Five Great Sources of Cabochon Templates
At some point in their journey, most lapidary artists who make cabochons will acquire a set of templates for tracing shapes on to rock slabs. Some use them just to envision and capture artistic scenes and features they see in the stone. At the Rock Tumbling Hobby we get asked about templates a lot and so we have created this quick guide article so you will have a good starting point.
Before we begin let’s start with a helpful guide that was created by an RTH member that identifies many of the various shapes that we encounter when using templates to design and create cabochons. Click on each photo to enlarge.
1. Print Your Own
An RTH Forum member created this awesome set of templates and it has been a very popular download on the forum for many years. With these templates you will need a way to print them out and carefully hand trim out your favorite shape, or all of the shapes, with a Xacto knife or similar. Members have posted about purchasing clear acetate sheets and printing them in their ink jet or laser printer before cutting. If you are lucky enough to have a friend with a plotter or laser cutter, even better.
Click on each thumbnail to open the full size .JPG image for saving/downloading. All of these template sheets have a white background for printing. Colors shown just for better visibility here.
Check out the FREE DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATES thread on the RTH Forum.
2. Amazon has a great selection
Aside from the fact that we are Amazon junkies and that they really do have a great selection of templates, we are also a member supported free website and forum for all rock lovers to join and enjoy. With that comes expenses, and to help cover these expenses we participate in the Amazon Associates program where we earn from qualifying purchases that you make after clicking on our Amazon links. To help us with our goal of keeping Rock Tumbling Hobby a free and thriving community, please click our links as often as you shop Amazon for all your household, business, and hobby needs and we sincerely thank you for your support.
We have chosen four Amazon products to feature here just as a starting place for you – or click the search Amazon link below the ads to do a general search for cabochon templates.
Doing a search for jewelry design templates on Amazon yields a very wide array of shapes and sizes.
3. Cabtopia Shop on Etsy
Aside from (or maybe because of) the commentary that circulates on the internet regarding online shopping platform Etsy having strayed very far from their artisan, homemade roots in favor of high volume, mass production sales revenue, there are still many mom and pops on the platform that need our support more than ever. One of those is Etsy seller Cabtopia, a small business operating out of southern California. They produce and sell a wonderful array of cabochon templates designed by lapidary artists for lapidary artists.
If shopping on Amazon is more in your comfort zone, most all of the Cabtopia templates are also available on Amazon. Just follow this quick link to do a search on Amazon for Cabtopia templates.
4. Great Shapes Templates from The Gem Shop
From personal experience, we believe these are great templates. After starting with one we went back and bought the other seven. Some of these we may never use to create a cabochon but having a variety of shapes to try is really nice when you have a gorgeous slab that deserves the best pattern capture you can accomplish. The Gem Shop is a good and reliable business with a great reputation and based on this we confidently make this recommendation, and in case you’re wondering, we have no financial connection to them.
Also be sure to check out the amazing selection of quality rough rocks and more.
5. Rio Grande
If you’ve been around the RTH forum long enough, or if you’ve tried your hand at wire wrapping or metal smithing then you’re probably familiar with Rio Grande. They are definitely the big company in the jewelry crafting business and have built a solid reputation as one of the premier suppliers of metals and more. They also have a wonderful supply of jewelry templates that can be used to create cabochons. Rio Grande’s selection of templates is focused more on smaller sizes for more specific types of jewelry, but it is still a strong recommendation here as many of our members produce ring size stones for jewelry.
A quick search for ‘templates’ on RioGrande.com reveals a unique selection of shapes.
Thanks for visiting this page and we sincerely hope it has been helpful for you. If you are stuck trying to find the perfect templates to design your cabochons, or unsure if you even need or want to use templates, visit the Rock Tumbling Hobby Forum and post your questions in the Creating Cabochons board. Also, if you have found a quality source of templates that is not represented on this page please bring it to our attention and we will take a look.