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Michael Bogan
Michael Bogan

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Empowering Digital Creators: A Technical Guide on How to Create an NFT (Digital Collectible) to say “Thank You”

Let’s walk through the process of creating a digital collectible (or NFT) on Ethereum using Infura and Truffle.


For years, creators have been at the mercy of platforms. Historically these platforms have not only taken 50% (or more) of a creator’s revenue, but they have also locked down the communications between creators and their fans.

In this article we’ll look at a way to bypass this centralized control and connect with fans without an intermediary. Using Infura, Ethereum/Smart Contracts, and Next, we’ll create an app that allows creators to accept tips from fans and then directly reward those fans with your own “Thank You” NFT (non-fungible token) and digital collectible that can be displayed, traded, sold, and collected.

It’s a great way to reward fans—and to keep the control in the hands of the creators! Let’s start building.

What We’re Building

This tutorial is divided into two parts.

In the first part, we’ll walk through a step-by-step guide and deploy a smart contract using Solidity, Infura, and Truffle that will create the digital collectible on the Ethereum Blockchain Goerli test network. (We’ll use the test network to save on costs—but it can easily be deployed to mainnet when you are ready.)

In the second part, we’ll deploy a Next app that interfaces with our contract. It will allow anyone in the world to donate money (using a MetaMask wallet) in exchange for the “Thank You” collectible. This collectible can be bought, sold, and traded on popular NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.

If you need an intro to any of these concepts, or a primer on how to code in Solidity, ConsenSys has a good collection of beginner tutorials.

Part 1: Build the Smart Contract with Infura and Truffle

Step 1: Install npm and Node

We will build our project using Node and npm. In case you don't have these installed on your local machine, you can do so here.

To ensure everything is working correctly, run the following command:

$ node -v
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If all goes well, you should see a version number for node.

Step 2: Sign Up for an Infura Account

In order to deploy our contract to the Goerli network (and eventually to a mainnet), we will need an Infura account. Infura gives us access to RPC endpoints that, in turn, allow for fast, reliable, and easy access to the blockchain of our choice (in our case, Ethereum).

Sign up for a free account here. Once you’ve created your account, navigate to the dashboard and select Create New Key.

For network, choose Web3 API and name it Thank You NFT.

Once you click on Create, Infura will generate an API key for you and give you RPC endpoints to Ethereum, L2s, and non-EVM L1s (and their corresponding testnets) automatically.

For this tutorial, we are only interested in the Ethereum Goerli RPC endpoint. This URL is of the form←API KEY→

Step 3: Create a MetaMask Crypto Wallet and Get goerliETH from a Faucet

In order to deploy our contract, we are required to have a wallet with enough tokens to pay for gas. Gas is used to pay for transaction fees on Ethereum—in this case, the deployment of our contract to the blockchain. On mainnet, you would need the cryptocurrency ETH. But since we are deploying on a testnet, we can use goerliETH - which is free.

In case you haven’t already, install the MetaMask extension on your favorite browser and follow the instructions carefully to set up your new wallet. MetaMask is the most popular and easy-to-use self-custodial digital wallet in the world.

As part of the setup, you will be given a 12-word mnemonic to keep your wallet safe (as well as to generate private keys for your wallets). Keep this handy. We will need it in a later step.

Finally, acquire some test goerliETH tokens from the Infura faucet. Once this is done, you should be able to see a small amount of goerliETH in your MetaMask wallet when you switch to the Goerli test network.

Step 4: Create a Node Project and Install Dependencies

Let's set up an empty project repository by running the following commands:

$ mkdir ty-nft && cd ty-nft
$ npm init -y
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We will be using Truffle, a world class development environment and testing framework for EVM smart contracts, to build and deploy our smart contract. Install Truffle by running:

$ npm install —save truffle
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We can now create a bare-bones Truffle project by running the following command:

$ npx truffle init
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To check if everything works properly, run:

$ npx truffle test
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We now have Truffle successfully configured. Next, let’s install the OpenZeppelin contracts package. This package will give us access to the ERC-721 base implementation as well as a few helpful additional functionalities. ERC-721 is the open standard that defines how to build NFTs on Ethereum.

