A guide written by Laura, our Custom Shop Manager.
You’ve got questions. I’ve got the who, what, where, why and when. If I’m missing anything you are dying to know, please contact me.
First – Why HipKraft?
How We Excel
I love this question and could go on and on (but I’ll try not to). Here are the areas in which I believe we excel:
- Quality is our #1 goal. Sounds cheesy, but we take great pride in our design work, and the product selections we offer.
- Our cutting-edge visualization technology gives you beautiful, virtual design proofs, a prototype of the actual design which helps you see how your design will look on the actual garment, before you order.
- We have a very low initial minimum order of just 3 pieces. We’re happy to work with individuals needing just a small number all the way up to schools and organizations who buy hundreds at a time. We treat every Client and project with our full attention.
- We use the latest and greatest robotic rhinestone and glitter cutting machines, so your designs are made perfectly. No wobbly lines or homemade-looking designs here!
- Lastly, customer service is very important to us and you will work with a real person who “knows their stuff.” We are a small company made up of a great team. You will be treated with the utmost importance in a genuine manner.
STARTING OUT WITH A NEW CUSTOM PROJECT
What do you consider “Custom?”
If we create a new design for you, at your request, to your requirements, that’s a custom project. We also have 1,000+ “stock” designs, many of which can be customized, but if you need something special made just for you, that’s where my Custom team comes in. Upon submitting your project request, you’ll get assigned a dedicated Project Manager (it might be me), and I’ll guide you through everything we’ll do to make your idea a “rhinestone reality.”
What’s your ordering process in a nutshell?
- Submit a project request – tell us what you want your design to be like – and pay a one-time $9.95 design fee (why the fee?)
- You’ll work with a dedicated Project Manager (PM) like me. Your PM will work with our Designers on your behalf to create your design, and answer any questions you may have along the way.
- Viewing and ordering: We’ll post your design to our web site and send you a special link to view and order it from online. It’s that easy!
ABOUT DESIGNS, MATERIALS, AND OPTIONS
What do you make custom bling products from? Which design materials do you offer?
You can choose from
- Rhinestones (glass);
- Rhinestuds (metal);
- Glitter vinyl (very sparkly, will not come off on your hands or in the wash);
- Flat vinyl (non-sparkly);
- Many combinations of these mediums are also possible
Please check out our complete selection of rhinestone, rhinestud and glitter vinyl colors here in our Online Lookbook.
Do you silkscreen?
Yes, but as with most silkscreeners, it is really only affordable once you’re ordering at least a few dozen shirts at a time. So, different quantity minimums apply depending on your exact project. Note, silkscreening CAN be combined with rhinestones! Pricing varies by project, please contact us for more info.
What about digital (direct-to-garment/DTG) printing?
We have partnered with Amazon.com and they will digitally print full color designs on a limited selection of t-shirts. Contact us for more info.
Do you embroider (with thread)?
Not at this time.
What is the difference between rhinestones and rhinestuds?
Our rhinestones (stones) are made of glass and are very sparkly.
Our rhinestuds (studs) are made of metal. Rather than refracting the light, they reflect it, and depending on the color, may be even brighter than rhinestones. They come in lots more cool colors!
It is very common to have a design that uses a mix of stones and studs.
Please check with your Project Manager to help you determine which material best matches the design colors you are in need of. And refer to our Online Lookbook for the menu of rhinestone and rhinestud color choices.
What type of rhinestones do you use?
We use an excellent quality glass rhinestone produced in South Korea that we are very proud of. They aren’t Swarovski, but they aren’t cheap stones either like you see in so many stores or from other rhinestone companies these days. We warrant them to last as long as the garment. They are a great balance of quality and value. And unlike more and more “Korean” stones that everyone advertises, ours actually ARE made in Korea – others’ “Korean” stones are actually made in China these days, and there’s a big difference in quality. Simply put, our stones are expensive – but we have such awesome buying power that it doesn’t increase your costs… it just gets you a shinier shirt that’ll last longer.
(Note: There are just a few colors – Fuchsia and AB Crystal – that aren’t produced in Korea, but we use the best quality stone we can find for those colors).
