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 your 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.
Start with cards
Cross stitched cards are an ideal way to test out selling your stitching 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!
Cross stitched baby card, designed by Doreen Jones, as featured in issue 215 of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.
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.
Cross stitched pencil cases, designed by Angela Poole for The World of Cross Stitching, April 2019 issue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wedding and birth samplers are popular items to sell
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.
Nursery items will always be in demand. This Teddy Alphabet bunting was designed by Maria Diaz for issue 189 of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.
A friendly reminder: always check copyright
If you’re selling your own stitched items, before you begin, think about the copyright of the chart or pattern you are planning to stitch and sell.
If you’re stitching a pattern from one of Immediate Media’s collection of cross stitch magazines, then we run what’s known as an Angel Policy. This means you can stitch and sell a small number of handmade stitched items using our designer’s patterns without infringing copyright. These items must be made by yourself though, and not mass produced.
If you’re following a 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.
For more top tips and easy to stitch projects, pick up the new issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine, out now!