How To Put Artwork on Stuff and Start Selling in 15 Minutes!

in art •  8 months ago


This is for all those designers who just can't help creating new artwork, illustrations, or designs. You can't stop. You won't stop. It's like breathing air.

Or perhaps you're more like me. Now and then, I create a design for a family member. Maybe as a gift. Or just for fun.

Regardless of whether you are a human artwork factory or a sporadic scribbler, one thing's for sure: it's silly to have that artwork hidden away in some iPad digital folder or a journal tucked away in your closet. Let the artwork out! Let it breathe! Let if fly free to bring happiness (or horror) to the world!

So here's the deal. I'm gonna give you a rough and dirty rundown of how to quickly apply your designs to products and sell them online in practically no time flat.

But first, let me tell you what this is NOT. This is NOT a get rich quick scheme. Chances are, you will make almost zero money. Okay, that's not a very positive attitude, haha! Allow me to rephrase. You'll probably make a few bucks here and there, but you'll have to be pretty dedicated to make more than that. And this isn't intended for "dedicated" people. I'm writing this for all the people who hit snooze at least 5x every morning and consider "work" to be a dirty word.

This is also NOT a tutorial on how to start a super-profitable online business. I'm pretty sure that you can more effectively reduce costs and improve your margins utilizing other methods than what I provide.

The good news is that you should be able to generate passive income for the absolute barest minimum effort (assuming you have some designs, artwork, or type that's just sitting around collecting dust).

What I'm going to show you is The Lazy Person's Guide to Passive Nacho Money and Custom Shirts. That's T.L.P.G.T.P.N.M.A.C.S. for short. Or just TLPGTPNMACS.

Rolls off the tongue, right?

You'll make enough to buy some nachos from the taco truck, and you'll get custom discounted shirts that display whatever crazy or disturbing content you can think of. Anything above and beyond that is gravy. If you look at it that way, you can't be disappointed--no matter how many products you sell or don't sell.

The purpose is to admit how lazy you are. Embrace it. Realize that either because you are too busy or have too many TV shows to watch, you simply can't comprehend committing to more than 15 minutes of trying before you scream "squirrel!" and run off to chase whatever distracted you.

I'm here to tell you that it's perfectly okay.


Okay. Let's get started...

First, open an account at Printful. These guys are going to MAKE your stuff.


Next, open an account at Etsy. These guys are going to SELL your stuff.

(By the way, as you navigate the two sites, you'll notice that the Printful/Etsy integration will allow you to do waaaaaay more than just shirts. You can create custom bags, pillows, canvas art, phone cases, etc. However, for purposes of this tutorial, I'm just going to demonstrate t-shirts. Why? Cuz I'm lazy.)


Alright, let's head back to Printful.

Assuming you're signed in, you should be provided with the option to open a store. Go ahead and click "Choose Platform" and select the Etsy option.


Follow the instructions on the screen to setup the new store. Yay! You're in business!

Well, not quite. We need a product.

Click on the ADD button for your new store.


You want to make a Beach Towel? A backpack? Well, too bad. You can come back and do that on your own time. I'm here to make a T-Shirt!

I usually go with the Bella + Canvas 3001. It's not the cheapest, but it has the most color options, it's soft, durable, and people like it better. Plus I'm too lazy to deal with dissatisfied customers. I'd rather just give them a damn nice shirt, so they can shut up, leave me alone, and submit nice reviews.


Now for the fun part.

The next screen should have upload options for all the areas of the shirt that can accept artwork. This is pretty much everywhere!

If the artwork you're trying to upload doesn't fit quite right, reference the following template image:


To be honest, the only thing you have to concern yourself with is that your art fits in a 12" x 16" area. The other smaller-sized shirts will automatically scale the artwork to the correct size.

I usually open up Illustrator or Photoshop, create a 12" x 16" canvas/artboard, make my design, then export it as a PNG with transparent background. That's all you need. Use whatever software or program you like. Just make sure that the PNG is about that big.

For demonstration purposes, I'm going to create something relatively simple. No fancy illustration work. Just some text.