What are “AB” rhinestones and do you offer them?
“AB” stands for Abalone (some say it stands for “Aurora Borealis”). Anyway, they are an iridescent rhinestone that mixes in some color into the crystal stones. We do have AB stones in the crystal color!
Do you offer Swarovski rhinestones?
No. The truth is, we don’t need to. Fewer than 1% of customers inquire about using Swarovski. Prices would be more than double if we did. Our stones are so good, from any distance there’s not enough difference to warrant the increase in cost.
What is this glitter vinyl you keep referring to?
It is literally a sheet of adhesive-backed glitter that’s really sparkly. It’s cut using a robotic cutter then heat pressed onto your items. It looks like a very solid, professional layer of glitter, but it won’t come off on your clothes or hands, and it provides a unique, trendy look to your design. It usually doesn’t cost more to use glitter, or even a glitter + rhinestone combination.
Can I add a back and/or sleeve design to my shirt?
Yes. Back designs, for example adding your kid’s name and/or number, generally start at an additional $9.50 per shirt.
Sleeve designs are generally an extra $7.50 per sleeve, per shirt.
Actual price depends on the complexity of the design(s) and your Project Manager will be happy to give you a quote.
Where can I see some examples of your work before I start a project?
We love showing off our work because we are proud of it and we have the pleasure of making our Clients very happy. We have many designs at the bottom of our Custom Shop page, under the “Design Ideas & Templates” section.
Here is another gallery.
And here are some examples of customer-provided artwork we redesigned in rhinestones or glitter.
ABOUT Our SHIRTS & OTHER PRODUCTS
What products do you offer that you can decorate?
You name it — here is a list to start…adult and youth shirts, tank tops, polo shirts, hoodies, jackets, sweatshirts, jerseys, baseball-style tees, pants, pajamas, hats, visors, tote bags, duffel bags, canvas wine bags, scarves, socks, headbands, blankets, towels, aprons, infant/toddler wear, and last but not least you can always order just the iron-on transfers and apply them to your own items.
You can access our most popular apparel styles using this example design. There are other non-shirt items there too, including tote bags, hats, iron-on transfers, blankets, etc.
When you send us a project, we’ll e-mail you a link to your custom design and you can see how it looks, virtually, on about 40 different products and colors.
Lastly, you can also browse and choose apparel from our extended catalog — ask your Project for pricing and availability. Here is a link to our extended catalog:
Can I see my design before I order it?
Yes! We’d never sell you something without you seeing and approving it first! You will receive a virtual design proof (via email) you can use to view and approve before you pay for your order. Design creation time is typically 3 business days.
I ordered a custom design from HipKraft years ago, do you still have it on file or do I need to start over?
Don’t worry, we still have it! We keep all designs on file forever. Just contact us and we can help you order more shirts.
Can I mix and match shirts in my order?
Absolutely yes. As long as the design is exactly the same for all items, you can pretty much mix and match to your heart’s content. Including adult shirts, youth shirts, tank tops, hoodies, v-necks, crew necks, scoop necks, long sleeves, short sleeves, different shirt colors, tote bags, blankets even iron-on transfers count toward your total quantity per order, to get the best quantity discounts.
Where can I find size charts?
Each and every one of our most popular apparel styles includes its own size chart. You will be able to see size charts on your design proof page. (found when you scroll down, next to the Pricing section).
If you need a size chart for any particular item that isn’t listed, please ask your Project Manager and they will get it for you.
Do you offer shirt sizes larger than X-Large, and do they cost more?
Yes we do! We have Ladies’ apparel that goes up to 3XL and Unisex apparel that goes up to 6XL. Generally, size 2XL add $2+ each; size 3XL add $3+ each; size 4XL add $4 each, etc. Exact pricing will depend on apparel style.
Do I need to hand-wash my shirt?
No way. Well, only if you prefer to. But it is definitely not necessary. Our shirts can be put in the washer. We do recommend line drying to help preserve the garment and to prevent shrinkage.
ALL ABOUT COSTS
Your pricing is published online – that’s great! What does your published pricing include?
It includes the product/garment + one design on either the front or back.
