For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Merriam-Webster defines a zine as “a noncommercial often homemade or online publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.”

Not too long ago a combination of boredom and caffeine prompted Abigail and I to put together our very first zine. The subject: our girl gang. And it was actually easier than we anticipated; so follow our lead and put your creativity in action by making a zine yourself.

 Step 1 – Pick a Topic / Theme / Subject.

For us the theme came easy, because we are obsessed with our girl gang (called the actuals) – but you can choose literally any subject that strikes your fancy. Once you’ve decided what your zine is about you can then get to deciding what kind of content you want in it.

Step 2 – Decide How Long Your Zine Will Be + Plan Out Your Pages.

We decided on a 6-page zine because (a) our access to certain paper sizes and (b) we wanted to hit 3 main topics… this meant that each topic would get a 2-page spread dedicated to it. Our 3 topics addressed our girl gang mission statement, female friendships, + self-love. We decided to format our left-pages as ‘articles’ or pieces of writing, and the accompanying right-pages as collages of magazine clippings.

Step 3 – curate your content.

Once we established the ideas we wanted presented, we scoured through Abigail’s hoarder-level stack of magazines and searched for images that visually communicated our theme. For us, this was the most time-consuming step of the process, but also the most fun (there’s nothing like flipping through magazines with your best friend am I right?).

Step 4 – fold paper, Transfer Content, + assemble zine.

We followed this guide from Rookie that I will refer you to instead of reproducing… but long story short we folded a 12×18 piece of paper into 8 rectangles. However, it should be noted that because I had trouble in the copying part of the process our copied zines’ pages ended up not being on the appropriate rectangles and I resigned to cutting + glueing the pages together (in the long run I actually prefered the cut + paste method because the pages were thicker and there was no need to worry about the extra pages inside the folds).

Additionally, during the copying process I tweaked the color-copy options on the copy machine to make different dual-color versions of the same zine. My Etsy has 3 dual-color options (pink + black / blue + black / pink + blue) available for purchase that are all very cute if you want to get a taste of our girl gang.

 Step 5 – Distribute Your Zine.

Now that you have gone through this labor of love it’s time to share your masterpiece. I recommend sharing it with all your favorite gal pals, whether that be hand-delivering it to them in person or sending it through the snail mail. Also if you have the ability to make extra copies share them with your internet friends + everyone in the vast world wide web via a website such as Etsy.

Have you made a zine before? Comment below with the link to a listing so we can check out your work!

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