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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Shapelets

Reported by Erika Martin

If you’ve never heard of “silly bandz” or “shaped rubber bands,” then you may just have been living under a rock. They’re all the rage in kids circles and schools. My daughter trades these shaped bands with her friends and has quite the collection going. Remember when we used to trade jelly bracelets in school back in the 80s? Shaped rubber bands are the jelly bracelets of the new millenium, and they’re taking the world by storm.
If you ask my daughter, “What’s better than silly bands?” she would say, “Making my own!” And that’s where Shapelets come in!
Shapelets is the “stretchy band design system” that allows you to create your own designs right in your kitchen! Shapelets bands are formulated to take on the shape you create on a peg board after you put it in your oven or toaster oven.
There are different ways that you can purchase Shapelets.:
  • The Shapelets Design System is a kit contains 1 pegboard, 32 pegs, 24 specially formulated bands, and 3 cut and punch templates. This kit retails for $9.99.
  • The Shapelets Class & Party Pack is a kit that contains 10 pegboards, 320 pegs, 96 specially formulated bands, and 30 cut and punch templates. This kit retails for $49.99.
  • You can also purchase refill bands when you run out so that you can continue creating. The refill packs come with 24 bands and Shapelets offers 4 different pack choices. Basics, Brights, Glow and Glitter. The refill packs retail for $4.99 each.

The Shapelets website includes a gallery that anyone can put their designs on and you can access it for ideas to use with your own bands.

The process behind Shapelets is a very easy one. There are 5 simple steps, according to the Shapelets website:
Step 1: Insert pegs into the pegboard to create the outline of a Shapelet shape you would like to make.

Step 2: Thread a new Shapelet band around the pegs to form the shape. Make sure the band is not stretched too tight. If you need to you can move the pegs to loosen the band a little bit.
Make sure that you choose the correct size band that your template calls for.

Step 3: Ask your parent or another grown-up to preheat the oven to 225°F. Then bake the Shapelet band for 10 minutes. CAUTION: PARENTAL SUPERVISION REQUIRED! (The pegboard and pegs are rated to withstand the 225° oven so they will not melt during normal use. Make sure not to forget them in the oven because they WILL melt and make a mess if you turn on your oven later on to a higher temperature.)
Step 4: Wait 5 minutes to allow the system to cool down. Then remove the Shapelet band from the pegs.
Step 5: That’s it! You’ve made your own Shapelet band with the Shapelet Stretchy Band Design System! Now you can wear it, show it, trade it, and much more.

When I took the Shapelets templates out of the oven, I got a strong whiff of plastic melting. I have chemical sensitivies (yes, I know, I use all sorts of crafting supplies, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off) so the smell bothered me a bit. I have a really sensitive schnoz, so others might not notice the smell. If you want to keep the odor contained, you could place the templates in a covered casserole dish so it doesn’t “hit you” when you open the oven door.
When you purchase the Shapelets Design Kit, you’ll receive a piece of newsprint type of paper that includes 3 “cut and punch templates.” These templates are a great starting point for using the kit and especially for younger kids that aren’t quite confident yet in creating their own designs. Directions are included on the sheet to instruct you on how to use these easy templates.

There is a useful FAQ section on the Shapelets website and this came in helpful for my daughter and I when we had bands break in the oven when we were creating. We had too much tension on some parts of the affected bands. This can also happen if you’re using a size of band that is too small for the template and pegs.

The bands that had even tension turned out great.

Another thing that we discovered is that you should make sure all of your bands are untwisted between each peg before you put them in the oven. If the band is twisted in between the pegs, you’ll get weak spots in your bands after baking. This could cause them to snap and break when being stretched later on. Some twisting of the bands between the pegs might also have played into why the bands in the above photos broke during baking, besides being tight on some of the pegs.

The FAQ section also gave us the idea to do up to 5 of the same shape at once. This way, my daughter could make a bunch of matching bracelets all at once. It cut down on the time and also on the electricity for our oven.
I think the one of the best resources that Shapelets offers, though, is their Create page on their website. You can create your own templates using the grid provided. You can add pegs, move the pegs and the band, print the template, submit your design to the gallery and the program even tells you which size band would be ideal for your design. It’s really important that you separate your bands by size so that you don’t put the wrong size on your pegs and ruin them in the baking process.

I tried my hand at creating a heart template. It takes a little bit of patience to figure out how to move the pegs and band on the program so that they’re going in the right direction for shaping but once you get the hang of it, creating new templates becomes addictive.


When I was done with creating my template, I printed it out on a piece of computer paper. It will also print with instructions and takes up a half page. To make the most of your paper, create another template and put the paper back in your printer in the opposite direction that you originally had it in so that you can print the next template on the black half of the page. Each template you create should have the size of the band needed at the bottom of the template, just like the cut and punch templates that come in the Shaplets Design Kit. However, the heart design that I made printed out as an “invalid size” so I tried different sizes of bands until I found that the smallest of the bands was a perfect fit.
Computer paper can be hard to poke the pegs through so use something sharp to make the holes in your paper to line up with the pegboard underneath. I used a seam ripper to poke the holes and the pegs went in really easy. You could also use a pin, a pen, the small end of a stylus, etc.
I lined up 5 bands and put them into the oven and they turned out great!


My daughter was excited to make some bands for the Penny Fair that we’re going to be having at our house on the last day of school (to benefit our local humane society). Look how serious she is about getting the bands just right.


