Shop Etsy

Making It Custom

Apr 9, 2013

by Lisa Butterworth handmade and vintage goods

Imagine going into labor during Hurricane Sandy and giving birth in a Manhattan hospital smack dab in the middle of a blackout. That’s exactly what happened to one of Kim Baise’s clients, who commissioned the mobile maker to commemorate the experience and her new daughter. “We both agreed that little Frankie had a momentous introduction into the world and needed a mobile to tell her story,” Baise says. The result is a poignant and playful piece that features a floating taxi, a wet cat, and an uprooted tree fashioned from papier-mache. It’s just one of the many special, one-of-a-kind mobiles that she has made.

Baise is part of a growing contingent of Etsy sellers who collaborate with clients to create unique and meaningful pieces. In fact, with Etsy’s wealth of makers you can customize just about anything your heart desires, whether it’s a necklace charm made from a mold of your dog’s nose or felted dolls made to look just like your family. And that’s only the beginning. Plenty of Etsy sellers offer one-of-a-kind variations on products they sell, and many will work with you to create an entirely original piece. Of course, every maker’s process is different, but a wide array of Etsy folk are open to custom work; all you have to do is dream it up.

Like Baise’s mobile, a new baby inspired Amanda McCorkle’s custom work as well. “When I had my daughter Ada, I wanted to create a birth announcement that was as unique and rad as I knew she would be,” the graphic designer says. A search turned up mostly pre-designed templates, so McCorkle shifted the focus of her design studio, ColorQuarry, to creating custom letterpressed goods including birth announcements and wedding invitations. “There’s something about a customized piece of artwork that reflects these most important times in your life in a way no store-bought card could do,” she says.

It’s a sentiment that’s familiar to Virginia Rufener-Angus. The artist and photographer creates gorgeous custom family trees, integrating her clients’ photos into intricate branch patterns. And while creating family trees might seem like custom work by nature, Rufener-Agnes explains what makes her pieces truly special: she can create wholly unique trees, highlighting any familial relationships a client desires versus templates with pre-determined spaces for kids, parents, grandparents, etc. “That’s not the way families work anymore,” she says. “Same sex marriage? You can’t do that on 90 percent of family tree templates. If you call them family, I can put them on a tree.”

Receiving something unique to your experiences and wants is one of the coolest things about custom craft. But it doesn’t have to be tangible. Get in touch with Briar Winters, who makes natural face and body products for her shop Marble & Milkweed, and you could end up with your own signature fragrance. Winters began integrating custom work into her business because of customer requests. “I often have clients who fall for the texture of the balms and butters in the shop, but they’d like to personalize the scent with something they are particularly attached to, or coordinate with other products they regularly use,” she says. “There can be a lot of nostalgia involved, too. People will want to try to recreate a scent from their past with a modern twist.” And because Winters is behind every step of her product-making process, custom work is a flexibility she can afford that’s often difficult to find in the realm of beauty and fragrance products.

The flexibility of making such special items can be quite a bit of work, however. “We did custom because we didn’t know any better,” Jerod Lazan says with a laugh about the furniture company Mortise & Tenon he runs with his partner, Maite. Now it’s the backbone of their business. Using reclaimed wood to create tables, chairs, dressers, and nightstands, Mortise & Tenon allow their customers to not only choose specific sizes and finishes, but to also create just about anything they can imagine. “There’s a certain type of customer who’s comfortable with thinking out of the box, and who’s comfortable waiting,” Lazan says. “We’re certainly not about immediate gratification.”

Of course, that’s one of the greatest appeals of custom work — it makes you realize that there is a person behind the product you’re receiving, who used their own two hands to make something you’ll enjoy for many years to come. It revives an appreciation for craftsmanship that’s been lost in recent decades. “I think when people buy custom, they treat the experience differently,” Lazan says. “They have to spend time, have to take a risk. They have an idea of what they’re looking for and they’re coming to us, trusting us to create it. It’s an emotional connection.” As mobile maker Kim Baise puts it, “People should surround themselves with art that makes their heart happy. Custom work is a wonderful way to create something exciting and special.”

  • Personalized Wedding Guest Book

    Each is drawn by hand and filled out by your guests, for a truly one of a kind wedding memento.
  • Custom Brown Leather Bag

    The color of the lining on this appealing carryall is up to you.
  • Whimsical Log Bed

    Sturdy beds crafted from air-dried birch are built to each customer's specifications.
  • Dollhouse doll family

    Cozy woolen dolls can be customized to reflect your family.
  • Custom dining tables

    Choose the style, size and finish to create the perfect family heirloom.
  • Custom Mobile

    The sky's the limit for Kim Baise's custom mobiles.
  • Art doll family portrait

    Transform your family curmudgeon into an arty softy.
  • Custom Handmade Collector's Table

    For the collector of curios, a wunderkammer coffee table is the ultimate way to display tiny treasures.
  • Kitchen Cabinet Treatment

    Transform plain doors with custom, hand-painted motifs.
  • Male Renaissance Costume

    Made just for ye olde good times.
  • Dog Nose Necklace

    A kit captures an impression of your beloved pooch's wet nose to preserve in silver.
Next Prev

What’s the most incredible custom item you’ve seen on Etsy? We’re fascinated by Melissa Schmidt’s incredible “Slices of Life” necklace that captures mini versions of family photos in glass bubbles, but we’d love to hear about your finds. Share them in the comments!

