Monday 19 August 2013

How to Make a 16 Page Zine from One Sheet of Paper!

I taught this simple class on how to make a zine at 'Wellington Handmade' back in June (along with a few other tips and tricks). Once you get your head around pagination it's all really simple and a lot of fun.

Of course you can use this technique for making more than just zines! It's idea for making little info booklets particularly if you're on a budget. It's also a great way to put together family or holiday snapshots to send to loved ones or strangers if you like; who am I to judge. Today I'll refer to it as zine making though, as zines are often about producing multiples of a publication in a cheap and easy way.

1. You'll need a few bits and pieces. Most importantly access to a printer or photocopier. Scissors. Stapler (all the better if it's long armed). Paper, standard sizes such as A4 or A3 work best.

2. We'll start by making a master template. You can later use this to make your photocopies/prints from. Take a piece of A4 (this will fold down to make an A7 zine) or A3 (folds down to make an A6 zine) sheet of paper...

...fold it once longways...

...fold it again vertically across the centre...

...and fold once more vertically across the centre again.

3. Now comes the tricky bit. You need to number the pages 1-16 in Sequence. Start on the front page and work back. 

Some of the pages are folded/hidden but these need to be numbered as well. I recommend using a pencil so you can rub out the pages once you have finished designing.

4. Unfold the sheet of paper and you'll see that both sides have numbers on them. The numbers show where the pages will end up once the zine is folded again. Trust the numbers, even though it seems odd that they are often not sat near the pages you want them to be.

It's now time to get creative and start placing your designs/text/images onto the template. This is important - make sure what every your putting on the page is orientated to the same direction as the numbers you draw on earlier.

5. Now your pages are all laid out (on both sides) you are ready to photocopy (or scan in and print). You'll need to print 'duplex' (on both sides of the same piece of paper). Do a test run to see if you need to duplex on the short or long edge.

The free downloadable 'how to make a zine, zine' is flipped on the short edged (this means you turn it over on the short, rather than the long edge of the paper). Just play around to work this out or ask for help in the copy shop, they deal with this everyday so will easily be able to give you a hand.

6. Once you have a print out ready fold it up the same way we did at the start (step 2). My zine is pink because I chose a pink paper stock.

7. Now it's time to bind. This is where the stapler come in. Open the zine up to the centre pages and staple twice along the fold line. Binding done, it's that easy.

8. Now close the zine back up and cut along the top and non bound long edge using a strong pair of scissors. That's it you have a zine. Repeat for as many editions as you like.

Download your how to make a zine, zine here!


  1. Hello Colleen, I love your Zine design but I am having trouble putting it together. Do you have a video tutorial? Thanks so much.

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  3. The dropbox link is appearing as invalid. Would the file be available again?