How to Make a Zine

20 APRIL 2022

Blog post main imageI’ve been folding and copying some collage mini zines to share with staff and students at Bradford University I’m supporting to run a zine making workshop on campus this week for Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is loneliness.

The team wanted to offer a creative space for people to explore their own ways of dealing with loneliness, and healing strategies, and to be able to share these with others.

Making zines (Do it Yourself magazines) , and especially mini zines (an 8 page booklet made from one sheet of paper) are a great way of exploring ideas or themes that are meaningful to us.

Minizines, or instant books as they are sometimes called, can be made really quickly and easily, through a few folds and a cut. Then you have 8 pages to explore whatever you want, in your own way – whether it is writing, drawing, collage – its up to you. Zines are all about self expression on your own terms – so you get to make the rules! There is no right or wrong way to do it. The added bonus of making these one page zines is that you can then photocopy them and fold and cut your copies, to share your ideas with the world (if you want to).

I like to work with collage because it offers a different kind of way of being creative with words and images. You don’t need any special skills – you just play with arranging things on the paper till they mean something to you or spark some ideas. You’ll know when that moment comes. When I’m making a collage mini zine, I often start with not knowing what I’m going to do or say – the magic is that it happens through doing it.

What's a Zine Handout
What's a Zine Handout p2
Use any words, images and materials that you can find or are you are drawn to – I love to work with pictures of birds and trees, and put words on top of textures.

I am also inspired by Buddhist ideas on the interconnection of all things, or ‘interbeing’ as Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh puts it – which help me feel less lonely in tough times. These little mini zines are the result of a little time spent with myself exploring these ideas.

If you’d like to make some time and space to explore your own ideas and thoughts for Mental Health Awareness Week (or any time), all you need to make a mini zine is a sheet of paper.

A4 is perfect, but you can go bigger or smaller, and use any kind of paper (eg wrapping paper, magazine pages etc), a pair of scissors, and something to write or draw with. If you can get hold of a glue stick (or sellotape) then you can also collage – finding whatever you might have to hand. Enjoy 🙂


The visual instructions below show you how to fold and cut an instant book mini zine.

Instant Book Instructions

From Create Connect Make, a project I am working on with Keighley Library.

This online video workshop from Cherry Styles from Salford Zine Library with Kirklees Library tells you more about zines and takes you through the process of making a mini zine.