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How to make a zine

Fi Johnston of the Tiny Zine Swap Shop shares tips on how to make your own zine

Last updated: 11 June 2024

Hi! My name’s Fi, and I love zines (pronounced zeens)! I think you’re going to love zines too.

What’s a zine? It’s like a little book, or magazine, that you make yourself, about anything you want. You can then make copies of it and share it with friends, family and other zine makers. Or you can keep it just for yourself. It’s up to you!

I’m going to show you how to create a tiny zine out of one piece of A4 paper. This is easy to do, and all you need to get started is a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and a pen. Make it at home, or at school, or on the bus – wherever you like! After you’ve made your zine, you can decorate it with whatever you have: stickers, stamps, tape, coloured pens, dry leaves, recycling, or anything else you can find! The cool thing about tiny zines is how easy it is to make copies if you want – there might be a photocopier or scanner/printer at your school or library that you can use for cheap.

You might already have a great idea for your zine, but if you’re not sure yet, the image at the top of the page might give you some ideas to get started with. Keep scrolling down to find a video, step-by-step instructions, and a special ‘How To Make A Zine’ template that you can download and print out.

Video How to make a tiny zine

Step-by-step instructions

Follow these instructions to create your own mini zine. You can use any A4 piece of paper or a print-out of our zine template download.

1. Take a piece of A4 paper. Fold it in half, short side to short side, and then unfold.

2. Fold in half long side to long side. Unfold again.You now have 4 equal sections

3. Take each short side and fold it into the middle. You now have 8 equal sections – they will be your pages!

4. Get ready to cut! Fold paper back in half, short side to short side. Cut along the fold line that goes from the folded edge to the middle – DON'T CUT ON THE OPEN EDGE!

5. When you unfold it now you have a little open mouth in the middle of the page! A slightly rubbish puppet! Stop now if this is your dream come true! [if you want a tiny zine, move onto the next step]

6. Fold in half again long ways

7. Holding the two outside pages, push them towards each other so they make a cross.

8. Flatten your pages, so it looks like a wee book!

9. Now it's time to fill your zine with WHATEVER YOU WANT! I can't wait to see what zines you make!

Find out more about Fi's work and zines by visiting the Tiny Zine Swap Shop website(this link will open in a new window).