Hello everyone! Many of you have reached out to me with questions about getting started Bible Art Journaling so I thought I’d put together a series of blog posts and videos just for you! You can find the video for this post over on my YouTube channel where I give you a closer look at the supplies.
*(Links in this post may be affiliate links and/or products may have been sent to me for review. You can find more information here)
Of course the most basic supply is a journaling Bible. Now there are a lot of different ways that you can journal your faith but today I’ll be focusing on using a journaling Bible. My favorite is the Crossway ESV Single Column Journaling Bible but you have many different options if this one doesn’t work for you. I would recommend making a trip to your local Bible bookstore, or even some of the craft stores carry journaling Bibles now, so you can look through them to find one that you like. They come in all different translations, sizes and styles…some even have preprinted artwork that you can just color in if that’s more your style.
There are ways that you can journal in a regular Bible by using tip ins and translucent art supplies but I find that I’m most comfortable creating in one of these specialized Bibles. The wider margins give you plenty of room to create in and the lines are faint enough that they can blend into your art or are helpful for lining up your lettering.
Next up are basic writing tools. I’ve seen some beautiful pages done in just ink and pencil so don’t feel like you need to have #allthecolor but these are also the foundation of most of my art designs. I like to lightly sketch out everything with a pencil first as I’m working out how I want my page to look. I picked up a nicer Paper Mate Mechanical Pencil just because it’s a little more comfortable to work with but you could just use a regular pencil from your kids’ school supplies. The trick is to very lightly use the pencil so that it’s easier to erase later.
After penciling everything in, I make it permanent with a fine tip black pen. There are lots of options out there but my two favorites are the Illustrated Faith Precision Pens and the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. These are both permanent when dry and don’t bleed through the delicate Bible pages. You do want to be careful when writing over paint, gesso, or gel medium since they have a delicate nib.
Once everything is penned I make sure it’s completely dry (I usually hit it real quick with my Ranger Heat Tool) and then I erase the pencil using a Polymer White Eraser. Just be careful as the pages are delicate but I’ve never had a problem with tearing the page as long as my pencil lines were light.
I’ve also thrown in a Pentel Aquabrush into this bunch since it’s something I always have on hand. These are great because they hold water in the barrel so there is no need for a separate cup of water and makes painting much easier.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you know I love some color in my Bible 🙂 There are a variety of ways to add color to your journaling and you can find a lot of tutorials on my YouTube Channel but I’m just going to stick to some simple basics for today.
If you aren’t a fan of using wet mediums in your Bible then colored pencils may be for you. I recommend the Crayola Twistables (those are what I use in my workshops) or the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils. If you have the money to invest then I would say go straight to the Prismacolor since they are easier to blend and the colors are richer but if you are just starting out and not sure what you will like then the Crayola Twistables are pretty good.
Tip: Be sure to have something behind the page you are working on like a Bible mat or even just a piece of card stock so when you are coloring you don’t leave indentations on the other pages.
One of my favorite mediums to use in my Bible are watercolors! When I first started with them I was pretty intimidated but after watching many tutorials on YouTube and just playing around I was able to figure out what works for me. Now, I’m no trained artist by any means but I think watercolors are pretty forgiving and can be pretty loose and messy while still being beautiful.
I have the Artist Loft Watercolors in my class kits and I think they are good to try out but I wouldn’t recommend sticking with them if you find that you really enjoy watercolors. The Artist Loft Watercolors are very inexpensive, can be found at most Michael’s craft stores, and include a variety of colors which makes them popular in the journaling community but since they are cheaper they are very chalky when dry. This chalkiness can transfer to the opposite page once your Bible is closed but I have found that by rubbing a paper towel over the page once it’s dry seems to cut down on some of this transfer.
I’ve used a variety of watercolors and have many favorites but I would recommend the Prima Marketing Watercolors due to their portability, variety of color palletes, and quality. You can find a review of these on my YouTube channel but I would say that the Tropicals set is a great one to start with since it has some great colors that allow for mixing to create even more color options.
If you like watercolors or are maybe looking for something a little more controlled then watercolors in a pan, you might enjoy using watercolor pencils. My two favorites are the Adornit Watercolor Pencils (there is a review on my YouTube Channel showing a closer look at these) and the Derwent Inktense Pencils. With both pencils you can lay down color on your page and then activate them by going over them with a wet paint brush (I like using a Pentel Aquabrush for convenience). You can also pick up pigment from the tip of the pencil with a wet brush and then paint it onto your page.
The Adornit Pencils are not permanent once dry since they are like a traditional watercolor but this gives you the ability to fix mistakes easier and allow for some beautiful blending. The Derwent Inktense Pencils are not actually a watercolor, instead they are made with India ink. This means that they are permanent once dry and offer a very intense and vibrant color. Since they are permanent once dry it’s a little more difficult to fix mistakes and blend together unless they are still wet but they are still my preferred supply since they offer such beautiful and intense colors.
Another popular thing to add to your Bible Journaling is stamping. Long gone are the days of bulky wooden stamps with cheesy sayings (well, those are still out there but now there are some fresh new options hahaha). Most stamping is now done with clear stamps that you stick to an acrylic block to stamp with and then can be cleaned and reused over and over. With the ever growing popularity of Bible Art Journaling has come some amazing companies offering faith based stamps but feel free to incorporate what ever stamps you like.
