How to Make Cool Zazzle Designs from Household Items

Since I have received many questions on my last Zazzle post relating to my Zazzle sales, I thought you might be interested in knowing how I make some of my designs.  Today I will be sharing how I made a few of my product lines using my phone and taking pictures of things in my house.  Just using regular household items.  For example, I recently made a design which I hope to have sell well around Halloween time.  It features magic potion bottles and brightly colored Halloween apothecary tonic bottles.

Witch Doctors Magic Potion Apothecary Tonic Bottle iPhone 4 Cases Medicine Man Magic Potion Apothecary Tonic Bottles Coffee Mug Medicine Man Magic Potion Apothecary Tonic Bottles Postage Stamp Medicine Man Magic Potion Apothecary Tonic Bottles Plate

How I made this design

How to Make Zazzle Designs from Household Products

Glass Bottle with Water & Green Food Coloring

First, I had an empty bottle of pure maple syrup that I was ready to throw into the recycling bin.  But instead of throwing it out, I cleaned it out and peeled the label off it.  Then filled it with water and added a few drops of green food coloring.  Then grabbed my iPhone 4 and snapped a picture of it.  Then I used the Camera+ app on my phone to edit it with the “Clarity” feature.  Now I had a picture that looked like the picture to the right.

Then I opened up my GIMP software on my computer (which is free), and used the Path Tool to cut out the bottle and delete the background. Now I had just the bottle with no background. I saved the bottle as a .png image so I could use it over and over again. Then I opened up a new design and made a 3600×3600 working area at 300 dpi. I opened that bottle I created as a new layer. Then I duplicated that layer over and over again, resizing the bottles and arranging them on the design. Using the rectangle select tool I selected just the liquid portion of different bottles (one by one) and recolored the liquid with the colorize tool. So now I had a bunch of different bottles, in different sizes, and different colors. Once I recolored and resized a bottle, I stuck one of these cool Halloween apothecary stickers on it as a new layer, then merged it down onto the bottle once I had it where I wanted it.  After that was all said and done I added a layer underneath, which would be the background.  I had some rustic barn wood designs, so I used those.  But I easily could have snapped a picture with my iPhone of something wood around my house and used that.

Once I was all done, I had a cool 3600 x 3600 original design that started out from a clear glass bottle!  I then uploaded that design with my custom made templates in Quick Create, and now I had all these Magic Potion Halloween Apothecary Medicine Man Gifts up for sale in my store.

Granted, it took me a long time to do all of that!  I think that was the only new design that I published that day!  But I love the finished product and can’t wait for them to start selling!  Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?  Leave a comment below!  Thanks ~ and happy selling to all!

Read more posts about Zazzle:

Make Money with the new Zazzle Collections Feature

How to Get Started on Zazzle with NO Design Skills

How to Make Your Own Templates for Zazzle Quick Create

How to Make Cool Zazzle Designs from Household Products

The easiest way to make money on Zazzle

My First Zazzle Referral Sale on my New Website

Make Money Online With Zazzle – The Basics



11 comments on “How to Make Cool Zazzle Designs from Household Items

  1. Hey, just wondering, if you see zazzle in the top spots of google and want to use that keyword for your categories would that be a good idea will you rank? I am in the proccess of redoing ALL tags and categories to get more traffic.

    • Your category won’t outrank Zazzle, however, pay attention to how zazzle has that page named, and you want use those words in your tags so your item can be seen on that page. If you can find a search term that Zazzle ranks #1 for in Google (make sure your cookies are cleared or you are using an incognito browser so it’s not showing you Zazzle as #1 simply because you visit Zazzle often), and if there are not many products in the Zazzle search results, make a bunch of those type of products. Because if Zazzle is ranked #1 in Google, and you if you can get your products on the first page of the Zazzle search results, then you will get traffic/sales for those products.

      However, if Zazzle is NOT ranked for a search phrase, then your category page has a good chance of being ranked high in Google for that search phrase.

  2. I love how you did the medicine bottles Kim.

    I have been telling my friend Denise about how you make money doing this. She does great artwork (paintings, sculptures, etc) and would love to make a living doing it instead of her office job. She may be laid off soon as her company merges with another company and if so, I really hope she takes the opportunity to focus on her art business. (her blog is where you can see some of her work if your interested.)

    Anyway, she asked me how were you marketing your Zazzle stuff and I didn’t know. That’s a great question. How do you market it with so much competition on there?

