Introduction to Customs & Made-to-Order

Introduction to Customs & Made-to-Order

If you're reading this, you've likely been dazzled by the thousands of gorgeous colors that fantasy sex toys come in. But what if you could have one colored exactly how you like it? You could have it based on a fictional character, your favorite colors, or even a photograph. With so many pour styles and colors to choose from, making your selection can seem daunting, especially when customs may be handled differently between shops. In this article, I hope to clear up any confusion so that you can make an informed choice when it comes to customs and made-to-order.

First off, what is the difference between a custom and a made-to-order? At From The Edge, a custom consists of a toy of a chosen size and firmness with specific colors and pour styles that you pick out. Many other shops also call this a 'custom,' but may have varying degrees of customer freedom when it comes to color and pour style requests. A 'full custom' may offer you complete control over what you'd like your toy to look like, while a 'semi-custom' may only allow you some of those options. A From the Edge custom can be considered a 'full custom.' 

A From the Edge made-to-order is a toy of a size and firmness of your choice, but with colors and pour styles that have been pre­determined. These color and pour styles are named, such as "Pink Lemonade" and
"Stormy Seas." These colorations may also show up in inventory from time to time. Shops that do something similar can call it by other names. In addition to pre-determined colorations, several shops offer what is called a 'guided surprise,' in which you select your model, size, and firmness and add a note or make a selection about colors or pour styles you like. The shop's artists will take your request into account when pouring your toy, but you will not know what you're getting until it arrives (hence the 'surprise'). A guided surprise is a great choice if you only have a general idea of what you'd like your toy to look like.

Since no two shops are the same, the names for these offerings can differ along with their terms of service, so make sure to read the terms on the order or TOS page to know what degree of freedom you have when ordering your toy.
Since toys come in a myriad of colors and pour styles, ordering a custom can be confusing. Each shop handles custom orders differently, but there are a few basic things that are good to know when ordering from any shop.

First off, customs are not available from every shop. Doing a custom means that a shop's artist needs to take the time to pour just one toy when they'd usually pour a batch, meaning the process consumes more time for less outcome. In addition, customs must adhere to a customer's request - the artist has much less freedom throughout the process. Typically, an artist has an idea of what they'd like to pour and then pours it. Since pouring silicone has a degree of randomness, the toys don't always look exactly like how they wanted, but that's OK - it all goes into inventory and eventually finds a home. However, there's much less room for mistakes with a custom, since they must follow the customer's request. It can be difficult to meet these requests. These are some of the reasons a shop may not offer customs. Many shops that offer customs and made-to-order only offer them during specific times, such as a week or a month or until slots are filled. This is so that the artist can work through any queues, or even to just take a break. Keep an eye on a shop's website or social media to know when customs become available.

You may see certain terms used to describe pour styles. Some common ones are 'ribbons,' 'marbles,' 'splits,' 'fades,' 'drips,' 'highlights,' 'inclusions,' and 'hand-painting.' These terms are generally universal and can be applied to toys from any shop. When ordering a custom, you will often see these terms used in the order form. Some shops have variations of these pour styles. Each style utilizes a different technique when pouring your toy. Marbles consist of multiple colors placed next to each other and poured at the same time. Splits consist of multiple colors poured one after the other. Hand­-painting is done by painting the inside of a mold with uncured silicone. Inclusions are small silicone shapes pulled from a mold before fully cured and mixed in with uncured silicone before being poured into a mold.

 3-color marbleFade, split, and marbleDripHighlight2-color fade with hand-paintingLeaf-shaped inclusionsSoft splitsBase art

It's important to remember that 'designer dildos' are made by hand. Therefore, there are some things shop artists may not be able to do.  In addition, there is a chance that a model's shape can limit the possibilities for pour styles. Because of this, options for certain models may be limited. Options can also become limited by what a shop's artist is capable of pouring. While shop artists can make pouring look easy, it's an art form that requires practice to master. Silicone is a finicky medium and despite a dongsmith's best efforts, a pour might not come out how they intended. Shops may choose not to offer certain pour styles if they are not confident in it or if it's prone to failure. If you are not sure if a shop is able to pour your request, you can reach out to them through their preferred methods. Due to the skill required to pour certain styles, prices can differ between them. A fade may cost more than a marble, for example.

