7 Best Print On Demand Mockups – Mockup Generator or Purchased Files?

Print on demand is awesome! You don’t need to print or ship yourself and you dont need to hold inventory.

This creates a bit of a challenge when it comes to creating engaging mockups to show off your products as you dont have any products to photograph.

This is where online mockup generators and digital mockups come in. But, you need to know which are the best print on demand mockups.

Using sites like Placeit or Creative Fabrica or buying customizable mockups through sites like Etsy helps you create mockups to take your store to the next level (without the need for an expensive photoshoot and product samples).

Key Takeaways

  • PlaceIt offers a vast collection of mockups for various products, including apparel, mugs, bags, tech products, books, and more.
  • Etsy offers on trend high quality mockups that cater for various niches and product types.
  • Creative Fabrica offers mockup bundles often sold for higher prices elsewhere

Best Sites for Print On Demand Mockups


PlaceIt Mockups Homepage

Placeit is an online mockup generator that they say has the largest collection of mockups on the internet. 

They have 125,000+ customers and Ive been using them since 2019.

Placeit offers mockups of models wearing t-shirts to mugs, hoodie mockups, sweatshirts and many more.

Want your mind blown? Check out their Merch Videos . Simply upload your design file and see it come to life on a model wearing it. Great for Etsy who want sellers to use videos more and more.

Placeit regularly adds seasonal or themed collections e.g. Fall or Pride mockups.

My only problem with Placeit (it’s not really a problem) is that with so many mockups available it can take time to find the best mockup for your niche in their massive selection of mockups.

Placeit Pricing

Placeit offers an annual subscription for $9.99 per month when paid annually.

This gets you unlimited access to all their mockups and design tools. 

Its a no brainer considering how many mockups are available.

Free Placeit Mockups
PlaceIt Free Mockups

Placeit offers a great free mockup collection that updates and changes each month.

Its an ideal way to test the service before buying.

Creative Fabrica

Creative Fabrica Homepage

Creative Fabrica is site that sells digital assets created by designers and businesses.

They have thousands and thousands of fonts, illustrations and designs that you can use in POD.

They also have thousands of mockups. All mockups are images that you can then customize.

They offer bundles and individual mockups too.

Some of the big mockup sellers on Etsy also sell on Creative Fabrica.

Creative Fabrica Pricing

For the equivalent of $4.99 a month

I’ve bagged you a one month free trial, so why not sign up, download lots of bundles of mockups, and then cancel (I bet you don’t cancel as there are sooo many goodies in CF including CF Spark.


Etsy Mockup Examples

You may think this is a bit of a strange one to include, but Etsy sellers offer some of the best mockups around, especially if you are looking for something niche-specific.

The Etsy shop owners who sell mockups on Etsy have their fingers on the pulse and follow trends closely. If a certain trend or style is taking off you’ll very soon see mockups for sale.

The mockups are predominantly for apparel and heavily focused on t-shirt businesses.

Top Tip

Make sure you search for the brand and product variant e.g. Gildan 5000 when looking for mockups.

This will help you find that exact product ensuring you show customers exactly what they are going to get if they purchase

My favorite mockup shops include:

Fun Fact

I had one Etsy mockup store reach out to me when they saw my design on their mockup featured in a The Guardian (a national newspaper in the UK

Etsy Mockup Pricing

The price of mockups can vary from $1 to about $10 for the ultra-premium mockups.

There is great value to be had in the mockup bundles that are on offer.

Top Tip

Favorite your top Etsy shops so that you get notified of new listings and sales

Envato Elements

Envato Elements homepage

Evanto is the parent company & owner of Placeit. One of their other offerings is Evanto Elements.

Elements is a platform that offers a wide range of high-quality digital assets, including mockups. They do not have a mock up generator, they offer files to download (PSD and customizable JPEGS & PNG’s).

Evanto Elements provides an extensive library of mockups for various categories, including apparel, stationery, packaging, and more. With their diverse collection, you can find the perfect mockup to elevate the visual appeal of your print-on-demand products.

The mockups on Evanto Elements are meticulously designed to ensure a realistic and professional presentation and give your customers a clear visualization of how your products would look in real life. 

Envato Elements Pricing

For $14.99 a month, you get unlimited access to everything they offer.

Given that for the same money you could get Placeit & Creative Fabria subscriptions, I think Envato is overpriced if you only want mockups, however, they offer a massive collection of premium digital assets, see below.

Everying included - Envato Elements

Creative Market

Creative Fabrica

Another platform that offers graphic design assets is Creative Market. A quick search shows they offer “Discover 839,016 tshirt mockup digital assets from independent creators”. 

