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Guide to Zine Making

Everything you need to know to get started on your own zine project.

Tools | Materials | Suppliers

The Library will provide some tools in the MakerSpace. Yet we recommend that you purchase the essential tools. They are largely  inexpensive and it's nice to have your own so you can make/experiment anytime. You can consider purchasing optional tools if you find them useful. 


  • Self-healing cutting matt (various sizes; consider the size of paper you want to cut on)
  • Utility knife / Olfa / Xacto knife (the first two will last longer; the last is helpful when cutting very fine paper)
    How to sharpen an Xacto knife, Karin Corbin
  • Scissors (large, and small for finer details)
  • Bone folder (to score, flatten creases, smooth surfaces)
  • Awl (to make marks and holes; notice they range the sizes and sharpness)
  • Pencils (H or softer) and erasers (friendly to paper surfaces)


  • Book-binding needle (if your zines will be made in pamphlet or other style that requires binding
  • Linen thread (strong, will last a long time; notice the size variety)
  • PVA (if you'd like to glue images, etc. to your zines, using archival quality glue)
    Glue: The ultimate glue website with trivia and philosophy
  • Triangle (a variety of sizes)
  • Paper clips / Bulldog clips (to hold things together)
  • Japanese hole punch (to drill through layers of paper easily, even through binder's board)



  • Paper. Printing paper will be fine for practice or even "official zines." Yet there are also a variety of papers out there that you want to check out for the text and cover of your zines. Notice paper has grain direction. As a general rule, align your the spine of the book/zine parallel to the direction of the grain. Paper also has weight: light, text-weight, cover-weight, cardstock, board, and paper on a roll.
  • Adhesives
    --Paste. You can prepare your own paste from rice starch, wheat starch, flour. You can recipes via Google.
    --PVA Adhesive: proven quality for archival purposes.
    --Mixture: Mix methyl cellulose with PVA (following package directions) so it is less thick and dries less fast than PVA.
    --Double-sided tape:" 3M #415 as archival quality (you can glue on a cover or images for your zine, etc.)

         (Source: The above information is synthesized from, The Art of the Fold (2017), by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol)



The following are located out of California. Yet they offer great supplies and you can order online.