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Premo Shapelets

Reported by Sara McKenzie


Premo! Sculpey is one of the many types of Sculpey polymer clay made by Polyform. Among other applications, it is designed for use in jewelry making. And Sculpey helped to make this easier with their “Shapelets“: a series of affordable, plastic templates.

The set shown above is the Heart Shapes; there is also the Triangle Shapes & Segments, and the Square Shapes & Segments. I’ve seen them on the internet from $3.50 to $3.95.

Below shows one of the two sets of templates that comes in the Heart Shapes set. The other template has, of course, hearts!

The photo below gives you a better idea of how large each individual template is in this set:

The Square and Triangle Shapes contain one sheet each, but with multiple shapes in each frame. You can use them individually, or layer them on top of each other. See below, the templates from the Square Shapes set. To use them, you gently press the shapes out of the “frame”. What results is a positive (the shape) and a negative image (the remaining frame).


Below is the size of the shapes in the lower left template. You can see these are sized to primarily make jewelry, but could also be used to make embellishments for your other art work.


I played around with a variety of shapes to make some fun pieces- some of which, frankly, I have not yet decided how to use them!

Here is the placement of a template on top of black polymer clay that I conditioned and then ran through my roller together with a texture plate to create the fan shapes:

I used my craft knife right through the frame to cut out the desired piece. Then I used the “positive” piece, the fan shape itself, to cut two more pieces of conditioned clay in larger sizes. Since this isn’t going to be a lesson on polymer clay, I won’t go into all of the details, but the resulting piece is below. It’s a short necklace, to be worn choker-style:

I used some of the Square Shapes to make the necklace below:

And the Triangle Shapes were used to make the earrings, below (don’t look to closely or critically: the templates don’t make up for sloppy workmanship! I need to spend more time with my polymer clay techniques…).

So, after my afternoon of play, what did I think of the Shapelets?

Pros:
  • Good assortment of sizes. They will work for jewelry or for embellishments on pages, altered books, cards, boxes- almost anything.
  • You can (and should!) use them as templates for all manner of materials. I only played with polymer clay so far, but obviously they would work with paper clay and metal clay, not to mention plain old paper itself!
  • They are a sturdy, thin plastic that should last through multiple uses, and wash off easily (if you use them with paint or ink as stencils, for example).
  • The price is right!


Cons:

  • The material is soft enough to be cut with your craft knife. So be careful if you take your knife directly to the material, rather than tracing the shape first (lesson learned on my part!).
  • The are somewhat brittle. I broke two of the frames trying to release the small square shapes. So you have to be careful, and might even need to use a craft knife to help cut through the plastic to release the shapes.
  • You can find them by Googling “Premo Shapelets” but they do not appear to be very common.

What do you think? Have you tried them? Me, I’m off to experiment more!!

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8 Responses to Premo Shapelets

  1. Avatar
    Kalyber February 18, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    thanks for reminding me that I have these.

  2. Avatar
    Elaine A February 18, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Same here Sara, I forgot I had these templates. I love the pieces you made with them.

    Elaine Allen

  3. Avatar
    Rachel February 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I just love using those things! Sadly I am having a harder time finding them in stores, lately. Hm, now I wish I had those hearts. I never realized I wanted that set until I saw you use them.

  4. Avatar
    rush8888 February 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    i wouldn’t spend the money on something that i could make with my exacto knife a heavy vellum. there are many shapes that we have around us (like cat’s eyes, rubber stamps, computer-generated images, freehand, punches, etc), so finding them is not difficult.

  5. Avatar
    MisfitGirl February 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I bought a set when I first started working with polymer clay, but I didn’t use them alot. I’ll have to get them out and play around with them again.

  6. Avatar
    Anonymous February 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    This looks to be about the weight of quilter’s template material – I’d probably just trace & xacto out of that, honestly.

  7. Avatar
    Jenn February 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    I use Shapelets a lot when making earrings – it’s nice to have that consistency in shape & size. One tip I gleaned somewhere after accidentally shaving a bit too much from the side of one shape – use your needle tool to trace the shape, then cut out with a flex blade, bending it to match the curves of your cut.

  8. Avatar
    Erika Martin - Stampin' Mama February 19, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Ooooh, I’ve never seen these before and I love to play with clay. Thanks for the review!