Princeton Sketchbook Club presents Zines


ZINE (n): (“zeen”) 

Short for magazine or fanzines, ‘zines’ are self-published books that can be easily reproduced and distributed within a community. They can be about a variety of different subjects from politics to art, mental health, culture, science, activism, and much, much more! Zines tend to thrive off their niche appeal, so don’t be afraid to get into the nitty gritty of something you love – even if that means you’re making a zine about what you had for breakfast that day or the history of your favorite genre of music. 

Historically, zines have been used as a way for everyone and anyone to express themselves and communicate with others. Get the word out there about something – no matter your artistic skill level! Zines can include original illustrations, collage, written word, photography, or any mixture of these things. Zines were founded by folks with passion and drive too big to ignore, so feel free to embrace the messy, slapdash, imperfect process that is creating a zine! 

The only rule is that there are no rules! 


In September 2022, the Arts Council announced a community-wide project that would supply blank 5×8” sketchbooks to anyone interested in participating in a new artistic endeavor, the Princeton Sketchbook Club.

By mid-December, hundreds of sketchbooks were picked up by locals and sent across the country to be filled with doodles, poetry, collage, or whichever medium the recipient chose to fill its pages.  

A group of local participants met every other week, enjoying time socializing with fellow artists while they made progress on their books.

In February 2023, the Sketchbook Club and so many friends, family, and attendees gathered for the opening celebration of the Sketchbook Library, now open to the public on permanent display.

The thing is… we missed making art together! The zine project will continue our tradition of bi-weekly drop-ins where Club members come together to make art, talk about life, and make a bunch of new creative friends.


Well, zines can be made in a variety of different ways and you are welcome to create yours however you’d like. Great options for beginners are the 8-page mini zine and the custom page folded zine. Both the mini zine and the folded zine can be made just by using sheets of 8.5×11” copy paper.

  • MINI ZINE: 1 sheet of paper = 8 pages (6 interior pages) 
    • Choose this one if you love working tiny! This structure is helpful because there is a set amount of space to fill. 
    • See diagram on right: Fold the sheet of paper into 8 sections → show the order/rotation of the pages → cut a slit in the middle of the zine → push together → close the pages → finished zine!] 
  • FOLDED ZINE: Up to 4 sheets of paper = 16 pages (up to 14 interior pages) 
    • Choose this one if you’re a “choose your own adventure” type! This method is easily customizable and larger than the Mini Zine. 
    • See diagram on right: Fold sheet of paper in half → repeat until you have the number of pages you want → staple or stitch the pages together → finished zine!] 
Reproducing your zine:
  • The first, original artwork of a zine is called the ‘Master Copy’ or ‘Master Flat’. From this Master Copy, you can print reproductions by scanning or photocopying your page(s) and printing them out. By doing this, you can print your zine out as many times as you’d like and give them away, while being able to keep your original artwork!