Crafty Zines: Read Them!comments (2) September 5th, 2008
In case you're wondering, a "zine" is a self-published booklet, written, illustrated, and usually printed by someone who loves his or her subject. (And it's pronounced "zeen"—think "magazine" without the "maga".)
The crafty world has lots of wonderful zines, and they're worth seeking out—each one is carefully created, totally engaging to read, and as unique as the people who made it. Here are a few favorites:
CROQ is a zine that's written for crafters, by crafters. Each issue is filled with great DIY projects to try, interviews with crafters, recipes, and valuable information for running a crafty business. Editor Heather Mann collects contributions from crafters and illustrators all over the world. You can buy copies of CROQ online here, or follow the CROQ blog.
Scrappy (pictured above) is a labor-of-love zine by Niku Arbabi, an Austin crafter and mail artist. It's a great example of the loving personal attention that goes into many zines—each copy of Scrappy is hand-bound with novelty yarn. Inside this issue is a collection of sewing projects for people "with and without a sewing machine, with or without sewing experience." Niku's own drawings illustrate the projects. You can see some page layouts and pick up a copy here.
Do Stuff (also pictured above) is also full of handmade detail—the cover is made from repurposed cardboard packaging, with a photo of its maker, Lee Meredith, stitched to the front. (Actually, that's Lee in the second grade.) Inside, Lee shares great recycled craft projects, such as Ninja Mitts made from socks and bowls made from vinyl records. She also shares her DIY manifesto ("Use your brain. Challenge yourself. Try new things. Stretch your limits."). You can see some sample pages and get your copy of Do Stuff right here.
Craft Leftovers Monthly is the brainchild of Kristin Roach. The zine comes with a pack of fabric, buttons, and other goodies from Kristin's stash, as well as a craft kit she's designed that makes use of materials leftover from your other projects. The Craft Leftovers zines contain fun recipes, tips on organizing your crafty life, and patterns for even more fun projects. This zine is made in a limited run, so order yours early—they usually sell out. Keep an eye on Kristin's blog for updates on when the next issue goes on sale.
Mixtape (pictured above) is a beautiful zine made in Australia by two crafty friends, Justine Telfer and Nichola Prested. Their motto is "Make time for the small things," and their zine is filled with tips for greening your life, plus profiles of crafters, how-tos, book and music reviews, recipes, and more. The front cover art comes from a different crafty illustrator each issue. You can browse back issues of Mixtape and order copies over here. Mixtape ships outside of Australia.
Be sure to add some zines to your crafty reading diet!