We need prizes for the prize booth and since these bands are all the rage with her friends, we thought this would be a great addition to what the kids can earn at the fair.

Really, now…could you have asked for a cuter model to show off these Shapelets bracelets? Of course I’m biased, so I’d say no. *wink*

Pros:
  • Great price point for Design Kit ($9.99)
  • Shapelets offers a Class & Party Pack at an affordable price with plenty of materials for a fun party activity
  • Shapelets offers refill bands at a great price
  • Even though you’ll eventually use up all of bands in the kit, you still have the peg and pegboards to keep creating
  • The Shapelets website offers a gallery of designs, as well as a grid program to create your own designs to print and share on the site
  • Just as much fun for adults to create as it is for kids to create

Cons:

  • Only 3 cut and punch templates in the design kit, though you can find and print more on the Shapelets gallery and Create grid
  • For people with sensitive noses, there is a melting plastic type of smell that comes out of the oven when you take your templates out but this could be easily remedied by placing the templates in a covered casserole dish while baking
  • Some of the templates I created on the Create grid printed out as an “invalid size” – if this happens, you’ll need to experiment with different size bands to find one that fits well
The cons were not that big of a deal and we had a great time creating together. I can see this being a great activity for my daughter and her friends/cousins to do when they get together.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at Shapelets are giving away kits to two lucky readers. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.
Are you or your kids sporting these bracelets? Would you purchase this to make your own designs and what shapes would you pick?
Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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28 Responses to Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Shapelets

  1. Avatar
    mub June 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I have some younger cousins that would LOVE this. I might have a project to take with me next time I go visit now!

  2. Avatar
    jjocarlson June 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Yes my kids love these! I am going to have to get some my kids would have a blast with these!

  3. Avatar
    Molossus June 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    My nieces are wearing these and would love making their own. lifeimitatesdoodles@gmail.com

  4. Avatar
    Isabel Z June 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    This kit would be a huge hit at my house. My daughter has an assortment of silly bands and if she could make her own she would probably make animal shaped ones.

  5. Avatar
    Sue D June 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    My granddaughter wears bracelets like this so she would like the kit. She would want to make hearts and animals.

  6. Avatar
    LisaAnn June 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Wow! My 6 & 8 year olds would LOVE this!!

  7. Avatar
    AShu93 June 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I know some girls that would LOVE this. They were very excited when I went to NY & got them the bracelets shaped like an NY. This would be fun to make their own.

  8. Avatar
    Anonymous June 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    My two granddaughters have loved these bracelets for awhile now so they would be thrilled to be able to design their own product.

  9. Avatar
    Deb June 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    this would be a fun project to do with the kids. I think we would do our best to figure out a butterfly pattern. My daughter lves btterflys.

  10. Avatar
    Saundra J June 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    My daughter would love this…I can imagine a silly band making party! This style band is the “in thing” this year. I think that animal shapes would probably be the most popular. 🙂 I need to find where to get this kit around here!

  11. Avatar
    Ayelet June 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    This is such a cool kit. My kids (5.5 and 4) love Shapelets, and I would definitely buy this kit if we had it in one of our local craft stores!

  12. Avatar
    Liz June 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I would have a silly band making party for my girls. We would have to design some rock star diva stuff 🙂

  13. Avatar
    Frances June 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    My daughter wears silly bands, and would love to have this.

  14. Avatar
    Karla Anderson June 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    These would be great to make with my niece, I think she would make flowers and bug shapes…she loves bugs!

  15. Avatar
    Patchi June 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    My boys would love this kit. They only have a few silly bandz, so it would be fun to make more. My guess is that they will want lightsaber shaped… so I’d better figure out how to make it before I get the kit.

  16. Avatar
    Lori June 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    My daughter would think this was amazing–she like these bracelets and craft projects.
    lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

  17. Avatar
    Rebecca Ednie June 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    My son would LOVE these! He’d probably make some Mario characters which are quite expensive normally. Or not available or something like that.

  18. Avatar
    rush June 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    i am not sure if the grandkids are collecting these or not, but they sure would have fun making their own cute shapes.

  19. Avatar
    Jennifer June 8, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    I think I smell a Christmas present for my favorite son and nephew! XD

  20. Avatar
    isa dona June 8, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    i’m sure that my kids are going to adore these bracelets. Love the animal shaped and the stars.

  21. Avatar
    Vitoria B June 8, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    I have 2 nieces, and they would love this for sur. Love the hearts.

  22. Avatar
    Beki's Blog... June 8, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I just love that I could make custom shapes with my Grandsons; yes, I would buy them! And, my little guys do wear them. Thanks for the chance to possibly win!

  23. Avatar
    Karen June 8, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I did not even no there was a kit to make these, these are so hot right now I see them everywhere!!
    Great week!!
    Karen dkolopez@msn.com

  24. Avatar
    isabel scrap June 9, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    My younger kit would love these shapelets, for sure.

  25. Avatar
    Paulo Marques June 9, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Love these bracelets and i’m always searching for new crafts for my kids.

  26. Avatar
    the mustik June 10, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    really, really cool. This kit is perfect for summer activities.

  27. Avatar
    Alexandra June 10, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    My boys love the silly bands, and i’m sure they would adore these shapelets.

  28. Avatar
    la zaz June 12, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    My boys would love these, planes, stars… really good stuff.
    Thanks for the chance to win and discovered the kits.