How to Make Art Prints for Etsy (2023)

Learn how to make art prints for Etsy. Get tips for creating art prints to sell, whether you want to sell physical copies or digital downloads.

You might also like this post on creating digital downloads for Etsy.

How to Make Art Prints for Etsy (1)

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I recently experimented with adding art prints to my Etsy shop. Although I would love to say that it's a huge success, I sadly haven't sold any yet. However, I know that as I add more listings, they will sell eventually.

Patience is key with Etsy!

This process has taught me so much about selling art prints on Etsy, a question that I get a lot.

So I'm sharing everything that I've learned so far about making the art, making the listings, and selling them on Etsy.

Table of Contents

Art Print FAQs

What are art prints?

Art prints are replicas of artwork (versus selling the original artwork). They can be digital downloads, which means the customers print the files at a cheaper price or they can be physical prints that you package and mail to the customers.

Do art prints sell well on Etsy?

Art prints sell very well on Etsy. If you search art prints, you will see many sellers with more than 1000 reviews, which means that they have had plenty of sales.

What size prints sell best?

That depends on where you live. In the United States, it makes sense for digital downloads to include US Letter size (8.5 x 11") prints because that's the standard size for home printers.

In Europe, A4 makes more sense.

If you're selling digital downloads, it's nice to offer a few different size ratios.

How to Make Art Prints for Etsy

Competition

There is a lot of competition for art prints on Etsy. I say this not to discourage you, but to encourage you to be as different as possible. Here are some tips to stand out.

  • Do the research and look for areas without a lot of competition. You can use a keyword tool like Erank or you can just search on Etsy and see how many items come up when you search for that term.
  • Look at the autocomplete keywords in the search bar and see if any of those apply to what you want to make. These are based on popular searches.How to Make Art Prints for Etsy (2)
  • Capitalize on trends. Pay attention to motifs you are seeing in stores and make your own version. Etsy releases trend reports, so check those out for ideas.
  • Target long-tail keywords. Rather than go for "art prints," target "art prints for baby boys." Longer keywords mean that the buyer is more serious about buying, which can lead to higher sales. It also means less competition.
  • Sell sets. I often notice that many of the best sellers that I see are for sets of art prints. When creating, try to create in sets so that you sell them individually and as a bundle set.
  • The more art prints that you have in your shop, the more visible they will be. Try to aim for at least 40, but 100 is better! (See the tip about bundling. This creates additional listings without really making new products...)

Digital Downloads Vs Physical Prints VS Print on Demand

You have 3 options for selling art prints online: digital downloads, physical prints, and print on demand.

(Video) How to Create Digital Art Prints to Sell on Etsy

Digital Downloads

Digital downloads allow the customer to purchase the print and print it themselves.

Pros:

  • Typically easier to make.
  • No shipping items!
  • Passive income. You make it once and list it, and then sell it over and over again.

Cons:

  • Lower price value.
  • Can be stolen.
  • Higher chance of customer confusion. (Customers often purchase digital items thinking that they are physical items.)

Physical Prints

Physical prints are prints of your art that you ship to the customer.

Pros:

  • Can charge more
  • More control over print quality

Cons:

  • Higher overhead costs to print, package, and ship the items
  • Have to store inventory and shipping supplies
  • Shipping problems. (Shipping is still a mess right now, so this might be a headache that you want to avoid.)

Print on Demand

Print-on-demand services print the art on items and ship them out for you!

Pros:

  • You can sell your art on cool surfaces like phone cases, stickers, pillows, clothing, etc
  • A way to offer physical prints without you doing the shipping

Cons:

  • Lower profit margin. Since the company does most of the work, they make a larger percentage of the profit. You can raise the price, but you risk being priced higher than usual.
  • Harder to offer different levels of shipping for customers
  • Integration may not be seamless with some services

Traditional Art

Traditional artwork is made with physical media like acrylics, gouache, watercolors, or other art supplies. This work must be scanned in or photographed to digitize it for selling. (This is necessary even for art prints.)

