Posted on

How to Sync Multiple Designs to a Printful Listing on Etsy

Multiple design variations in one printful listing. Example shows white text on black shirts and black text on white shirts.

Whether you want to offer both light and dark shirts in one Etsy listing, or completely different designs altogether, with a couple extra steps, you can list multiple design variations in one single Etsy listing and sync them all with Printful.

Option 1: Printful Variations

The simplest option for offering multiple design variations, e.g. white text on dark shirts and black text on light shirts, is to use the “Variations” feature in Printful. Note that this method only works on products with multiple variations such as shirt colors (so not all-over-print products) and you can only add each variation once, e.g. you can’t have multiple different designs all on black shirts; to do that, skip to the next option.

  1. Create a product with one version of your design on all the product variations you want for that design. For example, add your white text version on all the shirt you want to have white text.
  2. Click the Edit button next to the product
  3. Click the Add Variants button, located at the top right (if this button is greyed out, go to the next section about adding variants via Etsy)
  4. Uncheck all the variants you already have listed
  5. Check the variants you need to add and edit/replace the design as necessary
  6. Finishing publishing the product as usual

Option 2: Etsy Variations

Some products, such as all-over-print products, require you to add the variations on Etsy first and then sync with Printful. This method also works if you want to offer multiple designs on the same product variation (e.g. matching couple shirts printed on the same shirt model) or multiple product types (e.g. a t-shirt and tank top) in the same listing.

Watch my video on Adding Multiple Color Options for AOP Products for an example of this technique.

  1. In Printful, go to Settings > Stores > Orders and make sure Import existing products is checked. (If you have multiple stores synced with Printful, use the dropdown at the top to change stores and check this setting for each).
  2. Create mockups images of your products (you can use Printful’s standalone Mockup Generator)
  3. In your Etsy shop, create a new listing with all the required information such as title, description, photos, etc.
  4. In the Variations section, add all the product options you want to offer. Since you are only allowed two variations (e.g. color and size) you may have to get creative and combine multiple variations in one. For example, if I were offering family shirts with different sizes and colors, I might have one variation with the design options (mom, dad, sister, etc.) and another that combined the size and shirt color, e.g. “Adult XL Blue”, “Youth M Black”.
Keep in mind that too many options may cause “purchase paralysis” and customers won’t buy your product because they are overwhelmed by options. If offering multiple designs, I recommend sticking with one product color. You can always have multiple listings, which will also increase your odds of being found in search.
  1. Publish the listing (you can also save as a draft if you prefer)
  2. Go to your store in Printful and click the Refresh data link, located at the top right.
  3. When the new listing appears on your product list, click the Edit button next to it.
  4. Next to each product, you will need to click Choose Product and select the product and design for that variation.
  5. If you didn’t publish in step 4, go back to Etsy and publish your listing.

Note, you can also skip syncing all the products and instead sync them as you get orders; after you sync an unsynced order, it will sync all future orders. If you take this approach, make sure that “Import unsynced orders” is checked in your Printful settings.

Video Tutorials

Posted on

How to Create Text with a Photo or Pattern Background

How to add a photo or pattern to your text in Photoshop

Want to create those trendy leopard print or buffalo plaid letters? It takes just three steps! This text effect can be done in any graphic design program with a clipping mask feature. Below the tutorial is a video where I show how to do it in Photoshop.

Option 1: Using a clipping mask to add a background to text

A clipping mask can be use to show a layer only where there are pixels on the layer below. It’s a quick way to add photos, patterns, or textures to another layer without have to use a selection tool. A clipping mask will automatically update when the main layer is edited. Here’s the short tutorial:

  1. Create a text layer
  2. Add a layer ABOVE the text layer with the photo, pattern, or other art you want to fill the text with
  3. Enable the clipping mask on the top layer that contains your fill content

Here’s more information on using clipping masks in different graphic design programs:

Option 2: Using the Pattern feature in Photoshop to add a seamless pattern to text

Using the Pattern feature is a a great way to fill text with a repeating pattern while leaving both the text and pattern editable. Here’s how to create a pattern and add it to text in Photoshop:

Create a repeating pattern

  1. Open an image in Photoshop
  2. Select > All
  3. Edit > Define pattern

Fill text with a repeating pattern

  1. Create a text layer
  2. Double-click on the text layer to open the Layer Style dialog
  3. Click the Pattern Overlay option
  4. Click the drop-down next to the pattern to select your pattern
    • Use the Scale option to resize your pattern
    • Click and drag on the layer to move the pattern around (must still have Layer Style dialog open)
  5. Click Okay to apply the pattern

Video: Adding a photo or pattern to text in Photoshop

How to add a photo or pattern to your text using Photoshop.
How to create leopard print letters and other seamless patterns in Photoshop. A tutorial by The POD Files
Posted on

FIXED: KDP Cover Made In Canva Is Too Big!

