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Bible Journaling Quick Tips

Have you ever thought about Bible journaling as a paper craft? Well for sure it is. You may have heard about it but wondered how to get started.

How To Chose A Bible To Journal In

Can you journal in any kind of Bible? Yes, you can. You can use a Bible that you have, or you can purchase one especially made for this type of artwork.

 If you are looking for a new Bible to journal in, look around and research the kind of Bible you want to use. . I made a couple of mistakes when I purchased my first Bible journal. The first problem was that the Bible I bought was in old school English. I really wanted a more modern version. The best Bibles for journaling leave you plenty of room to write and draw. You need a wide margin Bible to get the most out of your Bible journaling.

The second problem was the quality of the paper. The paper was super thin, so as I highlighted different verses, the highlighter ink went right through to the other side. So, my second suggestion is to make sure that the pages in your Bible journal are thick enough to be able to take ink, watercolor and any other medium that you may want to use. You can, however, add clear or white gesso to strengthen the [ages.

The other alternative is not to write or illustrate in your Bible, but to have a separate journal where you can write passages, your thoughts and prayers for that passage.

Some Bibles come with illustrations that you can color. This is really good for beginners. This is actually how I started Bible journaling. I started by coloring in some illustrations.

Bible journaling is more than just coloring and highlighting verse. It is also the study time and thinking about what you are reading. It also means taking the time to choose the words or phrases that speak to your heart. Then visualizing what you are feeling and thinking about. To pray about what you are reading. It means saying what and how the Word speaks to you.

Then you draw with a pencil the illustration or words that you are feeling. You can also use pictures and words from magazines, catalogs, junk mail and even newspapers.

A List Of Things To Consider When Buying A Bible Journal

  1. Your budget for your Bible journal- Bible journals very in price depending on the type, it's cover and the quality of the pages. Decide how much you have to spend on your bible.
  2. How coloring and how much of your own illustrating do you want to do? -Some Bibles have illustrations that you simply color. Others have some coloring illustrations and spaces for you to do your own artwork. And finally, there are those bibles that have wide spaces for you to do all your own artwork. (no printed images)
  3. The quality of the paper in the Bible-Many Bible pages have thin paper that you can actually see through. These types of pages are very difficult to color, If you want to so serious coloring with pens and markers, or mixed media, you will need heavier papers. Something serious to consider. 
  4. The version of your Bible- This was my first big mistake when I started Bible journaling. I bought a bible and told one of my granddaughters that this bible would one day be hers. I had never read the version ahead and it is old English version. She told me that she would love to have the artwork but would not use it because it was hard to read. Really consider the version that you are working on so that it becomes a family treasure.

Types Of Bibles That Allow You To Journal

  • Interleaved Bibles-These bibles have blank pages in between printed pages. This allows you to create notes, ideas, illustrations. Whatever you want to create. Plenty of room for your artwork and thoughts. This bible is for those who want total control over the art in their bible.
  • Line Art Coloring Bibles-These bibles have line art illustrations for you to color, but also have room in the margins for your own artwork. These bibles come in a variety of translations and versions. You have options to color, but also add your own artwork. This is considered the ultimate in coloring bible experiences
  • Part Illustrated Bibles-Again this is a partly illustrated bible with blank margins for you to create your own art. There are a variety of translations. 
  • Study And Devotional Bibles-These bibles are geared more toward devotional guides
  • One Year Bibles-Instead of a traditional order of the books of the Bible, selected readings are mapped out every day. These bibles are filled with creative entries and blank spaces for every day of the year.
  • Journaling Bibles-A margin on the side of the text of this bible allows you to add notes, do doodles or illustrations
  • Wide Margin Bibles-These bibles have a wider margin that a journaling bible so that you have more room for your own art and illustrations. 

You can journal within your Bible or as an extra journal

Bible Journal Supplies

  • Your Bible
  • Highlighters in different colors
  • Colored pencils
  • Extra paper
  • Washi Tape
  • Stamps
  • Water colors
  • Colored Markers
  • Paper Towels
  • Stickers

Before you get started, here are a few things to do and consider.

The first thing to consider is how to decorate individual books of the Bible. One of the things that you can do is to mark the margins of the individual books with washi tape. You can use one color or design to each book, you place one half of the tape along the margin of the front of the page. Fold the tape over on the back part of the page. Make sure that you are folding over on the back of that specific page. Since the pages are thin, this makes the pages stronger. You can do individual books, or you can do this as the old and New Testament. It is up to you.

Another idea to consider is tabbing the the books. You can purchase or make the tabs with the actual name of the book. or you can tab the book with a color or print of washi tape,

You will want to do either or both of these ideas before you start journaling. That way you will not disrupt your art.

Steps To Creating Your Bible Journal

  1.  Spend time with God in meditation- allow yourself to separate from all of your negative emotions and turn towards God. Find a 15 minute time frame when you can. Even finding short periods to journal and pray will bring you closer to God,
  2.  Pray On the task ahead-Ask for guidance as you begin to turn yourself to the Bible passage. Ask Him for guidance and understanding. 
  3. Make it a regular habit-Pick a time everyday when you can focus on the Word, You will find yourself growing when you make this a regular part of your day.
  4. Write in down- What is God inspiring you to say? What verse are your journaling?
  5.  Draw it or design it-Create what comes to your heart, even if it is a single word.
  6.  Date it-write the date that you discovered the passage or added to it

