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More details about how Splendid Colors does business

Cube Kit Shape Patio Lantern Stock Collection_edited.jpg


Splendid Colors specializes in customization! You can provide your own designs to fit existing items, or modify items, commission new designs, or let us adapt your artwork for laser-cut styles. The signature Splendid Colors style combines vector "line drawings" with cutouts and silhouettes for an effect that is unmistakeable and very appealing.

You can view the current price list here with information about custom design setup fees and minimum orders.

Once you have paid a design fee, you can reuse that design on other projects at no extra charge. And if we design something for you that you don't mind us adding to our collection of stock designs, you get the design for free. For example, let's say you held a conference at the Hotel Del Coronado, so you want a design of the lodge on the centerpieces. But you don't sell artwork, so you wouldn't mind if I used it for other projects 90 days after your event is over. (Your guests would be less impressed if they started seeing the same thing everywhere, after all.) On the other hand, if you wanted an exclusive design for the Hotel Del Coronado gift shop, or your event planning business that hosts there regularly, you would need to pay the design fee.

Handmade? American Made?

Although Splendid Colors has always met the Etsy definition of handmade, the Federal Trade Commission has a stricter definition of handmade (at least for some products). It is likely that because a CNC "robot" laser cutter marks and carves the material, it doesn't qualify as handmade. (Jewelry must be made entirely with hand tools to qualify, but vodka made in commercial distilling and packaging plants can be considered handmade if each batch is made individually rather than a continuous process.) Etsy considers any hand operation to make something handmade, even if it's putting a purchased locket on a purchased chain, both of which were made by machine somewhere else. That doesn't meet the spirit of "handmade" so I acknowledge the wisdom of the FTC.

Also, technically Splendid Colors products are "made in the USA of imported materials" as we can't get American-made 3mm MDF, just Canadian-made. (3mm = 1/8" and the thinnest I can get is 6mm = 1/4" so it just wouldn't be the right scale for a 3" lantern.) Some of my key packaging is also imported.


But your items are made in California by an artist and their robot.


The standard lantern material is medium density fiberboard (MDF), a manufactured wood product made from sawmill scraps. However, I have been unable to source US-made 3mm MDF; West Coast distributors source MDF from Canada. Please see website https:/ for additional information about materials. The Canadian 3mm MDF meets or exceeds environmental requirements, including zero formaldehyde, and is very consistent in appearance and cutting properties. Some lantern styles include translucent panels of DuraLarTM polyester drafting film (Grafix Inc., Cleveland, OH).


Paints and other finishes are non-toxic and low-VOC. Spray paint is manufactured in the USA, and some of the acrylic paints are manufactured in the USA but others are from China. Clean, like-new cardboard for tree ornaments and toppers is reclaimed from Costco and other companies. (If orders were large enough that reclaiming enough cardboard would not be feasible, the most likely source would be ULine.)


Splendid Colors uses paper products from US manufacturers, such as Neenah Classic Columns 80# cover (recycled) for the fold-over kit labels, hang tags, business cards, etc. This matte, ribbed cardstock combines a rich texture with durability and resistance to creasing so it feels good when customers handle the product and it looks great even after rough handling in transit. Instruction sheets are printed locally on US-made paper, recycled when available.


Shipping boxes from ULine and PaperMart, bubble wrap from Staples, and tissue paper from PaperMart are made in the USA. Air pillows are reused from inbound shipments. (Future purchases of eco-friendly packaging will be from USA suppliers.) The LED tealights and organdy bags are manufactured in China; there are no US manufacturers. Likewise, the 1.5-mil polypropylene “cellophane” bags from PaperMart are imported from Taiwan. The quality is excellent, with high clarity, no seam overlap, and extra thickness to resist wrinkling in transit so kits look fresh out of the workshop (unlike craft shop candy bags that wrinkle easily and look unappealing).

Terms & Conditions

  • Minimum order is $100.

  • Free ground shipping by the most economical option, typically USPS Priority Mail or sometimes UPS Ground. Expedited shipping by request, most likely UPS. Hand delivery is $25 locally in most cases. All orders will be insured for the full amount.

  • Splendid Colors will ship each order by the date specified in the purchase order unless previously agreed in writing with Customer.

  • Splendid Colors will fulfill each P.O. within two shipments unless previously agreed in writing with Customer.

  • The Owner of Splendid Colors is available 10:00-18:00 Pacific Time daily. Calls, texts, and emails may be received and responded to outside those hours but a response is not guaranteed until those times.

  • Splendid Colors accepts the cost of returning mis-shipments and shipment errors.

  • Splendid Colors usual terms of Net 30 can be modified to accommodate a 5-day security delay as required by some US Government entities.

  • Splendid Colors will itemize all invoices, including the purchase order and task order number, and will confirm all pricing at the time orders are placed.

  • To be continued...

Retailer History

Under Construction

History of Designs

Under construction (or maybe it goes in a blog)

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