Best Custom Holiday Gifts

We know the holidays can be stressful, especially when you’re picking out gifts for your loved ones.  

That’s why if you read through this article, you’ll get great gift ideas AND ways to you can actually make and sell them yourself with a little investment.  

These are all gifts that YOU can make for your loved ones or sell to customers. Win-Win! 

Now, let’s take a dive into what the six hottest custom gifts are and how to make them using equipment and supplies from ColDesi! 

Embroidered Monogram Robes

Monograms are all the rage right now – and will never go out of style. They’re a great way to personalize items like t-shirts, wallets, and in this case, robes 

When people think of robes, they will usually associate them with warmth, comfort, and even style, which are all factors that are good to consider when gift-giving any clothing item.  

Plus, by adding a custom embroidered monogram, you’re giving someone a unique item that no one else will have and that will last for a long time. 

Part of the gift-giving process is trying to find items that people will actually use, which is why custom robes made it to the top of the list this year. (We actually made several monogrammed robes to demonstrate our embroidery machines a few months ago – and got tons of requests for ones for the staff!) 

To create these, we used the Avance 1501C commercial embroidery machine and Port Authority Microfleece robes along with a few additional supplies.  

The robe we selected is soft, luxurious, and warm. It looks great and washes well too.  

We also used ColDesi Graphics to order a custom digitized monogram for under ten dollars.  

Here’s how you get started: 

  1. Import and select your design on the touch screen.  
  2. Spray your cut-away backing with Tempo Spray Adhesive.   
  3. Place your cut-away backing behind the left or right chest area of the robe.  
  4. Add a sheet of water-soluble topping on top of the robe and secure your embroidery hoop in place, with the backing and topping sandwiched in between both parts of the hoop.  
  5. Hoop your robe.  
  6. Press start. 

Of course, ColDesi customers get world-class, self-paced training so you’ll know exactly how to do this! 

Besides gift-giving, one of the best things about selling custom monogrammed robes is the selling opportunity.  

Custom robes make a killing in not only the spa and hotel markets but for the bridal and wedding market as well.  

Imagine offering your bridal party t-shirt customers a premium monogrammed robe as well.. And tripling that sale. Or showing it to just a few spas in your local area and winning new regular customers 

So, if you decide you want to enter the customization industry, this may be a great way to target a niche market. 

Next, let’s move on to the second trending custom gift, UV printed wood portraits.  

Custom UV Printed Wood Portraits

Placing second on our list are custom UV printed wood portraits.  

If you’re looking for something extremely unique to give someone, this may be the answer you are looking for.  

Everyone usually has a traditional photo frame or slate in their home to display family photos, graduation pictures, and other important memories. 

 But how many people can you say have a portrait that’s printed on wood? Believe it or not, these gifts have become increasingly popular in online shops like Etsy.  

What’s great about these is that they can sell for up to $40-$50 apiece! 

Some Etsy sellers got so busy trying to create these and wooden signs by hand that they HAD to get a UV printer to help automate the process. Since then, those businesses have gone BOOM!  

Here’s how we created custom wood portraits using the Mutoh XpertJet 461UF UV printer 

  1. Create an outline of the wood piece in the designer software.  
  2. Import your photo and align it with the outline created on the wood.  
  3. Print the outline of the wood piece on the printer bed.  
  4. Position the wood piece inside of the printed outline on the bed. 
  5. Upload your photo to the software 
  6. Print!  

UV printing is known for producing amazing, full-color prints and portraits that can be printed on a long list of items like wood pieces, phone cases, poker chips and SO much more.  

These wood-printed gifts have a very durable finish, and you can even add texture so the print feels good too.  

Now your loved one will have a new custom wood portrait that can be used as a home decoration piece.  

Next up, we have decorated coasters using the DigitalHeat FX 9541 white toner printer.  

Decorated Coasters

It’s clear that home decoration is a common theme this year. That’s why we’ve featured custom coasters, made with white toner transfers.  

Coasters are a must have item in every household to keep your tables clean and smudge-free, which is why these items are considered a highly functional gift.  

Adding initials, photos, prints or designs are easy to do with a white toner transfer printer like the ones sold under the brand, DigitalHeat FX 

What makes decorating with white toner transfers unique is that they can be applied to dark-colored items.  

This is typically hard to do with any other customization process and gives you the option to choose between any color coaster and material.  

Let’s teach you how we did it.  

  1. Choose a design.  
  2. Print your design on EZ Peel Hard Surface Paper.    
  3. Apply the transfers to the coasters using heat tape to secure them into place.  
  4. Place the coasters in the heat press (We recommend a high-quality press like the Hotronix Fusion IQ). 
  5. Let the coasters cool and peel the transfers off. 
  6. Finish them in just a standard kitchen oven!  

But just like our other equipment, you will learn all this in more in our online training modules. Plus, instructions are always online and in the box with your transfer paper! 

In just a few simple steps, you can create these popular and creative coasters that add a personal touch to any household. 

Now, let’s move on to another popular gift this season, direct to garment printed pillowcases. 