Tips for Making the Artwork

  • Make it big enough to add details, but not so big that it's hard to scan. (If it doesn't fit on your scanner, you will need to photograph the art and it's hard to get the camera straight.)
  • Don't use paint colors that won't scan well. Fluorescents and perylenes are notorious for not scanning correctly.
  • Consider using gouache vs acrylic when possible. The matte texture is easier to scan than the shininess of acrylic paint. There are new versions of acrylic paint available in matte versions!
  • Use smooth paper when possible. It will be easier to clean up the image when digitizing than a rough texture.

Scanning the Art

Scanners have come a long way since they first came out. Even a cheap scanner does a pretty good job.

  • At a minimum, scan your art at 300 dpi, but 600 or even 1200 dpi will allow you to make the art larger than it is.
  • Label everything as you go so that it doesn't get lost in your computer.

Digitizing the Art

Your art will need to be digitized using a program like Photoshop. This allows you to clean up any stray marks and remove the paper background where necessary. You can also do color corrections and alterations if desired.

This is its own tutorial and will be coming eventually.

Resizing the Art

Remember that when you're working with Photoshop, art cannot be sized up. It can only be sized down.

Create a file the size that you want and copy the image into the canvas.

Keep the ratio constrained to avoid stretching the art when resizing.

Some ratios just aren't going to work when resizing. You will either need to crop the art or create the art with white space around the edges to begin with.

Printers can only print to about 8 x 10.5", but I like to make my designs slightly smaller than this at 7.5 x 10".

(Video) Printable Wall Art FULL TUTORIAL - Creating, SIZING, and Uploading to Etsy

Keep standard frame sizes in mind when creating art.

Digital Art

Digital art is art that is made on the iPad or a computer. It's already digitized, so you can skip a few steps like scanning.

Work in a CMYK color mode, unless you are making art for print on demand, which mostly requires RGB.

Sizing the Art

When creating your art, make sure that you create it big enough for what you are doing with it. For art prints, you want it at least 16" x 20".

(Unless you're using Adobe Illustrator to create the art. Then it can be resized as much as you want.)

Keep in mind that when using a raster-based program (pixels), your art can only be sized down, not up.

Other Considerations

  • Gold foil textures look really cool on computers, but not so much when printed out.
  • Colors may look different when printed out. You should always test the colors first before finalizing your designs.

Copyright Issues When Using Paid Elements

This should really be its own post and in time, it will be.

It's my personal pet peeve when I see Etsy sellers using digital elements incorrectly and selling them as art. It just feels lazy.

Just because a certain popular Etsy course advises you to do this, does not make it right.

And Etsy will shut you down for it. I've seen a lot of shops get shut down in the past few weeks for this.

Using Elements the Correct Way

The first thing you want to do is to buy the correct license. You are a business, so you want to buy a commercial license. It's usually only a few dollars more.

You cannot buy an image and re-sell it as is.

You can use it as PART of your design.

No item should be able to be removed as a whole from your design, so make sure that you layer elements.

Change colors and add your own elements, text, and shapes to make it your own.

Think of a collage. You wouldn't just use one image and call it a collage. You would use elements from several places, layer them, maybe add some ink or glitter to make it unique.

If in doubt, create your own graphic elements.

For more information on what is okay and not okay, I love this post. (The referenced post used to be way more informative with several examples of what is okay and not. There is still one example, but it's a pretty good one.)

(Video) HOW I MAKE MY ART PRINTS (To sell on Etsy)

Selling on Etsy

You've made your art, now comes the fun part of listing your items on Etsy.

Haven't started your Etsy shop yet? Sign up today and get 40 free listings!

Images for Selling

Mock Ups

Using mockups is the easiest way to sell printable art (unless you're a really good photographer...)

There are 2 types of mock ups.

The first type is a JPG file where you lay your image over the top of the existing image. So for digital art, you would just resize your art and place it over a frame.

