Zine Kits

Your local upcycling craft store would is a good place to find unique materials for zines (something like the IDEA store in Champaign, the Chicago Creative Reuse Exchange, or the Wasteshed). Social media can be a great resource for inspiration, too - I love what Tiny & Snail do with oil pastels on envelopes!

Congratulations! You got a zine-making kit! It should contain a glue stick, an accordion booklet (from Blick if you would like to order more for yourself or for a classroom, but you can also make them), two chipboard covers, two pieces of origami paper, washi tape, and oil pastels in a cup.

Optional, but useful, additional ingredients / supplies are: scissors, stickers, stamps, ink, clear tape, magazines, a typewriter, hole punches (in interesting shapes, perhaps), a needle and thread, crayons, markers, pencils, pens, or anything else you'd like to use to create your wee book!

This page offers some zine-making tips and suggestions, but as in all things creative, please feel free to use what works for you and discard the rest, or come up with your own ideas!


There are loads of options for the chip board covers. Here are a few alternatives that I have tried: plain chip board, using part of a magazine cover (using the original chip board as either a base, with the magazine page applied with double-sided tape, or for tracing if the magazine cover is thick enough), scrapbook paper, greeting cards, folding matching origami paper over the front piece and the back piece (secured with glue or clear tape), using a sticker for the title, or collage (for the cover and / or title) from found materials (magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, fliers, maps, etc.).

(You could also do these last, in an effort to match your content - art is a process, so enjoy yours!)


Is your subject spring? Autumn? Sass? Do you have loads of stickers or washi to work with? Do you have a theme, like dinosaurs, or an inspirational poem or song lyric you want to work with? Are you telling a story, making a drawing, or some combination?

You can use the front and the back of your inside pages for decoration, story-telling, collage, or any other artistic process you like (just be sure to let the ink dry on any stamps, linocuts, or paint before you fold it up - I am speaking from experience!).

You can stamp, paint, write, sew - try calligraphy, or use a fountain pen, or combine watercolor and sewing (inspired by daisy yellow).

Zines are as varied as their makers - topics include whatever you can imagine. There are zines about Covid, Star Trek, death, the US Census, immigration, poetry, socks, puppies, birds, dancing, philately, Canada, racism, mental health, memoirs, video games, perfectionism, selkies, Chicago, bananas, Sharpies, art, farts, craft projects... There are artizines (artistic zines), perzines (personal zines), and zeens! Have fun, good luck, and take heart! <3

See Also: See Also: Mini Zines & Zines