Click Simple In Shape Templates by Papertrey Ink

Reported by Susan Reidy

While I enjoy crafting the standard A2 card, sometimes I like to “shape” it up. Who doesn’t want a heart card on Valentine’s Day, a onesie-shaped card to welcome a little one or a flower to say Happy Spring? Thanks to the downloadable, digital In Shape Templates by Papertrey Ink, creating shaped cards has gotten easier.

For $5, you receive four different shapes in a single theme, with each shape in several different formats. Themes currently available include Rock-a-bye Baby, Be My Valentine, Spring Fling, and Boys to Men, all created by the scrapbooking/cardmaking/designer extraordinaire Kim Hughes. For my examples, I used the Baby templates.

After making your purchase, you download the zipped file and save it on your computer (somewhere you will find it again). This is straightforward and no more complicated than a few clicks.

Within the zipped file you will have four different shapes in the following formats:
  • A pdf with a shaped card base
  • A solid outline and a mirror image of the outline as jpgs.
  • A stitching template and a mirror image, also as jpgs.
  • Some of the shapes will also include a card front image in pdf.

A great benefit of having these as electronic files is the ability to print as many as you want, directly onto the cardstock or patterned paper of your choice. So if you need to make invitations/announcements/thanks you, print more. If you make a mistake, print more. If your daughter steals your paper and does her homework on the other side, print more. You get the idea.

Truly, the options for using these templates are endless. Print the shaped card on cardstock or patterned paper, cut out, score and decorate. For the sailboat card above, I printed the card base on white cardstock and the card front on blue and kraft cardstock. I cut out all the pieces and assembled.

The printing lines are clear, making it easy to cut and the card base templates include handy arrows to show you were to score. The card fronts make it easy to paper piece your design. I cut my blue and tan pieces smaller to let some of the white card base show through, but the card front is actually sized to fit precisely on the card base.

There is a lot of cutting involved, so you will definitely want a sharp pair of scissors and/or a craft knife. Some of the cutting can be intricate, especially with the word-shaped cards.

Since the outline files are jpgs, you can resize them using photo editing software. Then you can use them as accents on cards, scrapbook pages, altered items, etc. Above, I resized the onesie using Photoshop Elements and printed it three times on pink cardstock. They are the perfect accent for a scrapbook page about my newborn daughter.

You could also layer the outline images on digital patterned paper and then print it out. The mirror images are great if you want to be sure the outline won’t show. I really appreciate this option being included; it’s especially helpful for the word shapes.

Next up is the stitching templates, in action above. Instead of a solid outline, the shape is dotted. While I was making the stitched Baby accent above, I thought the dots were too close together, so when I pierced the shape prior to sewing, I skipped every other dot. This stopped my eyes from crossing, but still kept the stitches pretty uniform (don’t look too closely).

My thread covered up the extra dots. If I had wanted to just pierce the word, I could have printed the mirror image so none of the printing would have shown on the front. See, that is a great option! This is on the same layout as my onesies from above.
The options for these templates go beyond paper, scrapbook pages and cards. I printed the elephant outline shape on paper, cut it out and used it as a pattern to cut the little guy below out of felt. How cute would this be on a onesie? Coupled with a matching elephant card, it would be a great gift.

Overall, I think the templates are a great value. They’re simple to download and use, and you can use them over and over again. They make cute shaped cards as well as card accents and scrapbook page elements. They do involve cutting and some basic computer skills.

You can see more examples of the templates in action at the Papertrey Ink website and the blogs of their designers.

  • Affordable at $5 a set.
  • Lots of options, uses for each template.
  • Digital file so you can print as many as you want, on whatever you want.
  • Files can be resized to make accents, paper piecings.
  • Simple to use.


  • You need a computer and some basic skills to use, and photo editing software if you want to resize.
  • Lots of cutting is involved, some of which can be intricate.
  • Stitching guides are close together.
  • I’d like to see some more themes introduced.

Have you used the In Shape templates? What do you think of them? We’d love to know.


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One Response to Click Simple In Shape Templates by Papertrey Ink

  1. Avatar
    Jen August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m a big fan of PTI products in general. I’m curious if any other non-US crafters have tried using the templates on A4 cardstock- I know the cardstock PTI sells is letter size, but unfortunately this is not a world-wide standard and altering the size of the print may affect the template.