Making cross stitch is an awesome way to spend your time, however, there’s always that one thing in your mind, the question everyone always thinks about “Can I make money from this?”.
Luckily, the answer is yes. There are LOADS of people selling cross stitch and cross stitch patterns online. It’s super simple to do and doesn’t cost a lot to set up at all (if anything).
I will add the caveat now though, that you aren’t going to suddenly be drowning in dollar bills. But its enough to cover most cross stitch expenses.
Deciding what to sell
The first step along this journey is what you’re going to sell. There are two main areas:
- Finished cross stitch
- Cross stitch patterns
Now, both have their advantages. The first is that you can charge higher amounts per product, whilst making patterns you can shift a dime a dozen and have it all done automatically. If you’re looking from a purely economic point of view, then selling cross stitch patterns is definitely your best bet. If you don’t know how to do this I have a guide on making cross stitch patterns here.
The next step is to make a brand. Now, there are loads of different ways to come at this, so I’m going to leave it in your faithful hands, however, it’s important to note that you need a UNIQUE name. This will be the name of your store, and possibly what you put on products too. Depending on your target market, this might be very different. For example, I tend to aim towards the younger market with crazy patterns and so a tongue in cheek design and a flash logo work, but if you sell to more traditional stitchers a friendly face might work better.
Setting up a store
So now you have a brand you can set up a store. There are two main online platforms but Etsy is the best. You can find an official guide here.
They take a small cut on each deal, but they set up an automatic sale for digital files (patterns), and have massive amounts of traffic.
Make your products
Well… Yeh. Make the stuff.
Once you have items to sell the next thing is to get some awesome photos. This is the biggest thing about Etsy sales. The picture is EVERYTHING. Make it professional, make it stand out. Make sure people want to select it. This can be the hardest bit though, so if in doubt copy the style of other people who sell on Etsy until you develop your own style.
With everything set up and ready there is one final thing I would note; be prepared. This can take loads of different forms, but making sure you have enough of what your trying to sell is a big one. If this is finished pieces or kits you need to have the product ready to start when the sale goes through.
– Make sure you can sell your stuff. This is SUPER important. You can read up on cross stitch and copyright over here.
– Ensure you have awesome drawing product descriptions. After all, it’s all about selling the product.
– Customer care is super important. Just be there to speak to customers, answer questions, help them out.
– Etsy ads are a great way to get some extra eyes on your items, but I would stay away from general terms like “cross stitch” instead be more specific, and you’ll get a better return.
– Make sure you make a profit. If the item costs $10, the sale price needs to be $15 for you to get a $1 profit. But this doesn’t work out as a great wage. Price your time accordingly.
Struggling to sell your patterns online? Check out our post on why your why your cross stitch patterns aren’t selling.
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Do you have more advice about selling completed cross stitch and copyrights? I have heard that in the US copyright doesn’t apply to finished projects since they are the artist’s interpretation of the work. What happens if I want to sell a finished product of a pattern seller said cannot be sold?
Things get confusing there.
So the designer is using a creative commons license to make a pattern in the first place. This is the “interpretation of the work” you’re referring to. In reality, this does apply, meaning they can use the design, but in practice, it’s never been tested in law, so people ear on the side of caution.
But this also means that the finished piece is under the same copyright that the designer used. This means that you can’t sell it.
That is unless you have permission. You see, if you get permission, the blame for any copyright infringement is on the designer, not you (the seller). This is why people don’t give permission to sell completed works often.
So what does this mean for you?
If you stitch a piece and want to sell it afterward, you need permission. If you get this, sell it! If you don’t, don’t sell it. You’re opening yourself up for a copyright claim from the original artist, as well as the pattern designer.
That said, it’s unlikely that people will track you down for it.
BUT the big caveat here is that you stitch the piece, THEN decide to sell it. If you stitch to order, then you’re making commercial works from someone else’s copyright and that is a serious violation. That ends up in jail time if you get caught/sued.
If I wanted to make/sell cross stitch kits and include DMC floss in those kits, would I need some kind of contract with DMC?
No, you can add in DMC thread without a contract. However, you can’t use their logo or say/imply that DMC is involved in the kit production.