More Tips For Bible Journaling

  • Keep all your journaling supplies in one location.
  • Feel free to copy trace and print ideas from other locations
  • Never compare your journal to others. This is your unique journal.
  • Set a time every day to journal
  • Use tags that you make about a verse. A piece of washi tape will secure it, You can make your own tabs or purchase pre- made tags. 
  • Layer tags for a more dimensional look. Make a flap or attach it to your page. 
  • Alternate the spacing of your tabs so that you can see them
  • Use more than one tab to emphasize a special verse.
  • Use paper clips that you decorate to make a specific passage
  • Purchase illustrated faith collection kits to help decorate your Bible or journal
  • Use stickers to help illustrate your favorite passages. You can use stickers off the edge of your page. Clip the edges and use those in another part of your page.
  • Use your electronic cutting machine to make faith based cuts, tabs and decor for your Bible
  • Use a craft sheet cut to the size of your Bible pages as a mat for the page you are working on
  • Use archival ink and Stazon inks to keep your pages crisp and clean when you stamp.
  • Distress inks are a perfect way to add color to your pages. They blend beautifully.
  • Gelatos are another way to add color to your pages.
  • Add die cuts to your pages. There are so many to chose from
  • Water color pencils are another option for your Bible journal. They can either be used dry or wet
  • Add titles to some pages with stickers or hand drawn letters
  • Use journaling tabs on your pages. Use washi tape over the edge to secure
  • Use tabs on your journaling tabs
  • Feel free to doodle wherever you feel the inspiration
  • Create a folding card. Fold a small piece of your favorite paper with a design on front. You can write inside, Use a clip to clip it in your Bible or attach with washi tape.
  • If you add light colored letters to your pages, give them some pop by outlining them in a darker color.

Washi Tape Ideas

  • Use different washi tapes as a background for your Bible journal page. Just take strips and line them up vertically on your page. Don't be afraid to mix patterns
  • Add a title on top of your washi
  • Use your washi to make tabs on the top
  • Mark your Bible with Washi tape the individual books of the Bible
  • If your pages are curling, add a little washi tape to the page to give it more weight
  • Add another page to your Bible. Cut a piece of paper to fit and hinge it with a piece of washi tape

Stamping In Your Bible

  • There are special stamps that you can use for Bible journaling, but feel free to use what you have !
  • Small flowers, butterflies and other natural stamps are perfect
  • Create a repetitive pattern with your stamps
  • Use different colors to create your individuality
  • Make stamped tabs for your Bible
  • Use regular journal stamps as a prompt for your pages. Things like arrows, circles, or anything that calls attention to your verse and pages.

Using Paints In Your Bible

  • Use gesso or clear to prep a page that you want to paint or illustrate so nothing bleeds through. Use a blending to apply so that your pages do not rip
  • Use an old credit card to apply paint to your pages
  • Only use highly pigmented paint on your pages so that you can see the text through the paint
  • When making a pattern, use only a tiny bit of paint on a plastic card
  • Use Baby wipes to wipe your card off
  • Create a pattern with your paints. Use your imagination to create a pattern that pleases you.
  • Take any left over paint and put it on a tag for later use.

Creating Tip Ins

Tip in are tags that you create and adhere to your page with washi tape.
You can create tags in any number of ways

Using Vellum In Your Bible

Vellum comes in so many wonderful colors and patterns. It is a perfect addition to your Bible.
  • Measure the width and length of your Bible pages
  • Make it just a tiny bit less in size than the width of the page so it does not stick out
  • Measure and mark your vellum with a pencil
  • Cut your vellum with a paper trimmer
  • Rub Ons are a perfect addition to your vellum pages, Cut out the piece that you need. Rub in on till it peals away from it's backing
  • You can add lettering or washi tape....what ever makes you happy
  • Line the page up and tuck it in
  • Use washi tape or clear adhesive strips the length of the vellum page. Place the page on half the tape. 
  • Gently, take the page and tuck it into the spine of the page

Stenciling On Your Bible

  • Distress inks work very well on your Bible pages
  • Place your stencil on your page. Tack it down with Washi Tape.
  • Use a blender tool or a sponge to apply the ink. Apply lightly so that you do not rip the pages of your Bible.
  • Bring in the color from the outside edges inward
  • When you have finished, gently remove the stencil

Using Watercolors In Your Bible

  • Use a piece of craft mat behind the page you are working on. Also place on sheet on the page opposite to the one you are working on to protect it.
  • Use clear gesso to prep the page. Shake the gesso container before opening.
  • Use a blender pad to put your clear gesso on. Make sure to wash and dry the pad to remove any lint.
  • Use your blender tool from the spine outward so that you do not crinkle the page
  • Use a heat tool to dry the page. Lift the page as you are drying it so it does not stivk to the craft mat.
  • Apply a second layer of gesso so that the watercolors do not bleed through and dry the same way.
  • It is natural for the page to curl. But after a week of being closed in your Bible, it will get flat.
  • Place the pad with the clear gesso in some water and wash the gesso off.
  • You need a set of watercolors, a small brush and some water
  • Select the colors you would like to use
  • Test the colors on a piece of scrap paper to see how they look
  • Apply a small amount of water to the area that you want to color
  • Then apply a small amount of watercolor over the area that you have applied the water.
  • Repeat the process adding colors in the pattern that appeals to you.
  • Use very little watercolor. If there is too much color, scoop it up and apply it on another part of the page
  • Keep it a small distance away from the binding
  • You can either let it air dry or use a heat gun. Move the heat gun while you are drying the page so that it does not burn it
  • Once the page is dry, you can use some Stazon ink to add some stamping to it


Free Bible Journal Printables

These pdfs and images are free for you to print out and use in your Bible journaling. You will want to use a card stock paper of at least a weight of 65 lbs to print these cards for your journal. Use washi tape to anchor them in or glue them on. It ir your choice