I have been a journaler and doodler for a long time, so when I came across the fairly recent movement of Bible Journaling and Illustrated Faith a few weeks ago, it was something that immediately piqued my interest. Seeing the pictures of others drawing, writing, and creatively expressing themselves right there in their Bibles connected with me, and I wanted to give it a try. However, I didn’t have a journaling Bible or many supplies. How was I supposed to start?
Since I’m a crafty person in general, I was surprised to find several supplies I already had to get started. I pulled out my NIV Study Bible that my parents gave me several Christmases ago, gathered up some colored pencils, and started to draw. I have had this Bible for awhile and it has sentimental value to me, so I was even more excited to make it very personal and expressive of myself. I started in Genesis and I was surprised at how easy it was to draw once I started. I decided to stick with colored pencils and mostly supplies that won’t completely obscure the writing. I mostly draw, color, and write in the study notes section and the margins.
After a couple of days of illustrating in my Bible with colored pencils, I started hunting around to see if I could find more supplies. Luckily I found two stamp ink pads (Colorbox archival pigment ink), an old used-up gift card, and a felt tip archival pen. I flipped my Bible open to Psalm 103, one of my favorites, pressed the old gift card into the ink pad, and started spreading it across the page. So fun! I had found this technique online and it is typically used with acrylic paints, but it worked great with the stamp ink too, and no bleeding through to the other side of the page either. Same with the felt tip pen–the one I had is one designed for card making, so no bleed through.
Another easy way that I found to add color and design to my Bible is to print out premade designs, color, then tape in (I didn’t have any glue, so tape for now). This allowed me to use some colored Sharpies too without having to worry about bleed through or ruining multiple pages.
Lastly, I wanted to have a colorful Bible cover, so I looked up a tutorial on Pinterest, measured my Bible, and started sewing. I used a piece of remnant fabric that I purchased several months ago but was sad to discover wasn’t very big. Thankfully, it was just the right size to make a cover, and I am so happy I was able to put this beautiful fabric to use.
Starting is that easy! It doesn’t take much money out of pocket, especially if you already own some craft supplies and a Bible you feel comfortable illustrating in. Of course there are journaling Bibles with wide margins and thicker pages, as well as an endless supply of paint, pens, stickers, stamps, etc that can be used, but I just wanted to show how to get started without any extras at first. I wanted to start Bible journaling because I wanted to express my faith and have daily motivation to read God’s word, and I hope this encourages others to just get started too!
I will be posting my pages on the blog frequently as I study and create, so check back soon to see more.