    • I love Denise’s art! She could totally sell it on Zazzle! As far as marketing, I don’t do much marketing at all. I share a few things on Pinterest, usually iPhone cases and wedding invitations. But other than that my sales come from either being found in the Zazzle marketplace just through search, or people find it through Google search directly to a category page of mine, or a Google image search.

      Also about 40% of my sales come from “3rd party” referrals, meaning a 3rd party is credited with referring the sale. This could mean someone else had one of my items on their stand alone website, many of which pull in products automatically based on your how you have your products titled and tagged. Or maybe someone places Google adwords ads in hopes of earning a referral commission. When it’s referred by a “3rd party”, they earn a 15% referral fee, plus they get a volume bonus on the sale. I still get my royalty markup. Some of the big affiliates who do referrals for a living may only choose products that are within a certain competitive price range, so Zazzle recommends setting your royalties between 10-15%. Also Zazzle does a lot of promoting themselves and their marketing team will only feature products marked at a royalty of 15% or below. It’s also used in the equation of how products are show in the marketplace search on Zazzle, so lower prices get preference. All in all, if your royalty is set to 15% or below, you stand a better chance of getting your stuff marketed by Zazzle themselves, by 3rd party affiliates, and by showing up higher in the Zazzle search results.

      Also, I discovered a few niches that only had 500 or less products in them, like certain themed birthday invitations. I had designed an invite and when it started making multiple sales I went looking for it in the Zazzle marketplace. I found that there were only 500 or so other invites for this theme, of which the top 60 are shown on the first page of search results. And Zazzle ranks #1 in the Google search results for those invites. So if someone searches Google for “xyz birthday invitations” and clicks the first link which goes to Zazzle’s “xyz birthday invitations” page and my invitation shows up on that first page, I figure that’s just as good as if my actual invitation was showing up on Google’s first page, right? So I made a bunch more of those type of invites, so I could have a bigger market share of that first page on Zazzle. Now I have about 12 invitations on the first page of the Zazzle search results for “xyz invitations” (just an example), which out of 60 invites means I have a 20% share of the market of the Zazzle page 1 for those invites. The moral of the story is that if you can find niches like that, you will have sales! And I use my Jaaxy keyword research tool to help me find out what people search for!

      Writing good descriptions, titles, and tags is really important. Not just for on Zazzle, but that info is automatically picked up by THOUSANDS of third party affiliate websites who market Zazzle products. So make sure the descriptions and tags accurately describe what a customer looking for your type of design would be searching for.

      That’s just some of my thoughts about marketing…put the work in up front and sales will eventually follow. And keep making more products! And put each design every product it looks good on!

  3. @Cathy I want to know as well it seems like I am getting nowhere I’m sure it’ll click at some point but nothings being seen and when I say nothing I mean nothing.

    • I know this sounds illogical, but just keep making new items, and try to set up the templates so you can make items 100 at a time. I have hundreds of designs that have NEVER made a sale yet, but I just keep plugging along making new stuff. Every day I have sales in which that is the first sale from that design. I may have put that design up for sale 4 months ago. But it all compounds on itself. Those items are up for sale and the more items you put up for sale the better your odds for making sales. Maybe you had a giraffe phone case, but someone wanted an elephant phone case. Next month when your store actually has an elephant phone case, you might make the sale. But if it’s not in your store there is no chance for a sale. More products = more customers who are shopping for what you are offering.

      • I just need to be patient and keep plugging along how long did it take you from when you starting putting items in your store to start seeing steady sales?

        • My results in the beginning might be a bit misleading because I started using my own templates and adding products 100 at a time in November, which is a busy shopping season with Christmas. I worked like crazy during November and December, adding products in bulk using my own Quick Create templates I made, and added 50,000 products over that two month time period. That’s approximately 500 designs each on 100 products. If a person added 10 designs a day, running them through a batch of templates of 100 products, that would be 1,000 products a day, and it would take 50 days. Once I got to 50,000 (500 designs) products I was earning $1000+/month, even after Christmas shopping was over. That seems like a LOT of products, but just break it down into manageable tasks. Set a goal of adding 5-10 new designs/photos a day, using templates so you can add 100 products at a time. It takes a lot of work. Just set goals in smaller increments. Set a goal to get 5,000 products in your stores, then 10,000, etc. Also, wedding invitations earn quite a bit of money when you do make sales, so if you have any interest in designing those, they can be quite profitable.

  4. When you added all those products (the thousands) what did you even do? I am not sure how you can even think of some many designs? How did you lol ? What inspired you? Was it all items around your house?

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