Giving the Perfect Gift: A Guide to Bottle Engraving
Did you know that, on average, Americans spend almost $650 on Christmas gifts every year? Buying someone the perfect gift can seem hard, especially if you're trying not to break the bank. But what if we told you you could take a gift from good to great for just a few extra dollars?
Alcohol can be a fantastic gift for someone you know enjoys it, but it can feel a little impersonal. Getting the bottle engraved can be the perfect way to upgrade your gift and make it one the recipient will remember for years to come. Read on to learn more about bottle engraving and how you can use it to give the perfect holiday gift this year.
Celebrate Your Unique Relationship
Before we dive into how the bottle engraving process works, let's talk about why you might want to get a bottle engraved as a gift. Giving personalized gifts can be a fantastic way to celebrate your unique relationship with a person. Not only do you give them something thats designed just for them, but you have a chance to show how well you know them.
Part of the part of good gift giving is showing the recipient that you know them by getting them something they'll use and enjoy. You can personalize a bottle with their name or with a phrase that's meaningful to the two of you. Every time they look at the bottle, they'll think about your special connection and how well you know them.
Make Them Feel Special
On the subject of feeling special, that's another one of the biggest benefits of giving personalized gifts. Whether it's their birthday, Christmas, or just because, giving someone a gift makes them feel loved. Giving them a personalized gift can help to take that feeling to the next level.
Think about how excited you used to get when you were a kid, and you saw your name on a keychain at the gas station. Giving someone an engraved bottle can give them that feeling every day. Not only did you spend the money to get them their favorite drink, but you also went the extra mile and made it customized for them.
Give a One-of-a-Kind Gift
Have you ever been trying to pick out a gift for someone and worried that you would wind up with the same thing as someone else? It can be hard to get a unique gift if the person you're buying for has a limited wish list or is hard to shop for. And even the most thoughtful gift in the world becomes less amazing if you have two of them.
Giving someone a personalized gift almost guarantees that your present will be one-of-a-kind. Not many other people are going to think to have a bottle personalized if they even think of getting this person alcohol. And if you do wind up with the same gift as someone else, no one is going to be sad about having two bottles of their favorite drink!
Create Lasting Memories
Oftentimes, gifts can wind up getting set aside and forgotten a few months after the occasion is over. If you're being honest with yourself, can you really remember all the gifts you got for Christmas last year? So how do you get someone a gift that will continue to be meaningful after the holiday is past?
Giving them an engraved gift can be a great way to create fond memories that will last even after the drink is gone. They can add that bottle to their bar or liquor cabinet as a reminder of the special gift you gave them. And every time they open that bottle to pour themselves a drink from it, they'll think of you and your thoughtful present.
Why Get a Bottle Engraved?
There are lots of personalized gifts out there, so why should you get someone an engraved liquor bottle? First of all, an engraved bottle can make your recipient's drinking experience feel more personalized and connected. They're not just drinking any bottle of Macallan Scotch they're drinking their bottle.
An engraved bottle can also serve as a fantastic decoration long after the liquor is gone. Your loved one may choose to keep the bottle on their bar or in their office, or they might get crafty with it. You can turn old liquor bottles into pendant lights, table lamps, drinking glasses, and more, depending on the shape and size.
When to Give an Engraved Bottle
So now that we know more about why engraved bottles make such a good gift, let's talk about when they're appropriate to give. Of course, the short answer is any time provided the recipient is of legal drinking age. But there are a few occasions on which an engraved bottle might make a more appropriate gift.
Weddings are the perfect time to give engraved bottles, whether they be to the bride or groom or to the wedding party. Engraved bottles can also make a fantastic gift for someone who has just retired or just bought a house. And engraved wine bottles can be fantastic Christmas or birthday gifts during years when you really want to make the recipient feel special.
There are three basic techniques companies will use to engrave your image or text on the bottle. The first of these is hand-etching, a process that removes only the surface level of material from the glass. This will leave a lighter matte pattern on the bottle, but it won't leave a noticeable indentation in the glass.
Hand-etching is usually done by applying a special substance to the surface of the glass. This can be painted on or brushed over the top of a stencil before it's allowed to sit. This compound eats away the top surface of the glass and then gets rinsed off once enough material has been removed to show off your pattern.
