Custom Engraving Tips

You see the perfect gift you want to give and want to get it custom engraved. Before you buy it, read our engraving tips first avoid ruining a wonderful present!

There are many new machine engraving processes that allow incredibly detailed photos and ornate graphics to be easily reproduced on glass, metal, stone, wood, leather and on flat or rounded surfaces. Before you make your purchase, ask if your gift is guaranteed to be engraveable and if it is refundable, if it proves not to be. Custom engraving is expensive and may cost more than the gift's value. So decide first if this is even worth the expense.

Before you buy a gift, you should talk a custom engraver first who will give you sound advice about which type of material you should buy to engrave. Find out if they have experience with the material you want engraved and examine samples of their work. They usually will sell the item or something similar, be able to refer you to a dealer or even speak with the store where you want to purchase the gift to ensure that it's engraveable.

Before You Have A Gift Engraved:

  • Keep in mind the size of the item you want custom engraved. Choose a simple graphic or clean lettering style for small items.
  • A long message could be etched, but do you want it readable only with a magnifying glass? Keep it simple and sweet. Try out your message in a few different ways. Your engraver will let you which works best.
  • Don't use newspaper or magazine photos as they tend to reproduce muddy.
  • Photos don't look good on dark wood. Choose a lighter wood for enough contrast.
  • Photos with a lot of gradual shading reproduce best. Discuss your photo with the engraver. If there is too much contrast, they may be able to provide image correcting.
  • Metal items that are plated are not suitable as the plate can peel away in the engraving process.

Give yourself enough lead time for custom gift engraving. Custom, machined-engraved items are usually delivered within 7–14 business days. Ornate, hand-engraved designs on metal can take up to two months.