This type of mockup is super easy, but not always the most convincing.

The second type of mock-up is a photoshop file that uses smart objects. These look more convincing and often include other items to make the photo look more unique. It's a little harder to learn how to use, but it's totally doable, even if you're new to Photoshop.

Use 2-3 different mock-ups to show the art. You can re-use these throughout your shop for a cohesive look.

Stay away from the mockups that are too artsy. If there are excessive palm leaf shadows, it's probably not a good mockup to showcase your art.

Mockups with too many external elements can be confusing for buyers, so keep them as simple as possible.

Tips for Images

Always crop the image to show the design well. No one is buying the wall, they are buying the art, so it needs to be clear.

If this is a digital download, you need to say it everywhere, including the listing images.

You can also include a graphic that states the sizes that you are including.

If you offer a variety of options in a theme, you can have an image showing all of them. Just be careful to label it so customers don't think they will receive all of the options.

Get easy tips to resize the photos for your Etsy listing.

Sizes to Include

You can create a variety of listings, but personally, I want to keep it as simple as possible. I offer 3 sizes.

Most of my customers are in the US, so my sizes reflect that.

  • 5:7 ratio for a 5 x 7" print.
  • 11:14 ratio for an 11 x 14" print
  • 4:5 ratio for 4 x 5", 8 x 10", and 16" x 20" (This size works with standard home printers.)

Packaging Digital Downloads for Etsy

Place all of the images in a single folder that is labeled with the name of the product.

(Video) How To Make Art Prints For Etsy

Then place each size in its own labeled folder inside of the first folder.

Compress the main folder into a zip file to upload to Etsy.

Etsy allows you 5 files that are 20MB each. If necessary, split the files into separate zip files to upload them.

If more space is needed, you can upload the file to google drive or drop box. Then get the sharable link.

Create a PDF with the link and upload that to Etsy. You can create links in PDFs in Canva or you can use Adobe Acrobat if you have the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Pricing

Pricing is one of the hardest parts of having an Etsy shop. You don't want to be the bargain bin, but you also shouldn't have the highest price unless it really is worth the higher price.

Look at the competition and find the lowest and highest prices.

For digital downloads, I try to find a nice spot in the middle.

If it's a physical product, make sure that you're covering your materials and time. Then add more for profit.

Refunds

If you are selling digital downloads, you are going to get people asking for refunds when they realize that it's digital and not physical.

You can try and prevent it as much as possible by writing it in the title, description, tags, and even making graphics for it in the photos, but it still happens.

Just give them the refund. It's not worth the bad review.

Don't let this scare you, though. It rarely happens and I truly believe that most Etsy customers are honest and not trying to get something for free.

(If you have a Shopify shop and this happens, check to see how many times your item was downloaded before issuing the refund. I issued a refund on an item and months later noticed that it had been downloaded 22 times... I have since set a download limit for each item in my shop.)

On Etsy, you can see if it has been downloaded, but even if it has, I still don't recommend trying to fight over $6. Let it go.

Happy art print-making!

Other Etsy Tutorials

  • Naming Your Etsy Shop
  • How to Open an Etsy Shop
  • Etsy Pros and Cons
  • Etsy Shop Image Sizes
  • Digital Downloads to Sell on Etsy

Pin for Later!

How to Make Art Prints for Etsy (3)
(Video) Sizes & DPI for Selling Printable Wall Art on Etsy - Full Info Tutorial

FAQs

What is the most popular art print size on Etsy? ›

8×10 inches is a standard size for small prints, while 11×14 inches is widespread for larger prints. For metal prints, the bigger, the better.

Do art prints sell well on Etsy? ›

Art prints are effectively digital art. These are high in demand on Etsy for customers who prefer to download the artwork and get them printed and framed in a manner that they prefer.

Does printable art sell well on Etsy? ›

How Much Can I Make Selling Printables On Etsy? You can expect to earn about $10-100 a week at the start. Usually a shop that is set up correctly (good quality products in the right niche) can make one sale per day pretty early. A shop with stable sales can earn about $1,000 or more, which could be quite profitable.