Hand-engraving also requires a good deal of artistry, since the patterns are hand-drawn on the bottle. But unlike etching, engraving does remove a fair amount of the surface material of the glass. When you run your finger over an engraving, you'll be able to feel the divot left behind in the glass where your design is.
Oftentimes, hand-engravers use dental tools and other small grinders to remove material from the bottle. They have to be careful not to drill too deep in the glass, as well as to stay within the lines of the pattern they're creating. Hand-engravers can create some fascinating textures in their work thanks to the different drill bits and techniques they can use.
In recent years, lasers have become a popular way to engrave designs on glass quickly and easily. Laser engraving is somewhere between hand-etching and hand-engraving in terms of technique. The laser vaporizes the top layer of material from the glass, leaving behind an indentation you can feel when you run your finger over it.
In order to laser engrave bottles, companies need a special machine with a rotating arm inside. The arm holds the bottle and turns it to keep the portion of the bottle being engraved on top. This ensures that the engraving comes out even all the way across and doesn't get distorted on the sides as it moves down the curve of the bottle.
Picking Out the Bottle
Once you've decided to get someone an engraved bottle as a gift, you'll have to choose what bottle you want to get engraved for your loved one. The best place to start is by thinking about their favorite thing to drink and then narrowing it down from there based on your budget. You may choose to get their favorite varietal of wine or brand of tequila, or you might go for a more expensive version that shares tasting notes with their usual favorite.
In general, it's preferable to get a nicer bottle of alcohol engraved as opposed to a cheaper one. After all, this is a specialized gift and custom drinking experience you're crafting for the recipient. A nicer beverage will make the gift feel that much more thoughtful than getting the cheapest bottle on the rack engraved.
What Can You Engrave?
The next thing you'll need to decide what is to put on your bottle. In most cases, you can engrave just about any text you like on a bottle, although some companies may shy away from engraving bawdier messages. You may also have to stay within a certain character limit, usually twenty characters per line with a maximum of three lines or so.
You might be surprised to learn, however, that you may be able to engrave certain images on your bottle. Most of the time, this works best with logos and other simple images that have clean lines and solid fills. But depending on the company you work with, you might be able to engrave a more complicated image on the bottle.
You've picked your bottle, you've picked your message, and the next thing you need to pick is your font. Some companies offer a selection of different fonts for you to choose from for your engraving. Which font you pick will depend on the feel you want to create for your message.
Serif fonts have little protrusions on the tops and bottom of each letter (think Times New Roman) and create a more elegant, formal look. Sans serif fonts are straight and flat at the ends of the letters (think Arial) and have a more modern, simple look. Script fonts look more like handwriting or cursive and create an ornate, embellished feel.
We mentioned earlier that you can sometimes engrave images but that some images work better than others. In general, the best images for engraving will be logos, silhouettes, line art, and similar styles. You want blocks of color that are solid, lines that are clean, and pictures that work well in monochrome.
You also want to avoid images that are too detailed because of the size restrictions involved in bottle engraving. Most liquor bottles are somewhere under four inches wide, and your engraving will have to fit around all the other designs already printed on the bottle. An image that's too complex will turn into a meaningless blur if it's shrunk down to too small a size.
The cost of your engraving will depend mostly on what you want to include. Many companies charge per character or per line, although some offer flat fee engraving with character limits. If you want to get an image engraved, you'll likely have to pay a little more.
At Liquorama, we charge a $20 flat fee for engraving a bottle, no matter the spirit inside. You can get up to three lines of text engraved, and each line can contain up to twenty characters. Those characters include spaces, so don't forget to account for those when planning the message that will go on your bottle.
Learn More About Bottle Engraving
Bottle engraving can be a fantastic gift for almost any occasion when the recipient needs to feel extra special. Companies may choose to hand-etch, hand-engrave, or laser engrave their bottles, depending on their equipment and artistic skill. You'll need to keep your engraved message short, and any images will need to be simple and clean.
If you'd like to learn more about bottle engraving, check out the rest of our site at Liquorama. We are here to provide you with the perfect wine, the smoothest tequila, the hoppiest beer, and more. Shop our engravable liquor selection today and start getting your gifts for the holidays the easy way.