Etsy is amazing, mostly because it provides a medium through which you can sell all kinds of artsy, crafty things. It is almost the perfect side hustle platform for people who want to work on creative projects and make a bit of extra money at the same time.
But did you know that graphic designers can also earn some extra cash on the site? Can you really make money selling printable wall art on Etsy?
Let’s dig into it.
Making Money Selling Printable Wall Art On Etsy
We're talking about selling on Etsy, so the first thing to talk about is Etsy itself. What is the site and why rely on it?
Etsy.com is a pretty well-known website. If you’ve never used it before, we would actually really encourage you to take a look at it. It is essentially a website that lets you put homemade arts-and-crafts projects up for sale.
They make selling stuff online super easy. They even handle payments, give you a platform for messaging, allow you to basically set up your own storefront… everything.
Well, I was browsing Etsy the other day, and stumbled onto something I’ve never seen before. Apparently, there is an entire on-site market for ‘printable wall art.’ In other words, there is an entire market for products that consist only of digital files that the buyer can buy, download, and print out themselves.
Let’s just be real for a moment. We all know that getting something printed at the FedEx store is way cheaper than buying a full-sized piece of art. Plus, this eliminates shipping costs.
But is it actually profitable?
We will get to that in a moment.
Why Printable Wall Art?
This was a question that actually gnawed at me for a moment. Why would someone pay for printable wall art?
I can see buying wall art that I could not produce on my own… but I also have some graphic design skills and software. So most of the stuff I was looking at was stuff that I could put together and print out without buying it.
All I had to do was purchase digital downloads of the right kinds of artwork from artists, create the art in Photoshop, and then get it printed.
But then, it clicked.
The only reason I was thinking about it this way was because I already knew how to use Photoshop to lay out graphics.
But most people don’t have the time, skills, or equipment for this. So as it turns out, laying out wall art and selling digital copies of it is genius. It provides cool artwork at a super-affordable price for people who could not otherwise lay it out for themselves… but it also gives the artist-in-question a way to sell digital copies of their art in the process.
As you know, digital copies cost nothing to distribute online… so this is a very, very efficient side-hustle idea.
Selling something that costs you nothing is almost the perfect side hustle.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printable Wall Art On Etsy?
When I typed ‘Printable Wall Art’ into the Etsy search bar, here are just a few of the options I came up with.
The very first product on the page is $20.40. And yet, that company has had over 1,700 downloads! There was another company with 58 downloads at $10.00 each on this page, etc. Some of these stores had literally thousands of downloads.
Keep in mind that the person selling the printable artwork never has to touch it. All they have to do is design it, upload it, maintain their store, answer buyer questions, etc. The customer pays for the digital files, prints out their artwork, buys their own framing/hanging gear, etc.
Of course, they only pay a few dollars for the download… but they end up with amazing art that is far cheaper to buy than artwork that is already printed. Plus, they can decide how big they want it, what kind of frame they want, etc.
So, as you can see, there is a lot of potential for people to make excellent money on this side-hustle. Yes, an artist may make more money on one piece if they sell it as a framed, completed physical work… but what if you sell 20 digital copies at 1/20th of the price?
You are still making the same… plus, you never have to ship a single thing!
How Much Does It Cost To List And Sell Items On Etsy?
Etsy makes this process super-simple. Take a look.
First, they charge a flat $0.20 per listing… which is very, very cheap. This gets the listing on the site for four months. Then, when you do start to sell items, you will incur a 5% transaction fee, and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee.
And that’s it. That is what it will cost you to use Etsy.
Of course, you will need some equipment to get the ball rolling. You will need the means to lay out graphics, create the filetypes, and design the artwork.
But if you already have this kind of equipment laying around, this kind of side-hustle would literally only cost you some time, effort, and $0.20 in cash. It literally does not get any cheaper than that!
The Downsides To This Side Hustle
Of course, no side hustle is perfect… and neither is this one. One of the biggest downsides to this hustle is that there is a lot of competition on Etsy for niches like this one.
But, you can also do yourself a favor by focusing on a more specific type of artwork for this category. The more specific you get, the less competition there will be.
Practice also tends to ‘make perfect’ when it comes to hustles like this. At first, you may not sell anything. But if you keep making better and better artwork, you might find that you can sell more of it more often. You will figure out what sells, create better content, and earn more money over time.
But this all takes practice and determination. You can make this kind of project work for you… but you have to be patient and stick with it.
For this reason, it may be a good idea to start creating art that you love. If you love what you are creating, then you will enjoy the process and you won’t start to get discouraged if things don’t go well. Learning, adapting, and figuring out the problems won’t seem like such a drag if you love the process.
But then again, that is truly a goal with any side hustle. Focus on things you love. The rest will fall into place.
If you don’t choose to focus on something that you have a passion for, then you may burn out and end up giving up before you actually make any money. And I feel that this concept absolutely applies to Etsy!
My Personal Feelings About Creating Printable Wall Art On Etsy As A Side Hustle
While this side hustle does have a few downsides, I actually think it is a great idea for the right kind of person.
The right kind of person would need a love for wall art, the skill to design it in a digital medium, and the means to create files that can be printed out by customers who purchase it on Etsy.
There are all kinds of options for this hustle, so you can put your own personal style into it… but at the core, this side hustle has the potential to be really profitable because of the fact that digital files do not cost anything to produce or distribute.
Once you create it, you can sell it an infinite number of times and make almost pure profit on every sale. There is no shipping or handling cost, and the fees on Etsy are quite low.
It is, by all accounts, an awesome side-hustle idea.
If you don’t have any experience with digital artwork, you might find this one a bit difficult. You will also have a hard time getting started in this market if you don’t have at least a computer and some basic design software.
But if you already have these things, you can start this gig up quite easily.
With that being said, Etsy is also a great place to start earning money as a designer if you are newly interested in getting into the business… so don’t be afraid to give it a try, even if you don’t have any experience.
With time, commitment, practice, and dedication, you have as much of a chance as anyone to make some money selling printable wall art on this awesome, crafty platform!
You may not get rich with this one, and it may take some time to build up… but it also boasts a lot of benefits.
You could also apply some of your work to other related side hustles. For example, the site Displate.com focuses on printable wall art and gives you the ability to upload and sell your art.
Our Final Opinion Of Selling Printable Wall Art On Etsy
Should you try designing printable wall art and selling it on Etsy as a side hustle?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
Starting your own affiliate website really is the best way to build passive income and "make money while you sleep". Affiliate websites earn income in every timezone, and can be instantly accessed by billions of smartphones across the globe!