Monday, December 28, 2015

How to become a Craftsy instructor

In this post I'm specifically trying to encourage more tatting teachers to think about teaching a course on Craftsy, but the information here will apply to any craft subject.

So, first of all, if you don't already have a Craftsy account, sign up at
You'll need to watch some Craftsy classes to get an idea of how the course platform functions. Watch several classes to observe different teaching styles. Some mini-classes are free, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn from those, too.

So, if you're thinking, "I could teach a Craftsy class!", the next step would be to prepare a plan of what you would like to teach. At the time of this writing, Craftsy's standard class format is 7 lessons, with each lesson lasting about 20 minutes. You don't need 7 different projects, but should take photos of what each lesson will be covering.

Go to the "How to Become a Craftsy Instructor" page on Craftsy, and click on the course proposal form link. Fill out the form, and submit it!

Some of the facts Craftsy will want to know about you is whether you have a blog, Facebook page, website, email list, or anything that shows you have followers that like your work. They will want to see photos of things that you've made, using skills related to your course proposal. If you have experience teaching classes at live events, be sure to tell them that and provide photos if possible. If you've written books or had your work published in magazines, that's a plus. Basically, they need evidence that you've developed a high level of skill, that you have enthusiasm for teaching it to others, and that people will want to buy your class.

Not all proposals are accepted.
But hey! Supposing Craftsy likes your proposal and accepts it! What happens next?

You will receive emails from a Craftsy contact person, with a formal title like "acquisitions editor" or "content editor". They will set up a convenient time to telephone you, and will help you through the process of preparing your class for the 3 day video shoot at their studios in Denver, Colorado. You'll also be sent a contract to sign.

Craftsy pays for your flight to Denver plus hotel accommodations for the 3 day video shoot, They will help with the travel planning. They'll also pay for any supplies that you need to purchase for your projects that you'll be demonstrating in your class. You'll need to submit the receipts for the supplies to be reimbursed for them.

An important task is to prepare "step outs", or projects partially completed, up to each step in the lessons that you'll be teaching. The reason is so that valuable studio time isn't spent waiting while you finish something. Basically, if something takes you more than a few minutes to do, you'll need to prepare another step out to that part of the project.

You'll also need to prepare patterns for the class projects, as part of the downloadable course materials.

When you get to the Craftsy studios you'll be given star treatment! They even have a professional makeup artist to get you camera ready! It may seem like a ton of makeup, but it's just enough for the camera work. The makeup artist will style your hair, too.

Showtime! Don't worry that you have to do everything perfectly in one take. The camera crew are super-nice people and will work with you to get your class to look great!

After the video shoot is done, you go home happy, and wait for your class to be edited, which takes about 6 to 8 weeks. You'll be notified when your class goes live! After that, you need to answer any student questions that come up in your class. Instructors giving personalized responses to student questions is what makes Craftsy classes truly interactive.


Unknown said...

Are you paid for classes then?

Marilee Rockley said...

The payment is similar to book royalties, in that you receive a percentage of what people have paid for buying the class.

Knitnick said...

Thanks for this article, I was just wondering how one might begin to offer such a class. I have taught lots of things to lots of people, but just the other day a friend suggested I look at teaching for craftsy. Thanks again!

muskaan said...

Very instructive post. All that preparation, effort, discipline & organisation that goes into making a class !!!
Thanks for sharing :-)

Sally Kerson said...

Well I certainly do admire you Marilee for becoming a Craftsy Instructor, but not only that learning all about how you do everything is also very interesting. I do hope people will, after reading this become an instructor themselves.

Margarets designer cards said...

I found this so interesting, although I do teach at a local wool shop that has a teaching area, would I have the nerve to be in front of a camera, it looks so easy when you write it but doing can be quite different.
Having taken your course to learn new tatting technics that this old girl has now brought her tatting skills to the 21st century. I can see just hard you work for craftsy.
May you be a teacher on craftsy for many years to come.
Happy new year

max said...

Wonderful job !! Happy New Year

Madtatter80 said...

I may try this in the new year, Thank you for the wonderful instructions on how to be an instructor :) you are wonderful hugs from Carollyn!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful account of your amazing experience! I love your classes and I can't stop telling people to take them. (So worth it!) I hope we see another class (eventually) maybe something that uses some of the teaching materials you have used for conventions and retreats? It would be really neat for those of us who don't get the luxury of attending your classes in person???

Marilee Rockley said...

Thanks! I really hope other tatting teachers/artisans will become inspired to submit course proposals to Craftsy. There's a lot of tatting stuff that I don't know or don't really use in my own work, and to be honest, it's sort of lonely being the only tatting teacher on Craftsy. There are 96 quilting instructors, 68 knitting instructors, and 34 jewelry instructors, for example.