$ npm install @openzeppelin/contracts
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To allow Truffle to use our MetaMask wallet, sign transactions, and pay gas fees on our behalf, we will need another package called hdwalletprovider. Install it by using the following command:

$ npm install @truffle/hdwallet-provider
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Finally, in order to keep our sensitive wallet protected and RPC endpoint information safe, we will use the dotenv package

$ npm install dotenv
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Step 5: Create your NFT Collection

Now let’s create the smart contract that controls our NFT creation. Open the project repository in your favorite code editor (e.g. VS Code). In the contracts folder, create a new file called ThankYouNft.sol.

(quick note - ConsenSys/Infura just released a new NFT API that makes creating NFTs really easy and can replace some of these steps)

We’re going to write an ERC-721 contract that has the following functionality:

  1. The ability for anyone to mint an NFT in exchange for a donation amount (greater than or equal to a certain minimum).
  2. The ability for the owner (or creator) to withdraw any money sent to the contract as a donation.
  3. The SVG image and associated metadata of all Thank You NFTs stored on-chain.

Add the following code to ThankYouNft.sol.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
pragma solidity ^0.8.9;

import "@openzeppelin/contracts/token/ERC721/ERC721.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/token/ERC721/extensions/ERC721Enumerable.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/token/ERC721/extensions/ERC721URIStorage.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/access/Ownable.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Counters.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Base64.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Strings.sol";

contract ThankYouNft is ERC721, ERC721Enumerable, ERC721URIStorage, Ownable {
    using Counters for Counters.Counter;

    Counters.Counter private _tokenIds;

    // Define a Donation object
    struct Donation {
        uint id;
        uint amount;
        address donor;
        string donorName;

    Donation[] donations;

    constructor() ERC721("Thank You NFT", "TYN") {}

    // Donate money and mint thank you NFT
    function mintThankYou(string memory donorName) public payable {
        require(msg.value >= 0.001 ether, "Smallest donation is 0.001 ETH");

        string memory metadata = generateMetadata(_tokenIds.current(), donorName);
        donations.push(Donation(_tokenIds.current(), msg.value, msg.sender, donorName));

    // Generate NFT metadata
    function generateMetadata(uint tokenId, string memory donorName) public pure returns (string memory) {
        string memory svg = string(abi.encodePacked(
            "<svg xmlns='' preserveAspectRatio='xMinyMin meet' viewBox='0 0 350 350'>",
            "<style>.base { fill: white; font-family: serif; font-size: 25px; }</style>",
            "<rect width='100%' height='100%' fill='orange' />",
            "<text x='50%' y='40%' class='base' dominant-baseline='middle' text-anchor='middle'>",
            "<tspan y='40%' x='50%'>Thank You for Donating!</tspan>",
            "<tspan y='50%' x='50%'>",

        string memory json = Base64.encode(
                        '{"name": "Thank You NFT #',
                        '", "description": "A token of thanks for donating!", "image": "data:image/svg+xml;base64,',
                        '", "attributes": [{"trait_type": "Donor", "value": "',

        string memory metadata = string(
            abi.encodePacked("data:application/json;base64,", json)

        return metadata;

    // Mint a single NFT with on-chain metadata
    function _mintSingleNft(string memory _tokenURI) private {
        uint newTokenID = _tokenIds.current();
        _safeMint(msg.sender, newTokenID);
        _setTokenURI(newTokenID, _tokenURI);

    // Get tokens of an owner
    function tokensOfOwner(address _owner) external view returns (uint[] memory) {

        uint tokenCount = balanceOf(_owner);
        uint[] memory tokensId = new uint256[](tokenCount);

        for (uint i = 0; i < tokenCount; i++) {
            tokensId[i] = tokenOfOwnerByIndex(_owner, i);
        return tokensId;

    // Withdraw ether donations made 
    function withdraw() public payable onlyOwner {
        uint balance = address(this).balance;
        require(balance > 0, "No ether left to withdraw");

        (bool success, ) = (msg.sender).call{value: balance}("");
        require(success, "Transfer failed.");

    // The following functions are overrides required by Solidity.

