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Zines and Self-Published Materials

A zines resource guide created for Archives Month 2023

Make Your Own

As part of Virginia Archives Month 2023, we encourage everyone to try making their own zine. 

Explore the resources and tips below to help you get started!

Chose a Topic

A zine can be about anything! It can be serious or silly. It can answer a question. It can be a how-to guide. It can be about something you’ve done, or something you hope to do. A zine can also be about nothing at all. This freedom makes zines an ideal form of self-expression, but this can also make it hard to determine where to begin. Take some time to brainstorm before starting your zine.

Making a zine by yourself or hosting a workshop?

Use one of these tear-off-topic sheets to get the creative juices flowing. The first sheet of Zine Prompts is related to art, collecting, and memory. The second sheet of Zine Prompts is related to personal experiences or ideas. 

Zine Prompts 1 Zine Prompts 2

Gather Supplies

Once you have selected a topic for your zine, it's time to gather your supplies! See below for a list of essential and optional zine supplies.

Zine Making Supply List

Essential Supplies:

  • Pencil 
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Glue Stick
  • Zine Prompt
  • Scissors

Optional Supplies:

  • Old Photos
  • Old Books/ Magazine
  • Long Arm Stapler
  • Stickers
  • Gel pens
  • Ribbon
  • Patterned paper/ Scrapbook paper


Use the templates below to help you layout and fold your zine.

Folding Instructions

These illustrations can help you fold your zine.

Practice these folds with blank paper before you start creating your zine. This help you understand how all the pages will fit together. Once you get the knack of it, you'll be a zine-making machine!

How to Fold a Mini Zine How to Fold a No-Cut Zine

Make it Digital

The tools below can help you create digital zines. Digital zines can be downloaded and printed, or they can be read online.

Zines + Copyright

The DIY spirit of zines and zine culture is built on sharing. This includes the sharing of images and other print materials; however, it’s important to make sure you have permission to reuse material created by others. This is even more important if you hope to share and distribute your zine. 

Public Domain

The public domain consists of images and other material that do not fall under any intellectual property or copyright restrictions. Materials can enter the public domain for various reasons, but when no exclusive right is held, then that material is open to use by anyone in the public.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons images are images and material that do fall under copyright by the creator but are permitted for reuse, especially for educational or creative purposes.

Fair Use

The doctrine of fair use allows reuse of copyrighted materials without permission under certain circumstances.

Library of Virginia and Archives Month

  • Library of Virginia Tumblr
    The Library of Virginia’s “Look What We Got” Tumblr contains images from the Library's collection that can be used for creative and educational purposes.
  • Archives Month Flickr
    The collection of Flickr albums created by submissions from various archival repositories across the state contain various images that can be used for creative and educational purposes. Check out the 2023 album, which contains images specifically submitted due to their potential for creative inspiration.

Make your own images

If trying to navigate copyright seems too much of a headache, make your own images! Draw. Cross stitch. Paint. Take pictures on a phone or camera of friends, pets, places, etc. You can then use a photocopier or scanner to place these images into your zine!