What are Spangles, and Spangle Transfers?

Spangle Transfers 101: What They Are & How to Create (and Apply) Them!

You may need to sit down for this one because you might very well find all the answers you’re looking for regarding spangle transfers after reading through this page.

And if you’re looking for practical hands-on videos rather than answers, we’ve got them all here for you as well.

To illustrate what’s in store for you today: In our time together, we’ll learn all about spangle transfers. This includes understanding the basics of what spangles are, the tools to create them, how to apply them, and everything in between!

That said, we’ve got a good deal to talk about. So, let’s jump right in.

What are Spangles and Spangle Transfers?

To some of you, the word ‘Spangles‘ in the headline might not ring a bell! It might just seem like a random series of letters strung together.

It’s probably because you don’t know what it means yet. But we can promise you, once you make it to the end of this section, you’ll understand spangles on a ‘professional’ level.

If we have done it, you can do it too!

So, let’s begin this with a few basics about spangles. What are they? Spangles are, in their simplest form, small, flat, and often holographic discs that have been punched out of a roll of spangle tape.

You may want to read that last sentence twice to let it sink in.

Maybe we wrote it in a wordy way, and you’re still left wondering what they are. In layman’s terms, spangles imitate and mimic rhinestones. Instead of having a three-dimensional form and faceted look like real gemstones, they are flat, circular pieces of material used to add a sparkling and decorative element to various ordinary items, such as clothing, costumes, accessories, and promotional products.

Now we’re going to get to the ‘how’ part in a second, but while we’re here, we wanted to mention that these spangles have an adhesive backing that is heat activated. The spangle machine essentially hole punches the spangle tape and transfers them onto a transfer sheet. This sheet can then be heat-applied to a substrate.

So, that’s what spangles are and how spangle transfers come to be. Let’s take it one step further and look at how spangle transfers are made from start to finish.

By the way, if you want to read more about what spangles are, here’s a good read.

Now that we’ve eased you into spangles, let’s put it in practical terms for you and look at how spangle transfers are made from A to Z.

Start by watching the hands-on video above. In it, we’ll walk you through a demo project for our fictional manicure and pedicure studio.

After you’ve finished watching, take a look at the summary below. We’ve outlined some of the essential equipment, tools, and accessories you’ll need if you’re considering starting a spangle business.

Essential Spangle Prerequisites

Spangle Transfer Machine: Unsurprisingly, an automatic spangle transfer machine is at the top of the list. As the main attraction, it does exactly what it promises—it sets spangles on transfer paper based on your programmed design. It’s a fundamental piece of equipment for your bling business.

Digitized Designs: For the spangle transfer machine to punch out your design, it needs a ‘set of instructions’ that it can read, interpret, and transfer from a digital format onto transfer tape. This is where digitizing comes in. It prepares and converts your digital vector design file into detailed instructions for the machine to understand how to place the spangles on the transfer tape.

Spangle Tape Cartridges: Depending on the complexity and color requirements of your design, you may want to add a few reels of spangle tape to your cart.

Blanks: Moving on to the next prerequisite item on the list, we have wholesale blanksplain, undecorated items that you will use to add spangles. You can buy just about anything in bulk from Colman and Company: shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, and polos. The list goes on as long as you can use them for spangles.

Heat Press: To transfer the spangle design from the transfer tape to a substrate, you’ll need a heat press. This machine applies timed pressure and heat, activating the adhesive on the back of the spangles and bonding them to the garment.

Teflon Pillow: A Teflon pillow is a handy tool for heat pressing. While optional, it serves as a heat-resistant cushion that elevates the print area of your design, ensuring even pressure and support under the garment.

Transfer Paper: Acrylic transfer sheets serve as a stable base for the spangle machine to punch out and lay down the digitized spangle design. Additionally, they ‘preserve’ your final spangle transfer, allowing you to store it for later use or sell it to customers.

Glue Dots Applicator: A glue dots applicator is a device used to apply adhesive dots to join spangle tapes together. This allows the machine to seamlessly switch between different spangle colors.

Tweezers & Scissors: There might be rare occasions when spangles get misplaced. In these situations, tweezers are used to adjust and align them. If you want to swap out the spangle color for another one, you would use scissors.

There are many more handy supplies, tools, and accessories for you to experiment with, but those on the shortlist are some of the bare essentials for your bling business.

Who Will Buy Your Bling?

At this point, if you’ve followed along with everything that was laid out for you, you should know what spangles (and spangle transfers) are, what accessories, tools, and supplies you need to apply them on substrates, and how to do it.

In this section, we will explore who buys these shimmery things and identify your target consumers, niches (or industries), occasions, or events for your custom creations.

The list could go on and on, as you can see. You can start with any one of these categories and expand into others as you go. But outside of the list, also think about where your natural interest lies. There might be opportunities in places you’d never think of. It just takes a little creativity and thought to hit the jackpot!

But let’s keep the momentum going and introduce you to some of the customer-favorite automatic spangle transfer machines.

Spangle Transfer Machines

What’s next for you now that you’ve made it to the end of the article? Well, after reading (and watching) everything, you might find it worthwhile to pick up a spangle transfer machine!

There are different models of spangle transfer machines available for you to choose from, but which one is the best? Which one should you choose?

Let’s put them head-to-head and compare them to see which one comes out on top and is a better buy for your business.

Spangle Elite – If you’re just toying around with the idea of starting a bling business and just want to test the waters without having to commit too much capital, then the Spangle Elite might be your best bet. It comes in at around $5,495, as of this writing, and offers a great deal of capability. To start with, it operates at a speed of up to 900 spangles per minute. To give you a better perspective of that number, an average (and simple) design might use anywhere from 500 to 1,000 spangles. So, technically, you could punch out such a design in one minute or even less. For that alone, this machine is worth its price. But it’s not the only area where it stands out! The size of the working area is another standout feature. It comes ready to do 13″ x 10.25″ designs. And the cherry on top is that it comes with Hotfix Era software included, allowing you to edit and tweak individual graphic elements. So, it’s an all-round package!

ProSpangle – Nothing else comes close to the ProSpangle. This spangle transfer machine is the end game for most bling decorators. For starters, it has a 13.5″ x 17.5″ working area. And yes, it’s a step up from the Spangle Elite. It runs 1,000 spangles per minute, which is a significant and welcome improvement over its sibling. Combine all that with 6 color wheels, and you’ve got yourself the best current spangle machine in the industry!

As for which one of the two to go for, they’re both very good spangle machines. ProSpangle comes out on top, but the Spangle Elite’s price tag makes more sense for newcomers, given the features it offers. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs and business goals!

For one-on-one help simply call 877-793-3278 or live chat with one of our pros!