The other day, I was wandering around Steemit and came across a comment that made me chuckle. The user was referencing Game of Thrones and the character known as Hodor. But Hodor's famous lines ended with "HODL" instead of his name.

For those of you who don't watch Game of Thrones, just trust me. It's funny, okay? FUNNY I TELL YOU!

And for those of you who don't know what HODL is, it's a meme-driven representation of the word "Hold" (as in "don't sell when the crypto market is crashing! Hold what you've got! If you sell, you're a spineless panzy!").


Okay, once I drop that bad boy into Printful, the website presents me with a preview of some dude wearing my shirt.

>>> Insert story of a young boy who grew up dreaming of becoming a t-shirt model. After many zany adventures and a dramatic black-and-white flashback, the young man finds true love. He gets his dream job right before a horrific accident decapitates him. His fiance tearfully props up his corpse in the photo shoot in tribute to a man who overcame all of life's obstacles to fulfill his destiny. Even in death, the mystery t-shirt model with no head is an inspiration to us all...fade to black. <<<


For kicks, I placed a branding image on the sleeve.

Why not? It looks cool, and maybe it will become the next Nike.


Looks good. Let's continue on.

Next we add the product description stuff. Printful is nice enough to fill in the technical stuff in the description for me. I add a little text on top.





Well, almost done.

The product is created, but now we need to make sure it shows up in your Etsy store.

Go back to Etsy, and let's finalize the final steps! When you look at your store's dashboard (within Etsy), you'll notice that you now have a new product listed as "Draft". Click on that.


You'll notice that all the info you entered in Printful has been imported into Etsy. Yay for us lazy people!

You'll also notice that Printful makes sure that your Etsy settings are properly configured and ready for drop shipping.


Wait, what? You don't know what drop shipping is??! Are you kidding me? I didn't explain that already?

Alright, so anytime a customer buys your product on Etsy, you don't do anything. That's right, nothing. Printful takes over. They make the product, ship the product, and all emails, notifications, and confirmations are sent automatically. Better yet, all communications can be setup as coming from YOU.

From the customer's point of view, you're running around doing everything. In reality, you're a grown adult watching Gravity Falls on TV. Come on, really? Don't you have anything better to do?

Congrats! At this point, you're a successful lazy online store owner.

Well done! You win at web stuff!


If you want to buy this shirt, hurry up and gimme your money. Seriously. Gimme your money.

Here's the link to go buy it:

But really, you should go make a shirt of your own. Get crazy. Get weird.

If you succeed at following these instructions, I'd love to see some screenshots or links! Show me what you got!

And if this process took you longer than 15 minutes, it's not my fault. You're just a slow reader. Or it's your internet. You have sucky internet. Or maybe you live near a space-time anomaly.

Did anyone watch the last Cloverfield movie? I like the scene with the arm.

Anyhoo, that's about it.

Maybe my next tutorial can be about setting up a successful pyramid scheme.

I'm not gonna ask you to upvote this post. That's what the dog's for.


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haha. I love the pun of Hodor & Hodl. .

Also good info:. Trick is to tap into audiences where people are very obsessive about the niche. (such as this one)

After you get a few designs you could also put them up on merch-by-amazon. because why not. free internet real estate.


Great feedback! And that's true. If you already have designs posted on Printful/Etsy, why not do Amazon too?

Its really good step for selling

These services are great for people who cannot produce the products themselves. Honestly though if your technical and crafty, learning how to silk screen with a small at home press will save you a TON of money and gaining you better profits. Again not bashing these services I have used similar ones in the past, it makes it a lot easier for people. Especially more intricate designed items. Work hard, stay humble & steem on!


No, dude. You are definitely right! Silk screening would be fun and generate a much better profit margin. This guide was mostly for all the people who are either too busy or too lazy to create, fulfill, and ship the product themselves. Thanks for the feedback. Do you have a home press? Any recommendations on equipment/supplies for that?