What art print size sells best? ›

These are the best standard sizes for smaller art prints: 10″ x 8″ and 10″ x 12″, and for larger prints choose 16″ x 20″ frames. A 10″ X 8″ frame will frame 3 smaller sizes of art. A 10″ x 12″ frame will frame 4 different sizes of art.

What is the best image format for Etsy? ›

gif or . png. These are the only image file types Etsy supports. Animated .

What format should digital prints be on Etsy? ›

Print File Types

PDFs and JPG will be the most accessible file types that people will be able to open without any special art software such as Adobe Creative Cloud. While Etsy may accept more file types, including GIF, PNG, or TXT, not every file type is printable.

Where do Etsy sellers get their prints from? ›

Most Popular Sites

Of the top printing companies, Printful, Gooten, and Printify is the most-used by Etsy sellers.

How much does the average Etsy artist make? ›

How Much Does The Average Etsy Seller Make? The average successful seller on Etsy earns between $43,000 and $46,000 per year which is a fantastic foundation to build on as top earners make over $65,000 per month!

Can I make money on Etsy with Printables? ›

Etsy printables are digital products like drawings, wall art, or templates created to be sold on Etsy, downloaded, and printed by customers. It's possible to create a source of passive income by selling printables on Etsy. You only have to create digital products, as the marketplace handles the rest.

How do I print exact size I want? ›

The way to print a picture to the exact size is by adjusting its width and height in the Word processing software and later, save the page as a PDF. In this way, the size of the picture does not change when you print it.
...
  1. Go to File / Print.
  2. Select Full page print.
  3. Uncheck "fit picture to frame"
  4. Click Print.

What aspect ratio is best for art? ›

The aspect ratio of a painting is the relationship between the height and width of the finished piece. In painting the most common aspect ratio has been 3:4.

What type of art sells the most on Etsy? ›

Original Paintings – Original paintings will probably have the highest profit margin because they can be sold for more money than most other types of artwork. However, many potential buyers can not afford a high-ticket item but are still interested in purchasing artwork for their home.

What prints sell best? ›

Best Selling Art Subjects
  • Traditional Landscapes.
  • Local Views.
  • Modern Landscapes.
  • Abstracts.
  • Dogs.
  • Figure.
  • Seascapes.
  • Wildlife.
17 Jun 2020

How do I succeed selling art on Etsy? ›

Offer Varied Price Points With Originals And Prints

You don't want to miss out on Etsy's huge art print market by only selling originals and vice versa. By having a variety of products, you are increasing your target audience to appeal to more consumers, which works well on a site that already has their own shoppers.

Can I use Canva to sell Printables on Etsy? ›

Can I use Canva to sell printables on Etsy? Canva is a platform made for creating a wide range of designs, and that includes printables! These printables can easily be sold on Etsy, which has a large quantity of printables already on the platform.

How hard is it to sell Printables on Etsy? ›

Like I mentioned earlier, creating printables to sell on Etsy is really simple. Not only can you design them on your own using sites like Canva, but you can also purchase pre-made products and resell them.

Can you sell Canva Printables on Etsy? ›

PRO TIP: Canva is a great tool for creating printables, but you cannot sell them on Etsy. Etsy does not allow the sale of digital products, so you will need to find another platform to sell your printables.

Do art prints sell well? ›

Even though there is a lot of competition in the fine art marketplace, selling original art prints can be profitable if you do it correctly. The good news is that you don't have to rely on original artwork sales alone for financial stability in your artistic career.

Are art prints worth selling? ›

Prints are often seen as mass-produced copies of famous artworks that are just not that valuable or worth investing in. But nothing can be further from the truth. Prints can be just as valuable as any other artwork and certain prints are known to reach seven or eight-figure prices at auctions.