    function _beforeTokenTransfer(address from, address to, uint256 tokenId, uint256 batchSize)
        override(ERC721, ERC721Enumerable)
        super._beforeTokenTransfer(from, to, tokenId, batchSize);

    function _burn(uint256 tokenId) internal override(ERC721, ERC721URIStorage) {

    function tokenURI(uint256 tokenId)
        override(ERC721, ERC721URIStorage)
        returns (string memory)
        return super.tokenURI(tokenId);

    function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId)
        override(ERC721, ERC721Enumerable)
        returns (bool)
        return super.supportsInterface(interfaceId);
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Make sure the contract is compiling correctly by running:

npx truffle compile
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Step 6: Update Truffle Config and Create a .env File

Create a new file in the project’s root directory called .env and add the following contents:

MNEMONIC = "<Your-MetaMask-Secret-Recovery-Phrase>"
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Next, let’s add information about our wallet, the Infura RPC endpoint, and the Goerli network to our Truffle config file. Replace the contents of truffle.config.js with the following:

const HDWalletProvider = require('@truffle/hdwallet-provider');
const { INFURA_API_KEY, MNEMONIC } = process.env;

module.exports = {
  networks: {
    development: {
      host: "",
      port: 8545,
      network_id: "*"
    goerli: {
      provider: () => new HDWalletProvider(MNEMONIC, INFURA_API_KEY),
      network_id: '5',
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Step 7: Deploy the Contract

Let us now write a script to deploy our contract to the Goerli blockchain.

In the migrations folder, create a new file called 1_deploy_contract.js and add the following code:

// Get instance of the NFT contract
const nftContract = artifacts.require("ThankYouNft");

module.exports = function (deployer) {
    // Deploy the contract
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We’re all set! Deploy the contract by running the following command:

truffle migrate --network goerli
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If all goes well, you should see output (containing the contract address) that looks something like this:

Starting migrations...
> Network name:    'goerli'
> Network id:      5
> Block gas limit: 30000000 (0x1c9c380)


   Deploying 'ThankYouNft'
   > transaction hash:    0x0a4fabe13a2c62e335486dc8359eecbe8b1432e5ab7a162e6bd9a167036cdcd4
   > Blocks: 2            Seconds: 33
   > contract address:    0x4EBC03568822c4Af39ca02002C3771Ae4e8bb3ED
   > block number:        8641567
   > block timestamp:     1678616928
   > account:             0xc361Fc33b99F88612257ac8cC2d852A5CEe0E217
   > balance:             0.734846151579135017
   > gas used:            4108239 (0x3eafcf)
   > gas price:           29.254126274 gwei
   > value sent:          0 ETH
   > total cost:          0.120182942469771486 ETH

   > Saving artifacts
   > Total cost:     0.120182942469771486 ETH

> Total deployments:   1
> Final cost:          0.120182942469771486 ETH
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You can search for your contract address on Goerli etherscan and see it live.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully deployed the contract to Goerli.

Now let’s deploy a Next frontend that interfaces with the contract and allows anyone to call the mintThankYou function to make a donation and mint the digital collectible for themselves.

Part 2: The Frontend

Step 1: Download Boilerplate Code and Install Dependencies

We already have a boilerplate repository available for you to download. This implements certain standard functionality such as connect wallet.

Download or clone the repository from here:

Next, open the repository in your terminal and run:

npm install
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This will install all necessary dependencies and set up a Next app for you.

Step 2: Add ABI File and Constants

Open this repository in your favorite code editor and create a new folder called contracts.

Go back to the repository in Part 1 and copy the ThankYouNft.json file available in the build folder, then paste it in the aforementioned contracts folder. This is the contract ABI (basically, the interface) which will be important while invoking functions on it.

Next, create a folder called data and in it, create a file called constants.js with the following information:

const apiKey = "<-- INFURA API KEY –>";
const ownerAddress = "<-- Wallet address –>";
const contractAddress = "<-- Address of deployed NFT contract from Part 1 –>";

export { apiKey, ownerAddress, contractAddress }
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Step 3: Populate the index.js File

We can now write the crux of our app in the index.js file, which will enable creating NFTs.

Once users have connected their wallet to our app, they will be able to see a form where they’ll be asked to input their name and donation amount. Once they do this, they can initiate the donation and NFT mint process.