I have a 4 color press. Not set up at the moment, I used to silk screen all the time few years back. Problem now is somewhere to set it up with access to water. I can't do it in my current living situation but I was thinking about building a small press so I can at least do something. Ryonet is a great place to get equipment. Even the off brands no one heard of does a great job. There are better presses like Riley Hopkins for professional users, but start small build or get a single press station and go from there. I taught myself everything, it was very rewarding. I really hope I get back to it soon and stop saying I will!! Lol thanks for the comment, have a good one!

@nateaguila this post is great! I will start with this as soon as I can, in fact in think you helped me a lot with this, I would love if you check my art and let me know what you think! Following, resteem and upvote!


For sure! I'll check out your stuff right now!

That's pretty cool that they can link like that. I'll also be looking into linking some of the other stores like amazon. It took a little longer than 15 minutes, but I posted a t-shirt through this method.

Click The Image To Order Yours Now!!


Haha, that’s so awesome! Thanks for sharing your design! Very cool (and slightly disturbing)! Your shirt will haunt my dreams.

I had no idea you can do that. I have an Etsy store where I sell digital files. And I have a Redbubble store for print on demand items. But this is very interesting.


Definitely. I encourage you to check it out. You'll have to let me know how it goes. Good luck!

And you made lazy people read this long post. Though it was worth it. Would love to give it a try.
Also, how the payment system works here ? I would love to know that too. :))


Great question! Whenever someone buys a product, Etsy pays you what the customer paid for the product, and Printful charges you the cost of making it. What you’re left with is the profit. It’s all automated and happens without you having to do anything.


Thank you for your reply. It's an interesting thing and I am gonna give it a try :D

Thanks for your advice ! I strongly relate to the mindset of "eh I drew it so might as well try to make a buck out of it if anyone's interested" and have myself recently went on the adventure of setting up a shop. I didn't know about Printful and I'm definately going to check it out !

Do you know about Society6 and Redbubble ? These are the websites I most often see that are used by the artists I follow to sell merch and I was adviced to try out Redbubble first. It's really easy to use and setup your designs on many different goodies (tshirts, mugs, scarfs, prints, notebooks, etc). It went well for me aside from one design who got taken down because of Harry Potter copyright.

However I was pondering about wether to open an account on Etsy because I also recently started to make some small crochet figurines and toys which I would've like to sell too. I was conflicted because I didn't want to have several different shops. Redbubble seemed simpler for my digital art because I didn't want to bother with printing and shipping and I had no idea their were services like printful that would do the same think and have it directly link to Etsy !

I'm definately going to check it out, compare prices and all but you already conviced me. Thanks a lot again for sharing !


Sounds perfect! I hear Society6 profit margins suck. I’m guessing Redbubble is more comparable since they allow you to set the retail prices like Printful. So far, I have no complaints. Printful has great quality, excellent customer service, and integrates with the most well-known online retail solutions. From the same account, you can create multiple store fronts (Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, etc). Good luck with your figurines and toys! Sounds like a fun idea!

Thank you very much for your post. you have informed us in this regard. I am waiting for your support in the last posting.
good luck luck )))))

Thank you very much for posting. I have benefited a great deal by reading this post. I have learned and learned about my unknown things through your post. So I am very grateful to you.


Yup . Keeper of the Unknown Things. That’s me.

Yah designers we can't stop designing.
Nice one
Check this out

Awesome post! I invite you to visit our blog and vote us back! And of course to enjoy our content :)

You have a talent for steemit

thanks a lot of your posts because i have information about this. Good luck

Excellent work friend. Initiatives are necessary in the community. Greetings from Venezuela

Putting art on the blockchain and selling tokens is more efficient and easier, imo!

Such a great site!

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Very cool... Good job .... Thanks for too sharing..

Yesssssss, awesome info. Thanks a bunch for this post.

Wow this is really helpful. I've been meaning to figure out how to start on Etsy to just test the waters, and this sounds like a great solution! I use RedBubble for a lot of things but I don't like the set up for the site as much, and with this, I could move to making some products myself!

Thank you! - on of the best (or even the best) stats, charts, data and analysis of crypto.