There are at least two ways you can make money as a craft artist: sell your finished products or put your patterns on sale.
While millions of people have recovered their love for crafts in the past year—from sewing to quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and more—there aren’t nearly as many who can create designs from scratch, let alone write patterns that others can follow. But, if you have that skill, then you’re in demand! With a wealth of platforms to share and sell your patterns, you have a world of opportunities to share your talent and earn some serious cash in the process and it all starts with understanding the basics.
Why Should You Sell Craft Patterns Online?
Selling patterns involves selling instructions that guide a crafter on how to make an item. These can be anything from knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, or any other form of art you can think of.
Many of the patterns you would find online are in PDF format. Therefore, it just makes sense to have a bit of knowledge about PDF as well as the tools that will help you edit, convert, or add watermark to PDF files. We’ll discuss more of this later in the article.
• It’s scalable
The great thing about this business is that it’s scalable, meaning whether you sell just one pattern or a thousand copies of it, the amount of effort required is almost the same. All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease at the beginning and very little additional effort afterward to market your offering.
• It’s relatively affordable
Besides skills, all you’ll need is a computer and a good-quality camera to get your pattern business started. You may also consider hiring a photographer or graphic designer to help you with your visuals and give your patterns a more polished and professional look.
• It’s cheaper to sell
Most patterns are relatively cheap, with the average price ranging between $5 and $12. It means it will be easier for people to purchase your pattern and create the product themselves than buy a ready-made one that can cost at least $100 or more.
• It’s more convenient
Once purchased, patterns can be readily available for your buyers to download. It’s unlike purchasing a finished product, which you would have to mail and ship to the buyer. Selling patterns means less hassle for you and less waiting time for the buyer.
How to Write and Sell a Craft Pattern
The first step to selling your pattern is to, of course, create your product. Specialize in what you’re good at, whether that be crocheting blankets or baby clothes. Once you identify what you want to make, it’s time to create your prototype. Make sure to document each step along the way by taking photographs and notes that can help you refine the pattern later. It’s also necessary to detail the measurements and materials you used (e.g. color of yarns, number of skeins, hook sizes, etc.)
Once you have completed your pattern, you’ll want to format the text and photos in a way that is attractive and easy to read. This is particularly true if you’re writing for beginners. You can use software programs like Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Word. Technically, you can make PDFs in Word, but you can be limited as far as layout and graphics are involved.
In this case, you can always use a PDF Converter that lets you convert almost any type of file to PDF. PDFBear, for example, is an online-based service that lets you do just that and more. It has tools for editing, converting, merging, and compressing PDF files. It also lets you add e-signatures and watermarks to protect your intellectual property. Interestingly, it also offers the option to encrypt your PDF with a password and limit access to those who are authorized to view the file.
You don’t have to do this alone. You can offer to send your crafting friends a copy of your pattern in exchange for their advice. Getting an outside opinion is essential to help clarify the step-by-step process and make sure that your pattern is doable. Other steps you can take to further refine your pattern include joining craft groups to ask questions and collaborating with local brands to see how you can help each other out.
How much you should charge for your product depends on your skills and the level of complexity of your pattern. You can look around at comparable patterns and set your price within their range. Don’t sell yourself short, but remember to keep your prices competitive.
A good starting point to sell your pattern is your blog. But, make sure to advertise on popular craft marketplaces as well such as Etsy, Craftsy, and Ravelry. You can also sell your patterns elsewhere like Facebook and other social media channels to cover all your bases. Try more than one of these services and see which generates the most income!
Protect Your Intellectual Property With Watermarks
Developing patterns is a great way to create multiple income streams. It’s also a smart move when you’re an experienced creative entrepreneur with years of experience in your respective craft business. But, with the benefits it can offer, it doesn’t come without risks, particularly the risks of your work getting redistributed without your permission.
With a pattern business, you’ll be doing most of your transactions online. Therefore, it would be smart to protect your digital property and establish a barrier against those who thrive from stealing other’s intellectual property. Of all people, you should know the effort, hard work, and creativity that goes into each design. As a pattern designer, you would want to protect your end product from theft, misuse, and unauthorized redistribution by adding a watermark, among other safety measures.
What do you think of making money out of selling craft patterns? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.