How to price your handmade textile artwork

toadova

 

Today I was asked how do I price my artwork. After a few exchanges, I was encouraged to write up a blog post about it. So, here is my two cents. I don’t think it’s original.

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Put a price tag on your artwork already!

  1. What are comparable items selling for?
  2. What’s your market audience willing to spend?
  3. How much time did it take you to make the thing?
  4. How much did the materials to make it cost?
  5. Don’t forget to factor in time you spent designing the thing (if it’s original, which it most likely is, if you are reading this).
  6. And don’t forget that you have overhead costs (commissions, listing fees, rent/mortgage, food, travel, classes, etc).
  7. Don’t underestimate the amount of skill you have, especially if you have been doing the thing (whatever it is — writing, baking, embroidery, sewing, quilting, etc) for years
  8. Feel free to pay yourself minimum wage. (Personally, I don’t keep track of how much time I spend on a piece because my time is so broken up and it would drive me crazy to keep track of it.)
  9. The gap between what you want to make and what people want to actually pay for to own can be huge.
  10. Charging less for your work than what it’s worth doesn’t benefit you or other craftspeople. It actually harms them, even if you don’t *need* the money.
  11. It is AOK to make things as gifts for people. You do not have to try to sell every piece you make.
  12. I suck at marketing. I got no tips for you there, but if your work is not selling well, it may not be the quality of your work or the price you are putting on it.

Here are some blog posts that might be of interest (and which are much better written than mine).

Sewmamasew writes about placing a value on our quilts.

Mooreapproved writes about the real cost of quilts.

Hunterdesign studio has at least two great posts about pricing work. First is here.

 

I’m now going to end with a couple random quotes:    “Fungal mats are awesome.” and “It never hurts to have fresh hair.”

PS: check the comments for helpful links to further reading!

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4 thoughts on “How to price your handmade textile artwork

  1. Hi guys,
    I’m wondering about how you see customers valuing your creativity in original designs – your Intellectual Property (IP)?

    I’ve noticed that in some genres and media of art people manage to claim their intellectual property without too much resistance. They get a price that reflects “originality”. In other areas it seems like it’s still a huge struggle to get customers and even hobbyists to respect the IP inherent in an original design.

    My impression is that fiber artists have much more of a struggle with people not valuing their IP and “originalness”. For example, I overhear people trying to value fiber artists’ work in terms of how many hours they put into a piece, rather than the inherent qualities of the piece (pricing). Also many people seem to feel entitled to copycat design ideas without permission, and there are other IP valuation issues.

    Is this true? How do you guys deal with this?

    • You raise really good points. I think a lot of people don’t see the design element at all. There are copycats in all media, unfortunately. Most of the artists I know value not stealing other people’s designs. You might be better off to ask these questions on Twitter (and @ me). Not much traffic here. 😀

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