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Blog / Beginner's handbook / 12 Emerging Print-on-Demand Business Ideas to Get Started with Right Now

Beginner's handbook

12 Emerging Print-on-Demand Business Ideas to Get Started with Right Now

12 Emerging Print-on-Demand Business Ideas to Get Started with Right Now
Katrina Resne

By Katrina Resne

16 min read

Are you dreaming of your own business, but aren’t sure what products to sell? You’re in the right place to find your next business idea!

We’ve curated a list of 12 bestselling print-on-demand products, tried and tested in the market. The best part? These ideas can be customized to fit different ages, interests, and print-on-demand businesses.

Keep reading to find popular print-on-demand niches you can tap into.

Print-on-demand business ideas

Using print-on-demand services is a way to build a scalable and flexible business. With POD, you’re free from inventory management and hefty upfront costs. Your products are made only once a customer purchases from your online store. A print-on-demand company will fulfill and ship your products, while you focus on product design, marketing, and sales for your business.

Consider these print-on-demand ideas as a source of inspiration, but ultimately, pick products that align with your own brand.

1. Posters and art prints

Wall art is a great print-on-demand business idea because more people are working from home and offices are embracing creative interiors. Customers want to make the spaces they’re in comfortable and special.

There’s market validation and expansion opportunity as the global wall art market size was valued at $59 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow from $61 billion in 2023 to $97.7 billion by 2030.

Custom niche-specific posters and personalized posters (with names, family members, and pets) are a particularly popular segment. By starting a wall art POD business, you can cater to the needs of specific audiences. Plus, there’s always the option to design seasonal and trending artwork to boost sales throughout the year.

Posters and framed artwork can be easily changed, switched, and removed. This caters to people who like to refresh their decor regularly. With a wall art POD business, you can have returning customers who seek new meaningful art throughout the year. 

Custom wall art

Printful offers an array of wall art, including posters, framed posters, canvas, and glossy metal prints. This ready-to-become art is fade-resistant and can be customized with your preferred size, frame, and finish (glossy or matte).

Wall art business ideas

  • Vacation-inspired wall art

  • Posters for a baby’s room

  • Art for the kitchen

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2. Mugs

With a POD business selling mugs, you can create customized, meaningful mugs that become part of people’s daily routines and special moments.

People like to gift customized mugs for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other special occasions. The Enamel Mug, for example, is perfect for outdoor lovers. Mugs are also popular corporate gifts. This is an opportunity to offer bulk orders and build corporate partnerships. With a mug POD business, you can create mug designs for these specific events or audiences.

When starting a mug POD business, consider creating holiday-themed mugs for Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. These variations can boost your online business sales during specific times of the year.

Custom mugs

Mugs are lots of fun to customize. You can explore our wide range of options—from classic white to bold black mugs, or white mugs with a pop of color inside. Crafted from durable materials, our ceramic, metal, and to-go mugs are designed to withstand the test of time.

Learn how to make an awesome customized mug in this blog post: Brew-tiful Creations: How to Design Your Own Custom Mug.

Mug business ideas

  • Funny, sarcastic mugs

  • Mugs with hand-painted, then printed designs

  • Mugs for book lovers

3. Tote bags

Tote bags are on the rise, driven by the practicality trend in fashion and our increasingly busy lifestyles. In fact, the global canvas bag market is anticipated to reach a market value of $1.17 million in 2023. So, why not leverage this and start your own online store specializing in customized tote bags?

Practical and convenient, tote bags cater to a diverse range of customer needs and have a broad market appeal. Tote bags are suitable for grocery shopping, carrying books, hitting the gym, or simply as accessories. These versatile carry-alls can be folded up and stashed away with ease, which is convenient for customers.

Tote bags are also easy on your wallet. This makes them accessible to more customers and ideal for budget-friendly gifts. Plus, businesses often use them for promotional events and merch, which can lead to bulk orders.

And let’s not forget that tote bags are alternatives to single-use plastic bags, helping us all to minimize the use of plastic. Sustainable practices and materials are a must that customers expect from businesses nowadays.

