Learn how to make your own mini magazine (aka zines) with this tutorial!

One of the programs that I planned to do with our tweens and teens at KCKPL Main Library during spring break was making zines (pronounced zeens and rhymes so nicely with tweens and teens). As we all know, spring break library programs, along with so many other things, have been cancelled or placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I think it is really important to capture the feelings and events of this historic time and preserve memories, good and bad of how this has changed our lives. I think it is also important to take the time to reflect on how we faced challenges and hopefully found some unexpected blessings along the way. Journaling is an excellent way to preserve thoughts, feelings, and experiences. A zine might be the perfect way to capture some of those moments.

A Zine is a handmade mini-magazine that can take on many forms. It can be as simple or elaborate as you chose. You are limited only by your creativity, imagination, and supplies.  A zine can be a one-of-a-kind personal memento or something you choose to share with friends and family. They can be created, duplicated, and swapped with others. They can showcase original artwork, poetry, photography, or creative writing. They can be educational or just for fun. They can be a collection of your favorite quotes decorated with doodles and fancy lettering. They can be collages of images found in old magazines, catalogs, or newspapers.


  • Single sheet of paper
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, markers
  • Scissors
  • Optional other embellishments: stickers, photos, magazines, colored paper, stamps, etc.

I am going to share with you a very simple one-page format that is a great starting point, and I hope will inspire you to take some time to be creative. This zine is made with a single 8 ½ x 11-inch piece of paper that will have 8 pages, including the front and back cover. I like to start with this template because eight mini pages do not seem like an overwhelming task to complete in one sitting. Perhaps you want to draw and describe all of your favorite anime characters, create a tribute to your favorite book series by designing new covers, or assemble a playlist for each day of the week. Maybe you want to create a mini-activity booklet for your siblings, including coloring pages, puzzles, and tic-tac-toe.

Instructions found on Pinterest.

I created two mini-zines in an afternoon: A Joke of the Day and a Journal of my time during the Stay Safe at Home time.

For my journal zine, I chose to make each page describe a different aspect of how COVID-19 has affected my daily life. I am using the following headings for my pages:

On the cover (page 1): My Stay-at-Home Story, March 18, 2020 – TBD

Page 2: What I MISS

Page 3: What I ENJOY

Page 4: What I have READ

Page 5: What I have WATCHED

Page 6: What I have LEARNED

Page 7: What I am GRATEFUL for

Page 8 (back cover): What I LOOK FORWARD to

As I was completing my lists, I thought it would be fun to include some statistics. So, for example, I have just completed the Sarah J. Maas Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy for a total of 1,739 pages. What an amazing adventure I had with Feyre in Prythian! I am not sure I would have found the time to read this series were it not for the stay-at-home orders.

Additional Resources:

I found a fun book on HOOPLA that you might enjoy reading. If you click on the image, it has a link to our KCKPL HOOPLA, and you can check it out with your library card or eCard.


‘Zine by Pagan Kennedy

Also on HOOPLA, there are several lettering books that offer instruction on a variety of lettering, calligraphy, and drawing with sharpie markers to add embellishment to your zines. Click on the images for a link to the title in our HOOPLA ebooks.


What would we do without YouTube at this point? I searched “How to make a zine at home” and found dozens of helpful, inspiring videos. I am including a couple of links to some zines people have shared on YouTube. They are great inspiration and demonstrate the wide variety of possibilities for creating zines.


Additionally, check out KC Zine Fest’s webpage at kczinecon.com for more local zine resources and ideas!

~Miss Liz, KCKPL Main Library