Creative Market feels like an upmarket version of Creative Fabrica without the unlimited subscription or any of the useful tools (CF Spark, word cloud etc).

There is no t-shirt mockup generator, Creative Market is an online store selling downloadable assets.

Creative Fabrica Mockup examples

Creative Market Pricing

As the mockups are sold by individual sellers the prices vary from a few dollars to $100+ for massive bundles.

Mockup packs / bundles is where the value is.

Top Tip

if you find mockups that you like, check Creative Fabrica and Etsy to see if they are available cheaper.


So you’ll have heard about Canva and may already use it (I do, its great).

But did you know they offer mockups? They have a partnership with Smart Mockups. If you already have a Canva Pro membership the SmartMocks app is included and I strongly recommend that you go and use the mockup app and test it for yourself.


Canva also has many other mockups. whether you’re designing business cards, digital products, or any other type of merchandise, Canva has you covered.

Want a picture frame mockup, they’ve got those too.

Canva Mockups

Canva Pricing

Canva has a free plan where you can use free design and create custom mockups. However you need the Canva Pro plan to use the SmartMockups app.

For $14.99 a month or $119 if paid annually you get lots of features and a wider selection of Canva mockups.

Canva pro gives you access to the Background remover tools that is ideal for taking a boring mockup and adding your own background to it.

Print On Demand Supplier – Printful / Printify

Print on demand suppliers like Printify & Printful offer a mockup generator for print on demand and design templates to use to ensure your design is correctly applied to the product. 

Did You Know

Etsy requires  you to include mockups from your print on demand supplier to ensure customers see an accurate representation of the item.

Some POD suppliers only offer basic flat lay mockups, but more and more are offering better mockups for free.

For example, Gelato offers a premium subscription Gelato+ that gives you access to better mockups.

Top Tip

Printful are known for having better mockups than most. Did you know you can use their online mockup generator for free?

What Is A Mockup

Mockups are realistic digital representations of how your designs will appear on various products such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more.

They are digital prototypes that allow you to experiment with different design elements, colors, and placements to create visually appealing products.

The importance of mockups in the print-on-demand industry cannot be overstated. Here are some reasons why they are essential:

Visualize your designs: Mockups help you see how your designs will look on different products, allowing you to make necessary adjustments and improvements before production. This ensures that your final products are of high quality and align with your vision.

Showcase product potential: By using mockups, you can present your products in a professional and visually appealing way. This allows potential customers to visualize the end result and increases the likelihood of them making a purchase.

Save time and resources: Creating physical prototypes for every design and product combination can be time-consuming and costly. Mockups allow you to test different variations quickly and affordably, saving you time and resources.

Different Types Of Apparel Mockups

Flat Lay Mockup

As per its name, this is a mockup of the garment led flat on a flat surface.

Flat Lay Mockup

These can look bland if used as your main product image, but if you have multiple product images then it’s good to include a flat lay mockup.

These are the best product mockup for giving a clean look and feel of the product.

The mockup tools provided by POD suppliers provide flat lays as standard.

Hanging Mockup

Hanging Mockup

A hanging mockup is a little similar in style to the flat lay in look and feel. They show the garment hanging from a hanger.

Again, I wouldn’t use these as my main image, but they are useful for showing the full product so customers can get a feel for the shape of it.


This spooky (not really) mockup shows the t-shirt for example, as if someone is wearing it but without showing the person themselves.

Ghosted Mockup


Modelled Mockup

A person wearing the item that has your design on it.

Pretty simple really.

This type of mockup can help the customer imagine themselves wearing the item.

Different Types Of Mockup Files

Depending on where you get your mockups, the mockup images come in different formats and in some cases require additional steps in order to create the finished mockup.

In order of ease of use, here are the three main types.

Mockup Generator Produced

Mockup generators are the simplest way of creating product mockups as they require no additional design software to produce the mockup itself.

All POD suppliers have them and there are a number of mockup websites that generate mockups.

How They Work

Mockup generators like those that your print on demand supplier has or subscription sites like Placeit, have software that takes the design you upload and applies it to the chosen product.

They have spent lots of time, effort, and money ensuring that the software can apply the design to the product in a way that makes it look realistic. There is nothing complicated for the end user to do.

How To Use Them

If you wanted to create a t-shirt mockup you would:

  • Create your design
  • Save it as a PNG with a transparent background ( where possible use the free template provided by your POD supplier if you are using their mockup generator)
  • Go to a mockup generator like Placeit & search for a mockup that you like
  • Upload your design
  • Crop, Resize and adjust the placement
  • Download completed mockup
  • Upload it to your print on demand store.

