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Register Now! Class begins September 20th

Do you crave the inspiration you get from the act of making? Love books and paper? Have a desire to connect with others who share these same interests and goals? Join me in creating a series of flexible book structures that fold and unfold, collapse and expand, and feature innovative attachments and connections. We will transform paper panels into books, wall hangings, folding screens, lanterns & more. 

Let’s Make Artist’s Books! 

Come create six book objects that break away from the traditional book but still have pages, text, imagery and clever bindings. This 6-week class is the equivalent of a weeklong workshop in person with me. A new lesson will be in the classroom each Monday, and you can work from the comfort of your own home or studio at any time throughout the week. Hop into the online classroom anytime to ask questions and share your projects and ideas in a supportive and creative on-line community. We’ll also have two Zoom meetings, one at the beginning and one towards the end of this class.

Six Unique Book Structures 

The six weekly lessons will be exploratory (think model making) and concrete (you’ll be building book structures). I will show you a variety of techniques and models for inspiration. Content is optional – these are lovely objects in and of themselves – but you are welcome to dive into your own themes in your books. 

Course Outline: September 20 – October 25

  • Week 1 (September 20) Strip Books: Explore a variety of ways to connect strips of paper (or pages) to create a variety of shapes that stack up, fan out, and transform into sculptural forms.
  • Week 2 (September 27) Criss-Cross Accordion Structure: Join a stack of shaped pages at folded intersections and unfold them to create an expandable book structure that stretches through space.
  • Week 3 (October 4) Envelope Forms: Use the pocket-like feature of envelopes to show off paper cut designs and create a versatile hinge that allows your creation to be displayed as a lantern, folding screen or wall hanging. Alter the hinge slightly to create a unique book form.
  • Week 4 (October 11) Inflatables: Make this light weight balloon form and fill it with air. Add text and/or imagery to the “pages” prior to assembly. Unlike rubber balloons, this one can be partially filled and shaped, since the paper isn’t elastic and can hold its shape. 
  • Week 5 (October 18) Woven Paper Notebook/Lantern/Wall Hanging: This is the most traditional we’ll get in this class. Create a small booklet with a woven paper cover and bind it with the double pamphlet stitch, which adds two signatures to the book. Finish it off with a unique paper hinge closure. Learn how to create a lantern or wall hanging by slightly varying the approach to this structure.
  • Week 6 (October 25) Shadow Book/Lantern/Folding Screen: In the 1640’s, a German priest living in Rome developed the magic lantern, which cast shadows from glass slides onto a screen, a precursor to modern cinema. This shadow book/lantern/folding screen works on the same principle as light casts shadows from a stencil onto a paper screen. A unique Japanese hinge allows this book form to be displayed in multiple ways.


Helen is a skilled, generous, and very organized teacher. I enjoyed every aspect of the online class, from the clear video and the community feel, to the ability to work at my own pace. The projects and materials were lovely. The online format made it possible to benefit from Helen’s vast expertise without the time and cost of travel.  Thanks Helen! Sue E.

This was my first ever online class. The needed materials arrived in advance so I could become acquainted with them. The videos for each lesson were clear and easy to follow. It was fun to see the results that other participants posted. I found the interactive communication with you helpful and delightful. Thank you! I look forward to another online class taught by you! Barb H.


What You Get:

  • Step-by-step video tutorials for each lesson
  • Printable instructions for each project (some will be step-by-step, others will be prompt-oriented)
  • Templates
  • A comprehensive resource list, plus a list of suppliers (You can also purchase a supply kit below)
  • The online classroom where you can ask questions, share your work, and get feedback
  • Two live online Zoom sessions with Helen

How it works: 

  • A week before class begins, you will receive information about creating a unique login for the Flexible Book Structures online classroom.
  • Each Monday, beginning on September 20th, a new lesson will be available in the online classroom with a video tutorial featuring a new project to explore throughout the week. This is not a live lesson; you will be able to watch the video anytime, work on your own and then visit the online classroom to ask questions and share your work. We will also have two live online one-hour Zoom meetings on September 23rd and October 26th. 
  • As a student you will have access to all lessons, support materials and videos indefinitely!


Click here to Register for Class: $240

Order the Supply Kit: $75

Materials: You are welcome to source your own materials, but I’ve put together a supply kit plus a list of suppliers for all of the papers and parts you need to create these projects. The kit includes: papers for each project (most are approx. 8-1/2″ x 11″), balsa wood, bamboo skewers, decorative brads, screw posts, and a special cutting mat substrate. Please order by September 8th so that you’ll receive your kit in time for class. Click here to view the supply list. Order soon so that you receive your kit before class begins! 


Tools: You probably have most tools on hand, but here’s an idea of what we’ll be using: pencil, ruler, scissors, cutting mat, craft knife, eraser, glue brush, hole punch. Optional (but useful) tools: hand saw + miter box for cutting balsa wood, Japanese screw punch, needle and thread, heavy duty scissors/garden shears for cutting bamboo skewers.

Beyond the class: The skills you acquire will have multiple applications in book arts as we explore paper as a material, books as objects, and the various ways they can be manipulated and connected. Take what you learn beyond this class as you add additional ideas for working with paper and books to your repertoire.

About Helen: My initial interest in paper began on a trip to Japan 30 years ago when I was inspired by light filtering through traditional shoji screens. I took classes at the NY Center for Book Arts with Hedi Kyle, Susan Share, Barbara Mauriello and others. Soon afterwards, I began developing workshops combining book arts, papercraft, design and lighting techniques. I’m the author of five books about paper crafts and papermaking. I teach, lecture and exhibit my work internationally and have an extensive network of paper colleagues around the world. My interest in how things are made (from paper) keep me up-to-date on current paper trends, which I write about in my weekly blog, The Sunday Paper; I have a membership program called The Paper Year, where we explore a different paper technique each month; and I host the podcast Paper Talk, offer an annual paper retreat and host two papermaking master classes in my Red Cliff, Colorado studio each summer + fall.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of experience is required?
This class is for all levels but expect some challenges. You should be comfortable using a craft knife. I have taught all of these projects to beginners and experienced artists with success.

How does the online classroom work?

The online class is on a user-friendly platform called Ruzuku. All of the videos and PDF’s are on this platform, and there is a place where you can share images of your work, ask questions and get feedback. Getting to see what others are creating and having this online community experience is really fun!

When are the Zoom meetings and will they be recorded?

We will have two Zoom gatherings: September 23rd and October 26th.

What if I’m traveling or have to miss a lesson?
The sessions are independent, so you can jump in at any point and come back to lessons you’ve missed. You will also have access to the online classroom indefinitely.

Cancellation/Refund Policy: Refunds are only available within 24 hours of purchase. You will receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee for cancellations within 24 hours.