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GQS 201: Intro to Gender, Queer, and Feminist Studies

Zine Project

The second part of your group project asks you to re-imagine an idea or concept from the primary sources we examined and compile your work into a zine. This page provides information and resources for learning more about zines, and some tips and templates for zine making. 

What is a zine?

Examples from the Collins Library Zine CollectionZines are small-format, low-budget, DIY, self-published booklets that anyone can make about anything for any reason. Stephen Duncombe, author of the zine text Notes from the Underground, describes zines as: “noncommercial, nonprofessional, small circulation magazines which their creators produce, publish, and distribute by themselves” (10-11). Generally informative, many zines celebrate niche interests, foreground personal narratives, and/or argue for a particular political or social position.

Zines are an excellent medium for sharing knowledge and personal stories, journaling, advocating for or teaching someone about an issue or topic that you are passionate about, or building community within your circles.

The Collins Library Zine Collection contains approximately 500 zines on a variety of topics, which are housed in the Archives & Special Collections on the 2nd Floor of Collins Library. The zines in our collection vary widely in style and content and cover a wide breadth of topics, including zines on national and local issues, politics, personal narratives, intersectional identities, activism and social justice, mini comics, and much more!

Learn more about zines and our zine collection on our collection guide.

Explore these links to see more examples of what zines are like:

Making Your Zine

There are many different options for creating your zine(s)! We’ll explore both physical and digital options.

Gather your supplies (for physical projects):

  • Paper: Preferably 8.5"x11", which is standard size for printer paper. You can also use recycled paper bags cut to that size.
  • Writing implements: pen, pencil, markers, gel pens, etc.
  • Optional crafting supplies: Scissors, Glue stick or tape, stickers, decorative paper, magazines or news clippings
  • Whatever crafting tools you have available!! You can get creative with the materials if you don’t have a lot of crafting supplies on hand. Food packaging, junk mail, dried flowers, make up or nail polish work too!


General Tips:

  • Include some organizational elements: front/back cover, title, table of contents, list of contributors, page numbers*, statement of purpose, etc. Discuss with your group what to include and who will be responsible for each piece.

    • *Page numbers will help you assemble your zine in the correct order once it is printed.

  • Play around with the form. Try to communicate your ideas in different ways--a free-write, black-out poetry, images only, a game, a list, a comic, or a tutorial. The options are endless!

  • Leave a 1/4" margin around your pages so nothing gets cut off when your zine is copied and/or printed. 

  • Light text and images don’t always reproduce well, so bold or high contrast is best!

  • Relax! There are no mistakes--zines can be unpolished and messy. The point is to get creative and have fun.


For this project, you have several different options for creating your zine. You may use any tool you’d like and are comfortable with including (but not limited to) InDesign, Word, Pages, Canva, or physical paper. If you are creating a physical project, you may need to scan or photograph your pages to submit them to a group zine. 


Mini Zines:

Canva 11x17 template 

This is an 8-page mini zine made from a single sheet of 8.5’”x11” or 11”x17” paper. This is a great beginner project for first-time zine makers and individual projects. 


Folio Zines:

If you are making a folio or digest-size zine, each of your pages should be half the size of a single sheet of 8.5x11'' paper.

Canva 8.5x11 template

  • A free account is required to use Canva, but you can log in with a Gmail. Use Canva’s design elements to create pages for a completely digital project or you can use them to arrange content for a printed/physical copy of the zine. One person can create a copy of the template and share a link with others to edit.

Google Slides zine template: 

  • This template is designed to arrange content for a final printed/physical copy of a zine. Copy the template to your own drive to edit and share a link with others to collaborate.


The hardest part about creating a zine is collating and assembling your pages. Use the templates to create a mock-up or printer spread first! The total page count should be divisible by 4 so you don’t end up with any blank pages in the middle.

Collating a folio zine

After you are done arranging your content, you can scan and print multiple copies of your zine. Fold the pages into a booklet, then staple or stitch in the center to bind.