How many art prints should I make? ›

A good place to start could be anywhere between 20-250, while some artists go as high as 500 prints. Again, it all depends on your collector-base and how in-demand your work really is. You may have to arrive at this number through good old fashioned trial and error. Try taking a look at artists with similar popularity.

What file type is best for art prints? ›

For printing photographic works or print files based on scanned images of artworks, TIFF or PDF file types would be most appropriate. As mentioned previously, TIFF files are of a very high quality, but also tend to be much larger in size which can be problematic when it comes to file storage.

How do I make my photos look professional on Etsy? ›

To improve your Etsy product photography, first you need a clean background, a well-lit environment and a photo editing program. The next things to work on will be lifestyle, packaging, behind the scene shots, etc that give your products more personality. These will create professional photos that customers love.

How do I make my Etsy photos look professional? ›

Our recommendations are:
  1. Crop your images using Etsy's crop tool to ensure accurate framing of your item. Using an uncropped image may result in inaccuracies on the final thumbnail.
  2. Try to capture images of your item further back than you think you'll need. ...
  3. Avoid square crops. ...
  4. Use an aspect ratio of 4:3.

Do digital downloads sell well on Etsy? ›

You're in the right place. Most people think of Etsy as a marketplace for handmade products and craft supplies, but it's also a great place to sell digital downloads. In fact, selling digital downloads on Etsy tends to be much more lucrative. There are very few overheads.

Should Printables be CMYK or RGB? ›

Both RGB and CMYK are modes for mixing color in graphic design. As a quick reference, the RGB color mode is best for digital work, while CMYK is used for print products.

Should I watermark my digital downloads on Etsy? ›

While some sellers use watermarks, we generally wouldn't recommend them. Using watermarks makes photos unsuitable for features within Etsy (like Etsy Finds emails), and ineligible for off-site advertising programs like Google Shopping.

What country buys the most from Etsy? ›

United States

Can you sell Canva designs on Etsy? ›

Yes, you can use Canva templates to sell on Etsy! Simply find a template that you like from Canva's library of templates, customize it to your liking, and then download the design as a PNG or JPG file. Upload the file to Etsy and start selling!

How do I get my artwork noticed on Etsy? ›

How to Sell Art on Etsy
  1. Invest in your photos. ...
  2. Stage your postings. ...
  3. Take advantage of categories and tags. ...
  4. Leverage your personal networks. ...
  5. Do the math. ...
  6. Check out the competition. ...
  7. Love what you do.

Why do people stop selling on Etsy? ›

Etsy sellers often stop selling because they can't keep up with the competition or they can't make a profit. The competition on Etsy is fierce, and it's becoming more and more difficult for sellers to make a profit.

What is the most profitable thing to sell on Etsy? ›

Craft & Supplies is the top-selling category on Etsy with most sales. You can opt for craft essentials, miniatures, tools for jewelry, beads, and much more. The best selling items on Etsy under this category are: Stickers.

What is the easiest thing to sell on Etsy? ›

10 Easy Things to Sell on Etsy
  • Stickers. ...
  • Home Décor. ...
  • Papercrafts. ...
  • Phone Cases & small Goods. ...
  • Organic Cosmetics. ...
  • Choose a Successful Product. ...
  • Create Item in Batches. ...
  • SEO & Marketing. Due to high competition, you have to market products to get sales.
9 Apr 2022

Why are my Printables not selling? ›

If your printables look like not a lot of thought went into the design, it can deter sales. Even the minimalist shopper who wants something clean and simple, wants to see some design thought and effort put into the final product. Don't attempt to sell printables that are of poor quality.

What Etsy Printables sell the best? ›

The Best Selling Printables On Etsy
  • Calendars.
  • Coloring Pages.
  • Greeting Cards.
  • Baby Shower Games.
  • Halloween Printables.
  • Bookmarks.
  • Thank You Cards.
  • Stickers.

How much should I charge for Printables? ›

In the world of printables, prices between $1 and $5 are common and many products are priced at $3.99. Of course, bundles are and should be priced higher than that. Let's say you've been selling printables for $1.00 and you're getting steady traffic to your shop and making regular sales.

