FIRE Financial Independence, Retire Early,  Online Stores,  Side Gigs,  working from home

Making Money with Art and Design

Think you have a potential bestselling design for a t-shirt?

Love to design or paint?

Have a great idea for a t-shirt design?

During our Money Mindset Makeover Challenge, we briefly touched upon one way to make money and that’s with using your art and design skills. Lots of people are doing it. And making a statement like that often makes we cautious about recommending it as a way for you to earn some extra cash or even turn it into a main stream of income.

Let’s look at the pros and cons and then dig deeper into how you can get stand out from the crowd.


Most art and design sites are now print on demand so you don’t have to buy and store inventory. No more empty bank accounts while your unsold investment sits in your spare room. In fact, most sites require no money to get started.

It’s a commission based business…in most cases, the site takes the money and pays you a commission for your design.

Another plus is, you don’t have to handle the orders, take credit cards, or head to the post office to mail your orders.

It’s something you can do from home and just about anywhere in the world .

You can build up an audience before you commit to setting up your own online store or site.

You can have lots of designs selling, and once again, without any investment (other than your time), on your part.

You can have products on multiple sites.

And now the cons which are in fact born out of the pros

It’s so easy that anyone can do it.

Everyone in the world can do it. If you thought local competition was bad, now you’re competing with someone half way around the world too.

No money up front makes it no risk for everyone, and once again increases the competition.

And finally, there are lots of print on demand companies that you’re not only competing with others on the platform you choose but all the other platforms too.

Still think this is for you? Here are some tips I think can help you if your heart is set on this venture-

Stay Away From Fads

Yes, fads sell well but they draw even more people to create and sell them and the fad quickly fads. Go for something with more staying power even if the revenue is lower. Is it better to make $1,000 a month for two months or $50 a month for forever? Remember that passive income is the BSG’s favorite income.

Think Evergreen

What do you see as something that’s going to be popular not only today but ten years from now? Things like florals or maybe funny sayings?

Be Picky About the Platform

Everyone has their favorites but be sure to check each one out. Is one more easy to use? Does one have better quality products? Does one sell more products that you’d like to see your design placed upon. For example prints rather than t-shirts?

Do Your Research

Spend few hours a day, checking out sites, looking at top selling designs and products and asking yourself how can you put a new spin on things? How can I stand out from the crowd?

If you missed the post listing five of the print on demand sites, here they are again. There’s also Teespring and Etsy where you will have to pay a listing fee for each of your designs.

Do you sell on any of these sites or maybe one that’s not been listed and would like to be interviewed here at BSG? It’s a great way to promote your products so contact me at

If you don't want to miss all the good things coming up on Budget Smart Girl, including special deals, be sure to sign up to become a subscriber.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.