So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about zines: inspiration for them, and why you should write them. The latter post included an extra little bit about how to make zines, but I realised that a lot of people reading this would be writers, and therefore want to make the zines electronically. In all due respect to my stupidity, only two out of the four I made for Mini-Zine March were done electronically. The other two were hand drawn/written (and was super rewarding in the latter part!). However, my electronic ones came out very well so I’m a happy rabbit.
Anyway; how to make zines electronically is what this is all about. For this, you need three things: a laptop, computer, tablet, or something equally acceptable. A printer is required (well, you could put it into just PDF format, but printing it is the point!). And you need Microsoft Word. (And, uh, your brain might be helpful. <3)
At the end of this blog post will be linked/uploaded a document; this is the one I used to make all of my electronic mini zines. You can put the back and front cover pretty much anywhere, as long as the front is on the right and they are next to each other on the long sides (ie, both either on the top or bottom, and not one on each). Remember that the pages scroll through going ANTI CLOCKWISE/RIGHT >>! (Unless you’re writing in a right to left language; in which case, just switch it.)
However, here is a template for a zine to make on paper. To make it, all you have to do is fold along all of the lines. Then, chop along the dotted line. Fold the paper in half length ways, so the long sides are together, and pinch the two end pieces together (in this instance, pg 1 and the cover, and pgs 4 and 5). You’re going to push these two together; what should happen is you should make a little cross! From there, you can fold and flatten into a little booklet.
Online, it’s not much different. The document shows where the folds should be. I have been very accurate, so when printing you don’t have to take away the blue lines, but on my latest zine I turned the colour to “no outline” (don’t delete them! You might still want them) so you couldn’t see them. When I used them in blue, though, I was accurate enough that they couldn’t be seen anyway.
(PRO TIP: Save a copy of the zine template below. When you begin to make a new zine, Save AS instead of just clicking “save”. The template and the zine will save separately, so you always have a bare template on your drive to open when you need it.)
To make the zine, you can either import images and make them fit the blue lines, or use text. To do text, make a text box. It might help to make it fit the blue box and then write in it, so you know how much space you have.
(PRO TIP: Remember that there needs to be some margins. It’s suggested that most printers can cope with 0.25″ or 6.25mm. I usually leave about half a centimetre. Ish. I haven’t had a problem yet going up to the blue lines on the far left and right of the zine template (not the middle one!). Always make sure to do test prints; and remember that it’s not just at the bottom but at the sides you need to cater for.)
When you make your text box, you need to remember to flip it so they’re all upside down along the top. It’s easy to flip a text box upside down, and you just have to make it fit! Simples.
Once your zine is complete, print it (oh – and SAVE IT! See pro tip #1). I would always suggest doing a test black and white print, but that’s also because B&W costs 0.03p and colour costs 25p at university so if I get it wrong and have to keep readjusting, it can be expensive.
(PRO TIP: This might just be my computer, but DON’T FREAK OUT at the print preview. It looked weird on my computer, like really weird, and I got really anxious, but came out like it did when I was editing the document, not all wibbly-wobbly. I don’t know what Word thinks it’s doing.)
Once it’s printed, and you’re happy, make sure to wait for the ink to settle so you don’t accidentally smudge it. Then you can simply follow the same steps I laid out above and fold your zine!
Congrats! You’ve made yourself a cheeky little zine electronically. Please feel free to share what you made in the comments, and also share this blog post with my little template to other zineable munchkin friends!
(PRO TIP: Save your zine as a PDF to share online. Do a “Save As” and just select PDF from the drop down.)
Okay, I’m tired and am just writing in random adjectives. Seriously though, I am delighted to be sharing this zine template with you and I hope it’s been helpful.
Until next time, humans!
*this file should automatically download to your computer, but if not, send me an email sprinkledwithwords[at]hotmail[dot]com and I’ll be happy to send you it over!