How to Make a Zine: A Beginner’s Guide

My love for zines is noted (here, for instance) and there’s no time like the present when it comes to learning how to make something new. I spend a lot of my time writing, both for work and fun, but when I need a break I turn to reading and writing zines. Zines are a powerhouse of individuality, underscored by the basic principle that you can do exactly as you like, exactly how you like and nobody can tell you you’re wrong. As a very opinionated person, this self-publishing extravaganza is highly attractive!

If you’ve never seen a zine, you’re about to: in this post I’m going to make one step by step, and you can follow along. It’s not tricky, it doesn’t need to be precise, and best of all, you can fill the pages in however you’d like. Want to write a zine about your Sylvanian Families collection? Go for it (and find me online to show me it because I love those tiny toys). Want to jot down a poem, a rhyme, a note to your family who might be too far to hug right now? Get in line, we’re here to learn!

There are lots of ways of making a zine — none are right or wrong. Zine making is all about the permission we give ourselves to just create, for the sheer love of it. In this post I’ll explain how to make a simple eight page zine.

How to Make a Zine

Materials

Printer paper x 1 sheet (11 x 8.5)

Category ID: 1530

Scissors

Imagination

Sharpies, crayons, pencils, pen, paint – whatever you have to hand

Instructions

Let’s get started!

1.  Lay your sheet of paper flat and lengthways. Make sure nothing else is in the way. You’ll get faster the more you do it, but for now, let’s pretend we’re on a fancy art show and take it nice and slow!

This art show is taking place on my living room floor, by the way. Fancy it ain’t, but that’s not what we’re here for. I’m also doing this one-handed because I have to make and photograph at the same time, so my folding methods are going to look…unusual.

2. Fold your sheet of paper in half lengthways. Make sure the fold is really good, and reinforce it by pressing it down a few times.

3. Unfold your paper, and then fold it in half crossways. Same thing here, make sure the fold is good and defined.

4. Unfold your page again, and now fold both sides from the outside into the middle to make two creases. Unfold again.

5. Now you should have a page with eight equal sized rectangles. You’ve made pages! Woo!

6. This next bit is literally the only important bit. Fold the page crossways again. Use your scissors to cut halfway across the crease, which will create an opening in the middle of your page.

7. Now you have a sheet with eight sections and a cut in the middle. Fold it in half like this picture shows and then push the endings together to make a sort of cross shape.

8. Fold it all up like a small book.

Well done! You’ve made a zine! As a bonus, you could flip it all inside out and make a secret second zine on the back of the front one!


Take my word for it, you don’t need to be anything other than yourself to make a zine. If you use this guide, please do show us your creations!

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