Direct-to-Garment Pillowcases

One of the hottest custom gifts we’ve seen become popular recently is custom pillowcases.  

Great for people of all ages, personalized pillowcases are another one of the most practical and inexpensive ways to gift for the holidays. 

Whether it’s for a family member, acquaintance, partner, or even coworker, a custom pillowcase is something that everyone will appreciate.  

In order to accomplish this, we used a process called direct to garment printing, or DTG. 

Direct to garment printers like the DTG G4 produces amazing, full-color prints that have virtually no feel and are quick to make.  

Below, you’ll get an idea of how easy it is to make these pillowcases with direct to garment. 

  1. Load your artwork into the RIP Lite software 
  2. Spray the pillowcase with pretreat by placing it into the pretreat machine (We recommend using the PTM Automatic PreTreat Machine). 
  3. Press the pillowcase with a finishing sheet on top for protection. This is to get all the moisture out and smooth out your surface for printing. (For best results, we recommend using the Digital Knight 16×20 Auto Clamshell Heat Press). 
  4. Place the pillowcase onto the DTG G4’s patented vacuum platen. Right away the platen will suck the pillow case into place making this step super easy and fast.   
  5. Choose your artwork on the control panel and press start. The DTG G4 will print full color photos and designs in seconds. 
  6. Then, just apply a finishing press to dry the ink! 

With people spending more time than ever at home, it’s no surprise that bedding gifts like these are being appreciated.  

Another item that anyone will appreciate are sublimated photo panels. 

Unisub Sublimation Photo Panels

Available in tons of different sizes, Unisub sublimation photo panels are incredibly easy and quick to make. 

Designed specifically for sublimation, these photo panels come with a white, polyester-coated surface and easel to attach to the back.  

If you enjoy the classic look of a photo frame or stand, you can’t go wrong with this photo panel that will display any photo elegantly.  

With sublimation, an image is being vaporized onto a substrate using a specialty printer, paper, and ink. The transfer is then heat applied to your substrate, skipping past the liquid phase right into a gas.  

This process is mess-free and quick to learn. 

So, let’s list step by step how to sublimate using the Sawgrass SG1000 printer and Hotronix Fusion IQ heat press. 

  1. Choose your photo. 
  2. Print the photo on sublimation transfer paper 
  3. Secure the transfer onto the photo panel using heat tape.  
  4. Place a teflon pillow on the heat press for protection and add the photo panel on top, transfer side facing up. 
  5. Add a finishing sheet on top and press. 
  6. Carefully peel off the transfer and you’re done! 

Through sublimation, we’ve turned a simple hardboard blank into a stunning memento ready for display.  

Unisub blanks are known to produce products that offer superior clarity, and vibrancy compared to other sublimation blanks on the market, which is why we offer such a huge variety of these products on our supply division site, 

Lastly, we’ll get into gift number six, holiday tees using Triton Heat Transfer Vinyl. 

Holiday T-shirts | Heat Transfer Vinyl

Of course we couldn’t end this holiday gift guide without a custom t-shirt!  

Just like most of the gifts on this list, t-shirts are items that can be customized for anyone from teenagers to grandparents.  

For this last gift, we chose to make holiday tees with Triton Heat Transfer Vinyl 

Yes, I said vinyl. So, all of you decorators with Cricuts and other hobby vinyl cutters can join in on the fun!  

Triton HTV is a premium vinyl that cuts like butter, weeds super easy and comes in a ton of fun colors and designs like metallic and glitter. 

Not to mention, it can be used on a TON of different substrates. But this time, we want to take it back to the basics with a beautiful, one-color custom t-shirt. 

Here’s how to make holiday tees using the Graphtec CE7000 Vinyl Cutter and Hotronix Fusion IQ Heat Press. 

  1. Load and align the vinyl into the cutter (We recommend performing a test cut before starting your design) 
  2. Send the design to the cutter. 
  3. Weed out any extra vinyl using weeding picks 
  4. Press your t-shirt with the transfer lined up properly. 
  5. Peel the vinyl’s carrier sheet off. 
  6. Apply a finishing press!  

You’re left with an awesome holiday t-shirt ready to be wrapped up and given to a loved one!  

Plus, another great thing about creating custom t-shirts with heat transfer vinyl is the selling opportunity.  

With the ability to create your own vector phrases and designs, customers will keep coming back to receive ultra-customized products that no one else has. 

This sets your business apart from others, expanding not only your customer base but increasing your profits as well.   

So, if you’ve made it this far, you now have six different gift ideas for your holiday shopping. 

Personalized gifts show people that you put in some extra thought and time to make it extra special. With the right supplies and training, you can start creating custom gifts for every holiday season. 

But maybe the real gift here is the excuse to finally kickstart that customization business you’ve been thinking about. We’re here to help put a machine under your tree this year that will, in turn, make you some serious money. 

If you’d like to learn more about the machines, systems, and supplies we used to create these custom gifts, call (855) 348-4839 and live chat with one of our pros.  



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