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If you’re running a print-on-demand store on Shopify or Etsy, you’ll know the challenges of always having to come up with new design ideas to try and stay ahead of the crowd.
Gone are the days of launching funny t-shirt designs and making a fortune without too much hard work, sadly. (But boy did we crush it back in the day with Teespring)
Nowadays you need to have unique and innovative designs if you want a chance at succeeding with stock-standard print on demand apparel, or you need to have unique products that your audience hasn’t been bashed over the head with for years.
This is where metal comes in. “Made on demand” metal wall art to be precise. Just like print on demand, except it's literally made from a big sheet of metal and cut out with lasers. Cool, huh?
Not only is the product itself super-unique, you can actually create your own designs to suit your niche, quickly create a realistic mockup and start selling made on demand wall art today!
Made on demand metal wall art is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can even offer personalization to your customers.
I’m really passionate about this product, which is why I’ve written this article where we’ll discuss:
- What made on demand metal wall art actually is
- What niches it works for
- How much money you can make selling it
- Tips for designing great metal wall art
- How to setup your Shopify store for personalization
What Is Metal Wall Art?
Made on demand metal wall art is exactly what it sounds like; a piece of metal art that you can hang on your wall!
If you can imagine a sheet of 18 gauge steel with a beautiful design meticulously cut-out of it, then that’s what metal wall art is.
Metal wall art comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 12” up to 36”, which is measured from the longest side of your artwork.
The metal is powder coated, which means it can be installed outside, and you can choose from a variety of color finishes.
What Niches Are Best For Metal Wall Art?
The age old question when it comes to any online business is “what niche is best?”
Whilst there isn’t necessarily a wrong answer, I personally think that certain niches are going to perform better with a product like metal wall art.
A quick search on Etsy will reveal all sorts of metal wall art designs, the majority of which will be “non-niche” home decor pieces and name monogram style designs.
Monograms are very popular but they can be difficult to target with Facebook ads. I always prefer going after passionate niches such as the following:
- First Responders
- Air Force
- Blue Collar Workers
- Lifestyle Hobbyists
- Patriotic & Political
Where Can I Get Made on Demand Metal From?
My Easy Monogram
There are definitely a limited supply of made on demand metal suppliers, but the good news is I've tested a few and now I have three great recommendations for you.
The first one I've sold with is My Easy Monogram. They have really good production time and great customer service. Hit up Brad, the man is an absolute weapon and will bend over backwards to help you out!
My Easy Monogram have a huge catalog of designs that you can start selling right away from your Shopify store. The only drawback is that they don't have a smooth process custom designs (at the time of writing) but if that's what you're looking for, Teelaunch is a great option for you.
Mind you, MEM is constantly adding a ton of new designs each week to their catalog and to have first dibs on these you need to get the app installed asap! Catalog items mean you don't have to worry about doing the design research (or the designs for that matter) and can just get to running ads immediately.
I highly recommend Teelaunch if you want to start selling metal wall art because they're a reputable supplier, they integrate with both Shopify and Etsy, and they offer a product upload feature for personalized designs.
Teelaunch has good pricing, a decent processing time and they ship from Louisiana in the USA. I also heard a whisper that they'll be introducing a personalization feature for their metal, which will make our job even easier.
The reason I recommend Teelaunch is due to the uploading process. When I first started it was a pain in the ass having to create my own product creatives, all the backward and forth with the supplier (this was before ShineOn, MEM & Teelaunch offered metal) on the intricacies of design.
Teelaunch makes the process super easy. Once you have your design ready you upload it and within minutes have the creatives you need to advertise.
Inside PODHacks, I have a special training on how to create the products, how to design them, and how to make products that sell.
For now, though, there's a simple workaround so you can still offer personalized products in your store. I've written more about that further along in this article.
ShineOn has come to the party again and has recently announced its own addition to the metal catalog. This shows massive support for this product. Given that it is still early in the life of MOD Metal I strongly suggest you get set up with it asap.
It's not often that we get such a killer product in the POD industry but if there is 1 company that stays on top of viral products to sell it is ShineOn. After selling multiple 7 figures with these guys I am stoked they have now added a bunch of catalog items to their product list!
How Much Money Can I Make?
Before you start brainstorming designs and hiring a designer for any product, it’s imperative that you work out your profit margin and take into account how much it’s going to cost you for advertising.
My favorite ad platform is Facebook Ads but there’s no secret that they’ve gotten harder and more expensive over the last year or two, and that’s why I love selling metal!
Let’s take a look at the pricing and profit potential when it comes to selling made on demand metal:
The base prices shown here include shipping (USA only) and I usually like to offer my customers free shipping on orders over $100. (Prices are from Teelaunch)
So even if you offered free shipping for all of your metal wall art products, you can see the margins are very healthy.