Custom tote bags

Tote bags offer a large canvas for creativity. You can customize tote bags with direct-to-garment printing, embroidery, or all-over print designs. Discover our 7 unique tote bags to find the right print-on-demand product for your business. You can choose from organic cotton for eco-conscious style, trendy denim for fashion enthusiasts, and practical pocketed totes. There are also some classic options in black, brown, and white.

Tote bag business ideas

  • Tote bags with food art

  • Tote bags for social causes

  • Tote bags for dancers

4. Throw pillows and blankets

With the growing popularity of remote and hybrid work, people increasingly want to make their homes a pleasant space to be in. This makes it a great opportunity for you to sell cozy and decorative items like throw pillows and blankets.

Pillows and blankets are a lucrative POD business idea because you can create themed or seasonal designs. During festive periods, customers are on the lookout for holiday-themed pillows and blankets to add that seasonal sparkle to their living spaces. And when it comes to gifting, personalized blankets make thoughtful gifts for anniversaries, housewarmings, and weddings.

Pillows and blankets are often bought together to match or complement each other. In your POD business, you can offer sets or bundles of pillows and blankets to increase your customer order value.

Custom pillowcases and blankets

Explore our range of all-over print pillowcases—basic and premium. They differ in fabric and feel. These print-on-demand pillowcases are machine washable and have hidden zippers. As for the snuggly blankets, we have 2 options for you. One is lightweight and soft, and the other is heavyweight with an extra-soft touch.

Homewear business ideas

  • Seasonal throw pillows and blankets

  • Pet-themed pillows and blankets

  • Minimalist throw pillow and blanket collections

5. Athleisure

The athleisure market is booming thanks to wellness trends and athleisure transitioning into everyday wear. After spending more time at home during the pandemic, people appreciated the comfort and practicality athleisure provides.

And this interest is here to stay. For athleisure products, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2030 for the US market is 8.3%, which is high compared to other sectors.

Yoga mats and other products are a more niche athleisure market you can look into. Yoga sessions, stretching, meditation, and other spiritual practices are becoming more mainstream and a popular remedy for stress and anxiety relief.

Keep in mind that athleisure is rooted, in part, in community. Partnering with fitness influencers, trainers, or yoga instructors to reach an engaged target audience can help when selling custom products.

If you’ve been thinking about an athleisure business, this is the time to start!

Custom athleisure apparel and accessories

Athleisure includes a range of clothing, custom shoes, and accessories used in athletics and leisure activities. In this category, you’ll find something for everyone, catering to kids, teens, and adults. From bestsellers to trendy print-on-demand products, you can browse sportswear, loungewear, and workout accessories. Your store can be the ultimate destination for customized athleisure items.

If you want to create custom products for yoga enthusiasts, here are the print-on-demand products to look into.

Athleisure business ideas

  • Yoga mat designs with artistic prints

  • Unisex athleisure sets

  • Matching workout sets for families

  • Astrology-themed and spiritual yoga mats

  • Bag collections inspired by fashion decades

6. Bucket hats and caps

Stylish and practical, hats remain in high demand thanks to the fusion of fashion and weather. Hats are a popular niche in fashion because they’re practical, collectible, and always in season.

You can design hats as custom fashion accessories and merchandise. Or, create hats with a logo to boost your own brand recognition. With customized hats, you can cater to niche markets and specific interests, from sports enthusiasts and hobbyists to fans of particular pop culture icons.

Minimalist street-style caps and whimsical, quirky bucket hats are all the rage now, and they’re here to stay—for both men and women.

Custom hats

Whether you’re in need of lightweight hats for those breezy spring and summer evenings or thicker, insulated choices to combat the fall and winter chill, we’ve got you covered. Select your preferred style and color to create the best print-on-demand hats.

When it comes to hat designs, you can opt for the timeless sophistication of embroidered designs.

Hats business ideas

  • Video-game-inspired caps

  • Sports-themed caps

  • Beach-inspired bucket hats

  • Hats with positive-vibes designs

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7. Hoodies

It’s pretty clear a lot has changed with the rise of remote work (and more flexible office dress codes!). In line with the athleisure boom, hoodies have become the go-to attire for many professionals. In 2022, the hoodie and sweatshirt market was valued at $198.9 billion, with predictions to double by 2030.