Creating a KDP cover template with Canva - updated!

If you’ve seen my video on how to create a KDP cover template in Canva, you probably found that the file was too big when uploaded to KDP. After that video was made, Canva changed how PDF files were saved, ignoring the pixel dimensions used to create the document. Grr…

Not all is lost though! You can still follow my video tutorial below, EXCEPT instead of using pixels when creating your Canva document, use either the inches or millimeters dimensions provided by the KDP Calculator. I will also be adding properly sized (and tested) Canva templates to my shop.

Posted on Leave a comment

Adding a Gutter Margin to a PDF with Acrobat

Gutter margins are extra space on the inside edges of book pages. This extra space prevents content from disappearing into the binding / spine of the book.

Many document programs allow you to set a gutter or inside margin while setting up your document size, but you can also add it after the fact using Adobe Acrobat. This is especially useful when merging documents, duplicating pages, and changing the order of pages, when what was an odd page may now be an even page (gutter is on different side).

How to add margins to a PDF in Adobe Acrobat

NOTE
This method shifts your content away from the inside edge. In order to work, your document needs to have sufficient margin on the outside edge. This is why my TPF KDP templates have a .5″ margin on all sides, so that you can add a .125″ gutter margin and still have the .375″ margin required by KDP.
  1. Open final PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Click Organize Pages on the sidebar
  3. Click More > Set Page Boxes on the toolbar
  4. In the Change Page Size section…
    1. Click Custom
    2. Enter the page width and height
    3. In the XOffset box, enter the amount of gutter margin, e.g. .125
  5. In the Page Range section…
    1. Click All
    2. Set Apply to: as Even Pages
  6. Click Ok
  7. Repeat steps 3-6, except make the margin negative (e.g. enter -.125) and apply to the odd pages.
Posted on Leave a comment

How to Add Bleed to PDFs with Adobe Acrobat

How to merge PDFs and add bleed with Adobe Acrobat.

DPI, margins, embedding fonts – there’s so many things for a new self-publisher to learn when creating their first manuscript. One concept that seems to cause issue for many is bleed. What is bleed? Do you need it? How do you set it up? All these answers and more ahead! Or, skip to the tutorial.

What is bleed?

Bleed is extra margin space that allows elements like pictures to be printed all the way to the edge of a page and trimmed without extra white space.

Does your document need bleed?

If your document does not have elements that go all the way to the edge, it doesn’t make sense to include it and most consumer document software, e.g. Microsoft Word, does not have a bleed function, so it makes sense that most PDFs in the wild do not have bleed.

But what happens if you want to combine these documents with a file that has bleed, for example, adding lined notebook pages to a planner? All of your pages, including ones without bleeding elements, will need to have bleed added.

How much bleed do you need?

The amount of bleed required will vary by printer. Amazon’s KDP print books require bleed to be .125 inch on the outside edges of a document with bleeding elements. This means that a book that is 6 x 9 inches will need to have pages that are 6.125 x 9.25 inches in size, if printing with bleed.

How do you add bleed?

Some programs, such as Adobe InDesign, allow you to set up bleed in the page or document setup. In other programs, such as Word, you can manually add the bleed to the document size and the margins. So our 6 x 9 KDP book will have 6.125 x 9.25 sized pages with at least a .5 margin on the outside edges (the .375 required by Amazon plus .125 for bleed.

But what if you don’t have the original document?

If you are working with a PDF that you don’t have the original document for, such as a purchased template, you can easily add bleed to the PDF in Adobe Acrobat. This is especially useful if you are combining pages from multiple documents that may be a mix of bleed and no-bleed.

Here’s a video where I show you how to merge pages from multiple documents, and then add bleed / make the pages the same size. Don’t wanna watch a video? Step-by-step instructions below.

How to Add Pages from Another File

Organize Pages on Sidebar of Adobe Acrobat
  1. Open one PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  2. On the sidebar, click Organize Pages
  3. Click on the page where you’d like to add pages
  4. From the toolbar, click Insert > From File
  5. Select the second PDF from the file explorer
  6. Click Ok

How to Add Bleed / Make All Pages the Same Size

Set Page Boxes Dialog Window. Change Page Size Section. Custom selected. Width includes .125 inch for bleed; height includes .25 inch for bleed.
  1. With final PDF open in Adobe Acrobat, click Organize Pages
  2. From the toolbar, click More > Set Page Boxes
  3. In the Change Page Size section…
    1. Click Custom
    2. Enter the total page width with bleed (e.g. 6.125)
    3. Enter the total page height with bleed (e.g. 9.25)
  4. Click Ok

Note, this only works if you are increasing the page size, which why I do not include bleed on my templates, unless it actually has an element that bleeds. Starting with a non-bleeding document is easier to mix and match with other documents, bleed or no bleed.

What will you do now that you are free to mix and match PDFs?

How to merge multiple PDF files of different page sizes and add bleed.