Shop Custom on Etsy | More Posts From Lisa

4 Featured Comments

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 7 years ago Featured

    I love this feature! I too do mostly custom work. I'd say it accounts for over 90% of my sales. It's thrilling to realize that I don't think I've ever said, "No, I can't," to a custom order request. And I love it when I ask for a custom piece and the seller is able to accommodate me. There's something so special about knowing no one else has this.

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 7 years ago Featured

    Working with customers to create custom pieces is not only great for the customer, it forces the artist to explore new materials, concepts, methods, and territories. There's nothing like being pushed by specific requests that will broaden your horizons as an artist and make you see things you never would have seen otherwise.

  • poplovedesigns

    Andrea Hughes from PopLoveHers said 7 years ago Featured

    I think you've really hit the heart of the Etsy seller here! Most of us are small businesses - small enough to take on custom orders, and there's nothing like crafting a custom piece. There's a certain pride that comes with creating one-of-a-kind pieces (probably why my shop is full of them!), not only for the seller, but for the customer as well. Long live the custom-order!

  • Fullerjewelry

    Jane Fuller from Hoopsetc said 7 years ago Featured

    Don't we all want something handmade that is personal to our own narrative? In a world where mall stores offer the same generic things, Etsy can only become more popular as shops compete to give the customer exactly what they want, and perhaps, with an added personal twist. It feels then like a collaborative effort between designer and consumer - and for a reasonable price. Isn't that how it should be?


  • MinceCo

    minc eco from KissAndRunStore said 7 years ago

    necessity is the mother of invention!

  • burcuyurtolu

    Burcu Yurtoglu from HAMMAM34 said 7 years ago

    Made just for me.. could anything be more special?

  • dbabcock

    Deb Babcock from BlueSkyPotteryCO said 7 years ago

    Some of the most popular pottery in my shop came about as a suggestion for a custom piece from a customer.

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 7 years ago Featured

    I love this feature! I too do mostly custom work. I'd say it accounts for over 90% of my sales. It's thrilling to realize that I don't think I've ever said, "No, I can't," to a custom order request. And I love it when I ask for a custom piece and the seller is able to accommodate me. There's something so special about knowing no one else has this.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    I love my custom pieces from Etsy. There is nothing like it in the world!

  • UmlautGraphics

    UmlautGraphics from UmlautGraphics said 7 years ago

    I have to say 95% of the sales I have are custom work. Its amazing what people have in their minds. Its fun to get them out for all to see.

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 7 years ago

    My custom postage arrangements are some of my favorite that I've created, and so meaningful~

  • thelandlockedsailor
  • JulieMeyer

    Julie Meyer from JulieMeyer said 7 years ago

    That family photo tree is fantastic! One of my first purchases on Etsy was a custom whistle made from upcycled aluminum.

  • themefragrance

    Theme Fragrance from themefragrance said 7 years ago

    We love doing custom orders. We often work with people on scent memories past and future.

  • lauraprilltoo

    Laura Prill from lauraprilltoo said 7 years ago

    Thanks for featuring custom work on Etsy! I too do a a lot of custom work in both of my shops- it is the ultimate creative expression because it's so meaningful to the buyer. I have found it an honor to be a part of their stories!

  • Aristocrafts

    Aristocrafts from Aristocrafts said 7 years ago

    There are so many great artists on Etsy that do amazing custom work! And there is nothing more special or more personal than a custom-made item. I love custom orders, some of the most beautiful creations in my shop came to life through custom requests.

  • Thisisnotgoodenough

    Peter Mack from PeterMackArt said 7 years ago


  • misponko

    Liudmila Rosario Ponko from PonkoWorld said 7 years ago

    very nice!

  • CherryRedToppers

    Kate from CherryRedToppers said 7 years ago

    I think that offering custom work can be so important for the customer and the seller too. Customers are inspired by a seller's items, and want a way to make them their own. And as a shop owner, so often what started off as a custom order can evolve into that perfect item that becomes your biggest seller. You can usually be sure that if one person is asking for something, there are hundreds more who would want it as well.

  • theindiehandmade

    Ombretta from IndieLab said 7 years ago

    when you choose handmade, you choose a person., not a machine... artisans are happy to listen to people dreams and to make them reality :)

  • purpleandlime

    Rebecca from purpleandlime said 7 years ago

    great post! a large part of my business is custom work and it's so fun : )

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    Elizabeth from ABreathOfFrenchAir said 7 years ago

    I get many custom orders too, especially for my body butters. Customers love the texture and feel of the butter, and knowing that they can have it scented just the way they like, is like icing on the cake!