The demand for hoodies has also been impacted by the younger generations’ growing interest in unique, stylish hoodies. Hoodies have become a wardrobe staple for so many of us.

This is your chance to impress customers with your custom hoodies!

Custom hoodies

Hoodies come in various styles, including pullovers, zip-ups, or hoodies with pockets. They’re comfy, cozy, and stylish. There are lightweight options for spring and summer evenings and thicker, warmer hoodies for fall and winter. You can customize a hoodie’s color, size, and the placement of your design on the garment. For hoodie designs, you can choose between direct-to-garment printing or embroidery.

Find out more about popular hoodies in this blog post: The 6 Best Quality Hoodies for Printing. And here are some great options:

Hoodie business ideas

  • Hoodies for gamers

  • Streetwear-inspired hoodies with urban designs

  • Hoodies for matcha and coffee lovers

  • Couples hoodies

8. T-shirts

T-shirts are a tried and true POD business idea—which means you’ll be facing stiff competition. However, there’s still room for innovative ideas in the POD tee sphere. If you choose your focus right, there is definitely space to succeed.

T-shirts are canvases for celebrating interests, aesthetics, and social causes. They call customers to choose one connected to their interests. For example, you can tap into cultural appreciation and activism by creating designs that resonate with specific communities or events.

One way to stand out? Eco-friendly options. Consumers demand high standards from brands when it comes to environmental impact. Think about customizing ethically-manufactured t-shirts made from responsibly-sourced organic cotton or recycled materials.

If you’re considering a custom t-shirt business, check out our blog post on t-shirt industry statistics. It covers market value, printing methods, sustainability, and more, and will be a valuable resource for you.

Custom t-shirts

For t-shirts, you have the biggest selection out of all print-on-demand products. You can create the perfect t-shirt for your print-on-demand business by selecting the customization method, sizes, colors, and design placement. There’s also an option to add custom labels, reinforcing your brand identity and providing a more professional look.

Start with these blog posts to find the best print-on-demand t-shirt for your own store: Top 7 Quality T-Shirts for Your Store and Best Types of T-Shirts to Boost Your Apparel Business.

T-shirt business ideas

  • T-shirts made in collaboration with artists

  • Plant-lover t-shirts

  • Retro-themed t-shirts with designs from different decades

  • T-shirts for science enthusiasts

9. Beachwear

Beachwear is all about capturing the essence of vacations and relaxation. But starting a beachwear POD business doesn’t mean only seasonal demand during the summer holidays. You can expand to different markets and designs to create more stable sales all year round.

With a beachwear POD business, consider launching a wide range of products, including swimsuits, beach towels, flip-flops, and accessories. Most of these products are great for indoor pools or winter vacations as well.

Selling customized beachwear gives you the chance to create themed collections like tropical prints or eco-friendly swimwear, and align with your consumers’ interests and current trends. Plus, designing beachwear collections for families caters to parents looking for matching or coordinating outfits for their beach vacations.

Swimsuits that are crafted from recycled materials and are ethically made are surging in popularity, driven by the demand for innovative, sustainable products. With a beachwear POD business, you can customize swimwear made from more eco-friendly materials.

Custom beachwear products

All-over printing dominates in the beachwear category. This printing method creates durable, long-lasting products that don’t shrink and crack after being washed or worn in water.

Beachwear business ideas

  • Luxe, elegant beachwear

  • Exotic-fruit-inspired beachwear collections

  • Beachwear designed with underwater shots (you can collaborate with photographers)

  • Vibrant, fun mermaid-core beachwear

  • Beachwear inspired by iconic beach destinations

10. Baby clothing

In 2023, the baby apparel market was valued at $64.6 billion with a growth rate of 5.69% for upcoming years. And how will this translate to sales for your POD business? The baby clothing market is evergreen, with a continuous influx of new parents looking for comfortable and stylish clothing for their little ones. 

Parents prioritize safety and comfort when choosing baby clothing. That’s why soft, delicate, and breathable cotton dominates the baby apparel market. Many parents love personalized baby clothing with monograms, birth months, and characters, making it a perfect fit for personalized embroidery on demand. 

