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custard cream cushion,

How Pinterest can help your online craft and design business

by Camilla

Pinterest is a brilliant resource for designers and makers selling their work online. If you’re stuck for inspiration, you’re bound to find something to reignite your creativity among its millions of Pins, plus it’s one of the best ways to get your own products seen and shared. But if you’re new to Pinterest, where do you start?

What should you pin?
How can you build fans on Pinterest and get more followers for your boards?
Can Pinterest help you get more sales in your online shop?

In a recent #folksyhour chat on Twitter we asked Pinterest pros Lou Archell from Little Green Shed, Kat Molesworth of Blogtacular, designer Nikki McWilliams, and Tiffany Grant-Riley from Curate and Display to answer all these questions and more. If you have any unanswered Pinterest questions, leave us a comment at the end of this post.


How can Pinterest help you if you are a designer and maker?

Anita from Anita Rose Designs asked: “How do I use Pinterest properly?” 

  • You can use Pinterest as an extension of your online shop and your blog if you have one.
  • Nikki McWilliams describes Pinterest as a sketchbook and portfolio rolled into one. Use it to showcase your own work. But don’t just advertise your own products – share other people’s products and work you admire too, as you would on a blog.
  • Show the person behind the business – who you are, what you’re about and where your inspiration comes from.
  • Use it as a research tool for your business and to check if your idea that you thought was unique has already been made and sold by someone else.
  • Use Pinterest to find (and store) advice for your small business. For example, Folksy has a Pinterest board specifically for tips for selling crafts on the internet, with pins you can add to your own board.
  • Use Pinterest for inspiration – it’s especially good for ideas for craft fair displays, finding quotes, infographics, DIY craft ideaspatterns, tutorials and free printables. But be careful not to copy other people’s ideas and designs.
  • Use Pinterest as search engine. Lots of people use it to find a particular product, eg a crochet pouf.

Can Pinterest generate sales for your online shop?

Hazel from Leathermeister asked: “Does Pinterest bring in sales?” 

  • A new study shows that 87% of people who use Pinterest have bought something because of Pinterest (read the report here >).
  • In 2014 Pinterest was the second-largest social referrer (after Facebook) for Folksy, so it can be a very effective way to bring traffic to your online shop.
  • In terms of converting pins to sales, Kat Molesworth points out that it’s not what you pin so much as what other people pin. If you have pin-worthy pictures in your Folksy shop, people are more likely to Pin them, which means more repins, more views and potentially more sales.
  • Think positive – Pinterest is free advertising! Lou from Little Green Shed recommends using it as part of your weekly marketing strategy, and carving out time to pin regularly.

pinterest for crafters

photograph by Ladybird Likes

What should you pin on Pinterest?

Sally from Sally and the Freckles asked: “I’ve added some of my card designs with links to my Folksy shop. Is this what Pinterest is for?” 

  • Absolutely pin your own products, but also build a lifestyle around your brand with allied boards.
  • Use Pinterest to show the personality behind the business, not just your products.
  • Don’t delete your pins of your products once they have sold because they can still direct people to your shop.
  • If you have a blog, try designing a free tutorial or printable that relates to your craft which people can pin from your blog. (Don’t forget to install the ‘Pin It’ button on your blog to make it easy for visitors to pin your images.)
  • Pin from the whole web, not just from within Pinterest itself. (You can install a free “Pin It” button to you browser that helps you pin from anywhere – get it here)

Top Tip: Pinterest works especially well if you have a blog as well as an online shop, as you can post pin-worthy content that supports your craft, like tutorials, printables, studio tours. Find out how blogging can help your craft business >


Showcase your work but also your inspiration and share your personality – Zoe Pearson, Marketing Manager, Pinterest UK


Should you have separate personal and business Pinterest accounts?

Frilly Industries use Pinterest “individually and obsessively, but struggle to understand the best way to use it as a company. Should business and personal accounts or boards be kept separate?” This question was echoed by Nicky from The Catkin Boutique who asked: “Should you pin for your ‘brand’, keeping with the look of your shop?”

  • You can either have a personal or a business account on Pinterest. If you upgrade your personal account to a business account (which is free), you can access stats and analytics from Pinterest and receive tips by email. Pinterest analytics are a great way of tracking which of your pins and boards are performing well.
  • As a designer and maker, you are your business, so use your Pinterest boards to reveal the personality behind the business and the variety of things that inspire you. Nikki McWilliams is a great example of personal and business style married in one account.
  • If your personal taste / inspiration doesn’t fit with your business, then keep them separate.

Follow Folksy’s board Tips for Selling Craft On the Internet on Pinterest.

How many Pinterest boards should you have?

Laura from LCShops asked: “Is there such a thing as too many boards?” 

  • In a word, no. It’s not unusual for pinners to have over 50 boards, so there is no limit to the number of boards you can have.
  • If you create lots of boards, you can keep things organised into neat groups.
  • Try to unify the style of your boards, so people get a good sense of what your aesthetic is.
  • You can also have private boards, where you can keep the ‘not-so-nice’ pins that might be useful to you or your business, so you don’t upset your aesthetic.


A tweet lasts for hours, a Facebook update, days. A pin is forever! Think about that for a moment. What you pin now will reappear again and again – Lou Archell


What are Rich Pins and do you need them on your products?

Stephanie from Stephanie Guy Fine Art asked: “What is a Rich Pin?” 

  • Rich Pins adds extra details to Pins from your website. There are currently five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.
  • Folksy.com has Rich Pins embedded automatically, so if anyone pins one of your products from Folksy, it will be a Rich Pin. You don’t need to do anything.
  • If you have a blog or your own site you would need to apply for Rich Pins to be enabled (find out how to do that here >).
  • All Rich Pins from Folksy.com are ‘product pins’.
  • If you pin from a site with ‘Product Rich Pins’ (like Folksy) the price and availability of the product will automatically be included with the pin – and updated if and when that changes too (for example, when it sells or if the price drops). So you don’t need to add the price to your pin description.
  • Read more about how Rich Pins work on Folksy.

Follow Folksy’s board British Craft and Design on Folksy.com on Pinterest.

Photo credits: Custard Cream Cushion by Nikki McWilliams, palette photographed by Ladybird Likes

Useful links:

Our Top 10 Pinterest Tips >

How to Craft Your Social Media: Pinterest >

Is your blog working as a marketing tool for your shop >

Find more hints and tips on the Pinterest blog >

Follow Pinterest UK to see what they are pinning >


Lou Archell is the founder of Little Green Shed and our digital editor at large. Lou was recently named by Business Insider as one of the ‘Top 10 Pinners in the UK’ and you can follow her Pinterest boards here. Follow her on Twitter @Littlegreenshed.

Kat Molesworth is a digital native and social media addict who has been blogging since last century. She is also the co-founder of the incredible Blogtacular – the hot conference for creative bloggers. You can find Blogtactular on Pinterest. Follow her on Twitter @Blogtacular.

Nikki McWilliams is a purveyor of bold, witty (and often biscuity) design for you and your home. Over 1 million people follow her on Pinterest. Nikki started selling her work on Folksy in 2009 and has since grown her business to become one of the best-known designers in the UK. Follow her on Twitter @nikkimcwilliams.

Tiffany Grant-Riley is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and editor of lifestyle blog Curate & Display. She has over half a million followers on Pinterest. Follow her on Twitter @CurateDisplay.

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