Zines are small homemade booklets full of images and text. The history of zines is pretty interesting — they originated in the United States during the 1930s as a way to appreciate sci-fi culture. They were originally called fan magazines, but this was later shortened to fanzines, and eventually to zines. 

Zines can be about anything and you can create one with things you find around your house! Watch the video or read below for a step-by-step guide on how to make a zine: 

Step One: Get Materials 

You’ll need to gather the following materials before you start making your zine.  

  • Any kind of paper (printer paper, lined paper, construction paper, cardstock, etc.) 
  • A pen or pencil to write with 
  • Scissors, glue, and tape to put your zine together 
  • Pencil crayons, coloured pens, or markers 

There are different kinds of zines, and some of your materials will depend on which type you decide to make. For example, if you want to make a full-sized zine with multiple pieces of paper, you’ll need a needle and thread to bind your zine together. 

You can also incorporate found materials from around your house like magazines or cardboard into your zine. If you have a computer, you can use it to type out some of the text for your zine instead of writing it by hand. 

Step Two: Brainstorm 

Decide what you want your zine to be about and what it will look like. (Your content and form.) You can start with an idea that you want to communicate with your zine or you can be inspired by the materials you’ve chosen to use. If you’re not sure where to start, try using one of the zine prompts in the image above!

Step Three: Fold and Prepare 

If you want to make a one-page mini-zine, fold your piece of paper in half three times so that it’s divided into eight different sections. Write page numbers 1-8 in the corner of each section. 

If you want to make a larger zine, stack multiple pieces of paper together and fold them in half so that they look like a book. How many pieces of paper you use will depend on how many pages you want your zine to have. (For example, use 3 pieces of paper for a zine with 12 pages.) 

Step Four: Create Content 

Use your pencils, pens, or markers to sketch images and write words on each page of your zine. For the mini-zine, the pages will be the eight sections of the piece of paper, and for the larger zine, it will be each page of your folded book. 

You can also use found materials for your zine content. You can cut and paste photos and typed text from magazines or catalogues into your zine, or even use these materials as a base for the zine itself instead of regular paper!  

Other found materials you may want to use are pressed leaves or flowers and bits of paper or cardboard you find around the house that have colours, textures, or patterns that you like. 

Step Five: Put It Together 

If you’re making a one-page mini-zine, put something underneath your piece of paper to protect the surface below it. Cut a straight line in the middle of the piece of paper using scissors. (The cut should go across the top of two folded segments.) If you have a ruler, you can use it to align the scissors. 

Fold your piece of paper in half in the opposite direction of the cut. Then fold out the edges of the page so that the section with the cut in it faces upwards. Pull the opposite edges of the cut away from each other until the paper folds in half again. Lay your zine down flat and press it together, then close up the pages. 

If you’re making a larger zine, you’ll need to bind it together using a needle and thread. Use the needle to poke a hole through the middle of the center piece of paper. Then poke two more holes halfway to the top and bottom of the page. 

Thread the needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread. Push the needle and thread through the middle hole, then the top hole, then the bottom hole. Each time you push the needle and thread through the paper, make sure you pull the thread tight and flip your zine over.  

Complete your binding by pulling the thread through the middle hole again. Trim the thread with scissors and tie a knot at the end of it. 

Your zine is now complete. Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on social media with #DAREtogether and tag DAREarts so we can see what you’ve created! 

Looking for more creative activities? Visit our Learn From Home Centre

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