Creatively transform books into unique artworks. Explore the diverse forms altered books can take, and choose your own book to craft during this engaging workshop.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: This workshop will be held in a live, online format utilizing the Zoom platform.
Class meets Monday & Thursday, Oct 16 & 19 from 6-8pm ET.

In this workshop, we will alter books and transform them from reading material to pieces of artwork. An altered book can take many different shapes! Each participant will select their own book to work on.

Altered Books - Bee hive Altered Book - by Mary Uthuppuru
Bee hive Altered Book.

Session One

We will look at examples of altered books and explore the work of artists who use the format well. Each person will then share which book they chose to work with and any ideas they may have for their project. Working on my own book, I will demonstrate techniques for manipulating the pages and transforming the physical book into an idea. Participants will be invited to work on their book projects between classes.

Altered Books - Zen Garden in progress - by Mary Uthuppuru
Zen Garden altered book in progress.

Session Two

This is an opportunity to discuss our progress. During these discussions, I will propose ideas to further each piece and even demonstrate any additional techniques that will help. As a class, we will all benefit from each person’s unique approach to their book.

Altered Books - Zen Garden Altered Book - by Mary Uthuppuru
Completed Zen Garden Altered Book.

Supplies needed

  • *A book
  • Knife: Olfa 9mm snap-off, X-acto, or something similar
  • Metal straight edge 
  • Glue brush
  • Bonefolder
  • PVA (polyvinyl acetate) or other archival glue


  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Clamps
  • Small weights

*How to choose a book: A nice candidate for an altered book is one that has decent paper (not yellowing) and is of no sentimental or monetary value, i.e. not a cherished family treasure or a first edition. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have some sort of interest in the subject of your book.

All images copyright Mary Uthuppuru.

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Instructor: Mary Uthuppuru

Mary Uthuppuru creates artist books, bindings, boxes, and prints inspired by science, literature, and travel. After receiving a BA in Art History and a master’s in library science with a specialization in rare books she closely studied the history of the book accompanied by training through workshops across the country.  Mary began working as a Conservation Technician at the Lilly Library in 2007 and gained an in-depth study of book structures and their repair under the direction of the head of Conservation. As of 2010, she began her career as a full-time book artist and bookbinder under the name Spring Leaf Press at her home studio in Bloomington, Indiana. Mary took on the role of the owner of Colophon Book Arts Supply in 2017 and brings her experience as an artist to the role of shopkeeper. Mary continues to exhibit work nationally and internationally and teaches workshops throughout the country.