Many shops have lineart for their models. This lineart can be used with image editing software (such as PhotoShop or MS Paint) to create a mock-up of what you'd like your custom toy to look like. If a shop doesn't have lineart on their website or store, you can use editing software to trace the contours of a photo of the model you'd like. A sizeable amount of lineart from different shops can also be found at

When you've decided what you want your custom to look like, it's time to place an order. Order forms between shops can vary greatly, but they all generally ask for the same info. You will need to select a model, size, firmness, colors, pour styles, and any optional extras. The price of the custom will change depending on these options, with colorful toys with multiple pour styles typically costing the most. Selecting certain options may make others unavailable. There also may be limits to how 'complicated' your custom can be.

After your order has been placed, you may or may not hear from the shop regarding the order. If the artist requires clarification or has questions, you may receive an email. Sometimes you will receive photos of the pour before it is sent. Check the shop's TOS to know what to expect. It can take weeks or even months for your custom to be shipped, especially if the shop has received many orders for customs. Be patient - it will be worth it!

Placing an order for a custom from FtE is simple. First off, you can find lineart for all available models on the 'Customs & Made-to­ Order" page. A colored mockup helps tremendously when planning your pour. Once you have your idea finalized, identify what pour styles your custom contains. A custom can contain several pour styles, such as the above example with a fade, a split, and a marble. To select multiple pour styles, simply select them from the drop-down menu. Then, select the colors it will contain. If you'd like to color-match to an image, select the colors closest to the ones you want matched. You can select up to 6 colors. Translucent (clear) layers are free. In addition to colors, you can select colored sparkles. These do not count as colors and are instead added to the color cups to give the toy more sparkle.

Finally, you can add extras to your custom. UV reactive pigment can be added to most colors - if you already selected a 'fluorescent' color in the color picker, that color will be UV-­reactive regardless of whether or not you select the UV-Reactive option. For all other colors, select this option to make them uv-­reactive. You also can add a bit of extra sparkle - this sparkle is much smaller than the colored sparkles. You can select base art that will be on the very bottom of your toy. Some toys allow for an added suction cup that is part of the base.

At the end of the form is a spot for you to upload reference images. If you have colored-in lineart, mockups, materials for color matching, or reference images, this is where they go. In the cart, there is an option to attach a note to your order. This text box is where you can add additional details about your custom and any special requests. After the order is submitted, it can take up to 6 weeks for your order to ship, but it will normally be sooner.

If you're having trouble with the form or aren't sure what options to pick for your custom, you can reach out to Starella through the site's messaging system or at Send reference images and any details you have. With those details, I can assemble an order for you and send an invoice for it. Don't hesitate to contact me with questions about the custom­ ordering process.


Ordering a Made-to-Order is similar. Choose your model, size, and firmness first off. Then, select one of the named colorations - you can see previews of them on the product page's gallery, along with descriptions of them in the product description. Keep in mind that the final product will not look exactly the same as the example. You can also select a guided surprise or solid. You'll have the option to attach an image prompt for a guided surprise, or you can use the 'notes' section at checkout to specify what you'd like. Leave it all blank if you'd like a complete surprise. When you select a 'solid' color, a color grid will appear and you can select which color you'd like the entire toy to be. You have the option to add glow to your made-to-order. The glow color will be part of the surprise! Made-to-order toys usually ship in 2-4 weeks.

A custom toy can be just what you need to complete your fantasy. If you want a fantasy sex toy that is unique and made just for you, consider a custom or guided surprise!

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