The complete guide to mock-ups for Etsy shop owners

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Every time I list a new item in my Etsy shop, I get tons of compliments and question about my product photography. People are asking me how I get such perfect lighting, what camera equipment I use, god, they even ask me if the donut in the picture is real(Asking the real questions you know!). Let’s spill the beans right away: I barely shoot my own product photos. I use mock-ups.

In this blog post, I will explain you everything about mock-ups. I will tell you what they are, why you should use them, where you can purchase them, and how to use them.

Are you planning on opening an Etsy shop? Click here to grab your 40 free listings.


What are mock-ups?

According to Cambridge Dictionary: ‘’A full-size model of something large that has not yet been built, showing how it will look or operate.’’ Okay, now in an actual language: A mock-up actually previews how your design will look like on a product.

Let’s take a look at my latest listing: My sarcastic coffee mug (You can get it here)

As I already mentioned before; I did not shot this photo. I bought this mock-up from Creative Market, and then I loaded my design in a Photoshop file, and there you go: A product image without shooting photos of the actual product.

Why am I using Mock-Ups

As you may already know, I am located in The Netherlands, and I use Printful to print, package and ship my Etsy products. Printful is located in the USA. If I want to list a new mug to my Etsy shop with a real product photo, I am facing a lot of obstacles. The first one is that I probably have to pay more for shipping than my mug. After that, I have to wait three weeks until my mug arrives since I am not located in the USA, and then I have to shoot the photo.

That means that if I design something, it will take a MONTH before I can publish it in my Etsy shop.

The reason why I use mock-ups is in 2 words: Time Saving. If I design a quote, I can immediately look how the design will look like on a mug. I don’t have to order it first before I can see it.

It will also save money. I don’t have to purchase every product I list in my Etsy shop. Although, I wished I had enough money to buy all my products since I am thrilled with how they turn out each time.

And if photography is not your best skill: Mock-ups are made for you. You don’t have to invest time in shooting photos since people already shot & edited pretty product mockups for you.


Related: 30 product mock-ups worth buying if you are an Etsy shop owner.

Where to get mock-ups?

There are tons of free mock-up websites like where you can download free mock-ups. Although, my preference goes to paid mockups. Here are a few reasons why I believe you should invest in paid mock-ups:

  • The quality is way better

  • Not everyone spends money to paid mock-ups. That means that the chance is reaaally low that someone else has the same mockups. When I used to download free mock-ups, I always saw my mock-up being used by at least five other persons. You don’t want to be ‘’that’’ person right? Exactly! You want to be original.

  • They have better instructions than free mock-ups. If you are new to mock-ups, it might get hard to use it. I have been using mock-ups the wrong way for two years. Paid mock-ups have way better instructions included

  • You can ensure you can use them for your shop. With most free mock-ups, you are not allowed to use them in your store to display your products. If you want to be sure, I will purchase a mock-up on Creative Market. They always include a license and even give you information about legal use in the description.

I prefer to purchase my mock-ups at Creative Market. I love it that I can make independent shop owners happy with a Cha-Ching! And not to mention, they deliver excellent work. I recently bought the mock-up bundle you can see above. It contains  25 images (!)

If you want to take a look at more mockups I suggest, make sure to check out my Pinterest board about Mockups worth buying.

Related: 30 product mock-ups worth buying if you are an Etsy shop owner.

How to use mockups

Congratulations. You purchased a mock-up. Now you have to know how to actually use the mock-up. For this, you need Photoshop since the purchased files are in Photoshop format. And of course, you need my FREE detailed mock-up guide. In this guide, I will explain all the steps to upload your design on a mock-up. It takes less than a minute.

Are you planning on opening an Etsy shop? Click here to grab your 40 free listings.

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Do you use mock-ups? What is your favorite place to purchase them?

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Join The Creative Side | The Complete Guide to Mock-Ups for Etsy shop owners. In this blog post, I will teach you why you should use mock-ups, where to get mock-ups, and how to use mock-ups.

Lots of love,


PS. I would be so excited if you would join my free, supporting Facebook group full of other ambitious Etsy sellers