  • ellenmj

    Ellen Jones from ellenmj said 7 years ago

    I love making customised jewellery! I was recently asked by a guy to make a necklace for his wife's 30th birthday. He wanted 50's style, natural coloured freshwater pearls, and no more than 30 of them on the necklace. As his budget wasn't enormous, it was quite a challenge, but I did it and loved it (and so did she!). Another fave is making personal charm bracelets with favourite colours, hobbies etc. Custom orders give me inspiration for new creations..

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Wonderful items!

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry said 7 years ago

    Fabulous!! I do many custom pieces for people. I love the collaboration.

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 7 years ago Featured

    Working with customers to create custom pieces is not only great for the customer, it forces the artist to explore new materials, concepts, methods, and territories. There's nothing like being pushed by specific requests that will broaden your horizons as an artist and make you see things you never would have seen otherwise.

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 7 years ago

    Very nice! Great read!

  • aostudio9

    Adrienne from DabAndDabble said 7 years ago

    I love the interaction between myself and the client when working on custom orders and offered listings . In fact I encourage my clients to ask for scent suggestions so I can configure their sample requests according to their scent preferences. We then build their fragrance wardrobe according to their scent style. It's gratifying when they comment on the great service they received at my shop.

  • MyEverAfter

    Liz B. from GossamerandQuill said 7 years ago

    My shop is almost entirely custom made. I love creating custom flowers, particularly for brides! It's always interesting to me to converse with the person behind the order, and see what they find inspiring when creating their items! Granted it is A LOT of work (convoing back and forth, researching the right materials & methods to create just what they want, all while working in a specific deadline), but the end results are always worth it & much more gratifying than just creating ready made pieces on my own. :D

  • FeatherandBean

    Heather Feather from FeatherandBean said 7 years ago

    Etsy has been the perfect vehicle for my custom made, reversible leather belts. Customers can tell me exactly what size they are and choose the leather color and fabric combination they like best. I love that I can develop a personal connection between the customer and my work. I love it!! I agree completely with the other posts here... It is a gratifying experience for myself and the client :)

  • PyxusPassionProject

    Michelle Maynard from SimonesRoseBoutique said 7 years ago

    Custom is where its at! Its one of my favourite things to do. The project is usually exciting to develop with some challenges and problem solving involved (great for creative geeks like me). It leads to some new ideas and boom - you have a new item for your shop! Love it.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Great feature!

  • Designawreath

    Lenore from Designawreath said 7 years ago

    I make wreaths with pip berries, floral and various accents. I love when a customer contacts me to make their very own custom wreath. It makes that wreath unique and a one of a kind!

  • agebo

    Ann Cosgrove from acbcDesign said 7 years ago

    Being a designer, I have learned the great things that can come out of a collaborative project. It's great to see what awesome stuff people can create together!

  • JillianReneDecor

    Jillian Carmine from JillianReneDecor said 7 years ago

    Great post! Working on custom orders with my clients is one of my favorite parts of design. It often helps me discover new designs for my line of pillows and is key to keeping my design process fresh. Listening to what my customers want - whether it's color, size, or a completely new concept - is an essential part of my business's success.

  • FrancesMarin

    Frances Marin from FrancesMarin said 7 years ago

    I love personalizing work! No matter where the customer is, you feel closer to them with the added back and forth communication. I love letting the customer decide on hairstyle, background, clothing color and more with my portraits. Thank goodness for this reversal of the mass-produced factory age!

  • Blucha

    Erika Price from Blucha said 7 years ago

    Thanks for this great feature! I love custom orders - in fact, they are the mainstay of my business!

  • StillVintage

    StillVintage from StillVintage said 7 years ago

    Buyers love custom orders. It adds your special touch to your item

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 7 years ago

    That IS what sets etsy apart from other online selling venues. The ablity to be personal. To develop a relationship with the creator. I had a wonderful opportunity here on Etsy, to see an idea that I had come to life, with a very successful etsy seller from several years back. I developed the idea and shared it with her, I had seen some of her work all over the front page and felt it was similar to what I had been thinking. I gave her the idea and she featured my shop in any future listings of the necklace... she had a great run creating the necklace that we collaborated on... and it happened right here on ETSY! Bringing people and ideas together... every day!

  • BizzieLizzie

    Bizzie from BizzieLizzieHandmade said 7 years ago

    Custom work is where it's at for my shop!! Thinking outside the box and gearing my creations driven by the customer's vision has made me become aware of so many different possibilities!