Another reason why including baby clothing in your POD business is a great idea is the popular trend of coordinating outfits for siblings, parents, and babies. This has increased demand for unique, matching baby garments. You can create custom fits for the whole family!

Baby clothing also makes for fantastic baby shower gifts. Your business can cater to gift shoppers looking for special and thoughtful presents.

Custom baby clothing

With baby clothes, comfort is so important. That’s why Printful’s baby clothing is predominately made from cotton or cotton jersey, with some colors available in poly-cotton. The sizes range from 3–18 months. You can customize baby clothing with direct-to-garment printing for larger, detailed designs and embroidery for dainty, elegant, or cutesy designs. 

Baby clothing business ideas

  • Gender-neutral baby clothing

  • Nature-inspired baby clothing

  • Space-themed baby clothing

Read more: 11 Kidswear Business Ideas to Try

11. Socks

Over 400 million pairs of socks are sold in the US alone each year. That’s a whole lot of socks!

In fact, the socks market was valued at $53.8 billion in 2022—eye-watering, but also understandable for such a staple item. This is great for your POD business, just think of all the repeat purchases as customers replace worn-out pairs or seek new designs! 

Beyond daily wear, socks make great gifts. Quirky novelty socks are perfect for special gifts, and branded, more minimalist socks make ideal corporate gifts. And during the holidays? With a sock POD business, you can launch themed socks based on seasonality.

You can also support charitable causes, nonprofits, or social issues with customized or personalized socks. Many people are drawn to products that support a cause they care about.

This year, socks are making a fashion statement when worn with sneakers, heels, and various shoe styles. White socks with little ruffles and dainty embroidery are especially popular. This trend is perfect for a POD business: design white socks with customized embroidery based on what’s trending.

Custom socks

You can customize socks with sublimation and embroidery. Sublimation creates high-quality, vibrant, prints while embroidery offers durability with a luxurious feel. Sublimation is done on white synthetic fiber products and covers the whole socks. For embroidery, you have crew socks with a selection of 3 colors.

Sock business ideas

  • Socks for pet lovers

  • Matching family sock sets

  • Socks with cities of the world

  • Food-themed socks

12. Tech accessories

It’s pretty clear that tech is super prevalent everywhere in our lives now. That makes tech accessories, everything from laptop bags to mouse pads, non-negotiables. So people are looking for practical and stylish ways to protect or use their tech.

For a POD business? The in-demand tech accessories now are laptop sleeves and backpacks. Both of them perfectly combine protection and convenience for modern tech users.

The trend doesn’t end with laptop bags. Mouse pads are experiencing higher demand as well. The increasing numbers of gamers, the growing popularity of video games, and more laptop users are boosting the mouse pad market. You can create customized tech accessories for niche audiences like gamers.

Tech users, especially the savvy ones, have more than one gadget. In your tech accessories POD business, you can offer a variety of tech gadgets and create collection bundles to sell more in one purchase.

With new and upgraded tech products entering the market each year, your POD business can capitalize on this growing demand.

Custom tech accessories

Laptop sleeves, mouse pads, and backpacks can be customized with sublimation, which is perfect for electric and bold prints, as well as muted and detailed designs. 

Tech accessories are also a popular dropshipping business.

Tech accessories business ideas

  • Tech accessories with designs of vintage tech gadgets

  • Tech accessories with fantasy and sci-fi designs

  • Funny tech accessories for freelancers

  • Tech accessories with botanical patterns for nature enthusiasts

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Start selling custom products

Now that you’ve discovered 12 print-on-demand ideas with specific trending products, it’s time to embark on your entrepreneurial journey. Build your online store, create designs, and test various product concepts to find what resonates with your target audience.

If you need help with fulfilling and shipping your print-on-demand products, we’ve got your back. By using print-on-demand services, you can spend more time focusing on what you do best—bringing great custom products to the market.

Your print-on-demand business adventure awaits!

Valuable read: How Much Does it Cost to Start a Print-on-Demand Business

author

By Katrina Resne on Oct 6, 2023

Katrina Resne

Content Writer Intern

Katrīna is a content writer with a background in Material Technology and Design. She loves the digital world and creating content in visual and written form.

Katrīna is a content writer with a background in Material Technology and Design. She loves the digital world and creating content in visual and written form.