Online Workshop: Clamshell Box

June 19 – July 24 | 6 weeks
6 pre-recorded video tutorials and PDF instructions posted each Tuesday at 8:00 am ET. Access to a private chat area for questions and comments, additional videos posted when needed. Live office sessions on zoom will let students meet each other, share, and ask questions.

CAD $275 (CAD $345 with curated materials kit)

Register by June 5 to ensure Materials Kits arrive before the workshop starts.

Instructor: Andrew Huot

Clamshell Box

Looking for a way to protect your special books, store photographs or prints? The clamshell, or Drop Spine, Box is a perfect way to both protect and present your important items and books. Clamshell boxes are study and attractive, constructed with book board and covered with colored cloth and paper. Boxes can be made in any dimension and for any format. At the end of the class we will end up with a beautiful hand-made box for your items. The instructor will provide handouts so that you can make boxes after the class.

In this course you will learn:

How to measure your books and papers to be boxed.
Cutting and construction steps for making a clamshell box.
Skills to make and adapt the clamshell box for any book or collection.

Level of Experience / Skills Required

All levels; no prior book-making experience required. Some comfort with accurate measuring, folding, and cutting with blades/knives is needed to master the skills taught in this workshop.


Binders board or mat board
Book Cloth
Acid Free Text Weight Paper – 65# to 80#

Kits of curated materials are available as part of the class. Materials will be from a variety of sources and cut to size will allow you to make two boxes for a stack 8.5 x 11 paper. The instructions will demonstrate how to size down to a smaller book.


Bone Folder
Craft Knife / Olfa / Xacto
Metal Ruler
Self-healing cutting mat
Small (3″) and large (5 – 7″) metal or plastic triangles
Glue Brush
PVA Adhesive

In the USA, assembled tool kits for this class can be found at Colophon Book Arts, link here. You can purchase the basic kit at the link and add on any additional tools for this workshop. You can also purchase tools from any bookbinding supplier on the resource page or at your local art supply store.

In Canada, you can find these tools at George Hill & Co, link here.

Register by June 5 to ensure Materials Kits arrive before the workshop starts.

How this online workshop works


Video tutorials and accompanying pdfs will be posted on Wednesday mornings. You can access these materials any time once they are released, and work at your own pace. You’ll have time to complete the lesson at your convenience before moving on to the next lesson on the following Wednesday. During the week, I’ll be checking messages in the chat area to answer any questions you may have along the way.


Tutorials post at 8 am ET
Week 1, Overview, setting up shop, practice covering board, Measuring your book, making a practice plaquette.
Week 2, Cut materials to Make tray 1, assemble and glue tray.
Week 3, Cover tray 1, measure for tray 2, cut and assemble.
Week 4, Measure and cut for case, cover, extra touches for boxmaking.
Week 5, Attach and press. Printing labels and attaching.
Week 6, Corrugated clamshell box.