Mockup Images to be Customized

Another type of mockup file is one that you buy in JPEG or PNG format and then overlay your design.

The mockups are produced are high-quality photos of blank products in such a way as to make it easy for you to apply your design to the product.

How To Use Them

Once you’ve purchased and downloaded the mockup you then need to use design software to lay your design over the top.

Did You Know

Set the transparency of your design file to 80% or 90% as this makes it look more realistic (less vibrant).

You can use design software like Photoshop or Affinity Photo, or apps like Canva.

It can be a bit fiddly to get the image placed right, but there are some really good mockups out there in this format. 

PSD Template File

PSD Mockup templates are files in PSD (or similar) format that give more flexibility and options than the mockup images format mentioned above.

Often the file has all the colors for that brand of item e.g. a Gildan 5000 t-shirt so you can quickly upload your design and export and save the t-shirt in lots of different colors fairly quickly.

PSD templates do require Photoshop or similar and a higher level of technical knowledge to get the mockups looking just right.

Importance of using mockups to showcase products effectively

Using mockups offers several benefits when it comes to presenting your products effectively:

Realism: Mockups provide a realistic representation of your products, making it easier for customers to visualize and understand their features before making a purchase.

Enhanced presentation: A visually appealing and professional presentation can significantly impact customers’ perception of your products. Mockups help you achieve this by showcasing your products in a polished and attractive manner.

Improved decision-making: By using mockups, customers can make more informed decisions about purchasing your products. They can better assess how the product will fit into their lives or meet their specific needs.

Comparison of Free and Paid Mockup Options

Pros and cons of free mockup resources

Free mockup resources are a popular choice for many designers and small businesses for several reasons:


  1. Cost-effective: Free mockups save you money, making them an attractive option, especially for those on a tight budget.
  2. Accessible to everyone: Since they are free, anyone can download and use them, regardless of their design skills or experience.
  3. Variety of options: There are numerous websites and platforms that offer free mockups, providing a wide range of choices for different design projects.
  4. Quick and easy: Free mockups are readily available and can be downloaded instantly, making them convenient for last-minute design needs.


  1. Limited customization: Free mockups often have limited customization options, which can restrict your ability to tailor the design to your specific needs.
  2. Quality may vary: Since anyone can upload their mockups to free platforms, the quality can be inconsistent. Some may be poorly designed or have low-resolution images.
  3. Overused designs: Free mockups are widely accessible, increasing the chances of many businesses using the same designs, which can make your brand less unique.

Pros and cons of paid mockup resources

Paid mockup resources offer additional features and benefits, but there are also some considerations:


  1. Higher quality: Paid mockups are often created by professional designers, resulting in higher-quality designs and better attention to detail.
  2. Extensive customization: Paid mockups typically provide more customization options, allowing you to tailor the design to your exact specifications.
  3. Exclusive designs: Paid mockups offer more unique and original designs, reducing the risk of having the same designs as other businesses.
  4. Customer support: Many paid mockup resources provide customer support, ensuring that you receive assistance if you encounter any issues.


  1. Cost: The main drawback of paid mockup resources is the cost. They require a financial investment, which may not be feasible for all budgets.
  2. Learning curve: Some paid mockup resources may have a learning curve, especially if they come with advanced customization features. However, many provide tutorials to help users get started.

Ultimately, the choice between free and paid mockup resources depends on your budget, design requirements, and desired level of customization.

If you have the money, its worth investing in better mockups.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Mockup

When it comes to print-on-demand businesses, finding the right mockup can make all the difference in showcasing your products in the best possible light. Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect mockup:

Consideration of specific product needs and target audience

  1. Product compatibility: Ensure that the mockup you choose is designed specifically for the type of product you are selling. Whether it’s t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases, using a mockup that accurately represents your product is crucial.
  2. Target audience appeal: Consider the preferences and tastes of your target audience. Look for mockups that align with their demographic and style preferences, as this will help you connect with them effectively.

Importance of high-quality and customizable mockups

  1. High-resolution images: Opt for mockups that offer high-resolution images to ensure that your products are displayed with clarity and detail. This will ultimately attract more potential customers.
  2. Customization options: Look for mockups that allow you to easily customize elements such as colors, backgrounds, and placements. This customization will help you create a unique and personalized look for your products.
  3. Professional presentation: Choose mockups that present your products in a professional and visually appealing way. This will help build trust and credibility with your customers.

By considering your specific product needs, target audience preferences, and opting for high-quality and customizable mockups, you can showcase your print-on-demand products and attract more customers to your business.

Remember, the right mockup is essential in creating a lasting impression and driving sales in the competitive print-on-demand market.