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 7 years ago

    We artists imagine our products and bring them to life. And then a custom buyer and adds a little more and your creation takes off. It gets a new spin and an even more personal touch

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 7 years ago

    Love it! Some of my favorite pieces can be attributed to inspirations from my fabulous buyers! I love when we can collaborate and come up with something that both of us are in love with. When it's really great I like to add the item to my shop so others can see and consider purchasing it too. It's WIN-WIN!

  • MerrilysLittleShop

    Merrily Boyd from MerrilysLittleShop said 7 years ago

    I found that customized wedding gifts have boosted my sales! What started as a personalized wedding gift that I made for my husband's cousin at her bridal shower is currently my most-requested order... I love personalizing these ceramic coasters and imagining a couple's excitement at receiving something created just for them. (If only I could eliminate turnaround time for custom orders--I'd be all set!) :)

  • empressjade

    Empress Jade from empressjade said 7 years ago

    One of my first purchases on Etsy was a custom birdie house designed to look exactly like my funny lime green 105 year old house, bay windows and all. Best purchase ever!

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop said 7 years ago

    A custom made item makes it so special for buyer!! Thanks for the article!!!

  • richardlithgow

    Richard Lithgow from RichardLithgow said 7 years ago

    So unique and creative!

  • jamasters

    Jess Masters from RefinedRock said 7 years ago

    I love custom pieces-makes it very personal and special!

  • michellequarterschap

    Michelle Quarters Chapman from RetroModHome said 7 years ago

    So many talented people here on Etsy! I can only dream, sigh. :-)

  • shaz123

    shaz123 said 7 years ago

    I have a slices of life necklace made by Melissa Schmidt!! Excited to see her featured here. I have had it for years and it continues to be my favorite necklace ever! I always get loads of complments when I wear it !

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 7 years ago

    We love when our clients dream up something lovely for us to create! It makes the whole process so much more fun and rewarding! Recently, we made our metal wire pendant lamp in a soft yellow color for a little girls room. So sweet and I never would have thought to make it that color! :)

  • jessgreenleaf

    Jess Greenleaf from GREENLEAFblueberry said 7 years ago

    Really inspiring pieces highlighted here.

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 7 years ago

    I didn't plan on doing so much custom work when I came to etsy, 5 1/2 years ago, but I would say 95% of my sales are now custom made pottery:>)

  • Challand

    Sharon Challand from Challand said 7 years ago

    Interesting items here!

  • MountainMasche

    Barbara Schuetz from MountainMasche said 7 years ago

    It is one of the most satisfying moments for an artist when interested customers look at your design and add their personal twist to it ... crafting something to the exact wishes of a person is incredibly rewarding!

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 7 years ago

    One more reason to shop Etsy! It's a compliment when a customer likes your design and wants their personal taste reflected in it. You just can't get that kind of personal attention at your local department store.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm from baconsquarefarm said 7 years ago

    Honored when a customer asks for a custom design ~

  • scottardus

    Ardus from QueensAbbey said 7 years ago

    Thank you for stating that hand craftsmanship is becoming more appreciated. I for one absolutley love this site in particular because of all the passion, time and detail these artists put in. Cheers to Etsy!

  • LoveYourSupplies

    Ruthie from LoveYourSupplies said 7 years ago

    Love to work on custom pieces.

  • stamptheenvelope

    Mindy and Peggy from StampTheEnvelope said 7 years ago

    I love custom orders. There becomes a bond between seller and buyer; we're both in this to make a treasured piece.

  • BloomysBaubles

    Kim Bloomberg from KimBloombergDesigns said 7 years ago

    Wonderful story! Congrats!!

  • sukran

    Sukran Kirtis from SukranKirtisJewelry said 7 years ago

    My most of designs are custom made and it is so enjoyable for me to create a personalized piece for everyone's taste. Great point to move up one step further on your way. Congrats to all the featured artist especially to CreativeFamilyTree that is one of my first customers..

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    Annette from TheLeveretsNest said 7 years ago

    so wonderful and the family tree stuff is just so elegant and beautiful! have let my mum know as she is into all that family thingys. I love the diversity of innovation on etsy!

  • pennyroyalty

    Rachel from pennyroyalty said 7 years ago

    I love working with my bridal clients on creating their dream bags. It's an honor for people to request custom work.

  • beachbabyblues

    Susan Wagner from beachbabyblues said 7 years ago

    It was great to read this article and all the comments. I totally agree ! Creating something that a customer has dreamed up , is a delight ! It pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenge is good for us. It is always an honor to be chosen for fulfilling a custom request.

  • GisellasDesigns

    Gisella from GisellasDesigns said 7 years ago

    I love custom orders! Most of my best selling products was create by the inspirations of my wonderful buyers!

  • GisellasDesigns

    Gisella from GisellasDesigns said 7 years ago

    I love custom orders! Most of my best selling product has been created by my wonderful customers!

  • dollhousejoe

    dollhousejoe from eyeDeye said 7 years ago

    My new shop eyedeye is all about the custom teddy bear eye jewelry! Great story.