Add the following code:

// Standard Next and CSS imports
import Head from "next/head";
import { Fragment, useState, useEffect } from "react";
import styles from "../styles/mainpage.module.css";
import { useRouter } from "next/router";

// Imports from the constants.js file
import { apiKey, contractAddress } from "@/data/constants";

// Wagmi import for connected wallet info
import { useAccount } from "wagmi";

// Ethers for invoking functions on smart contract
import { ethers } from 'ethers';

// Contract ABI import
import contract from '@/contracts/ThankYouNft.json';

// Extract ABI from the ABI JSON file
const abi = contract.abi;

export default function Home() {

  // Standard Next router definition
  const router = useRouter();

  // Get connected wallet address and connection status
  const { address, isConnected } = useAccount();

  // Donor name
  const [donorName, setDonorName] = useState(null);

  // Tip amount
  const [amount, setAmount] = useState(null);

  // Page mounting info to prevent hydration errors
  const [hasMounted, setHasMounted] = useState(false);

  // Minting state
  const [isMinting, setIsMinting] = useState(false);

  // Flag to check if minting has succeeded
  const [success, setSuccess] = useState(false);

  // Form error message
  const [formError, setFormError] = useState(null);

  // Mounting fix to avoid hydration errors
  useEffect(() => {
  }, []);

  // Do not render until entire UI is mounted  
  if (!hasMounted) return null;

  // Redirect to Connect page if wallet is not connected
  if (!isConnected) {

  // Handlers for form inputs
  const amountHandler = (e) => {

  const nameHandler = (e) => {

  // Mint function invoked when form is submitted
  const mintNft = async (e) => {


    // Basic check for correctness of data
    if (donorName.length === 0 || parseFloat(amount) < 0.001) {
      console.log("Incorrect form input");

    try {

      // Get MetaMask Ethereum instance
      const { ethereum } = window;

      if (ethereum) {

        // Reset states

        // Define provider, signer, and an instance of the contract
        const provider = new ethers.providers.Web3Provider(ethereum);
        const signer = provider.getSigner();
        const nftContract = new ethers.Contract(contractAddress, abi, signer);

        // Call the mint function
        console.log("Initialize payment");
        let nftTxn = await nftContract.mintThankYou("Satoshi", { value: ethers.utils.parseEther('0.001') });

        console.log("Mining... please wait");
        await nftTxn.wait();

        console.log(`Mined, see transaction:${nftTxn.hash}`);

        // Set final states
      } else {
        console.log("Ethereum object does not exist");

    } catch (err) {

      // Something wrong has happened. Set error and minting states

  return (
        <title>Tip and Mint a Thank You NFT!</title>

      <div className={styles.jumbotron}>

        <h1>Tip and Mint a Thank You NFT!</h1>

        {/* Main Form */}
        <form onSubmit={mintNft} className={styles.mint_form}>
          <input type="text" id="name" name="name" placeholder="Your Name" onChange={nameHandler} value={donorName} />
          <input type="number" id="amount" name="amount" min={0.001} placeholder="Donation Amount in ETH (min 0.001 ETH)" onChange={amountHandler} value={amount} step={0.001} />
          <button type="submit">

        {/* Helpful messages for end user to know what's going on */}
        {isMinting && <p>Your NFT is minting...</p>}
        {success && <p>Thank you for your donation! Check out your NFT on OpenSea!</p>}
        {formError && <p>Something went wrong! Try again.</p>}
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We’re all set! Let’s deploy this app to localhost by running:

npm run dev
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Once you connect your wallet and complete the minting process, you should see a success message at the bottom that looks something like this.

You now have your own NFT! You can now search for your wallet address or the contract address on the NFT platform OpenSea. This will allow you to view your NFT and the corresponding collection.


Digital Collectibles (NFTs) have massive potential to revolutionize the creator economy and put the power directly into the hands of the creators and their fans.

Using the app that we built with the ConsenSys suite (Infura, Truffle, and MetaMask), creators can get tips from around the world, withdraw those amounts at any time, not pay commissions, and create a digital collectible that directly connects them with their fans.

And this was just a start! Check out more information on Ethereum, smart contracts, and the digital collectible/NFT world.

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