Zines, pronounced “zeens,” are handmade, self-published mini-magazines. Zines were popular from the 1980s through the early 1990s. The term “quaranzine” has recently been used to describe making zines during the COVID-19 quarantine. Zines can relieve boredom, be soothing creative outlets, and can be shared with friends and relatives online. Most importantly, zines are fun to make!
We’ll guide you through making your own 8-page zine. Even if you don’t think you’re an artist or a writer, you’ll find that making a zine is easy. Take this as a chance to get hands-on and to explore a creative topic!
1. A4 Printing Paper (8.5 x 11 in.)
a. Regular white printer paper works best, but colorful paper or construction paper is also great!
3. Art materials of your choice
a. Only required art material is a pencil or pen
b. Other optional materials:
i. Markers, crayons, Sharpies, colored pencils
ii. Magazine pages to cut out for collages
iii. Glue stick
iv. Stamps and ink pad
vi. Washi tape
vii. Glitter, sequins, pom poms, googly eyes, or other embellishments
viii. Paper cutter and ruler
Black and white or color printer (if available)
DIRECTIONS: PART ONE
First, fold your paper into eight equal sections.
Next, orient your paper portrait-style. Make a tent shape as shown. The center of this tent is where you will make a cut. Cutting your zine correctly is a very important step. Cut halfway in at the crease. This cut will create an opening in the middle of your paper.
Now you should have a sheet with 8 sections and a slit in the middle. Open up your paper. Then simply push the ends of the paper in to form a sort of pinwheel shape. Fold the pages over like a small book or pamphlet.
Congratulations! You just folded your first zine. Now you get to add content and artwork.
DIRECTIONS: PART TWO
It’s time to decide what you want your zine to be about. Zines can focus on anything: sports, nature, yoga, archaeology, politics, activism, history, school, or iguanas. Quarantine-specific ideas include
— A personal journal of your time staying at home,
— Instructions for staying safe, washing your hands, or sewing your own mask
— Notes to your friends and teachers
— Your wishes, hopes, and dreams
Once you have a general idea of your topic (remember, you can be flexible and always change your idea), start thinking about what artwork you want to add. Are you best at drawing? Making collages? Stamping? You can experiment based on what materials you have available.
Lastly, start working on the zine! You can use your first zine as an experiment. If you’re unsure about where to begin or stuck, here are five ideas:
1. Write a short poem about your hopes or struggles. Copy lines onto different pages of the zine, and add accompanying artwork.
2. Create a diary entry on your zine, or chronicle a day in your life.
3. Make collages with magazines and newspapers, and then write sentences about your collages.
4. Interview a family member or virtually interview a friend, and make a zine profiling them
5. Create a zine about your favorite activity and include pictures
One pro-tip is to save the cover page of your zine for last, so you are sure you know what your zine is about. On your cover page, you can include a title. Be sure to write your name as the author!
Congrats on making your first of hopefully many zines! Now that you’re a pro, here are some extra ideas:
— Teach someone else to make a zine!
— Create a zine about a current event or political issue
— Use only found poetry (words and letters cut from existing newspapers, magazines, and other media) to make a ‘found zine’
— Create a zine outdoors ‘en plein air,’ using inspiration from nature and what’s physically around you. You can even use leaf rubbings in your zine with crayons!
— Combine multiple zines into a longer mega-zine
SHARING YOUR ZINE
So, you’ve made a zine. Now comes the last part: self-publishing it and sharing it with someone else.
If you take pictures of your zine with your phone camera, you can share them with your friends and on social media. Or, you can make photocopies of your zine, and distribute physical copies in a safe manner, while being sure to maintain social distancing.
If you post on social media, be sure to tag iGeneration Youth @igyglobal.
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ABOUT THE WRITER
Taylor Fang is an iGeneration Youth reporter living in Logan, Utah, USA. Read more stories at igenerationyouth.com
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