How to Make a Zine

Recently in a text exchange with one of my favorite people, she asked me: “why zines?” Thanks for opening the door friend, steps on soapbox, perhaps a better question is why NOT zines? Zines are the shizz, and I’m biased, I know, but seriously - they are one of the coolest, easiest, most cost-effective way of creating and binding something to share. It’s miniature book-binding for the D.I.Y enthusiast and writer. It’s low-tech, it’s high-tech, it’s fun, it can be collaborative, and there are no rules y’all.

   The Tannex   , Albuquerque, NM

The Tannex, Albuquerque, NM

This past Thursday, September 27th Cushy held a zinester night in collaboration with The Tannex, a fantastic local venue here in Albuquerque with a national reputation. While showcasing the 8 panel fold for attendees I got asked, “so like, what is this for?” To which I couldn’t help but chuckle, because that’s kinda the whole point of a zine - it’s whatever you make it to be. It bears repeating, no rules!

I’ve been collecting zines since I was 16, and talk a little more about the role zines have had in my creative life in this piece I wrote a while back. What I love about my collection is how crazy diverse and wacky it is - I’ve got humorous zines about farting and partying in college, I have fiercely feminist zines with hand drawn vaginas on them, I have deeply political zines that are more mini-dissertations than anything else, and I have zines that are purely visual - no text, just collaged images or photographs. All this to say, a zine is “for” whatever purpose you choose for it to be about, and therein, it can be about anything.

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Cushy Zinester Night @ The Tannex

and all the lovelies that attended.

Zinester night was all about sharing what I love about zines and highlighting how easy they are to make and the multiple ways you can approach making one. Below I’m sharing two videos for how to make an 8-panel and 14 panel zine using a single sheet of 8 x 11 paper. In the bio of each YouTube video are links to templates I’ve created for Microsoft Word in case you want to go the high-tech (PSA: probably no one else refers to using MS Word as “high tech”, anywhere, ever) route. Just remember to save a copy of the template for reuse and delete the lines from your final copy before printing.

*These templates aren’t great for Google Docs

How to fold a six page zine with a front and back cover using a single sheet of 8x11 paper.

How to fold a single sheet of 8x11 paper into a sixteen panels to create a 14 page zine.

You can come visit Cushy and check out our zines this coming Saturday, October 6th at Three Sisters Kitchen for the 8th Annual Albuquerque Zine Fest. Zines will be available on our online store for purchase after the event. If you don’t live in Albuquerque or can’t make zine fest this year, I hope you’ll still consider making a zine, even if it’s just for yourself, though, truth be told, half the fun is sharing them! You need not even sign your zines or share them with people you know. Some of the best zines I’ve ever collected have been zines by anonymous authors left in random places on college campuses and coffee shops. Regardless, I’d love to see and share your creations! Share them by tagging us on your Instagram with @cushy_mag or emailing them to us at contact@cushy.me.

Happy binding!