Etsy Beginner Tutorial — Print on Demand — Part 4 — Creating Awesome Mockups

This article is part of a series:

In the previous lesson, you learned how to create winning designs, however you shouldn’t just start uploading them. I mean — you can, but it’s not recommended if you want to optimize your shop for as much sales as possible.

Instead, you should create AWESOME mockups (thumbnails) that will be clicked by your customers.

Notice the difference between these mockups below. Which one would you click?

Which thumbnail would you click?

The left one stimulates a feeling of coziness and love, the right one is just a t-shirt.

People are emotional beings, we are MORE LIKELY to click on the left thumbnail, compared to the right one.

3 important prerequisites / key points

1. Mockups must resemble the actual product

Make sure that the product (in this case a T-shirt) you’re actually going to sell, resembles the mockup image.

So when creating your mockup, compare it to your actual product images in PrintfulPrintify or Awkward Styles.

2. Identical placement of image/text

Image/text of the mockup must be in the same place as the actual product. Sometimes automatic mockups place the image in the middle of the shirt, while you might print it on the top.

Align designs to the top

3. Your mockup must be very clearly readable and “catch the eye”!

→ This is the most important strategy you can use if you want to increase your Etsy POD sales.

What’s the point in uploading a listing if nobody would click on them?

Here are some tips & examples of great looking mockups:

  • Focus must be on the design: Zoom in!
  • Use high-quality images
  • Use creative backgrounds: Experiment with different backgrounds to highlight your product and make it stand out.
  • Make use of props: Add props such as flowers, plants, or other accessories to give context and create a more attractive scene.

Final tip: Test and optimize: Test your mockups on different devices and make adjustments as necessary to ensure they look great on all screens.

Here are some examples of great-looking mockups.:

Etsy mockup examples

Priority: Avoid bad reviews!

If one of the above 3 prerequisites are not okay, you might see some bad reviews like this:

“The product I received doesn’t look like the description image at all!”

And we don’t want that, do we? Good reviews & customer satisfaction is our NUMBER #1 priority when it comes to Etsy!

Ways to create mockups

When it comes to creating actual mockups, there are a bunch of ways you can generate/create them:

  1. Redbubble (after uploading a product, you can download images as “promotion materials”)
  2. Printful → Via the Mockup Generator or just by uploading a file to Etsy (but not publishing yet)
  3. Canva mockup generator (quite useful, but not much choice of mockups)
  4. (haven’t really used this one, because it’s not free BUT from what I’ve heard, it’s really good)
  5. (has quite a lot free mockups, definitely worth checking out!)
  6. (also quite nice, I was able to generate some mockups with this, but now I see a watermark on the mockups, so I suppose I need to upgrade..)
  7. Buy a mockup template from e.g. Etsy & use it in Canva (my favorite method, because this looks really professional and unique), or place your design on top of it with any other graphic design tool.
  8. Use all-in-one design & bulk upload software called (tutorial)

This final method is actually my preferred one because it’s easy and saves me time: I create designs & mockups at the same time in Canva.

How I do it

I go to (or, or or (pro)), and search for “t-shirt mockup”.

P.S. It’s actually worth it to buy mockups on Etsy (it barely costs around 2–3 dollars, just search for “T-Shirt Mockups”), and using that for all your designs. This way you’ll have high quality, unique mockups.

PLUS you’ll have the right type of product! Remember the prerequisites from above?

Bella Canvas 3001 mockups on Etsy

Or you can download one on e.g. Unsplash — but here you don’t know what type of shirt it is… quite risky. Anyway, for the sakes of this tutorial, I’ll download a mockup from here:

Next, put this image in Canva, and:

  • place your design on top of it
  • align, turn it so it looks like your “production partner’s version”
  • lower transparency to 85–90%

Et voilà!

Mockup made via

Once you have your mockup template, you can KEEP USING this template in Canva, and immediately create it during your design sessions — like I did in the previous article. This saves time, and time is money.

But of course, feel free to use whatever you’re most comfortable with — I’m just sharing my own preferences and experience here.


Redbubble mockup
Printful mockup mockup generator

Another nice tool I tested is called This is basically an all-in-one tool for Print on Demand. It can create mockups and automatically push designs to your stores.

You can get started for free but of course if you want to use the full capabilities, it comes with a price.

For those of you who are looking for free tools, I recommend using the free methods above, but for those of you who are already a bit further ahead and want to AUTOMATE things, myDesigns is definitely worth checking out!

I’ve linked a YouTube tutorial below which they posted just a few days ago:

That’s it! Make sure your mockups are awesome and I’ll see you in the next tutorial!

Want more?!

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Did you know? I also write about different passive income streams like Print on Demand, YouTube Automation, investing tips, healthy habits and just keeping yourself motivated to keep going every day!

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Michiel Schuer


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