How To Make a Zine

Friday, July 27, 2012


It's been almost three months since I debuted Pistachio, and I'm still over the moon with what an incredible experience it was! I have been asked several times to help out with other people's zines and how I made my own, and since I've begun the beginning processes of creating the second issue, I thought now would be the perfect time to share with you How I Made Pistachio:

Regardless of whether it is a child's painting or the Mona Lisa, you need to be inspired by something and have a clear picture of what kind of theme, tone, and overall color scheme you want for the zine. I went through images and clippings I had saved to help shape the tone and theme I wanted.

Write the articles you want to write, draw the drawings you want to include, and take the pictures you want to take for the zine. Also, if you have started getting ideas for how you want the zine to look, sketch out layout ideas - this helped me figure out how I wanted arrange a series of pictures and text on a page.

Now this isn't mandatory, but I cannot recommend it highly enough! I felt so honored when people I really admired consented to being a part of the zine, and when I posted a call for submissions here I received some really incredible submissions by people I didn't even know read my blog! Of course, there was some entries I had to turn down - they were great, but just didn't fit the aesthetic of my zine. Turning them down was hard, but this is *your* vision and you should not be obligated to include anything you don't want to. Just be kind when you tell them you can't use their piece!

Compile all of the illustrations, submissions, and articles and begin designing your zine! This was the most difficult part - there were so many possibilities! Using Photoshop CS4 and a design inspiration Pinterest board to help me, I designed and put together all the different elements into a page. One thing I noticed was I could spend hours and hours arranging all the pieces in the slightest different ways - and it got to the point where I was just wasting time. Unless you want a super sleek, professional quality zine, do not sweat the small stuff - for my specific case, what I was making was just supposed to be a fun, personal side project!

Another part I struggled with was the actual process of printing and figuring out how to upload it to Issuu, a site I really love because it allows you to flip through the zine as if it was a real magazine! I made two different versions of the zine, one formatted like the standard half-size zine (a great diagram for this can be found here) and the other as a pdf file to upload to Issuu. For more about uploading documents to Issuu, visit here.


Pretty self-explanatory! By the time I completely Pistachio, it was completely different from what I imagined and nowhere near perfect - but that didn't matter! I had created something I felt truly proud of and couldn't wait to share it with you all. As I said to my friend who expressed doubt over her artistic skills and thus felt like she couldn't make one herself, one of the best aspects of zines is that you are in control and can do anything you want with the zine - it doesn't matter if you aren't the world's greatest writer or artist, just write or illustrate what you feel and that will be good enough.

Feel free to email or comment asking questions, and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability! Also please let me know about any zines you have created or are planning to make! I wanna hear about them ^^

Floral background is courtesy of Pugly Pixel



Monday, July 16, 2012

After months of planning the move, I'm finally in my new temporary home - my grandparents' house! From packing to trying to help my cats stay cool in the 8+ hour car drive up to their house, the journey here was unbelievably stressful but we were welcomed with open arms into their comfy home - which is stuffed to the brim with mementos from my grandparents' 50+ years together, two adorable dogs, and surrounded by lush greenery and beautifully painted walls (the latter two being elements that have been sorely lacking in the past three or so houses I've lived in)!

And now, here are some pictures I took within the first five days of living here:

This Judy Jetson watch was waiting for me after I won it on eBay & had it go directly to their house - HEARTS IN MY EYES.

I found these biographies forgotten in their shed *_*

Some of my grandmother's treasures

Their adorable half chihuahua/half pekingese!

Just one example of the incredible food I've been stuffing myself with over here @_@

What are your grandparents like?

Also ModCloth posted my winning nail design over at their blog - check it out! I want to cry it's so beautiful *_*



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hello! I am so so pleased to announce, that thanks to the support of people like you, I won ModCloth's Marvelous Manicure Contest! I absolutely cannot wait to see how the ladies in ModCloth's Nail Klub interpretation of my nail design for the blog, and am planning on what I should get from ModCloth with my $75 gift card (any suggestions?) *_*

Meanwhile, how gorgeous is my dress?