There's not many other products that I see with margins as good as metal, with the exception of ShineOn jewelry which I cover a lot in my PODHacker Accelerator coaching.
The great thing is, you can sell both metal wall art AND jewelry in your store, if your niche allows for it. They’re both products that people are proud to put on display so if you’re in a passionate niche, your selling opportunities are abundant.
Pros and Cons of Metal Wall Art
Like any great thing, it's never going to be absolutely perfect. There is always room for improvement. Let's take a look at what's great about made on demand metal wall art, and what has room for improvement.
You’ve just seen how much money you can truly make selling metal wall art. Not many products come close to this!
Metal wall art itself is a unique product that instantly has great appeal to buyers, simply for being what it is. Combine that unique appeal with a great design and you’re truly onto a winning product.
Being able to offer personalization adds great appeal to almost any product, especially something as significant as a piece of metal art for the wall.
There’s a lot of metal wall art sellers on Etsy, but far from being saturated, and there’s a good chance that most of them manufacture themselves so working at scale might be challenging for them.
There’s a couple of “rules” when it comes to designing for metal wall art, which I’ve explained further along in this article. There’s also not many designers out there that truly understand how it works, but once you understand it yourself then it’s easy to explain to others.
At the time of writing this article, the metal suppliers are only shipping within the USA because that's where they are based.
If you really wanted to find a supplier to Europe or Australia for example, you could probably find a seller on Etsy and contact them to arrange a supply deal.
This could be considered both good and bad, but right now there are only three main suppliers offering made on demand metal in the USA.
Cashing in On Perzonalized Metal Wall Art
Whilst there’s currently no way to allow customers to personalize products without some manual design work before you send the final artwork to your supplier, I’ve got a good solution to help you streamline the process on the front end.
Firstly, you need an app called Infinite Options. This allows you to add custom fields to your Shopify product page where customers can input the personalized text they want to include.
Once you’ve set that app up you’ll need to set all orders to “Hold Orders” inside Teelaunch. This means that orders will not be processed until you submit your custom artwork to Teelaunch for that particular order.
So the most challenging part here is that you need to create a new design, or have your designer do it, with the customer’s personalized text for each order. I highly recommend outsourcing all the small tasks like this that take up your time.
Remember that you can also charge a premium for personalized orders and they tend to sell very well too.
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There are a few things you need to know when it comes to designing for metal wall art. This can make it tricky to find a designer, however, if you are knowledgeable enough yourself you can show them how the artwork must be designed.
Here’s The Golden Rules of Designing for Metal
- Your artwork must be completely black in PNG format (transparent background)
- Obviously, it can’t be ridiculously intricate, but you’d be surprised at the level of detail you can actually achieve.
- You need to make sure all elements of your design are “connected” and supported.
Connecting and supporting all elements of your design is the number one issue that sellers and designers have. Once they understand it though, it’s easy.
Here’s an example of a design that will turn out really bad.
You can see that four letters of the name have ended up completely hollow. This is because the designer didn’t attach the centerpieces of these letters to the rest of the design when creating the artwork.
This one however is a beautiful piece of work with no errors.
Just some simple little parts of the design can make or break it. In green circles are the troublesome letters that have been “supported” properly so the center of them doesn’t drop out during the manufacturing process.
Once you understand that your design needs to be one continuous piece of metal, then all your issues will be gone!
Finding Ready Made Artwork
I love hiring designers to bring my original ideas to life, but sometimes it’s easier to simply buy artwork that’s already been created.
Etsy is a great place for this. A lot of designers create plain black “SVG” artwork for people that want to print and sell stickers, cricut products and more.
You will still need to double check that the artwork is suitable for metal wall art, but even if you buy something and then ask a designer to modify it you’ll save yourself some time and money.
You can also try searching for terms such as “cake toppers” and you'll get lots of plain black artwork listings and other design ideas.
The cake topper idea is interesting because you can actually see a finished product with the same design principles as metal wall art, but they are usually more text-based.
These types of text-based designs would work well as anniversary or wedding gifts, just like you'd use a cake topper for other life events like the arrival of a child.
Once you start down the design research rabbit hole it can be hard to stop, but it's also where the magic happens and you'll come up with your own unique winning designs!
The Final Word on Made on Demand Metal
I’ve had a serious interest in metal for quite a while, and I’ve sold quite a lot of it too!
This is such an amazing opportunity for sellers to jump onto this and establish a niche store selling unique metal wall art.
Or perhaps you already have a store that sells other products. I can almost guarantee that sending out some metal wall art products to your email list will result in some quick sales.
Are you going to try to sell some metal products?
Please let me know below if you’ve already started, or if you’re planning to start selling made on demand metal wall art. I’d love to help you if you need some advice!
Don’t forget to join the discussion in my free Facebook community too, there’s over 5,000 of us and we love helping out our fellow ecommerce sellers!