • Thanks again. I will check with staples again. I checked online and it was more expensive than what you quoted. Maybe it’s just their online service that’s more expensive. I also sell poster size printables that I would need to print 10 X 13, and 16 X 20. I’ll check on that as well. Thanks again for all your time and help.
            Troy recently posted…Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 1My Profile

  6. Hi

    Is the forthcoming course more about digital downloads or physical products? Not much time available for physical products unfortunately.

  7. You said it only costs you $4-$5 to print and frame a photo? Where do you find decent frames for so cheap? I’ve been researching trying to find cheap frames and I can’t seem to find anything other than plastic framing. Any help would be great as I am planning on going on a Study Abroad trip and found that this would be absolutely perfect as another way of paying for parts of it!

    • I actually used to get old frames from thrift stores, but that took a little more time then I have nowadays. I would recommend you mat your prints and sell like that. A mat gives a professional look at a lower cost. Plastic frames can be off-putting to customers.

    • I invest in sturdy cardboard mailers and chipboard. I made the mistake of sending them in document mailers with chipboard but trust me the sturdy cardboard mailers are the way to go. You can get them in lots on Amazon or at Staples.

  8. Hey, I tried to access (I copied and pasted from your blog entry), and it didn’t seem to take me to the correct website. Can you give me the exact url?

    • The answer is somewhat complicated. When I used to sell at craft fairs all of my photography was my own. When I create educational downloads I do buy clip art (images that other artists have created) to save time and to help support other artists. This is not an uncommon practice. There are plenty of products that probably use clip art that other artists used that the designer bought to create the product. In fact, there are plenty of websites that help sell clip art and graphics to content creators and graphic designers.

      I do create some of my own clip art but I only do so when I feel I can not find what I need elsewhere. I own a graphics tablet and have created plenty on my own but I need to focus on saving time and buying premade clip art is one of the ways I do it. You’ve probably heard the saying “Time is money” and it certainly is true. That’s why selling graphics is a booming business for places like Creative Market, Etsy, TeacherspayTeachers, Vecteezy, Vectorstock and more. I hope that helps answer your question!

      • I should also mention that if you are going to buy graphics for commercial use, always make sure you read the terms of use for anything you buy. Some artists are only ok with digital content, others are alright with prints up to 1000. Some offer extended licenses and others still ask for credit. Knowing the artist’s terms of use is critical.

  9. Hi! I found your blog really helpful to someone like me who is only a start-up on selling printable! I’m also new to blogging and built a new blog using free account on for now.

    I am planning to sell on etsy too. I’m using MS Word to create stuffs like planners and calendars but I haven’t actually trying selling these. I do this as hobby at the moment. But I have one question if I’m gonna start selling online..

    When you list a printable on etsy, what format should it be? and do you include printing instructions too? would it work if you list a product that is in *.zip file so inside the zip is the actual printable and then intsructions?

    Thank you!

    • I actually talk about most of this in my printables course. In short, yes you need instructions and most people don’t know how to unzip a file so that would not be the way I do that. Formatting printable products would be different and it all depends on whether you plan to sell planners, art prints or calendars. Each one would require different a different type of formatting. Planners I would definitely format as a PDF file and I would strongly suggest you flatten and secure it before you sell it. I hope this helps!

  10. I loved this post thanks! I have always been into photography, mainly landscapes old barns and old empty houses, flowers, and clouds, storms.. and just nw starting my own blog after procrastinating for 3 years! I signed up and am excited to get to wok learning your tips!

  11. What file types do you sell? I am getting started and I put up wall art as a pdf and jpeg – but I wasn’t sure if I should use RGB or CMYK color space for the JPEG. Would love some advice.

    • If you plan to sell wall art- intended to be printed out by your customer I would definitely recommend CMYK. The difference is actually colors: RGB stands for Red Green Blue- meaning your computer screen uses these colors and light to cast different colors on your screen. If you are selling digital files this would be fine. However for print files with CMYK Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black- this format tells the printer how to print in a much more accurate format for ink.

      Now that is just a short version of an explanation for this but I hope it helps!

  12. Hi, I’m interested in your course and I wanted to check out some of you work before I signed up. I was wondering if you could provide a link to your Etsy site? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    • Hi Michelle since I now make most of my money through my blog I no longer sell on Etsy and Teachers Pay Teachers. I have sold through Eleventh Ave in the past as well. If you are interested in the course you can check out for my earlier work. Most of my work is now done for other bloggers or for myself as subscriber freebies or products for my blog.

  13. Hello Holly:

    I love your website! I am inspired by your ideas and suggestions. I would like to design and printout images and favorite quotes for sale at a craft fair using the matte paper and matte that you suggested. Do you have any recommendations for pricing for the printables? Do you typically print them out in 5 x 7 or 8 x 11 size? Do you offer any of your printables framed when you sold them at the craft fairs?


    • I usually did 8×11 prints and I priced them around $20-$25 a print matted but not framed. I used 11×14 bevel cut mats to frame my prints which I think made them look so much more professional- which allowed me to command that price point. I never actually framed them until I had started testing the market. Frames sell but I think matting is more cost effective as far as profit margin goes. I hope that helps!

  14. Thanks for your reply, Holly! Very helpful! Is there a specific matte paper that you have them printed on?

    Totally different question but do you have any time management tips for creating and balancing mom duties and life?


  15. Hi Holly! I’m basically clueless about this digital print stuff except I’ve purchased some of my own before. But I’m interested in learning & in your course. Before I spend the $39 I wanted to ask a question. I have no internet access on my desktop. Are these programs & is this type of design/work able to be done on an iPad?

    • You probably could but my course will not teach you. I show you how to use three basic programs and some of my rules for creating quality prints.

  16. I have read this article twice already. I also create printables for my personal use and also for my blog. It’s quite fun. Upon reading your article, I decided to try etsy. However, when I tried to post a product, they said I need a credit card for the posting fee or something like that, But unfortunately, I don’t have one. Now I am thinking of just selling my printables on my blog, what website can you suggest that I can use that doesn’t require a credit card for posting and stocking my printables?

    By the way, I hope you can drop by my blog even once to check it out. I would really appreciate it. My blog is fairly new and I am trying to build it up. Thank you for your time. God bless

    • You should not have to use a credit card if you use the link for the free Etsy listings but I may be wrong about that. With WordPress, you can use a variety of plug-ins to create an e-commerce store without a credit card, but Blogspot I am not so sure. Unfortunately, I am not going to be much help on this question. I would try finding some Blogspot Facebook groups and asking there, they may have a solution for you!

  17. Hi, I am from Thailand. I am interested and thinking to join your course. I have a question.
    I want to sell printable art from my hand painted watercolors on Etsy. Would the course is fit for me?
    Thank you so much.

    • No this mostly teaches you about creating printables. I do dive into where to sell printables but I don’t know that it would be worth it for you to purchase just for that.

  18. I think you made life a little easier with this post alone! I had my blog for 3 years and didn’t do much with it until this year. I set a goal to be successful with it and found this site while searching for how to create printable. I’m nearing the end of my first preschool alphabet and handwriting set that I plan to make for sale soon. I don’t know we why I i never thought of it before!

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