Spoonflower is a print-on-demand site that provides artists with a venue to sell wallpaper, wrapping paper and fabric
Expected pay: a 10% to 15% royalty on sales
Commissions & fees: NA
Requirements: Repeating pattern art to upload for fabric or wallpaper. And you must order a sample of it to confirm that the colors, design and other details reproduce correctly. (Samples can be ordered individually for $5 or in batches, which can reduce the cost to about $1 each.)
Spoonflower is a print-in-demand site specifically geared to designers who want to create wallpaper and fabric designs. And, where it operates much like other print-on-demand shops, it is uniquely well-suited for fabric designers.
What’s print on demand?
But, before we go on, it’s worth a moment of explanation about what print-on-demand is all about. The short version is this: You, the artist, upload your art. You decide what products you want to offer it on from a menu of choices. The site then creates the products, uses your art to decorate them, and pays you a royalty on every sale.
What makes Spoonflower particularly attractive for people interested in designing fabrics is the site gives buyers a wealth of choices about what type of fabric is used — from simple cottons to lightweight chiffons and heavy linens.
It also invites interior designers to join its trade program, which nets them discounts. Those discounts, incidentally, do not cost the artist anything. The site’s terms say that artists get commissions of the retail price of their fabric, not a discounted price. However, encouraging interior designers to use the site is a great marketing program for expensive designer fabrics.
The fabric is expensive to buy, ranging from $19 to more than $50 per yard. So, even at a 10% royalty rate, artists are likely to make a decent amount on every sale.
Spoonflower requires designers to order a swatch of their fabric before they can sell it on the site. (See requirements above.) This is to ensure that the colors you envisioned came out as planned and that there’s no glitch in the repeat. The fabric swatches are relatively cheap — $5 each or less. So we don’t see this as a shortcoming. In fact, given that the site honors returns, it’s an advantage because it heads off design problems that could otherwise lead to customer dissatisfaction and aborted sales.
Challenges and instruction
Notably, too, the site sponsors design “challenges.” If your designs are in the top 50, you can forego the sample requirement and list that design for sale on the site. If you’re among the top 10 winners, you’ll also get a site credit of $200 to $20, depending on where your design placed in the contest.
The site also provides copious advice to artists on using the site successfully. And has a guide that provides samples of all the site’s fabrics. If you work directly with interior designers, this can help you market your fabrics as well.
Designers earn a 10% base commission on all sales. However, once you make more than $300 in monthly sales, you get a “bonus” royalty of 1%. When sales exceed $1,000, the bonus royalty is 3%, And sales over $1,500 in any given month generate a 5% bonus royalty. Base royalties are paid out every two weeks, once the designer has built up sales of $10 or more. The bonuses are calculated and paid out once a month.
We like this site for people who want to create repeat-design fabrics and wallpapers. However, we also like Society6, RedBubble and FineArtAmerica. And these other sites offer your art on a wider array of products. Since none of these sites demand exclusivity, we recommend that artists use all four.
What their users say: (from YouTube)
So is Little Biz Resources