Introduction: How to Have Fun and Make Money Easily Using Zazzle

About: I'm a Mechanical Engineer who has been a part of this community for over 10 years! My interests have evolved over time, and now center around 3D printing.

Hey there!  This Instructable will show you how easy it is to design your own quality T-shirts, hoodies, shoes, skateboards, almost anything using!

Before we go any further, no, I am not being paid by Zazzle to write this.  I wanted to share what I have learned by using Zazzle since there is no Instructable on the topic thus far. (At least that I have been able to find)

Specifically, I will show how I turned a doodle from my history notes into a T-shirt design that I am highly contemplating buying for myself.

This is a very simple process, so this instructable will be short.  I'm sure I have just scratched the surface of Zazzle, so I may consider expanding this Instructable later.

Visit my Zazzle Store!!:*

Step 1: Editing Images From Sketches

Many people may have trouble with getting a sketched picture into the computer and into a format that makes it look not-sketched.  I did at first at least. 

All you will need for this is: 
 * The image you want to scan
 * A working scanner connected to your computer
 * An image editing program - you will most likely need more than MS Paint.  I used GIMP, it's free, open-source, and you can download it here:

-First, scan in your image, and save it.  I find it is easiest to use MS Paint, using the "File>From Scanner or Camera" command.
-Next, save your image, preferably not as a JPG, or it will cause distortion around the lines of your image.  PNG is your best bet, but BMP is also good.

-Open your sketched image with GIMP
-It is a good idea at this point to scale up your image using the Scale Tool, as your pictures will always look too small when you upload them to Zazzle later.
-Next, use the Pencil Tool with a reasonably-sized radius to trace over your sketch.  These lines that you make will become the final lines of your design, so be careful!
-Next, on your GIMP Toolbar, go to "Colors>Desaturate".  This will change the image to black-and-white, which we do want.
-Then on you GIMP Toolbar again, go to "Colors>Posterize" and set the number to "2".  This will limit the number of colors in the image to 2 colors total: Black and White, giving you a cleanly-cut image.

**One important note while editing is that it is best to make sure your background is transparent so that it will blend in nicely with a variety of different shirts.  Save your final design as a PNG, as they support transparency.

This image-editing process can take some playing with.  It takes practice!!  It's best to create a few different files as you progress while editing and use multiple layers to be able to delete and edit different parts.

There are a billion GIMP and Photoshop tutorials out there, so my best editing advice other than what's here is to read tutorials, play with it a little, and have fun doing it.

Step 2: Uploading to Zazzle

This final step is really easy and the Zazzle website makes putting your images on apparel really easy. 

-The first thing you will need to do is sign up for a zazzle account, so start here:
      If you click on "sign in" in the upper right hand corner, you will be taken to a log-in page where you can also follow directions to sign up for an account.  The procedure is standard for online accounts, email, username, etc.. (pic 1)
-Next, if you are not already there, you will need to click on "My Account in the upper right hand corner."  This will take you to your very own "My Zazzle" page where you will be able to manage your account.
-Click on the "Create a product button"(pic 2) to be taken to the items page.  This page has all the wonderful items you can make with Zazzle. (pic 3)

-I chose "Mens' shirts", where I was lead to a page with a wide variety of different styles of shirts to choose from, from regular T-shirts to hoodies and sweatshirts and polo shirts.
-After that, you will be taken to the shirt making wizard, where you will be able to click and drag to move, edit, scale, and arrange your images and text on the surface of the shirt.  It's super simple! (pic 4)
-When you're done, click either "Add to cart" to buy it for yourself, or "Post for sale" to allow other people to buy it and make money from it!

-One last page, after clicking "Post for sale" you will be taken to the final page where you can specify any specifics, tags, and the percent royalty you want to receive from each purpose.  I keep mine low, or at the default to try to encourage people to buy things, but do whatever you feel is best.

You just made your first shirt!

Step 3: Finishing Up

For the last few things, you will be guided along gently and very well by the Zazzle website.  I would advise setting up a paypal account if you don't have one already, but you can also be paid by check.

Just wait for someone to buy your custom-made items! There's no risk involved, you have just invested some time.  Good luck! Just wait and watch the money roll in!