What I Do

For my print on demand business I use Placeit & mockups bought from Etsy alongside the mockups created by the print on demand suppliers I use.

The POD supplier’s flat lays show the product clearly and Placeit and or Etsy-bought mockups help connect with the customer on an emotional level and you can give a consistent niche-focused feel to your store.

Best Print On Demand Mockups – Wrap Up

Lazy print on demand sellers just use those provided by POD suppliers. You need to use these, but your main product image on your product listing needs to be better than that.

If you are selling on selling on platforms like Etsy or running Facebooks ads. You need to stand out, look professional and help the customer picture themselves wearing or using your product.

When there are so many online mockup generator tools available there is no excuse.

I’ve being selling POD online for years and am yet to find a Placeit alternative. Its just so good at what it does.

Online mockup generator websites should give most sellers all the mockups you could ever want. Add to that the mockups offered by Etsy and Creative Fabrica and you have more mockups than you will ever need.

The importance of mockups in the print-on-demand industry

In the print-on-demand industry, mockups play a crucial role in showcasing products to potential customers.

These visual representations allow customers to see how the final product will look before making a purchase, instilling confidence and trust in the brand. Mockups also help businesses stand out in a crowded market by presenting their products in the best light. 

By utilizing realistic and high-quality mockups, print-on-demand businesses can effectively communicate the unique features and benefits of their products, ultimately increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

B. Recommendations and final thoughts on effectively utilizing mockups for print-on-demand businesses.

To maximize the impact of mockups in the print-on-demand industry, businesses should consider the following recommendations:

  1. Choose high-quality mockups: Select mockups that accurately represent your products, showing details such as color, texture, and sizing accurately. This will give customers a realistic preview of what they can expect.
  2. Customize the mockups: Personalize the mockups by adding your own branding elements, such as logos or packaging designs. This will help create a cohesive brand identity and make your products more recognizable.
  3. Test different variations: Experiment with different mockups to understand which ones resonate with your target audience the most. Pay attention to factors like background, lighting, and product placement to find the most effective combination.
  4. Update regularly: Keep your mockups up to date with current trends and designs to stay relevant in the market. This will ensure that your products are always presented in a visually appealing and modern way.

By following these recommendations and utilizing mockups effectively, print-on-demand businesses can enhance their brand image, attract more customers, and ultimately drive greater success in the industry.

Mockup FAQ’s

What is a mockup generator?

A mockup generator is an online tool or software that allows you to create realistic digital replicas of products or designs. It is commonly used for showcasing and promoting products, especially in print-on-demand businesses.

How can I use a mockup generator?

To use a mockup generator, you typically start by selecting a template or model that represents the product you want to showcase. Then, you can customize the mockup by adding your design or artwork. Once you are satisfied with the result, you can download the mockup for further use.

Are there any free mockup generators available?

Yes, there are several online mockup generator websites that offer free trials or free mockup templates. These platforms allow you to create high-quality mockups without any cost.

How do I find the best mockup generator for my needs?

You can start by searching for a list of the best mockup generators available. Look for platforms that offer a wide range of templates, customization options, and good user reviews. It’s also important to consider the specific needs of your print-on-demand business.

What are the advantages of using a mockup generator?

Mockup generators help make your products or designs look more professional and appealing to potential customers. They allow you to showcase your products in various settings and contexts, such as on models or framed on a wall. Mockups also help you visualize how your designs might look in real-life situations.

Can I use a mockup generator for print-on-demand businesses?

Yes, mockup generators are commonly used in print-on-demand businesses. They help sellers create realistic product images that can be used for showcasing and promoting their print-on-demand items. Many print-on-demand platforms also provide their own mockup generators.

What is the difference between a mockup generator and actual print-on-demand files?

A mockup generator is used to create digital replicas of products or designs, while actual print-on-demand files are the files that are used for printing. Mockups are primarily used for showcasing and promoting products, while print-on-demand files are used for production.

Can I customize mockups generated by a mockup generator?

Yes, most mockup generators allow you to customize the mockups by adding your own designs, logos, or artwork. You can usually choose the placement, size, and color of your design to fit your specific needs.

Do I need any design skills to use a mockup generator?

While basic design skills can be helpful, most mockup generators are designed to be user-friendly and do not require extensive design knowledge. They often provide easy-to-use tools and templates, allowing users with little to no design experience to create professional-looking mockups.

Can I use mockups to promote my print-on-demand products?

Yes, mockups are great for promoting your print-on-demand products. They allow potential customers to visualize how the products might look in real-life situations, which can help increase sales and engagement. You can use mockups on your website, social media, or marketing materials to showcase your products.