  • H88255

    H88255 from HillarysSuperfoods said 7 years ago

    Wonderful post!

  • PoshestPapers

    Michelle Ranee from PoshestPapers said 7 years ago

    I always have the joy of making my invitations completely custom. Now with Etsy, I can give someone a basic idea outline, and then they can run with it from there. Love working with couples to make their dream invites! :)

  • sarahcolby2

    sarah colby from sarahssilver said 7 years ago

    Custom orders are alot of fun, have just started doing a few recently. Some of the ideas that customers come up with.....the possibilities are endless!!!! And your only limitied by the limitations you place on yourself. Good story, inspiring.

  • poplovedesigns

    Andrea Hughes from PopLoveHers said 7 years ago Featured

    I think you've really hit the heart of the Etsy seller here! Most of us are small businesses - small enough to take on custom orders, and there's nothing like crafting a custom piece. There's a certain pride that comes with creating one-of-a-kind pieces (probably why my shop is full of them!), not only for the seller, but for the customer as well. Long live the custom-order!

  • glaucaverde

    Yolanda from Cierzojewelry said 7 years ago

    Genuine Custom made pieces can only be created through the hands of an artisan, who has the ability to give life to unique pieces with his/her hands. A massive company cannot accomodate so well to each customer's wishes. That's the magic of Etsy, I guess :)

  • skyvalleyjewelry

    Jennifer from skyvalleyjewelry said 7 years ago

    Great article and so glad to see custom work promoted here on Etsy.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 7 years ago


  • FeltHappiness

    Juliane Gorman from FeltHappiness said 7 years ago

    I too welcome custom orders -- after all heads come in all different sizes! However, I would welcome an improvement on Etsy for custom work: would it be possible to have a feature for sellers to create custom listings that ~include~ deposits? Most of us like to collect at least a materials fee before we make something. And to keep things Etsy-legal, I make 1 listing and then can bill deposits (or layaways) via Paypal. This is a bit of a there a better solution???

  • mizog

    Tim J from MizogCollectibles said 7 years ago

    I agree. Its what gives the small business the advantage over the large - customer service, engagement and that little bit of one-of-a-kind custom magic

  • Lorellah

    Lorella Dia from LorellaDia said 7 years ago

    I adore working together with my clients. love when they say at the end of the creative process: "it's exactly what I was looking for!". With my vintage repurposed Italian chandeliers I spend a lot of time to first understand the client's style and what they like best. then I come up with some creative proposals and we work on them and finetune one of these until the "perfect-for-you" creation comes to light!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 7 years ago

    Love the Personalized Wedding Guest Book. I am working on a custom item now and have three more to do, all by accident. I dripped chili on the front of my blouse and covered it up with a sweater I am writing the pattern up for. Sold two the first day!!!

  • LaughLand

    Anne Fraser from LaughLand said 7 years ago

    Why doesn't etsy bring back the Alchemy feature? The problem with custom-made is finding the right maker (or any maker) for the item you have in mind. How do potential buyers with an idea find the etsy seller who custom makes that type of thing? Do they have to convo every seller with the same request and hope for the best?

  • agusha

    agusha from agusha said 7 years ago

    Purchasing a handmade product that has been custom made just for you makes for a more personal shopping experience. I think that this is what bring more and more customers to online markets like Etsy.

  • riricreations

    riricreations from riricreations said 7 years ago

    Most of our orders are custom work-from prints for special occasions to beach decor and coat racks...we LOVE making one of a kind items for our customers!

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios from MerCurios said 7 years ago

    Great article! Over 90% of my business is custom work. I love working with my customers trading sketches back and forth incorporating each others ideas while brining the vision to life. :)

  • girlindustries

    Katy from girlindustries said 7 years ago

    I love custom orders! Whether it's working with a bride to come up with the perfect sticker seals for her invitations, knitting a pair of gloves sized perfectly for a loved one, or finding the perfect tags for a fellow Etsian's craft market booth. There's no higher compliment than a customer putting their trust and confidence in you to create something unique and much-wanted. It's a great motivator and instigator in dreaming up new product lines, and broadening the creative horizons, too.

  • Mocahete

    Sabrina and Dante Acevedo from Mocahete said 7 years ago

    Custom work is an important part of our business and we enjoy the collaboration with our customers. Bringing a special project to fruition is rewarding in many ways.

  • redgarage

    redgarage from RedGarage said 7 years ago

    We do so much custom work now because of our Etsy shop, that we now call our selves Red garage custom furniture, There are so many talented artists on here doing some really creative things, I'm glad you are showcasing some of there 'custom' work. The ability to do custom work for your clients is what may keep us all competitive in this global marketplace. Great story thanks.

  • carley465

    CAT Tillinghast from CATTATTING said 7 years ago

    I love doing custom orders or one of a kind pieces. Just wish I had more of them. Great article.