DRESS Vintage AZURE BAG c/o Oasap TIGHTS Forever 21 SHOES Kohls

My mom actually bought it at a thrift store in the late 90s, and I am so glad she did! The detailing on the dress is just so beautiful! It was made by "House of Bianchi", which opened it's doors in the late 40s! I am no vintage clothing expect, so what do you think the date on this dress is?
Meanwhile, I am completely in love with my new bag from Oasap! The color is gorgeous, and the inside of the bag is just roomy enough to fit everything I would need in one place! The shoulder strap is detachable, so you can use it as a hand or shoulder purse. This is my new go-to purse for every occasion, I love it that much *_*

I hope everybody had a safe and fun fourth of July, and things might be a tad bit quieter around here for a while! Until then,


Guest Post: Andi Be Goode Hearts Grease

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For Mermaidens' second guest post, film and vintage clothing expert Andi Be Goode tells us why Grease is one of her very favorite movies!

"Grease is the word”, or so we are told by the opening song for the 1978 movie musical of the same name. It also happens to be one of my all-time favourite movies (just behind Rocky Horror Picture Show which takes top position on that list) and has been since I was a small child and my best friend and I would dance to Greased Lightning (not understanding all of the words) for our mums.

I'm pretty sure Grease has influenced my taste in a lot of things – my love of the '50s (though I think this was helped by having a mother older than most of my peers'), my desire to own a pink car and have a cool in which to hang out with my group of friends (and a group of friends to hang out with), and, perhaps, my tendency to want to break out into song every so often (bound to happen when you are reared on musicals).

I don't think I could possibly pick a favourite part of the movie but I can tell you a few things I may love more than other bits, like, for example, the appearances by Frankie Avalon and Edd Byrnes two big swoon-inducing stars of the late 50s/early 60s.

And how could I not mention other stars of classic Hollywood like Eve Arden and Joan Blondell? (Growing up, I never realised just how many of the older actors in the film had had such prolific and long movie careers... I'm sure I'm missing some!)

I once read a website about how American teenagers really dressed in the 1950s and the author of the site said how unrealistic Grease is in that respect – but it is a musical. I don’t usually look to musicals for historical accuracy but, even so, the costumes in Grease capture the essence of what is stereotypically 1950s. Even musicals made in the era in which they are set are exaggerated representations of the fashion, etc., and that’s what I love about them.

Grease doesn’t quite fit into the hyperreality of other musicals that I love from the 40s and 50s but I think it’s a similar kind of idea. The world of musicals is another world entirely and why people can be so divided by them.

I love the incorporation of the musical's original songs with songs of the era, sung by Sha Na Na at the school dance. The school dance scene is, of course, one of my favourites of the whole film...I still want Rizzo's dress. And probably Frenchie's, too...and Cha Cha's! In fact, just give me all of the dresses please.

Unlike other fans, I don't hate the sequel – in fact, I wholeheartedly embrace it! But I'm not here to write about Grease 2 so I'll just end with some lyrics from my favourite song from the film (and also the song my best friend and I chose to be "our song")

Ra-ma la-ma la-ma ka ding a da ding de dong
Shoo-bop sha wad-da wad-da yipp-it-y boom de boom
Chang chang chang-it-ty chang shoo-bop
Dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo
Boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-ed-y
Shoo-by doo-wop she-bop
Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na yip-pit-y boom de boom
Ra-ma la-ma la-ma ka ding-a de ding de dong

            Andi is a ukulele playing, film
            loving, and vintage clothing
            enthusiast who can be
            found blogging at Andi Be Goode!
            Thank you so much Andi ♡!


Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The lovely ladies over at Shabby Apple, the shop that sells adorable vintage inspired pieces, are giving one lucky Mermaidens reader a $50 gift card eligible to use for whatever you fancy in the Shabby Apple Boutique!

How To Enter:
1. Follow Mermaidens
2. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook
3. And then leave a comment with your favorite piece in Shabby Apple's store!

For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)
- Follow Mermaidens on Twitter
- Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to use "@mermaidensblog" so I will be notified of the tweet!)
- Like us on Facebook
- Follow us on Bloglovin'

Giveaway ends August 1st, 2012 and contestants must have a USA shipping address to be eligible for entry.

Good luck!

Congratulations to commenter number 27, Mary Van Note! You will be contacted shortly!

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