Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained mainstream popularity as they break the barrier for the average person to enter the crypto sphere.
At first, NFTs sound confusing. Couldn’t you just screenshot that picture for free? Why do you need to pay for an image from a YouTube video?
However, NFTs give artists credit where credit is due. They reduce art theft and give value to digital assets, particularly one-of-a-kind pieces.
Besides art, memes, photos, and sounds can sell for significant profits to people who want digital assets.
If you want to enter the NFT game, keep reading to learn more about how to make an NFT yourself.
How to Create an NFT
Creating an NFT will require you to get involved in the crypto realm. Once you have set up your accounts with a crypto wallet and marketplace, you can mint any of these items:
- Digital artwork
- Gun skins
- Video game artifacts
- Video clips
- Trading cards
- Tokenized real-world assets
- Virtual real estate
- Concert tickets
- Tokenized digital assets
And the list goes on and on. Almost anything can be an NFT if you know how to mint it.
NFTs work in the Ethereum ecosystem via a crypto wallet. You can get started on your phone—no need for fancy hardware to create an NFT.
Make an Ethereum Wallet
Before you can make an NFT, you need to create an Ethereum wallet. As with a real-world wallet, you store your cryptocurrency used for the buying, creation, and selling of NFTs. Eventually, you will integrate your digital wallet on an NFT marketplace account.
There are plenty of free wallets that work with most Ethereum blockchain technology and marketplaces. Some of the most popular wallets include:
- Math Wallet
- Trust Wallet
Search for a wallet compatible with your hardware. For example, Rainbow only works on iOS devices. You can explore multiple wallets to see which one is easiest for you to navigate. Coinbase is the most popular, but each has its merits.
Buy Some Ethereum
It takes money to make money.
Most marketplaces charge you fees to mint NFTs. You will need to buy some ETH to start making NFTs.
Depending on your wallet, you may be able to purchase Ethereum within the site. Others require you to buy coins from an exchange to transfer to your wallet.
Since the price of ETH fluctuates constantly (similar to Bitcoin), you should choose a U.S. dollar amount (e.g., $250) and invest that much.
Connect Your Ethereum Wallet to an NFT Marketplace
Next, you choose a marketplace to mint and list NFTs. Each has its learning curve, and not all integrate with every wallet. Research each marketplace to see if you can use it with your Ethereum wallet.
Some popular NFT marketplaces include:
OpenSea is the largest marketplace, while Rarible is the most beginner-friendly. Some marketplaces, such as SuperRare, only accept curated digital artists for high-quality collections.
Check to see what kind of content is popular on the different marketplaces to see which one you’d have the most success with. You might need to submit an application to publish your work on some of them.
If you don’t get accepted by something like Nifty Gateway, you can always fall back on OpenSea.
Most platforms will have a page where you can link your crypto wallet directly. Create an account on the marketplace, sign in to your wallet account, and watch them connect.
Making the NFT
Now it’s time to make the art piece you will sell as an NFT.
Create a Digital Art File
Once you select the correct marketplace for your creative niche, you just have to create a digital file for your crypto art.
You can monetize GIF, TXT, JPG, MP3, and PNG files. You can make an NFT out of a unique recipe, funny meme, video screenshot, lyrics, melody, composition, drawing, or even something you made on Microsoft Paint as a child.
The possibilities are endless. That doesn’t guarantee that a curated marketplace will accept it or that someone will buy it, but you can turn almost any original content into NFT artwork.
List Your NFT on a Marketplace
On the marketplace’s platform, navigate to where you can create or upload an NFT. You can mint your work as a collection or a one-of-one piece. With collections, you’d sell the same item several times.
One-off works typically fare better due to their rarity. Many people prefer to own a unique piece of art.
Then, you add the name of your piece, a description, and the price. You will pay any fees associated with making the NFT and confirm the information. Now, your art is on the marketplace.
You could list it at a fixed price for someone to purchase instantly. Or, you could choose an auction where the highest bidder will win the art. If you’ve ever used eBay, it is a similar process to that.
Make sure to choose a minimum price that will result in a profit once you account for fees. However, you won’t want to choose a price so high that it detracts potential bidders.
Keep in mind that the gas fees associated with Ethereum fluctuate daily, and you may end up paying more than your NFT is worth. Check the NFT Gas Station tool to see the live fees before you submit your work to ensure you enter it at a price you can afford.
If you do not have enough Ether in your wallet to cover the gas fees, you can sometimes add funds within the marketplace. Some of the charges associated with selling NFTs include:
You cannot sell NFTs for free, so make sure you are in good financial standing before breaking into this business.
Wait for Someone to Place a Bid
Now, you just have to wait for someone to bid on your NFT. Many platforms require you to manually check for bids rather than sending a notification.
Depending on the size of the marketplace, you will likely have to market your listings. Most platforms have communities where you can promote your work, but you can also advertise on social media.