  • Judalon

    Jessica said 7 years ago

    I've had great experiences with custom-made items, especially one order turned out exceptional as the shop-keeper and I kept a conversation on how to make what I wanted. The end result was truly amazing.

  • KalonaCreativity

    Kalona from KalonaCreativity said 7 years ago

    Great article! As an artist I have a burning need to be creative and original, I can see no more fulfilling way to do this than by creating custom orders. I may have an original design, but it is the clients story that makes each piece unique and personal, particularly for the journals and dreamcatchers. Plus, of course, there is that satisfaction that they will cherish their purchase, knowing that it is truly part of them and will never be recreated elsewhere. I would encourage any maker to explore customisation of their products, the rewards are tremendous.

  • studiopop

    Mary Lawson from studiopop said 7 years ago

    I love offering custom planners as a seller. It's fun to see what clients come up with. They are customizable from head to toe, so there really is a lot that they can do with it. One of my clients is a ballerina, and wanted groups of personalized icons to cross off and write on, along each of the days of her planner. That is something you would never be able to walk into a big box store and buy. I like being able to create and offer unique items that customers just can't get elsewhere. It's something you can only do when you are an independent, small company.

  • KalonaCreativity

    Kalona from KalonaCreativity said 7 years ago

    Great article! As an artist I ahve a burning need to create and explore. There is no better way to do this than to create One Of A Kind pieces. I may have the original design, but it is the clients story that makes a piece unique, special and priceless, particularly for my journals and dreamcatchers. There is nothing like knowing a client will cherish your work because it is personal and gives them a slice of happiness. I would recommend any maker explores customisation for their products- the rewards are immense.

  • carinorton

    Cari Norton from ATouchofChic said 7 years ago

    Similar to what Valerie said, one of my most popular items also came about from a custom request. I enjoy trying new things so custom requests are always my favorite projects!

  • olivehuedesigns

    tera from olivehuedesigns said 7 years ago

    I think a lot of people are afraid to ask for custom, but really, it's worth it to have a piece you love. Most custom work is not that much more expensive, and I know that I, personally, am always willing to negotiate. It's fun to do custom pieces, because sometimes you get ideas to do new things from those custom suggestions.

  • buhnon

    Shantel Nielson from ThePinkRaffy said 7 years ago

    Love this!

  • kagrawal

    kalpana agrawal from Cottonvatika said 7 years ago

    I love it

  • charlynw

    Charlyn from charlynw said 7 years ago

    Honestly, it the talent and brilliance of the artisans here in Etsy never seizes to astound and inspire. Amazing work and talent all around! (Ohh, those mobiles are killing me.... ;D)

  • Fullerjewelry

    Jane Fuller from Hoopsetc said 7 years ago Featured

    Don't we all want something handmade that is personal to our own narrative? In a world where mall stores offer the same generic things, Etsy can only become more popular as shops compete to give the customer exactly what they want, and perhaps, with an added personal twist. It feels then like a collaborative effort between designer and consumer - and for a reasonable price. Isn't that how it should be?

  • emwi

    Emily Wirt from emwi said 7 years ago

    These are such fun ideas for documenting stories. Love this article. Thanks for sharing!

  • BlueMoonLights

    Alexandra Simons from BlueMoonLights said 7 years ago

    This is what's so great about working directly with the artist/maker. We do custom work all the time, and are inspired by our customers' ideas. I love all of the personalized featured items above, they are so meaningful.

  • lushcouture

    jennifer thompson from LushCouture said 7 years ago

    thank you for this article! etsy is a magical place that makes all dreams come true, whether you are a buyer or seller, even the sky is no limit any more!!

  • 118jan

    Janette from AmericanDollClothes said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your ideas. I think that being able to get just what you want is what makes Etsy so popular.


    Emma Cotter from RETTOCAMME said 7 years ago

    Great article! Personally, my most lucrative and enjoyable projects through Etsy have all been custom. Often sellers see features they like from different items in my shop and they come to me with a concept for something to combine them into something specific for their needs/desires. The collaboration process is fun and the customer's creativity always ends up leading me to new ideas!

  • CharmingShopLove

    Marissa Howes from CharmingShopLove said 7 years ago

    I love the idea of doing custom work. It would be fun! Just knowing that a someone picked you to carry out their vision of their dream item is fantastic.

  • anotherghostquilts

    Nancy from anotherghostquilts said 7 years ago

    Great post.

  • EmilyMTA

    EmilyMTA said 7 years ago

    Way back when Alchemy was still around, I put in a "wish" for a diabetic meter case that wasn't so ugly! I may be diabetic, but I can still be stylish! The person who made me a WONDERFUL case (to exact measurements of each piece of equipment I have to lug around) emailed me about a month ago to thank me for asking her to do that custom piece. Turns out, it's become the bulk of her business. So, those custom requests can really make a difference, not just for the buyer, but for the artisan who makes that wonderful dream-come-true item. I'd post her shop here, but I'm not sure if you can do that or not. I've never posted 'til today, but this one hit home and made me smile!

