How to create digital art prints to sell on Etsy

Have you ever been scrolling on Pinterest, only to be stopped by one of those cute art printable designs?


Or maybe you've purposely opened up your Pinterest app and typed in something like "boho digital art print for bedroom" and then get bombarded with 100's and 100's of amazing designs.


Here's the thing, it's more than likely that those exact designs you discover and love are able to be purchased from an seller on Etsy.


Now I guess, if you've made it to this blog post, you're also thinking to yourself... "how can I start creating these art printables and selling them myself?"


Well, you're in the right place, as I'll be running through the step-by-step process of how I create digital art prints for my own Etsy shop, OverTheMoonPrintsCo and share them with you so that you can replicate my process for your own Etsy shop.



Along with this article is a step-by-step tutorial video that you can watch above, but I'll also be breaking down the steps below, that way you can reference this article when you're ready to start selling digital art prints in your own Etsy shop.


Okay, let's get into the steps...


STEP 1: Decide what theme/style designs you'll be selling.

Before you go ahead and start creating, you want to first think about the type/style of digital prints you'll be selling in your shop. Understanding the type of customer you want to attract is crucial to having a successful shop.


For example, a pregnant, soon to be first-time mum would not go looking for art prints for her baby's nursery from a store that predominantly sells artwork for home offices, right? Picking your niche is so important, as is ensuring you have a coherent style across your designs will also help too.


STEP 2: Find your design assets.

Once you've decided on your theme/style and know what types of designs you want to create, it's time to find and purchase the design assets (i.e the graphics and clipart) that you'll be using in your designs.


My number one, go-to place for finding clip art, graphics and illustrations for my designs is Creative Market. Creative Market is the perfect place to find your assets, as it's a marketplace specifically suited to creative artists and designers. They have also considered their licences, so when you purchase a product under their commercial licence to use in your designs, you can be confident knowing that you're able to use them in your designs to sell in your Etsy shop without compromising any copyright issues.


STEP 3: Start designing.

Here comes the fun part...


Designing your artwork.


For my designs, I use and recommend the online design tool, Canva Pro. I have used programs like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop for designs in the past, but for beginners, you can't pass up the simplicity of use and easy learning process of Canva, specifically Canva Pro. If you're yet to register for a Canva Pro account, be sure to use this link as it will give you a 30-day FREE trial of Canva Pro, the design program I use and recommend.


When creating artwork for my own Etsy shop, I like to offer customers the final file(s) in 4 different sizes. The reason for this is so that the customer is able to find the right size to fit almost any frame.


The 4 size ratio's I offer my customers are:

  • 4:5 ratio

  • 3:4 ratio

  • 2:3 ratio

  • Paper sizes

For a 4:5 ratio, I start with an 8" x 10" canvas. For a 3:4 ratio, a 9" x 12" canvas. For a 2:3 ratio, a 10" x 15" canvas and for the Paper Size, I start with an A3.


Start off by opening up a new design in Canva using the 8" x 10" dimensions (we can copy & resize the final design later). Once you have your blank template open, start uploading and inserting your design assets into your design. Be sure to watch the video above to get a better look into how I design and create the final artwork.


STEP 4: Save your files.

Once you're happy with the final design, it's time to save your artwork. I recommend saving the final design as a PDF Print file, as this will ensure that the design is saved in high quality, 300dpi format.


Then go ahead and copy & resize this design into the 3 other ratio's as stated above, save each one as a PDF Print file, essentially giving you 4 x PDF files in the same design.


STEP 5: Create your mockups.

Once you have the PDF Print files ready to upload to your Etsy listing, the next part of this tutorial is to create your mockup images. These mockup images are the photos you'll be using to upload into your Etsy listing for your customers to see.


Having good quality Etsy images is a must when selling your digital art prints, as it helps to give your customer a sense of what the product could look and feel like when they get it printed and framed.


I have two different methods of creating amazing looking thumbnails within Canva. One is to find a mockup image within Canva's image library. To do this, just type "mockup" in the search bar, followed by the type of mockup you're creating (i.e "mockup nursery"). Canva will then display a whole heap of different images that you can use for your mockup images. Just grab a PNG copy of your original design and then insert it into the mockup image then adjust the image until it fits within the frame.


Another way you can create your mockup images within Canva is to use their brand new Effects feature, Smartmockups. Smartmockups allow you to create a mockup with just one click.


In order to get a better understanding of how Smartmockups work, be sure to check out the video included in this tutorial.


STEP 6: Upload to Etsy

Once you're happy with the final mockup images, you've created your 4 x PDF Print files, now all that's left is to upload it all to your brand new Etsy listing.


Bonus tip: I recommend saving the 4 x PDF print files as a compressed Zip folder, making it easier to upload to Etsy.


Be sure to include an SEO optimised title, description and tags, add your in your mockup images, add your price, upload your Zip file and then hit publish!


And there you have it, the step-by-step process on how I design and create Art Prints to sell on Etsy.


Have you joined the Etsy Seller's Hub?

I created a community & market hub, specifically for sellers and shop owners looking for tools, resources and templates to help with their Etsy shop.


Access to the hub is completely free, so be sure to sign up today by clicking the image below: