10 top tips to turn cross stitch into cash
Love stitching? Want to make some money from your favourite hobby? Read on for our tips on selling cross stitch.
If you dream of making a living from stitching, or would just like to make a bit of extra cash in your spare time, then why not consider selling cross stitch? You'll have so much fun stitching that it won't even feel like work! Read on for our ten top tips on how to get started...
Main image: Durene Jones Casino Cross Stitch charts from issue 238 of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.
1. Start with cards
Cross stitched cards are an ideal way to test out selling cross stitch as they are quick to stitch and easy to sell – and most people will send several cards throughout the year for various occasions, from birthdays to anniversaries!
2. Consider teaching
Ask around in your local schools or craft shops to see if they need a teacher to run cross stitch workshops. You could offer a guide to different stitches and techniques or show people how to make a specific item like a card or small keepsake.
3. Share your work!
Post pictures of your work on Facebook or show people photos of your stitching – so they can see what you could stitch for them. One option is to start a Facebook page for your fledgling cross stitch business, and invite friends, family and co-workers to like and share your page, and to comment on your posts to help them become more visible to potential new customers for selling cross stitch.
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4. Set up an eBay or Etsy account
It's free to set up your own seller account on eBay or Etsy and a great way to trial selling your cross stitch items on a trusted website that already gets a large amount of traffic from people who are looking to buy. Both websites offer free accounts but charge a small listing fee (this varies for each site). Name your items so that people can easily find them and take the time to photograph them clearly and attractively - this really can make all the difference.
5. Make sure the price is right
Look at other sellers to make sure you price your products realistically. Before you even start selling your work, wherever you're selling it have a look around and do some research about what others charge for similar cross stitched items. This is well worth a little time before you pick up your needle and thread. Price your work too low and it won't be worth your while spending time on materials; too high and you'll put off potential customers. But don't worry too much – you can always adjust your prices later, though it's often easier to cut your prices (you'll get the added bonus of sharing the news they're discounted) than it is to raise them once people are used to a lower cost.
6. Hold a stitching night in
Throw a cross stitch party and host a girls' evening at your house - it's a fun excuse to get together with your friends and sell homemade gifts at the same time. Remember to tip off your guests when you invite them that you'll be showcasing some of your creations for sale during the evening, so they're not too surprised.
7. Create your own charts
Invest in a charting program and design your own charts - you might be able to sell them! Start small and if you have friends or family who cross stitch, ask them to test run your charts and stitch them to see how they look once they're cross stitched, and to check that your pattern and key and technical information is correct.
8.Start a blog or instagram account
Start small but post regularly about what you love - cross stitching! Share any insider glimpses about what you're working on lately and take the time to take some lovely photos to show off your work. If you opt to start a blog, think about what will make it unique and consider sharing your personality through your stitching, to draw readers into getting to know you... they're more likely to remember you this way. If you opt to begin with an Instagram account, use hashtags in your posts to make sure that others in the cross stitching community find your photos and can follow you. It takes time to build up visitors and followers but stick with it – if you're website or account gets big enough you could make money from sponsors and advertising.
9. Don't be afraid to charge friends and family a fee for your work
Yes, we know... it's awkward talking about money! Non-crafters often innocently have no idea how long it actually takes to make items by hand, but most people appreciate that if you've taken the time to make something it's not unreasonable to charge for your time and materials. You might want to offer a discounted rate for friends and family so they feel valued too.
10. Wedding and birth samplers are popular items to sell cross stitch
Just as many of us stitch for family and friends to celebrate their life milestones from weddings to new babies, these life events are also times in life when others are looking to buy unique gifts for their loved ones. Don't just stop at samplers either! If you're stumped about what to start making that people might consider paying to buy from you, have a think about new baby mementos (from booties to bunting) or whipping up a batch of wedding invites - these occasions mean you can also offer a personalised element too.
Find good cross stitching programs for Selling cross stitch
There are many cross stitching programs available out there but these are just a few we'd recommend to get you started:
- PC Stitch 11 - It might seem a little old school but this one is available on CD-ROM from Amazon. With pc stitch, you can create your own one-of-a-kind design. It allows you to import your own graphics photos or professional logos into a flexible easy-to-use workspace. Create simple or complex cross stitch patterns with sophisticated yet easy-to-use.
- Ursa Software - Primarily designed to allow you to create and print or publish easy to read cross stitch designs, either converted from photos/clip art, or drawn by hand. Work in color, black and white, a mixture of both, or simulated stitching on screen.
- StitchSketch - is a mobile App to design a chart for Cross Stitch, Bead Weaving, Knitting etc. on mobile devices. Using mobile devices like iPad, it is now possible to design and see charts anywhere. Also using touches or a stylus pen, it is more intuitive to draw or paint a chart.
A friendly reminder: always check copyright
If you’re selling finished cross stitch makes, think about the copyright of the chart or pattern you are planning to stitch and sell before you begin.
If you’re stitching a pattern from one of our own collection of cross stitch magazines, then we run what’s known as an Angel Policy. This means the pattern copyright in all the magazines are owned by or licensed to Our Media Limited and are for readers’ personal use only. Please do not share them online (even for free) or copy them multiple times without our permission. Where selling crafts based on these patterns is permitted (usually only to raise funds for charity), we’ll say so on the project page in the magazine or website.
If you’re following patterns from another designer or kit, you will need to check with the designer or brand that made the kit or chart about their copyright policy before selling the items.
This is always worth spending a bit of time checking before you invest your time and money on creating cross stitch to sell, as unauthorised selling or reproduction of a printed or digital cross stitch pattern itself is against the law and a bit of thought now could save you much more time later.
The best cross stitch Etsy shops selling cross stitch
One of the best ways to learn is to take a look at other successful businesses and find out what they're doing right! This doesn't mean you should copy anyone else's style, but to draw inspiration from their methods of selling. It'll encourage you to think about your own style, and the kind of brand voice you want for your business, is it cute, funny, motivational? It's also great market research, you can find out which items are popular and what customers are searching for. Maybe you will find your niche and a gap to fill whilst you are researching.
Thread or Dead Club
Thread or Dead Club is an amazing cross stitch kit seller on Etsy, they have a huge range of modern cross stitch kits which are perfect for beginners. All of the designs focus on a bold and bright style, they have a very distinctive style that works well to stand out to consumers.
Go and check out Thread or Dead Club on Etsy.
Rachael Faith Crafts
Rachael Faith Crafts creates cross stitch kits which she sells on Etsy, again her style is very distinctive she has a lot of animal influences in her work and very cute designs, all of which are suitable for beginners and create very beautiful pieces.
Take a look at Rachael Faith Crafts on Etsy.
Cross stitch kits and patterns for beginners and beyond, KnitKnotKrafts have a huge array of simple cross stitch designs in the form of both kits and downloadable patterns. We love the way their Etsy page looks really uniform, they have consistently used the same background for each product which can make the products feel like more of a collection.
Want to find out more about cross stitch?
If you are looking for advice on getting started in cross stitching, check out our article or click to find out more about cross stitch needle sizes. If you want to take a look at the free cross stitch patterns we have available for you on Gathered, we have lots of brilliant designs for you! For floral inspirations, try out our lavender cross stitch patterns, and our sunflower cross stitch pattern or browse our selection of cross stitch flower patterns. If you are looking for simple designs that are great for beginners try our children's cross stitch patterns or our cat cross stitch patterns. For fun cards which are always popular, try our caterpillar cross stitch patterns or for more grown up celebrations, our gorgeous cross stitch cards for all occasions. Don't miss our special stitch of Durene Jones cross stitch fox pattern either!
Hannah has been the Editor of The World of Cross Stitching magazine for 4 years and is responsible for bringing a wide range of cross stitch patterns from the best international designers to the readers around the world. She loves to stitch modern baby samplers for new arrivals amongst her friends and family, but as an all-round crafter, Hannah is just as likely to have a crochet hook in hand as a needle and thread. When she’s not busy crafting, Hannah can be found Irish dancing or running to keep fit.
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