  • krayexclusive

    RAY from KRAYExclusive said 7 years ago

    I make custom jewelry. I make them custom fit for their needs. At the end, my customers gives me a big smile, that is the greatest gift! I am very new to Etsy, So far I like it here..

  • knitsbycaitlin

    Caitlin Edge from knitsbycaitlin said 7 years ago


  • MorningdewPhoto

    Shabnam Khosrowshahi-Gow from morningdewphoto said 7 years ago

    oh, awesome ideas!!

  • AntieEms

    Emma Wall from AntieEms said 7 years ago

    I love doing custom work for my "people". It usually takes a lot of convos back and forth to work out all the details but once I start the project I know that they are getting exactly what they want. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a satisfied customer love their one of a kind piece. Thank you for the great article.

  • margaretjeske

    Margaret Jeske from TheCountryBluebird said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • designlab443

    Tracy from designlab443 said 7 years ago

    Custom items are my biggest seller. I like the idea of a keepsake with a name or message made just for one special person in the world.

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 7 years ago

    Great post! I really love the book/guest book....Neat idea!

  • jenstilley

    Jen Stilley from ArtfullyYoursByJen said 7 years ago

    I love it when I get a custom order request from a customer. The customer feels good because they know they are getting something handcrafted just for them, with their specific tastes in mind. With a custom order, you often get a glimpse into who your customer is and special moments in their lives they are trying to capture.

  • ASParkerJewellery

    Amy Sarah Parker from ASParkerJewellery said 7 years ago

    Great post! Lovely Stuff! :D

  • SissyLittle

    Sissy Little from SissyLittle said 7 years ago

    All of our decals are made to order and customizable rather it be the size, color or something completely different, we here have the ability to do that for someone and that is what makes me happy!

  • MagpieQuilts

    Ann from MagpieQuilts said 7 years ago

    Custom work is the heart of handmade. Chose colors, patern and style that suit your lifestyle and decor. I love working with a client on a custom order and creating a piece just for them.

  • jikits

    kim baise from jikits said 7 years ago

    so honored to be featured in this fabulous article! thanks lisa <3

  • Cufflinked

    Cufflinked from Cufflinked said 7 years ago

    This is great! Love custom work.

  • textilechicken

    textilechicken from textilechicken said 7 years ago

    Great article I love making with fabrics that are special For people.thanks for sharing.

  • thebuttonbird

    Katie Cusack from TheButtonBird said 7 years ago

    I absolutely love the items!! Great features.

  • thebuttonbird

    Katie Cusack from TheButtonBird said 7 years ago

    I love the necklace with the photograph bubbles :)

  • kerriari

    Kerri from ResparkableVintage said 7 years ago

    I think buying a customized product is so special! My brother has a custom cruiser bike company and I'm about to get to build my own bike! So even on the buyer end, I get to feel creative! Also, he gifted me a couple of custom made dog collers from a seller here at Etsy. It was so fun to email back and forth with my ideas and her adding to them, and making my dogs- Lucy and Ricky- one of a kind necklace so specially made for them. I will always, always treasure them! I make repurposed vintage jewelry, and I would love the opportunity to do custom work! I'm not sure how to set all that up as far as price, but I LOVE the idea. :)

  • Aboli

    Aboli from FolkStroke said 7 years ago

    Making custom handmade appliques is what I love! My talented buyers & repeat buyers remain the source of creativity and inspiration behind 'Folk Stroke' appliques! There are hundreds of websites and stores selling ready made appliques but what if one is unable to find the exact applique needed? At 'Folk Stroke- your Custom Appliques Designer' I proudly offer custom appliques as per buyer's needs! At the end of every custom order what I gain is a great learning experience, opportunity to work with new designs, a 100% satisfying deal and a buyer-turned-friend for a lifetime! I love Etsy for all this! :)

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld said 7 years ago

    My proudest custom piece was made for a round the world cyclist who planned on sleeping rough and who commissioned me to make him leather pannier bags that would be tough-wearing, would accomodate all his luggage, and that for safeties sake would 'disappear' while he slept at night. He was so pleased with what i had done that as well as paying me my price, he gave me the keys and papers for his car before he jumped on his bike and pedaled off on his way around the world. I know that the bags worked because he sent me a photo from the Taj Mahal and there they were still on the back of the bike.

  • pinkpicnic

    Amy Brown from jumbojibbles said 7 years ago

    I don't know if there's anything profound about my custom fruits and vegetables, but I was thrilled to get a video of Christmas morning at a buyer's house, as his mom opened the gift I had made. It feels good to be a part of someone's experience. That will never get old.

