How to Create Custom Women’s Handkerchief Gifts

Special occasions are another perfect match for the Digital HeatFX because events like weddings, new babies and birthdays happen all year round! With wedding season in full swing, we see a lot of need for personalized gifts.

That’s how I helped a bride make 12 Custom Handkerchiefs for her Big Day.  And for fun, she also made a couple messages for a few small plush toys to give to the kids in her family. (since they are a little young to fully enjoy the handkerchief keepsakes.)

To create the perfect personalized handkerchiefs, first, the Bride decided what she wanted to be written on them and the layout she desired. She also chose two different styles of white 100% cotton handkerchiefs she wanted to use. The Bride, Stephanie, loves mermaids and wanted to include a mermaid silhouette in her signature on all her gifts.

Although the Digital HeatFX (DFX) System can easily do a complex full-color design the bride decided that a fancy full metallic silver message would really make it spectacular and stand out.

PRO TIP: You can apply DFX to plush toys as long as the material it is made of will not melt in the Heat Press and that it will fit in your Heat press.

Clam presses would make this easier if you are unable to remove the stuffing. Also note, fuzzy items and items like terrycloth are not recommended as the DFX Heat Transfers needs a smoother material to be applied correctly and to be washable. This is why the plush gifts the Bride brought are slim and have the messages on the smooth backside of the toys or on another material to sew or glue on.

To make the handkerchief I took the brides messages to her family members and typed them into a design software program. (What’s great about the Digital HeatFX is that you can use your favorite designs program to create your designs. For example, you can use GIMP, Adobe, Corel, Illustrator, etc.)

PRO TIP: Do NOT forget to mirror your artwork if printing direct from graphics software. Most graphics programs have a setting you can put in place to make sure you never forget – Saving you wasted time and money!

(Great news, when using the DigitalHeat FX Print Optimizer software, it will auto-mirror all of your art for you. No need to do it in your graphic.)

Then I arranged the messages closely together to minimize wasted space. Once arranged the best way, I printed the messages using our Digital HeatFX system on EZ metallic silver paper. (this is a quick 2 paper process that makes sure the designs won’t wash out!)

The process is already half done!

Now I take the printed transfer to my Fusion Heat press (I love the timer settings on it!) and applied the second sheet to the transfer sheet and press for 120 seconds at 285 Degrees Fahrenheit with a medium pressure.

Since the transfer is now ready, it’s time to apply to handkerchief and plush toys. I pre-pressed the items for 5 seconds to remove any moisture and wrinkles from the handkerchief and then laid the transfer in the right spot (The bride chose the corner – Classy!) Then I pressed for 30 seconds at 285 Degrees Fahrenheit with heavy pressure to apply it.

Once the time was up, I carefully removed the handkerchief and transfer from the heat press being sure not to separate them.

PRO TIP:  I used our metal table to help cool down transfers nice and quick. Colman & Company carries a cold pack that can help expedite the process too! This can be especially helpful if putting transfers on thicker items, such as wood or glass.

Finally, one last press for 30 seconds at 285 Degrees Fahrenheit with heavy pressure to seal it in the material of the handkerchief and plus items.

That’s it! Completely personalized beautiful gift handkerchiefs that the bride will be proud to give to her family on her wedding day!

What would it Cost to Buy Online or at a Local Shop?

We surveyed 4 stores online and found the average price for a 1 color, up to 4 line message to be about $15 per handkerchief. NONE OF THEM OFFERED METALLIC nor custom font or artwork! (had to be from offered selection).

 Math Time.

$12 (per item) x 14 shirts = $210 Retail Value

How much money would a business owner make on this job?

Total Cost to Produce

Supply cost = $7.81

Garment Cost = $72.71 (or $34.58 or less if purchased from Bulk suppliers)

Total Cost to Product = $80.52

How much money is in profits?

$210.00 – Retail Value – $80.52 – Production Cost = $129.48 Gross Profit

Since we spend 7.75hrs on the job

$129.48 Gross Profit / 1.75hrs = $73.98 per hour.

Now, what if you hired someone to help? The numbers work out even better

Let’s say you hired someone to help you, for about ½ the job. That would be 1 hour of labor

1 hr x $15 per hour = $15 in labor

Now the new numbers:

$129.48 Original Gross Profit – $15 in labor = $114.48 New Gross Profit

Since you cut your time in about 1/2 , that means we can do some new math

$114.48 (new gross profit) /1 hour (of your time)  = $114.48 Gross profit Per hour!

Now you can spend more time marketing, selling, growing your business or just working less!

Materials Used:

  • 6 Fancy Honeycomb White Handkerchiefs 100% Cotton
  • 6 Tri-Line Edged White Handkerchiefs 100% Cotton
  • 2 Plush Mermaids
  • 1 Plush Turtle
  • 2 sheets of EZ Metallic Silver DFX Paper (With Companion B Sheet)
  • Digital HeatFX
  • Fusion Heat Press
  • 1 Silicone Sheet (To protect heat press)
  • A little thermal tape (To prevent shifting on plush toys)

Handkerchief Case Study

Spent on Items:

  1. $32.99 – 6 pack 12”x12” Honeycomb Handkerchief
  2. $16.00 – 6 pack 12”x12” Tri-Line Edged Handkerchief
  3. $5.99 – Purple Plush Mermaid
  4. $5.99 – Pink Plush Mermaid
  5. $6.99- Green Turtle Plush Toy

Cost of Items Total: 67.96 + Tax= $ 72.71 (These Handkerchiefs were purchased by the bride from Amazon. We found similar ones with an apparel wholesaler, ranging from $.60 to $.1.80 each. This would be nearly a 67% – 76% savings!)

Cost of DFX Supplies for this project:

  • EZ Metallic Silver DFX Paper
    2 sheets @ 3.89 each = $7.78
  • Silicone Sheet – 1 Sheet – can be reused – $FREE
  • Thermal Tape Use
    6” Used @ 16.39 for 72 Yards = $ .03

Time Spent:

  • Art Creation: Approx.- 20 min
    The Bride has a mermaid silhouette that she already had in mind but it was the wrong size for the gifts. I resized it, typed out her messages in Art Program, and considered the best positioning for printing to maximize use of Metallic Paper (no waste!)
  • Print: Approx. 2 Min (2 sheets printed)
  • Heat pressing: 4 Minutes X 14 items = Approx. 1 Hour (56 min)
  • Positioning: 30 seconds x 14 items = Approx. 7 min
  • Cooling: Approx. 1 minutes each =14 min

Get Started Today with Digital HeatFX!

For more information about starting your custom apparel business using Digital HeatFX call 855-348-4839 to speak with a product specialist today, chat below or the contact us button below.