How to fold a zine!

Zines are an incredibly easy and versatile way to distribute information and publish your own material, without going through censorship, external entities, or businesses.

This makes them amazing tools for people who want to share their ideas, art, writing, and activism.

This guide will show you how to make a mini-zine – a small-sized, 8-page booklet which you can make with any piece of paper, including standard 8 1/2" x 11" printer paper.

The only supplies you will need to make this zine are your hands and whatever materials you will be using to make the content of your zine (for example, I just have a pen here). Scissors are a big help, but not necessary.

First, take your piece of paper, and fold it into 8ths. How I usually do this is to fold the paper hot-dog style (bringing the two long edges of the rectangle together so that the paper is folded in half in a long, thin piece). Then unfold and re-fold hamburger style (bringing the two shorter edges of the rectangle together). Do that again, so that you've folded hamburger style twice. The sequence is: hot dog, hamburger, hamburger. Not that you have to do it that way. You could even go hamburger-hamburger-hot dog. 

Getting hungry yet?

These 8ths of the paper will be your pages. If it's helpful for visualization, you can label the page numbers as they will look when you fold the zine. I usually number my pages lightly in pencil so that I can erase them later, but I've written them clearly here so you can see the formation:

When making the content of your zine, you can either do the content with the zine unfolded like this, or you can do it once the zine has been folded up.

Side note: Make sure to leave a small empty border around the edge of your unfolded zine! 1/4" is what I do – this prevents any of your content from getting cut off when you use a coper or printer. You can lightly trace the edges of this border in pencil if you want, just so that you know where not to write/draw/etc.

All right – now, we make it an actual booklet shape!

Start by folding the paper in half hamburger-style again. You're going to want to cut or carefully tear along half of the paper, along the middle hot dog fold. Make sure to cut or tear the half of the paper that has a connected edge!

Once you have that middle part cut out, you can easily fold up the zine by making the pages into a + sign shape, and then wrapping two of the edges around into a cover.

And there you have your zine!

The great thing about this method is that it's so versatile. You can use it on any piece of paper, and get creative with it. Another great size is to use 11" x 17" (tabloid) paper, which gives you the following:

Hint: If you don't have tabloid-size paper, you can easily tape two pieces of 8 1/2" x 11" paper together, as this size is 1/4 of that size instead of the mini-zine I made, which is 1/8th.

Hint: If you don't have tabloid-size paper, you can easily tape two pieces of 8 1/2" x 11" paper together, as this size is 1/4 of that size instead of the mini-zine I made, which is 1/8th.

Go forth and create!!

Disclaimer: I did make a few of these, but not all of them!

Disclaimer: I did make a few of these, but not all of them!