The published pricing is good for one “typical” custom design, using up to 1,200 rhinestones and up to 3 rhinestone colors. Or, for one design using 1 glitter color + up to 2 rhinestone colors (rhinestones staying within 1,200 elements).
Back and sleeve designs are extra.
There’s a small $9.95 Design charge to get started on a custom design. Why?
This small charge really works FOR you. When we started charging upfront for design work a few years ago, we found that only the “serious” customers requested designs, and we were able to eliminate so much wasted design work for projects that weren’t really going to ever be sold, that we were able to lower the price of our products greatly.
In other words, it means we’re devoting our Designers to only those customers who are likely to actually buy, and we figured this saved so much money that the average price per shirt dropped by about $10!
Are there quantity discounts?
Absolutely! Pricing goes down when you order:
- 3-23 pieces
- 24-95 pieces
- 96+ pieces
- Check out our published price list.
What’s the minimum order?
On your FIRST order of a new design, it’s 3 pieces, mix and match. After that, orders can be any size, even 1 piece. Pricing is based on how many items are ordered per order, so the more you order, the lower the price will be. See above.
What other charges might apply?
Additional charges that may apply to your order could potentially be:
- Revision charges: One minor revision is included free of charge (such as changing a color). Any major revisions or major color changes are charged at a rate of $5-$15 per revision, depending on what the revision is. If it is an error on HipKraft’s part, we will revise your design at no charge to you.
- Additional designs: There is one $9.95 Design charge per each new design we create for you, assuming it is a “standard” complexity design. If you request that 2 or 3 designs be created, each would have its own $9.95 Design charge, which would need to be paid prior to us starting work on it.
- Design complexity: If your design exceeds 1,200 rhinestones, there is a premium added, generally about an extra $1 per extra 100 rhinestones over the first 1,200.
- If your design uses 2 or more glitter or vinyl colors, there is an automatic premium per shirt. The premium is due to the extra Design work, production time, material and manual labor necessary to process glitter and vinyl designs.
- Design colors: If your design exceeds 3 colors, there is an automatic premium of $1 per extra color over the first 3 colors.
- Shirt sizes: Sizes above XL have an automatic charge: Size 2XL are generally $2+ more each; size 3XL add $3+ each; size 4XL add $4 each; size 5XL add $5 each; size 6XL add $6 each
- Rush charges: 25-50% + expedited shipping based on how soon you need it, if sooner than the typical 2-3 weeks from start to delivery;
- Shipping: Our current shipping pricing is: $4.99 for item #1, plus an additional $0.50 per item over the first. Expedited shipping would require additional charges.
How long will it take to receive my order?
Normal production time for custom orders up to 50 items is 7-10 business days, plus standard shipping time, from the day the invoice/order is paid in full.
For custom orders >50 items, normal production time is 10-14 business days, plus standard shipping time, from the day the invoice/order is paid in full.
What if I need a rush?
We do offer rush orders. Generally expect a rush charge of 25-50%, plus expedited shipping, depending on how soon you need your order in hand. Ask your Project Manager for a quote on a rush order.
Is expedited shipping an option?
Yes. For retail orders, when you check out, you can select expedited shipping under Shipping for an additional charge. For custom orders, the same expedited shipping option is available if you order directly online, or, ask your Project Manager for shipping options and pricing.
SHOULD I BUY COMPLETED PRODUCTS, OR DIY WITH IRON-ON TRANSFERS?
What are iron-on transfers?
A “transfer” is the design itself, which comes on a plastic backing until you apply it to any garment of your choosing.
(Please note, transfers cannot be used on items with even 1% nylon in them, as the nylon can melt under the heat. Also not suitable for silk or any item that can’t take the heat of an iron)
How do I apply my iron-on transfer?
HELP AND CONTACT
How do I contact someone who can help me?
Here’s our contact page, with the info you need. Or if you would like to get started on a new project, you can always fill out the Start a New Project form and someone from our team will contact you within 24 hours.
Where is HipKraft located?
We’re headquartered in America’s best place to live, Meridian, Idaho (near Boise), and that’s where all our production happens. Me personally? I live and work in Portland, Oregon.