What art prints sell best on Etsy? ›

Original Paintings – Original paintings will probably have the highest profit margin because they can be sold for more money than most other types of artwork. However, many potential buyers can not afford a high-ticket item but are still interested in purchasing artwork for their home.

What is the best size for Etsy image? ›

The recommended size for listing images is 2000px for the shortest side of the image, and a resolution of 72PPI. Images larger than 1MB in file size may not finish uploading, especially on a slower internet connection.

What size artwork sells best? ›

At present, most people prefer medium to small paintings for their living and bedrooms with moderate themes. The most commonly preferred frames are 20″ x 24″,16″ x 20″ and 11″ x 14″. For posh galleries, exhibition areas and auditoriums the preferred size is generally 24″ x 36″ and 30″ x 40″.

What is a good image size for art? ›

If you're looking to print out your digital art, the most common Digital canvas size is 4000 x3000 pixels. You can also use any of the standard sizes for Digital printing, like A3 and A4. Printing your digital art on a poster-size sheet of paper, means you need a canvas size of at least 6000 pixels on the long side.

What sells easiest on Etsy? ›

10 Easy Things to Sell on Etsy
  • Stickers. ...
  • Home Décor. ...
  • Papercrafts. ...
  • Phone Cases & small Goods. ...
  • Organic Cosmetics. ...
  • Choose a Successful Product. ...
  • Create Item in Batches. ...
  • SEO & Marketing. Due to high competition, you have to market products to get sales.
9 Apr 2022

What kind of art is trending in 2022? ›

The company's findings show that the most popular art styles in 2022 are expected to be abstract (54%), followed by contemporary (48%) and modern (42%) while 48% of designers indicating they anticipate an increase in use of sculpture.

Why are my Etsy pictures blurry? ›

Re: Difference of Photo Quality After Uploading On Etsy

If your images are too small, Etsy may stretch them to make them fit the space they allow, which can make them blurry, especially if the sides aren't proprotionate. I think Etsy recommends 2,000 pixels on the longest side.

What type of art sells fast? ›

Modern or semi-abstract landscapes seem to sell particularly well. These days, the trend in décor is towards the minimal and modern, so it makes sense that tastes in art would follow suit. Impressionistic landscapes also have a wide appeal.

What art prints sell the most? ›

The most popular art subjects have generic themes and include traditional landscape painting, local scenery, and local landmarks. Seascapes do well, as do animals and figurative work. Art buyers like paintings with a background and composed with a distinct focal point.

What is the 70/30 rule in art? ›

70% of the painting is large shapes and 30% is small shapes (details of the scooters.) If this composition was divided into 50/50 of each, the viewer would not know where to look and the painting would become rather boring.

What print resolution is best for art prints? ›

For most artwork, 300 dpi is preferred. Most printers produce excellent output from images set at 300 ppi. You can use 150 dpi for large prints because the difference in print quality is not very noticeable on large pieces when you look at the prints from a distance.

Why are my art prints blurry? ›

If you try to print an image larger than the size for which the image has available information, the image will begin to look jagged or blurry. This is known as "pixelization," because the printer is literally making the pixels of the image larger to account for the lack of picture information.

How big should my canvas be for prints? ›

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect canvas size for your home: Think about the size of the space you want to hang the canvas. You don't want the print size to be too small or too large – a good rule of thumb is to choose a canvas that is 1/3 the room's width.

Videos

1. How I Make My Art Prints to Sell on Etsy! ✨ (Digitizing my Art)
(Jenny Journals)
2. How to Size Printable Wall Art to Sell on Etsy [Size Your Etsy Printables Correctly!]
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3. How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy (2022)
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4. How to make art prints to sell on Etsy | How I scan my art, digitize paintings, and create art print
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5. How to Make Art Prints to Sell (for ETSY, Webshop, & Art Business)
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6. Making Art and Turning it into Downloadable Prints for Etsy
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