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Unfortunately, we don't have anything scheduled.

Send us an email or give us a call at (302) 454-1411 to express your interest or schedule for a group.


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Classic clamshell box workshop

8 working hours plus light lunch, all materials (and lunch) included: $140

What is a clamshell box?

Like its giant saltwater clam namesake, a typical clamshell box is firmly hinged along one side and the remaining edges seal snugly together to protect the contents inside. The image below shows a presentation clamshell box of botanical prints made for artist MF Cardamone.

clamshell MF Cardamone

Clamshell boxes range in appearance from plain and utilitarian to highly decorated with hidden compartments. The ones we are most interested in building are used to house books, documents or sets of prints. Their main purpose is to contain these items and protect them during storage from fading, from dust and from handling (especially if the items are soft, delicate, crumbly, etc.).

Why take this workshop?

Any book lover has to have at least a few singular volumes that need special protection or deserve a particular presentation. And many people have inherited very old, fragile books or family bibles which may contain all sorts of invaluable family history and genealogy data (see ours below).

clamshell for Bibles & Star Wars book

At Lead Graffiti we've made quite a few clamshell boxes over the past 7 years to house books and sets of broadsides, as well as presentation gifts. Above you can see three clamshells we made for personal projects—a Star Wars collectible book and two Bibles, one with several pieces of ephemera we wanted to keep with the Bible.

We've gotten good at working out the tricky parts. While clamshells are labor intensive (lots of parts with lots of measuring, cutting and gluing), they also deliver a matching satisfaction factor when they're done.

As with most complicated processes, the more you practice, the better the results. What's good about this project is that even a less than perfect clamshell doesn't affect the protective qualities that you gain for your keepsake book.

For this workshop

Bring a book that is about 6" x 9" x 1" to build your box around.

Workshop content

You should walk out with a finished clamshell and a truly amazing feeling that "I made this."

Below are a few Lead Graffiti projects that include clamshells.

clamshell for Ballet

A clamshell for one of our important library books that has a fragile slipcase.

clamshell for Thunder Road

We made six presentation clamshells for ourselves, the authors, and other important participants in our Thunder Road project. The book combined the work of British author Bruce Hornby with the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen.


Our Tour de Lead Graffiti projects for 2013, 2012 (shown above) and 2011 use a clamshell wrapped with our purpose-made pastepaper to hold the 23 prints for each edition. We also offer the pastepaper as a workshop which is half a day and quite fun.