When I got into Bible Journaling at the beginning of this year, I had no idea what different “medias” were. How people could draw so beautifully, how their handwriting looked like the perfect font! I was so excited to start this journey but knew that my pages would never look like the ones I saw on Pinterest or Instagram. I am not nor have I ever been artistic. I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life. I’ve always enjoyed coloring and thought “eh maybe I’ll just color some pages to help me memorize scripture”. Well I’m here to tell you, you can create a gorgeous page without having an artistic background.
First, I want to tell you that your page doesn’t have to be gorgeous and “post worthy”. As long as it’s something you created with the intent of getting closer to God and being in his word, that is really the only thing that matters. He doesn’t care how perfect your letters are, how intricate the details are, or how many likes it gets on Instagram. He cares that you are reading and meditating on his word. That you are building a closer, stronger relationship with him. Since starting my bible journaling journey I have become WAY more creative and artistic than I ever thought I could! But again, I started out not knowing anything other than I wanted to begin this journey and I liked to color.
Here are some tips to get started. The internet is full of free coloring pages. If I have something I want to draw, say a lion, I’ll type in “lion coloring page” and bam! Tons of options pop up. These are free sources to use because they are basically just coloring pages for daycares, schools, and churches to print out and use for their kiddos! So, I’ll print them out and then trace them in my Bible using a light pad I got from amazon for around
$20. This was a small investment for what has helped me create tons of gorgeous entries. Another great source is your childs coloring books or any adult coloring book. This butterfly was in an adult coloring book my Mother in law had at her house! You can also be more specific in what you’re wanting to draw such as “Moses coloring page”, “Deborah coloring page” , “Josephs dream coloring page”. In which you have tons of free options to print, trace, and then just color!
Voila! So easy! I also started watching Bible Journaling videos on YouTube and found how to use napkins in your Bible! Say what? Yes, a dinner napkin can be used in your bible to create a beautiful page with ease! I LOVE the napkin technique because you can still see the verses behind it if it’s light enough so it looks as if it’s just painted on the page. You will need to get some clear gesso (my favorite is Dina Wakley) and of course various napkins. I went to the dollar store and Tuesday Morning to start with and then found some gorgeous ones on various napkin decoupage websites. Yes, there are many websites for this. You basically peel off all the layers of the napkin until it’s the thinnest one with the picture on it. Then you’ll use a paintbrush or old gift card and “prep your page with gesso”. Prepping your page basically means putting a thin layer of gesso across the entire page. Before it dries, you’ll lay the napkin on top of the page and spread another thin layer of gesso on top of it. Be very gentle as to not rip the napkin. Here a few of my favorite pages I have used napkins on.
I’ve also found a love for painting on this journey! I just bought some cheap acrylic paints from Michael’s and some artist loft watercolors to start. I recently purchased some more expensive water colors from amazon that I’m in love with! But, start small and invest as you go. Painting does not have to be anything elaborate. It can be little dots like I did here using a q-tip. Or it can be smearing a few colors you like together around the outside of the scriptures. Have fun with it! I do not prep my page when painting but some bible journalers do to avoid “ghosting” on the back side of the page. “Ghosting” is where you can see some of the picture bleed through to the other side. I don’t have a problem with a little bleed through but to each his own.
Once I started using paints I wanted to try painting some actual pictures. I went back to YouTube and found some videos on how to paint some simple flowers. I’m so glad I did because they were so easy and now I love doing floral pages!
Another easy, fun way to spruce up your bible is using stickers and washi tape. I love outlining the page with washi tape and I got a lot of stickers at Hobby Lobby when they had a sticker sale for 40% off! SCORE!
Now, if you’re looking at the “Be Strong and Courageous” and “Thy will be done” and thinking you could never make your letters look like that, don’t worry. I am working on my hand lettering daily! But, it does not look this good free-handed. My handwriting is a normal cursive which you can see in “He hears the prayers of the righteous” and “I am the Lord your God”. It’s pretty but not the gorgeous script look like the others. What I did was downloaded those fonts onto my computer, printed, and once again traced them in my bible using my handy-dandy light pad.
There you go! You don’t have to be an artist to begin your Bible Journaling journey. What I will say is the more you do it the more God will show you how creative you really are. I’m now watching painting videos on Youtube and painting these trees which still shock me to this day that I did this. But, I did.
Bible Journaling has gotten me in the word on a daily basis and has been very therapeutic for me. When I’m having a day when I’m feeling down I go back through my bible and look at all my entries. Y’all, God has shown me different meanings to things I’ve journaled as I’ve gone back through it. It is so neat to see God working in my life and using this new-found talent to bring me closer to him. If you have a want or desire to get in the bible, memorize more verses, and learn about the amaziningness of our God in heaven, jump right in! Don’t let something as small as “I can’t draw” get in the way. If I can do it, I promise you can too.
You can follow my Bible Journaling Journey on Instagram @iamlivinginfreedom