While Bible journaling is not necessarily a new concept, it is just recently increasing in popularity. If you are unaware of what Bible journaling is, it’s a form of worship and Bible study in which a person decorates or illustrates the pages of their Bible or in a separate notebook. It is something that I stumbled across on Pinterest which led me to the Illustrated Faith Facebook page which then quickly led to an obsession.
There are many different ways to Bible journal. There are Bibles specifically made for art journaling with extra wide margins and thicker paper and in various translations, some people do their journaling in a separate notebook and others journal in their regular Bible. You can journal over an entire page or just in the margins, use paint and stamps or just colored pencils.
I’ve been Bible journaling for about a year now and I can honestly say that it has completely changed my relationship with God. I used to struggle with reading my Bible consistently and when I did read it I forgot everything pretty much as soon as I closed my Bible. However, Bible journaling makes what I read actually stick with me because I’m actually spending time in the Word.
With all of that being said, I know getting started can be intimidating so I have a few tips to share!
1. Everyone can do it.
You may like the idea of Bible journaling but be worried you can’t do it because you’re not an artist, but you CAN do it! I have no artistic ability at all and yet I have over 60 entries in my journaling Bible. Granted, most of them look like a 5 year old did them but that’s okay because it’s not about the art, it’s about God. And if you’re not comfortable doing your own art there are several Bibles with coloring pages printed inside of them!
2. Acknowledge that you’re going to make mistakes.
The thought of messing up your Bible can be hard to swallow but the truth is, at some point or another, you will mess up. For me, it was my very first page. I literally ripped the bottom of the page in half and let me tell you, I was disappointed. In my mind the page was ruined BUT I realized that no matter what I’ve done or what has happened to me, God never considered me to be ruined. I slapped some decorative tape over that ripped page and now you can’t even tell it was there! So there you go, you don’t have to worry about messing up or making mistakes in your Bible because mistakes and messes are going to happen and when they do, God will be right there to remind you of how beautiful they are.
And just so you know, I still mess up on almost every page I do.
3. Choosing your weapon
Deciding what you want to do your journaling in can be hard because there are so many options. I’ve simplified the process into a few simple questions.
- Are you comfortable writing in a Bible?
The first thing you need to decide is if you are comfortable journaling in a Bible. Some people are not comfortable with painting, drawing, coloring ,etc. in God’s Word and that’s perfectly fine. You can always do you’re journaling in a sketch pad or the Illustrated Faith praise book.
- Do you want a Bible specifically for journaling?
There are dozens of journaling Bibles out there but they can get pretty expensive. A lot of people choose to use a spare Bible they have lying around the house. If you don’t have a spare, you can pick one up from a second hand shop or even the Dollar Tree!
- Which journaling Bible is right for you?
If you decide to get a journaling Bible, I recommend picking one based on what translation you like. I know several people who picked out a journaling Bible because they liked the way it looked but ended up being disappointed because they didn’t like the wording. NIV is my favorite translation so that’s the Bible I chose.
Once you pick translation, you need to decide if you want a journaling Bible with blank margins or one with pre-printed illustrations that you color in. I went with a blank Bible because I wanted my entries to be something from me to God. If you’re worried you aren’t “artsy” enough then a pre-printed Bible is a great option for you!
Here is a link to all kinds of different journaling Bibles!
And here is my journaling Bible! It’s a simple NIV single column hardcover. (I purchased the decal from Syndicate Vinyl on Etsy.)
4. Pick Your Supplies
There is no end to the different supplies you can use in your Bible. You can use colored pencils, acrylic paint, water colors, chalk pastels, stickers, stamps, washi tape, scrapbook paper, ribbons, etc. I recommend you pick something you’re comfortable with and enjoy using, however I would like to share a few things that I think are useful for every journaler.
- Clear Gesso: if you’re going to use any kind of wet media (acrylic paint, water color, stamps, markers, etc.) clear gesso is a must. All you have to do is a apply a thin layer to your Bible page and let it dry (I use a hair dryer to dry mine) before you start using your paint, stamps, etc. and it will keep them from bleeding through the page! ***Make sure the label says CLEAR and not white or black. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that the gesso is white in color because it applies clear.***
- Micron pens: micron pens are great for writing in your Bible because the tips are small and they don’t bleed!
- Washi tape: washi tape is a decorative, paper tape and is fantastic for tabbing the pages you have journaled, but I find it especially useful for covering up any “boo-boos” that happen (it’s what I used to fix my ripped page!)
And to close, I thought I would share just a few of my entries!
This is a colored pencil and marker entry I did in Esther. I got the idea from the movie One Night With the King.
This is a page I dedicated to my mom. I used a gold Faber Castell Gelato for the background and colored pencil for the wording. I tabbed it with glitter washi tape I found at Walgreens!
This is my most recent entry. I used blue and white acrylic paint for the sky and stars. The words are with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen!
I’m considering doing a “flip-through” video of my journaling Bible to show all of my entries, so let me know if that is something you would like!
Do you Bible journal? Are you just starting? Sound off in the comments!