Note; I feel really weird writing this post. Mainly because I’ve been in love with the idea of Bible Journaling for a long time, and I’ve searched high and low on Pinterest for ideas and tutorials. I’ve seen so many bloggers/artists/creators who fill their Bibles with incredible images. My creations are the William Hung of American Idol. For what it’s worth, I think he’s adorable. Anyway… I get asked a lot of questions on social media about my Bible and the tools I got started with, so here we are; extra small fish, massive pond.
Bible Journaling isn’t about what you’re creating, it’s about what’s being created in you. There’s a certain peace that comes with sitting down, being still, and allowing God’s word to really soak into your heart. It’s a fun reason to open up your Bible, because let’s be honest, some days are a bigger struggle than others. Most importantly, for me, it’s been a slow and steady release on perfectionism. With each mark on the page, I fight and resist the urge to be perfect or give up.
In the past, I’ve done 1 of 2 things; give something 100% until I feel I’ve mastered it or give up immediately in order to stop the mess and the frustration. This is a lesson for me that’s been difficult, yet also, freeing. I’ve seen a few tutorials that suggest outlining in pencil first, and that’s probably really, really logical, but I won’t do it. I imagine the time I would spend doodling, erasing, re-doodling, getting frustrated, swearing, feeling not-good-enough – all while forgetting why I was there in the first place. So I just decided to go for it, and it’s been really fun. I’m learning new things about myself, about God’s word, and truly just spending time each day on a hobby; something that most adults forget to have.
I don’t have any tips for the process of Bible Journaling, so I haven’t been doing it very long and I’m not even sure what I’m doing, but I can help you get started on your shopping, because that’s what I’m really good at. These tools are a collection of ideas and suggested share on Pinterest, random things I’ve picked up, and what’s leftover from all the things I’ve tried and instantly tossed.
You’ll probably want to get a journaling Bible to allow yourself some space to create. There are so many incredible options out there. I’ve found that the most affordable ones are on Amazon, but if you feel like you need to see it first, places like Barnes and Noble and Lifeway have them in store. I chose the HCSB Journaling Bible, which I ordered from Amazon. I love the space I have to doodle, but I also really enjoy the faint lines incase I want to add in notes or ideas.
Even before Bible Journaling, I had an affinity toward smooth writing pens, so finding the perfect writing tools has been one of my favorite parts of this journey so far. Again, Amazon for the win on this. I really like the Micron Pens because they don’t bleed through the thin pages. Before I started getting specific pens for this, I was using the ultra fine colored sharpies, which are really great for writing on one-sided papers, but they were bleeding through the pages and making it impossible to see/utilize the other side. Another favorite is the Pentel Felt Pens. They give the brush stroke effect with the ease of a normal pen.
Who would have thought that there’s specific highlighters for Bibles? I was trying to use a traditional highlighter, but I kept experiencing the same problems with the bleed-through. Eventually, I gave up and just started using a crayon to color the lines, but some of the colors were too dark and I could no longer see the words, and the lighter colors were hard to see on the bright, white pages, which kind of defeats the purpose of highlighting. After searching Amazon, I found these gel highlighters made specifically for the Bible from Feela. No bleed through, and they don’t smear either.
This category can be really overwhelming, and I think it’s where the true artists really shine. But there’s some easy to use, affordable, fun tools to enjoy your time Bible Journaling whether you’re Picasso, or… not Picasso. You might even have some of these things around the house! Regular crayons are an easy way to color on Bible pages. The Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils are also amazing, and mess-free. Last, and probably my favorite, Gelly Roll gel pens. I grew up with these; drawing on myself, on my friends, on everything I could get my hands on. There are so many colors, they write so well, and they don’t bleed through the page. They’re one of my favorite tools for Bible Journaling.
I keep all of these tools in a little pencil box that I found at the Dollar Store, and each time I pull this unorganized, messy box out, I get super excited to see what I’ll create and how it will turn out.
With that being said, I want to encourage you to have fun with this, explore these tools and really dig into God’s word. Some days, I feel like I’ve made great progress with straighter lines or fancier writing.
And other days, a flower tutorial goes completely wrong.
What is that thing?! I keep reminding myself that God not only loves every act of worship, He created it. The voice coming from a few rows back on Sundays that create physical pain in your eyes; God thinks it’s beautiful. The thing that could possibly maybe be jello that shows up at every single church potluck; God think it’s amazing. And this flower, while I’ll never understand why, brings God joy.
Enjoy the process, friends, no matter the outcome, because God most definitely does. You can find all the items listed in this post here.