Whether you’re looking for a great school project to show off your desktop-publishing skills or you want to create a fantasy magazine as a gift for a gal pal, making a fashion magazine from scratch offers a one-of-a-kind challenge. This project will take time–even if you’re a whiz on the computer–because fashion magazines are all about artfully arranging multiple glamour shots with enough hot copy to fill each page with clothing, shoe and accessory news.

Things You'll Need

Obtain enough photos to fill your publication. Either ask your friends to pose in their favorite outfits and take plenty of digital pictures or retrieve copyright-free images from a website or stock-photo studio. You can also make this publication work if you use hand-cut fashion photos from popular magazines.

Give your magazine a name. One idea is to create a title that features your name. For example, if your name is Lindsey, have your banner read “Lindsey’s Bazaar.”

Pick out the most outstanding photo for your cover shot. Look at other fashion magazines and notice how they have one bold full-body or portrait shot dominating the cover. Editors do this for a reason: Once the outfit on the cover grabs a reader’s attention, she’ll want to read the rest of the issue.

Lay out your magazine. Whether you prefer to work with a Microsoft Word document or a formal page-layout program such as Adobe InDesign, open a 17-by-11-inch, two-column, eight-page document. This format offers 16 pages. The column down the middle of each page is where the magazine will fold.

Number each page so the magazine is designed and printed in the correct order. The right side of page 1 is your “front cover” and the left side is the “back cover”. Divide Page 2 into (left) “1” and (right) “14.” Page 3: (left) “13” and (right) “2.” Page 4: (left) “3” and (right) “12.” Page 5: (left) “11” and (right) “4.” Page 5: (left) “5” and (right) “10.” Page 6: (left) “9” and (right) “6.” Page 7: (left) “7” and (right) “8.” This pagination method is necessary to format the magazine. Make the process easier by folding eight pages in half, nesting them and numbering each for a helpful guide.

Insert pictures by theme. Some designers put matching color outfits on a page. Others group formalwear or casual clothing together. You might want a theme for the entire issue, like Summer Fashion. If you need help picking themes, peruse fashion publications for ideas. Pay particular attention to your centerfold (pages 7 and 8); you’ll use these adjacent pages to create a dramatic fashion layout.

Write text once your fashion photos are in place. Write fashion news tidbits and insert them between photos. Write photo captions adjacent to each outfit. Make every word count. The best captions are short and to the point. Use the same font for all descriptions. Try Times Roman. It’s easy to read, especially when your font size is below 11 points.

Add headlines to each page using a font style different from the text. Designers love using script fonts for interior headlines. They look elegant and showcase clothing on the page. Choose Zapfino, Edwardian Script or Lucida Handwriting. These common fonts work nicely as headlines, but one word of caution: choose one style for all the headlines.

Design the cover. Help readers find your themes by putting article titles down the right side of the cover. Place your banner across the top. Insert a text box on pages 2 or 4 to create your masthead. This lists people who work on the magazine. Give yourself a fancy title like executive editor.

Set your print command to “print both sides” or you’ll have to refeed magazine pages back into the printer once the first side of each has been produced. When all eight pages are printed, follow the page numbers, nest the sheets in the correct order, fold the magazine in half and staple the spine. Your ambitious project is ready for readers.