Friday, February 13, 2009

Creating and Selling a Craft Pattern

Ok, the Etsy Blog Carnival topics this week include writing about a tutorial or directions, a "how to".

I thought about finally putting the diaper bag tutorial together that I promised I would do last summer, but I just couldn't get motivated to do that. However, I've been thinking a lot lately about the success of my knitting pattern. I've made 226 sales so far, including 167 on Etsy. So, I decided I would write a little how to of how I did that.

Creating and Selling a craft pattern:

1) Come up with an original design idea and execute it, keeping detailed notes. This is the hard part. I developed my "Cabled Neck Warmer" pattern while on a three week vacation. This allowed me to try knitting several prototypes. As you go, take great photos of the process and the completed item(s).

2) Write a draft of the pattern. At this point I just used Word to type up my pattern. Make the pattern as clear as you can and include photos to illustrate.

3) Find a volunteer or two to test your pattern. I was lucky to have JanKnit volunteer to be a test knitter for me.

4) Make adjustments to the pattern as needed based on feedback you get and/or after making the item again.

5) Convert your completed pattern (Word) to pdf format. I use this website for free conversion but there are others you can find using a Google search.

6) List your pattern on Etsy and other sites. I have mine listed on Ravelry (knitting site), Artfire, here on my blog, and on my website. One advantage to the Ravelry site is that the purchaser can instantly download their pattern. I did have my pattern listed on Ebay. I sold 10 copies there but decided it wasn't worth the trouble and the fees to relist. It's easy to set up a paypal "buy it now" button on your website or blog if you want to sell from there. Just log in to paypal, go to "Merchant Services" then pick "Buy it Now button" and you will be walked through the steps.

7) Approach local shops to carry your pattern (my local LYS is selling mine and I've taught two knitting classes there using the pattern). Also, have copies for sale at any craft shows you participate in.

8) Once a purchase is made, email the pattern to the buyer. I always offer free help if needed and encourage them to leave me feedback on Etsy.

9) repeat from step 6. I try to keep 3 patterns listed on Etsy at all times. When one sells, I reslist rather than listing a quantity of 3, because I get more exposure for my pattern that way.

10) Start over at step 1 with a new pattern idea. Unfortunately, I haven't done this yet, but hope to this year.


uniquecommodities said...

Wonderful Tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great weekend!

LazyTcrochet said...

That's great! I wondered about #9. I noticed that a lot of people have marked my pattern as a favorite, so I decided to just change the quantity instead of listing a new one. Then I just renew once in awhile. I'm so happy for your success!

TiLT said...

great how-to...I have been wondering how to do this...great timing :)
And I think I would have forgotten to have someone test my pattern...although, I know no sewers locally...guess I'd have to steal an etsy blogger buddy :)

Thanks for the link to the conversion place too

Rose said...

Great info. If the software you use to create the pdf allows it you might want to restrict it to a read only file or password protect it (of course you have to remember the password in case you need to make changes). Be sure all pages have your copyright, co name, etc.

Now how did you set up the pay now button for paypal?

The Lone Beader said...

Good post! This is on my list of things to do this year! :D

HomeMadeOriginals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HomeMadeOriginals said...

It's easy to set up a paypal "buy it now" button on your website or blog if you want to sell from there. Just log in to paypal, go to "Merchant Services" then pick "Buy it Now button" and you will be walked through the steps.

Ellen said...

I didn't realize the paypal button could be so easy! Thanks for sharing.

pumpkinhaus said...

Yes! I am glad you posted this! so.... you have had a good experiance with the free pdf creator then. I am getting ready to bite the bulolet and release a pattern for my gnome hat.