  • abenchwick

    Amanda Benchwick from MandaBees said 7 years ago

    For me, this is one of the biggest reasons Etsy is and will stay such a successful site; it connects wildly creative and passionate people with customers who have an idea or a need for something they can't buy elsewhere. rock on, Etsy community.

  • WinchesterLambourne

    WinchesterLambourne from WinchesterLambourne said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful feature! Custom work is the bulk of my business too (about 95% of it, actually), and it has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people. It's such a large part of the heart and soul of Etsy.

  • loveartworks

    Kristin Love from LoveArtWorks said 7 years ago

    I ***love*** Custom Work and create a lot of it! I have learned more and gotten more ideas from my Customers who have requested Custom Pieces from me than I can count. Etsy has been an Awesome Platform not only for my Business but for growing as an Artist due to the exposure I get and the availability that I have to respond to people who want Custom Work. Thank You for this Amazing Article highlighting "All Things Custom"!! :)

  • artphotographyprints

    Matthew Palmer from ArtPhotographyPrints said 7 years ago

    Nicely done, very informative. Thanks!

  • johnsmith148

    John Smith said 7 years ago

    A bangles with your name!!! Awesome!!! Personalised Bangles.

  • xutian1

    ya mo from 2013color said 7 years ago

    I love this

  • saronbrown

    Saron from SassyCandleFavors said 7 years ago

    I love personalizing! Just give me an idea and watch me RUN WITH IT!!! lol Having a creative mind is a beautiful thing! ;)

  • daviscathy

    Cathy Clifford from mybeadedimpressions said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful way to remember a special person or memory. Ever since we were little girls we have loved to make things. We have a new line of interchangeable belt buckles that we can personalize. Send us a photo or piece of your children's art work and we can make it into a buckle to wear and remember for ever. We want to help you make beautiful memories.

  • CrystalsDesignMind

    Crystal from IKANDiiAccessories said 7 years ago

    Nice read! When first started making jewelry for my friends and coworkers most of it was custom. I would just bring the Beads and they wold tell me what colors they liked and the pattern they wanted. Through this I've learned a lot of their likes and dislikes and I think of all of their needs and concerns whenever I make my jewelry. Customizing also makes everyone feel like they have something that everyone else doesn't and it brings recognition to my pieces. Love customizing!

  • reeraco29

    Reesha Almeida Coutinho from PretaPapier said 7 years ago

    I'm in he process of opening Pret a Papier, Custom printables and event stationery. And this is going to be a complete necessity in my shop. I'm glad you have a service like this because along with my printables I can accept customisation options as well.

  • cooljewelrydesign

    Pam Robinson from cooljewelrydesign said 7 years ago

    super post ... loved seeing the new feature details ... which will help facilitate the process of making a vision a reality. custom is the best of both worlds, yours and mine. :-) do a lot locally and some on Etsy.

  • yzfashionbridal

    YZfashionbridal Inc from YZFashionBridal said 7 years ago

    Love it! check out my collections!

  • bluepoppyseed

    Jennifer Reese Szczesniak from bluepoppyseed said 7 years ago

    custom work accounts for probably 75% of my sales. I'm excited to make it a much more prominent feature on Etsy. I'm looking forward to when the custom work can in some way be integrated into the digital file feature.

  • kalicat

    Catherine from kalicat said 7 years ago

    I love working on custom jewelry orders, There is no greater pleasure than knowing the jewelry you create is part of a love story or commemorates an important event of your client's life.

  • Sonni

    Sonia Lyne from dandelyne said 7 years ago

    Thank you thank you thank you for adding this feature. Most of my work is custom designs and you have made it so much easier. I LOVE ETSY ... you ROCK!!!! I have already had requests via this new feature ^_^.

  • nikkitena1

    Nikki Tena with Ali Minetti from IndieRepublicDesign said 7 years ago

    Thank you as always Etsy for making our work with you such a creative experience. Why not deliver to our potential clients exactly what they are seeking and at the same time expand our vision as artists? It's a beautiful way to collaborate closely with some who loves your work... but might have differing vision of how it should look on them! Love it - custom away customers, custom away! Cheers, Indie Republic Design :-)

  • APaintedDaisy

    Daisy Faith from APaintedDaisy said 7 years ago

    Hi Ya'll, I've been trying to find this setting in my account but I can't seem to find where I check off to enable custom orders...please help!? I'm sure it's very simple and I'm just not seeing it. i went to settings and checked everywhere else I could think of. Thanks in advance!

  • info401

    Greg from QueenyJewelry said 6 years ago

    So insightful and well-written! I very much enjoyed reading this post. I'm beginning to love crafting customized jewelry. Personally speaking, it's one of the best opportunities wherein I can show how special each and every single customer really is.

  • ZIPPERjewelry

    Phuong Quynh from SakuraZIPPERjewelry said 6 years ago

    Love to hear this, happy to be able to work on custom pieces with this helpful Etsy tool.

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