Making Zines for Tweens

Zines for Tweens

Have you ever wanted to publish your own story, comic, or other writing? If so, then you may be interested in making zines!

What Are Zines?

Zines are self-published books. If you think about a zine as being a “mini-magazine” you’ll have a clue as to what they are and a cool trick to help you remember that “zine” is pronounced the same way as the letters “zine” at the end of the word “magazine.” 

Zines come in lots of different shapes and sizes––so even though we can think about them as “mini-magazines,” they could actually be bigger than a common magazine. 

Similar to magazines, zines are meant to be shared. Magazines are printed on equipment created to mass-produce thousands of printed materials like magazines. Zines are typically reproduced on a copy machine like the ones you can find in your school’s office or at the Library.

What Are Zines About?

Well, that’s the really fun part, because they can be about anything you like! 

They can be about yourself, your hobbies, the world around you, DIY instructions, whatever you like! Here are some prompts to help you imagine the possibilities:

  • Write about your favorite books, comics, or TV show
  • Create your own story or comic
  • Write about your favorite sport, game, or toys
  • Make a How-To guide for a craft, a special LEGO build, or a science experiment
  • Write about the special things you do with your family or friends
  • Record what life has been like for you since the pandemic broke out
  • Write about the environment, politics, or other news that interests you
  • Write about what makes you unique

Zines really can be about anything!

Another really great thing about zines is that you can write them by yourself, or you can collaborate with friends or other people in your community to create one! 

Take a look at the program calendar for zine programs you can participate in!

How Do I Make Them?

The most basic supplies you need to create a zine are paper and a pencil or pen, but there are a lot of other materials you could use to make your zine just the way you like it. 

Here are some other ideas: markers or colored pencils, stamps, stickers, washi tape, cut-outs from magazines—and anything else that you like!

Zines come in lots of different sizes. Even if you only have one piece of paper you can make a multi-page zine if you fold it the right way. Here are a couple of ways to make multi-page zines from one piece of paper:

4-Page Zine: To make a small four-page zine, you will need to take a regular piece of paper and fold it hamburger style (fold the short ends together), then fold the short ends together again. You will have a small four-page zine. 

4 page zine

8-Page Mini Zine: This is a trickier fold to make and may require practice to get it exactly right. To make a mini eight-page zine, you will need to take a regular piece of paper. Fold it hot dog style (fold the long edges together). Then fold it hamburger style and open it up. Your paper should be fully opened with a horizontal and vertical crease line. Next, fold the two shorter sides into the middle to meet the crease. Unfold the entire piece of paper and fold it again hamburger style. You should see a crease marking the halfway point on your half-size paper. Starting at the fold, cut the crease only to the middle of the paper. Finally, after making your cut, unfold the paper again and fold it to form a small 8-page book. Note: you may need to refold some of your crease lines in the opposite direction to make the booklet work.

8 page mini zine