A monthly guide to stuff we think is cool

A new issue every
Friday morning


Make Your Place / by Brittany Mitchell

In the introduction to Raleigh Briggs’ Make Your Place she makes it very clear that this zine is not your ordinary “how-to” zine, but rather something empowering, political, and thoughtful. Her voice is warm and accessible and her little comments to the reader to be safe because “It’s important to me” add a homey charm to the read. Raleigh spares no topic in this all-inclusive domestic DIY zine with chapters titled “Health & First Aid”, “Non-Toxic Cleaning & Body Care”, and “Gardening”. The zine includes herbal solutions to everything from assembling a basic first aid kit and treating depression and anxiety to herbal pet care, pest control and laundry detergent, to plant anatomy and testing and improving your garden soil. There are even charts for the best essential oils for your skin-type in the body care section and for which plants plant well together when using the buddy system in your garden. From this zine, I have mixed a tea to aid PMS, made my own shampoo and conditioner, unclogged more than a few formerly hopeless drains without buying some fancy expensive product, and even shampooed my dog on the cheap. I don’t have much room for a garden at my place but I’m sure once I do, Make Your Place will be my go-to resource for that, too.

For me, what’s most important about this zine is its ability to put the decisions about what you use, make, and do back into your own hands and take them out of the hands of corporations. There’s nothing more gratifying than realizing your need for something that most people don’t think twice about simply buying at the store, and creating it all on your own from the ground up. Bringing the DIY spirit into the home space is a radical act that brings us closer to the earth, each other, and ourselves.

Included below are a couple of recipes from Make Your Place for all-purpose laundry soap and, since it’s summer, herbal pest repellant for the home!

This recipe makes enough for 3 loads, but can easily be doubled or tripled. If you like your laundry to smell nice, add your favorite essential oils to this mixture because its unscented.
-1/2 cup baking soda
-1/2 cup powdered castile soap
-1/4 cup washing soda
-1/4 cup borax

Mix well and use 1/2 cup per load in warm or hot water (to dissolve the soap powder).

This recipe just repels pests, it doesn’t kill them.
-2 handfuls dried peppermint leaves
-1 pinch each of: garlic powder, cayenne, lavender flowers, lemon peel, and dried basil

Grind finely and store in an airtight container, sprinkle any place bugs like to hangout.

Come visit the library to check out two of Raleigh Briggs’s other zines, How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off, and Nontoxic Housecleaners. Both zines are located in our DIY/How-To section. Be sure to catch the Papercut Zine Library and my vegan bakery, Sweet as the South, at the upcoming FMLY Fest! Both Papercut and Sweet as the South will be tabling the first day of the Fest, selling zines and some special vegan treats whose proceeds will go to the library. Papercut will also be hosting a workshop about zine culture.

See you then!

The Media's Zine Reviews column is collaboratively written by the librarian collective at Papercut Zine Library. Papercut Zine Library loosely defines a zine as "an underground publication that is independently produced and self-published, typically photocopied," adding that "people make zines out if a desire to share stories, knowledge, thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Zines are made for love, not for profit." Currently located inside of Lorem Ipsum Books in Cambridge, Papercut is a lending library of over 14,000 zines, independent newspapers, magazines, and more, run by a non-hierarchical collective of volunteer librarians. It has been operating since March 2005. If you’re intrigued enough to read the whole zine reviewed here, dig up a copy at 1299 Cambridge Street in Inman Square.

ABOUT                              CONTRIBUTORS                              DONATE