One way to boost your presence is by collaborating with a charitable organization. People might be more likely to buy your NFT without knowing who you are if some of the money goes to a cause they care about.
Best Paid and Free Programs to Make NFTs
Making high-quality NFTs typically requires digital art software. You can opt for free or paid programs to start your design.
Adobe Photoshop – Paid
This classic software has helped people design digital art for ages. You can manipulate photos you take to change their mood or design something unique from scratch.
People love Adobe Photoshop for its extensive features. You create layers on your piece which you can shape, refine, color, and tweak to your heart’s delight.
Most users retouch their photos with Adobe Photoshop.
Also, its popularity means you can find countless free tutorials on how to use it. You do need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription to continue using the software, but they do offer free trials.
Affinity Designer – Paid
With Affinity Designer, you can create original digital art pixel-by-pixel. They let you zoom in 1,000,000 times to draw and edit every spot of your work to perfection.
Affinity Designer has tons of advanced features and effects to readily create new artwork. They offer plenty of grids, lines, and operations to add symmetry and balance to your piece.
Also, Affinity Designer is budget-friendly and only requires a one-time payment.
ArtRage 6 – Paid
ArtRage 6 is a popular digital art software that lets you create realistic paintings and sketches that mimic traditional artwork.
Some of their best tools include watercolor, oil, adjustable selection, brushes, pencils, pattern, gradient fill, layouts, grids, masking, composition, and filters. You can craft an original artwork easily and screen-record the process for your YouTube channel.
You can try the free trial to see if you like the software and then pay a one-time payment. They have a cheaper ArtRage Lite that has fewer features but much of the same functionality as the full version.
CorelDRAW – Paid
CorelDRAW is another digital art software designed for artists. They have comprehensive tools and frequently updated features, keeping them state of the art.
You can explore their filters, the asymmetry drawing board, vector illustration tools, pointilizer, and AfterShot 3 HDR to create a special artwork. This graphics suite helps you make original designs, edit photos, work with typography, and even collaborate.
You can go for the free trial software, pay a monthly or annual fee, or go for a one-time purchase. However, the one-time purchase does not include updates.
GIMP – Free
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is an open-source image editor that you can customize to create digital art.
Since it’s open-source, people design updates and add-ons for the service that you can pay for or download for free. It does have a higher learning curve than many of the other options, but you can use GIMP for photo manipulation, graphic design, or digital art.
If you have experience in coding with C, Perl, Scheme, C++, or Python, you can evenwrite a script to generate art automatically.
Kapwing – Free or Paid
Kapwing has extensive free features to make various NFTs. They are known for their collaborative video software, but you can also make memes, GIFs, collages, and original PNGs.
They offer templates to give you a basis for your artwork. If you want, you can upload your videos and images to edit on the website as well.
The biggest difference between the Free and Pro versions is the storage space. You can make significantly more content with the Pro version, but you can still access all of the tools for free.
Manga Studio – Paid
If you’re into manga, comics, or graphic art, consider Manga Studio. There are three different programs within Manga Studio that might be of interest to you.
Manga Studio 5 lets you enhance your hand-drawn illustrations, while Manga Studio EX5 lets you design your art completely digitally. CLIP Studio Paint Pro works the same, but you get free online updates.
Some other features of Manga Studio products include:
- Panel builders
- Perspective rulers
- Vectors and rasters
- Japanese manga pens
- 3D pose references
- Speech balloons
The price varies based on availability.
Pixlr – Free
Pixlr is a free web tool that helps you edit your images with filters, layers, and stickers to create easy art pieces. You can readily navigate the website to explore its features and make playful edits.
While not advanced software, it is the most beginner-friendly on the list. And since it’s completely free, you can always use it in addition to one of the more challenging programs.
Sketchbook – Free or Paid
Sketchbook is a user-friendly program that lets you make digital art from scratch. They have innovative drawing tools that work best with a touch base device. Also, you can scan traditional artwork to manipulate with the program.
You can use Sketchbook on your desktop or mobile devices. It’s one of the more affordable options, and you can use the mobile version for free.
Keep in mind that it works best for those skilled in sketching already.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions concerning how to make an NFT.
Can a Photo Be an NFT?
Yes, a photo can be an NFT if uploaded in a compatible file type.
How Do I Make NFT Art for Free?
You can make your art for free by using one of the free programs above. You can also create NFTs from text files, videos, photos, or songs.
However, you cannot mint and upload an NFT to a marketplace for free. Someone has to pay Ether to get it on the website.
If you’re a creative person with some start-up capital, consider making your own NFT. You can make one out of anything and list it on a marketplace as long as you have some Ethereum.
By understanding NFTs and the types of people interested in them, you can start minting them regularly. Some people have found massive success from non-fungible tokens.