How to Make an NFT for Free

By Brad Jaeger  - Director of Content
9 Min Read

Rising in popularity over the past few years, it’s no surprise that many people are wondering how to start an NFT collection. But after that, the question we see asked the most is how to make an NFT for free—or, as cheap as possible. The good news if you’re reading this is that yes, in the right conditions and with the right tools and know-how, you can make an NFT for free by a process known as “lazy minting”. The bad news? You may not want to when you learn what you have to give up for that cost reduction.

In this article we’ll explain what lazy minting is and examine its pros and cons so you can see if it’s right for you. We’ll also share what we believe is a far more effective platform to help you keep costs low, but quality high.

What is Lazy Minting?

How to mint an NFT for free: A lazy rabbit lounging
lazy minting may not be exactly like this, but it’s pretty close

Lazy minting is, as the name suggests, not all that intensive. Put simply, it’s a manner of making NFTs in such a way that no minting fees are paid by the creator. This was popularized by the biggest NFT Marketplace, OpenSea (and is also possible on Rarible). Many artists and people experimenting with blockchain technology find this useful early on, as the cost can be a burden on people who are already unsure if their work will be sought after or if they even want to pursue NFTs. Lazy mints are designed to accommodate this by allowing users a way around any charges until the moment of purchase. At that time, it is the collector who pays the minting fee, not the creator.

But wait, you may be saying to yourself, “I’ve read a lot of articles that say lazy minting is free! Surely they can’t all be wrong!” Well, yeah they are, kinda. Or, more accurately, they’re only telling you half of the truth. It’s not so much that the entire process is free, but rather, that you’re just deferring the cost until later on and passing the charges onto your customers rather than yourself.

The Pros of Lazing Minting

Birds vacationing at the beach, because they know how to make an NFT for free
  • A simple solution for someone who wants to try selling a piece or two of their artwork as a NFT.
  • The creator effectively passes the gas fee that they would have paid to put their NFT on the blockchain from themselves onto the consumer.
  • On a platform like OpenSea, after a collection is created, the creator can add more NFTs to that collection without incurring any additional charges.
  • Safe and easy to set up when using a platform like OpenSea or Rarible.

The Cons of Lazy Minting

  • The consumer is burdened with your gas fees. Not only are they paying to buy your work, they’re technically paying to create your work.
  • Having an intermediary like a NFT marketplace handle your smart contract (what your NFTs use to interact in the space) means that you have less control over your work and what you can do with it.
  • In the case of the most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, there is still a one time cost to initialize your account, which is necessary to interact with their platform’s protocol (how OpenSea engages with your NFTs). So if your goal was how to make an NFT for free without paying literally anything, that will not be possible.
  • It is significantly more difficult for creators to establish the type of community they intend to foster, as they have no say in who purchases their NFT.
  • There’s a certain stigma that some people feel towards projects or artists who choose to lazy mint instead of doing it themselves.
  • Lazy minting is prohibitively time consuming if you’re trying to make a sizable collection rather than just a few pieces.

How to Make an NFT for Free With Launchpad

If you were keeping count, you probably noticed that we listed more cons than pros for lazy minting. Although it serves a specific niche, we believe that lazy minting through a marketplace is in most cases unnecessary. Here at HeyMint, we’re proud to have created all of the tools you need to create your dream NFT collection without any sacrifices.

Our no-code NFT and art generator, Launchpad, manages to blend the ease and convenience of lazy minting, with none of the drawbacks.

How to Make an NFT for Free: The deploy page on Launchpad's contract management dashboard
Launchpad’s contract management dashboard.

NFT Collections Made on Launchpad:

  • Are customized precisely to the creator’s wishes and require no technical experience or coding knowledge.
  • Support the same features and mechanics seen in all of the popular blue chip projects you love.
  • Have clear, step by step instructions.
  • Can build their own personalized mint page directly within Launchpad, or provide a mint button embed for your website.
  • Manage all aspects of your contract from the dashboard. This includes setting your private and public sale details, revealing your artwork, withdrawing funds, and more.
  • Use NFT art generation layer rules to create your NFT.
  • Enable you to preview how your collection will look by launching on a practice testnet before you spend a penny deploying it to Ethereum Mainnet.
  • Can handle allow lists, gifting, and airdrops to help build and reward your community.
  • Have smart contracts that are optimized and efficient, reducing unnecessary costs for creators and collectors alike.
  • Allow creators to split their revenue and royalties among as many wallets as they choose.
  • Supports market blocklisting, should you wish to disable marketplaces which do not honor creator royalties.
  • …and so much more!

Try Launchpad for yourself and see the difference that it makes!

Where Can I Go for More Help?

As we established, there’s no such thing as a “free” NFT. Whether creating it, minting it, transferring it, or collecting it, NFTs incur charges on the blockchain. Somebody has to pay. That’s just how the technology works.

If you go the lazy mint route and use a marketplace like OpenSea, you’ll still, at the bare minimum, pay an initialization charge the first time you interact with their platform. Depending on how you use the platform, you may also pay additional charges in setting up your collection.

If you use Launchpad, you won’t need to pay any initialization charges to use our platform. In fact, it’s possible to put your NFT collection out into the world, only paying the necessary cost of deploying your smart contract (this fee is not paid to Launchpad; it’s just how blockchains work). Thankfully, the cost of deploying a contract is not that expensive. Furthermore, in return, you are able to keep complete control of your work.

For a deep dive into all of the typical NFT collection costs (art, website, smart contract, etc.) you should check out our article, How Much Does It Cost to Make an NFT?

And that’s it! Not too difficult, eh? We’re so excited to see what NFTs you bring to the blockchain.

Until next time!

Further Reading

An image of a quill and paper

How to Start an NFT Collection
How to Create an ERC-721A NFT Collection With Launchpad
How to Create an ERC-1155 NFT Collection With Launchpad
How Much Does It Cost to Make an NFT?
NFT Art: 7 Reasons Why You Should Make It

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By Brad Jaeger Director of Content
Director of Content. Encouraging everyone to join web3. Father, husband, dad joke teller. 333🦉 bradjaeger.eth.