Fractal interpolation, one in the long tradition of those involving the interpolatary theory of functions, is concerned with interpolation of a data set with a function whose graph is a fractal or a self-referential set. The novelty of fractal interpolants lies in their ability to model a data set with either a smooth or a nonsmooth function depending on the problem at hand. To broaden their horizons, some special class of fractal interpolants are introduced and their shape preserving aspects are investigated recently in the literature. In the current article, we provide a unified approach for the fractal generalization of various traditional nonrecursive polynomial and rational splines. To this end, first we shall view polynomial/rational FIFs as α-fractal functions corresponding to the traditional nonrecursive splines. The elements of the iterated function system are identified befittingly so that the class of α-fractal function fα incorporates the geometric features such as positivity, monotonicity, and convexity in addition to the regularity inherent in the generating function f. This general theory in conjuction with shape preserving aspects of the traditional splines provides algorithms for the construction of shape preserving fractal interpolation functions. Even though the results obtained in this article are generally enough, we wish to apply it on a specific rational cubic spline with two free shape parameters. © Springer India 2015.