How to Create Printables In Canva

Creating an Etsy shop where you sell printables and other digital products passively can be a life-changing decision.

You can develop an income stream of hundreds or thousands of dollars per month by making printables to sell passively. That passive income from printables is enough money to pay bills, pay off debt, or allow you to work from home instead of a 9-5 job.

The best news? It’s easier than ever to create, market, and sell printables!

Using Canva To Create Printables

If you have no design experience it might feel overwhelming to think about creating printables.

Luckily technology has made a variety of tools that make design work super easy. My go to for creating beautiful printables is Canva.

Why Canva Is Great For Creating Printables

Canva works great for most designs and the software is easy to use even for beginners. It’s one of the best design tools out there and has many benefits:

  • It is easy to use even as a beginner.
  • It’s free for the basic version with lots of features.
  • Canva has many advanced tools and functions included.
  • There are many pre-made templates, graphics, and font combos to inspire your own creations.
  • The pro version is low cost – half the price compared to Adobe Creative.
  • It allows you to make products fast with easy duplications and resizing.
  • It is web based so you can access it anywhere.
  • There are many Canva tutorials out there making it easy to learn.
  • It has desktop and mobile applications.

Obviously I love Canva and it is the leading online design tool used by millions for a reason.

I use Canva Pro to create all of my printables and social media graphics as well. It’s a fantastic all in one design tool for any business and the best investment someone can make in starting an Etsy printable business.

How To Create Printables In Canva

In the following tutorial I walk through how to create printables using Canva. I cover how to create a printable chore chart for kids.

The options are endless for the types printables you make to sell and this is just one niche example!

How To Make Printables In Canva To Sell

In this Canva video tutorial I walk through how to create a printable chore chart that you can sell on Etsy.

Open Your Canva Account

If you don’t have a Canva account yet, feel free to use my affiliate link to start your new account.

You can open up a free account or a Canva Pro account that’s just a little bit over $12 per month. I use a Canva Pro account and feel that it’s worth it for many of the features but you can get started with a free account. 

Create A New Design

To start making a printable in Canva you need to choose the size you want. Canva has many options for sizing when you create a new design and you can easily just select one.

When logged in to your account to create a new design you will click the “Create a design” button in  the top right corner. 

Here you can select from the most popular sized, type in a desired type, or click the + sign to create a custom size.

For most printables I like to start out with a common size like 8.5” x 11” which is the standard US letter size that most printer paper comes in. 

However, it’s best to do a bit of research for the type of printable you are creating. Keep these sizing considerations in mind and research your niche:

  • What are the standard sizes people use?
  • What sizes are other listings of this product selling?
  • Do other listings include multiple product sizes?

You can choose this size or another common one based on your product research. You can always resize your design with Canva with the Magic Resize tool when you have a pro account. 

Designing Your Printable

The actual design of your printable will depend on what type of printable you are creating. In the video above I walk through the steps on how to create a printable chore chart for kids.  

When designing your printable in Canva you can use many of the different design elements Canva offers. You can’t use their premade templates so make sure you always start from scratch with a blank canvas and build your own design.

Savings & Testing Your Printable

After you have finished your design you are ready to save the file. 

Here’s how to save the file from Canva:

  • Click the “Download” button in the top right
  • Change the file type (In Canva for the best resolution choose PDF Print)
  • Click “crop marks and bleed” button to get a perfect cut on your design when people print and cut at home
  • Click the “Download” button in the pop up menu

That’s all you have to do to save your file from Canva! 

Next you’ll want to test your printable. Find the file you downloaded and open it to make sure it opens correctly on your computer and looks accurate with no changes.

Then you will want to print your design at home. This is critical to your printable business success so you know that the printables are printing correctly.

Using Clip Art In Printables 

The best thing about designing printables to sell for passive income is that you don’t have to be an artist.

You can use other people’s art to create your printables!

If you want to include art in your printables without designing it you can buy clip art from other sellers that give you a commercial license.

Buying a commercial license lets you use clip art, graphic elements, fonts, and other items in your printables. 

A commercial license means that you can use their product in your design that you plan to sell. You won’t be able to resell the graphic item itself but you can use it within your new design that you will then sell. If you see graphics you want to use that don’t have a commercial license and say “for personal use only” then you should not use those for your products. Always read the terms of the license when you buy something to use. 

Where To Buy Graphics & Fonts For Printables 

There are a number of really useful websites where you can buy commercial use items to use in your printables.

How To Buy Commercial Use Elements For Digital Products On Creative Market

Here are my favorite sources for buying commercial use fonts, graphics, and more:

Creative Market – This is my personal favorite for designs since it has the highest quality of any of the sites I’ve found. Creative Market also gives you free goods every single week with a personal license so you can try them out for free before deciding if you want to buy a commercial license. It’s a great way to get started!

Etsy – You can also find commercial use design elements on Etsy from other sellers! This is one of my favorite options since I love supporting fellow Etsy sellers and can often find great deals since many shops offer value bundles for their designs.

Font Squirrel – This is a great option for finding fonts to use since they scour the internet for free commercial use fonts. While Canva includes many fonts you can use for commercial use this is a great addition if you want to stand out and make your designs look a little bit better.

Types Of Printables Can You Make

There are many different types of printables you can create to sell on Etsy and other websites.

Here are some printables you can make:

  • wall art printables
  • printable planners
  • nursery art printables
  • wedding printables
  • party printables
  • printable signs

If you want more ideas, check out this list of digital product ideas with many types of printables included.

Printable Best Sellers

There are clearly many options to create printables in Canva and then sell them on either your own website or a marketplace website like Etsy.

But what printables sell best on Etsy?

I like to use Etsy as an example of where to do research for printable ideas because you can actually see the number of sales, reviews, and more information about printable shops.

Certain types of printables do well on Etsy and are often given the best-seller tag:

  • printable thank you cards
  • planner inserts printables
  • printable goal trackers
  • invitations printables

There are many other niches and categories of printables that do well but these are often categories that are full of best-seller ideas. There is also enough room in these categories to still put your own spin on things and create something new!

Want to keep learning?

Here are some posts about selling digital products that may help you:

Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.

Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.

Her favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, where she built a custom portfolio for free with no fees. She shares her portfolio growth and savings progress every month on YouTube.