custom Christmas ornaments for special occasions, corporate gifts and events
Russell Rhodes custom Christmas ornaments can be created for any special event. We create custom ornaments in resin, blown glass, ceramic, and engraved styles. You can be as creative as you like; there is virtually no design limit as to what can be done. Custom orders are usually placed for 500 or more ornaments. If you're looking for a few dozen or more Christmas ornaments, click here: Bulk or Large Order Christmas Ornaments.
This current web page addresses custom Christmas ornaments typically ordered as 500 or more units. If this last description fits your needs, you're on the right page.
The Process for Making Custom Ornaments in Resin, Glass, or Ceramic
Most customers begin with a description of what they're looking for. Either you can hire an artist to render your ornament creation, or we will hire an artist to work with you. In this initial stage, three documents are produced:
1. A black and white line drawing of the ornament design.
2. A full-color drawing of the ornament.
3. A specifications sheet detailing ornament size and thickness, material, Pantone colors, and any special finishes like matte or glossy glaze, attached fabric or crystals, glitter, etc. The spec sheet also includes the custom packaging and final delivery details.
Phase one can be completed in as little as 10 days, but usually requires more time depending upon whether or not your organization requires approvals by committee, or whether or not one person can sign off on the details and is readily available. In short, the time requirement for Stage One is determined primarily by the client. The cost of Phase One is usually around $500.00, varying with the degree of difficulty of the design, quantity of requested edits, and how much time is required of the artist.
The line drawing is sent to a sculptor. We work with the sculptor making comments on the clay as it's developed. Once we like what we see, we email you photographs of the clay model for your comments. Any desired edits are made to the clay which is then finalized.
The clay model is sent to our studio. The appropriate type of mold is made, and an original sample is produced. We use the full-color rendering and the spec sheet to finish the initial sample. We send you a photo. Any edits can then be done to color and/or other finishes. Once finalized, we FedEx the initial sample to you for any final edits and final approval.
Phase Two usually takes approximately 3-4 weeks. If there are minimal edits, this phase can be as short as 10 days. The cost of this phase depends upon the intricacy and size of the required model. For example, an ornament that is just a simple purse, will require less sculptor time than a 8"H Santa ornament with an inset scene. As an estimate, the cost ranges from approximately $400.00 up to around $800.00
Once the sample has been approved, we move to production. Production has to be scheduled, preferably in advance of entering Phase One above so that we can arrange and dedicate the needed number of artisans and artists required to complete your project's quantity within the time frame needed. Typically, allow 2 months for production.
The minimum quantity for most custom ornament projects is 500 pieces. When determining your quantity, keep in mind that we have to purchase a minimum quantity of raw materials from clay, dye and other manufacturers. There's a point at which a smaller quantity becomes cost prohibitive because you still have to buy x amount of raw goods, a cost that gets borne across the total number of pieces. Occasionally, a client only wants 250 pieces and doesn't care that the lower quantity multiplies the per-piece cost by a factor of 2.3. For most people, however, a minimum quantity of 500 pieces will put the per-piece cost in a normative range. The following price ranges are general guidelines, as any custom project can be tremendously more simple or more complicated. These estimates represent more or less the median. These prices are in addition to the set-up and preparation steps above.
RESIN & CERAMIC: Most custom resin ornaments can be produced for $3.50-$4.00 each. To give you the high and low ranges: something very plain with 1-2 colors and no glitter might be able to be done for as low as $2.25 each. Something requiring glitter and some other special finish, with 6 different colors on it might cost closer to $5 each. Custom ceramic ornaments are usually in the same price range as resin.
GLASS: Most custom glass ornaments can be produced for $4.50 - $8.00 each.
Packaging and Shipping Costs
The above price ranges would usually include packaging. Packaging for custom Christmas ornaments can range from a simple bubble bag for each ornament, to a full-color box with a see-through window cut-out and special protective foam inserts. For these reasons, we offer the above "ranges". Obviously, buying bubble bags is cheaper than contracting with a foam factory, a box factory and a printer to make high-end packaging.
The above prices are pre-shipping prices. If ordering very large quantities, an ocean-going container can be a very inexpensive shipping method. For quite small (less than 5000 pieces) quantities, air freight is usually the best shipping method. Air freight is quoted at the time of shipment as the carriers frequently change their rates due to high competition. International air freight can range from adding as low as 30 cents per ornament for very small resin ornaments, to as high as $6.00 or more for large glass ornaments which require packaging that takes up a lot of cargo space to ensure minimal damage.
Custom Engraved Ornaments
If you like one of our in-stock glass pieces for your engraved ornaments, the process is quite simple. You send us artwork, we scan it in, make adjustments for the engraving, and send you a sample. Upon your approval, we produce the ornaments according to your design. Other than a small artwork set-up charge, there are no additional expenses beyond the ornament cost itself. Engraved pricing varies almost completely upon quantity. The higher the quantity, the more efficiency can be achieved, which translates to lower per-piece pricing. 100 or more custom engraved ornaments usually cost around $12.00-$14.00 each.
While most clients have their own logos or family photo or unique designs in mind when they contract to have a custom ornament created, we also receive requests for the kinds of things we have done in the past. For a large assortment of retired ornaments, check out our archived custom personalized ornaments designs for 100s of ideas and manufacturing material examples.
Time of Year / When to Order
Custom engraved ornaments can be ordered at any time of year. On the other hand, custom resin, glass and ceramic ornaments cannot be produced during the 4th quarter as overseas factories are closed from October through the end of January each year. We're happy to create a custom quotation for you no matter what time of year it is.
For your custom ornaments needs, please send us a detailed email here. We're happy to work with you on your project.