Hi folks! Today I want to introduce you to something new and crafty I’m trying out. It’s called Bible Journaling.
Bible journaling is a great way to connect with God’s word, relieve stress at the end of the day, and have fun with paints and pens to create beautiful Bible pages, personalised with your thoughts and favourite verses.
Next week I’ll go through some of my favourite techniques, including some I haven’t tried out yet. Today I’m going to go through some of the materials you might want to try out if you’re interested in giving Bible journaling a go.
- Eraser, pencil, ruler and scrap paper
First, the basics. You’ll want to be able to try out your ideas and designs before you put pen to paper, and you might want to rule out the space where your words will go before you start, to minimise mistakes. Don’t get too caught up in this stage though. Remember, this is for you, first and foremost. Mistakes are ok – in fact, that’s an important thing to remember generally in your walk with God, but it particularly applies here. The primary purpose for me is to spend some time with God’s work, and to demarcate at least a couple of evenings a week to an activity that isn’t screen-based, that requires me to actually work with my hands.
- Fine liners
Look for fine liners that specifically don’t bleed if you want to further reduce errors in your work. I have this set of Staedtlers, and I also use my regular black colouring pen if I want a bolder outline. Which brings us on to…
- Colouring pens
I love using colouring pens for Bible journaling. The colours are bright, the lines are clean, and they’re easy to control. I have a bunch of fine-line coloured pens, a set of bold and brush (double-ended) pens, neon pens and metallic pens. All these give me loads of options when adding colour to my Bible. The only set which don’t work so well for me are Sharpies – obviously, they’re not meant to be used on Bible pages, even though journaling Bibles often have thicker pages, and they just bleed straight through.
- Colouring pencils
Less vibrant than colouring pens and so usually my second choice, but sometimes I like having a softer look to the page. You need to remember to rub out any pencil guide lines before you starting with the colouring pencils to avoid messing up your eraser, but they can add a really lovely feel to a design.
Using watercolour on book pages was a bit scary when I first gave it a try – what if I soak the page and ruin it, or obscure the words? – but I loved how it looked in other people’s pages on Pinterest and Instagram, so I decided to have a go. Now, I love it! I think the page looks so much fuller and more vibrant when I’ve coloured it with the watercolours. I like to do a wash one evening, and then leave it until the next evening to dry before I start drawing on it. I would recommend that you watercolour the page first, then draw your pencil guide lines on, as they’ll be easier to rub off later without getting rid of the colour.
- Washi tape
This is my favourite part of buying supplies for Bible journaling, and when I started out I did go a little mad with it (as you can see!). I keep mine together on a loop of string so I can always find the one I need – plain ones for word backgrounds, patterned and glitter ones for decoration, more detailed ones for easy illustration. I’ve just done a page that used a bunch of washi tapes for illustration, and I really love how it turned out!
Stamps are another easy way to add illustration to your page without drawing, if you’re not so confident with your skills. I have a whole bunch that I’ve collected over the years, but I have bought a few more since I started Bible journaling. The ones I use the most are a dove, a compass and stars.
Again, if you’re not so hot on drawing, stickers are a good way to go. I’ve got a few cute sets – whales, flowers, cacti, as well as little people – which I’m using to illustrate certain verses. They’re usually fairly cheap, and if you look online you can get sticker versions of most things. Some people even have tools to make images into stickers, but you won’t need that to begin with if you’re just trying it out.
A notebook I decorated for Bible study art.
I hope this post has been helpful in introducing some of you to Bible journaling, and in deciding what materials you might need to start off with. Above all, remember: it’s not about perfection. It’s about setting aside some time to do something for yourself and God, working with your hands, being creative and really enjoying the word of God. Keep an eye out for next week’s post on some cool techniques!