A few good alpha stamp sets are a staple in my craft room since I don’t love my lettering. Illustrated Faith, Sonshine Stamp Co., Concord & 9th, and Sweet Stamp Shop have some great options to start with but there are many to choose from. An important factor for me is the size of the stamps since I want them to work well in the margins of my Bible and not have to be afraid of covering up the text (though, you can if that is your style, it’s a personal preference and there is no “right way”).
Inks in your Bible can be a little tricky due to the thinness of the pages. I recommend the Illustrated Faith Pigment Ink if you are looking for something that won’t bleed through. This ink isn’t permanent however so you want to do all your stamping AFTER your wet mediums like watercolor. If you are looking for something permanent that you can use water over, then I recommend the Versafine Onyx Black Ink. This ink is very black and gives a fine stamped impression but it does bleed through your Bible pages. I just cover bleed through with acrylic paint, white gesso or patterned paper so it doesn’t bother me to have a little bleed through.
Another way to add lettering and extra elements to your pages are stickers. Illustrated Faith has some great Homespun Alphas as well as Wordfetti stickers to do your journaling with. I also love the Tim Holtz Label Letters and ChitChat Stickers though these aren’t faith based like the Illustrated Faith ones so not all of them will be completely applicable to your journaling.
In addition to alpha and word stickers you can find a variety of card stock stickers to add color and interest to your pages. This is where the scrap booking world really meets up well with Bible Art Journaling. I’m sure if you were or are a scrapbooker then you have a variety of stickers in your stash that can be used in your Bible.
EXTRA FINISHING TOUCHES
The next supplies aren’t really necessary but I think they add a little bit extra something to my Bible journaling. I like to add a tab to the top of each page that I journal and this can be done with a variety of things. I like the Illustrated Faith Tabbies for convenience and they come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and some even include text. I’ve also used paper clips and you can find a tutorial on my YouTube channel showing how I create a variety of tabs for my Bible. I love being able to look at the top of my closed Bible and see all the time I’ve spent with God and it’s also a conversation started when other people see all of that yummy goodness poking out of your Bible 😉
Another supply that I like to use is washi tape! I may have a slight addiction to it and my boys may or may not have inherited that addiction. Washi tape is a great way to add some extra color and texture to your page but it also can be used for a quick and simple tab or to reinforce your pages underneath your tabs.
BIBLE JOURNALING KITS
Let’s say you’ve reached the end of this and you are still feeling a little overwhelmed or maybe you are starting out with absolutely zero art supplies but want to join in on the Bile Journaling fun. Bible Journaling Kits are a great way to get a variety of supplies that are specifically designed for Bible journaling and are usually all coordinated so it’s easy to jump in and not get stuck on the art part of your Bible Art Journaling.
I’m currently on the Creative Retreat Kits Design Team but even if I wasn’t I would say that their kits are great! I’ve done several videos where you can see in detail what all comes in the kits but they usually include a sheet of alpha stickers, a sheet of card stock stickers, a small set of acrylic stamps, and a couple of fun paper clips. These kits are color coordinated and have a theme but can still be used on a variety of verses and also can inspire you to journal some song lyrics.
Long before I was an affiliate with DaySpring I was purchasing the Illustrated Faith Devotional Kits every single month. These kits are AMAZING and are a great way to prompt you to spend time in your Bible. I do an unboxing on my channel every month showing what all comes in a kit but they typically come with a 14 day devotional, stamps, stickers, die cuts, and washi tape. They partner with a different person in the faith community to write the devotional and design the artwork for the kit each month.
If you are unsure where to start or what verses to begin with then you should look into grabbing one of these kits to get you started!
Well if you’ve made it to the end of this then thank you for hanging with me! I know this is a longer post then normal and the video is also long but I wanted to include as much information as possible to help you get started if you are new to Bible journaling or are interested in getting started.
Be sure to head on over to my YouTube Channel and take a look around. I have a variety of videos showing tutorials, reviews, etc. that are a great resource for you if you are just starting out or looking to add something new to your journaling.
Stay tuned for some more posts in this series of Bible Journaling Basics!
Until next time!
- Crossway ESV Journaling Bible
- Paper Mate Mechanical Pencil
- Illustrated Faith Precision Pens
- Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens
- Polymer Eraser
- Crayola Twistables
- Prismacolor Pencils
- Prima Marketing Watercolors
- Artist Loft Watercolors
- Adornit Watercolor Pencils
- Inktense Pencils
- Illustrated Faith Black Ink
- Versafine Ink
- Acrylic Block
- Sweet Stamp Shop
- Sonshine Lisa’s Letters Stamps
- Illustrated Faith Homespun Alpha Stickers
- Illustrated Faith Wordfetti
- Tim Holtz Label Letters
- Tim Holtz Chit Chat Stickers
- Illustrated Faith Tabs
- Illustrated Faith Washi Tape
- Illustrated Faith Devotional Kits
- Creative Retreat Kits