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What are print on demand sites and should you use them?

An easy way to get started selling your pattern designs is by using print on demand sites.

So, what are they and should you use them?

What is a print on demand site?

Print on demand sites allow you to upload your designs and then place them on various products that the site sells. Each site will have a different range of products that they sell, for example, stationery, homewares, fashion etc.

When someone buys a product with your design on it, you will get a commission for that sale. The commission that you receive will vary across the different sites. Some sites will also allow you to select the commission you get, while for other sites the commission is a set percentage.

The great thing about print on demand sites is that they can be a great way of creating passive income.

One of the great things about using print on demand sites that most sites will allow you to upload the same design to across multiple sites. So you don’t have to have to worry about creating different designs for each site.

I do recommend having a look at the specifications for each individual site before you upload your designs as specifications can vary across the different sites for example the color mode, the size, the file type etc. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the specifications before you upload your design


After you have uploaded your design, you won’t have to do anything else in regards to the actual design so you can set up yourself to create a passive income stream.

One thing to keep in mind though is that a lot of the print on demand sites are quite heavily saturated with a lot of designs and designers using their sites. That means you will also need to do some marketing yourself to help your designs gain traction.

Make sure you think about that when using print on demand sites. You can’t expect to upload your designs and make sales without marketing your designs. You will also need to actively do some marketing to let me people know about your work so you can help promote sales of the products with your designs on them.


One way you can help boost your visibility is by entering competitions they may run. Spoonflower, for example has a weekly design competition that they run. If you enter and win or place, it can be a really great way of getting your work promoted because you will be featured on their winner’s page.

There are good and bad points to using print on demand sites and it will depend on your own business model as to how you use them.

I often recommend to my students that if they have designs or collections that haven’t sold to clients, then they can always upload them to print on demand site as another way of selling them.

Different print on demand sites

Here are a few examples of different print on demand sites you can consider:

  • Spoonflower
  • Redbubble
  • Society 6
  • Zazzle

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