Bible Journaling Supplies
About 4 years ago, I came across a hashtag on Instagram that was #journaling bible -- after I clicked on it I immediately had to go get one of these neat things. Apparently they've been around for a long time but I had no idea such a cool thing existed. I'm in love with this adventure and challenge to doodle a page as often as I can, it truly brings so much fun and joy to my bible studies that I can’t seem to stop!
I have had several requests for suggestions on various bible journaling supplies so I thought I would share some of my go to supplies.
Let me start out by saying that you do not need any special supplies to get started! All you truly need is a Journaling Bible (or a Bible and a notebook) and a pen or pencil! It is just about spending time in the Word and there are no rules!
However, If you want to get more colorful and artsy, you will probably want some other supplies. But these Bible pages are thin! So how do you know which supplies will work well- where they won’t bleed-through or damage the page? Well for me, lots of trial and error! After two years (and chatting with other Bible journalers) I finally feel like I have a firm grasp of which supplies are the best!
Don’t forget! Many supplies listed below you can find them cheaper by using a mobile coupon or simply by shopping the deals at your local craft stores! Especially places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels, you are able to use a mobile app to get that extra percentage off.
So with no further ado, let’s get started.
Here is a comprehensive list and handy infographic to make it easy to choose a Journaling Bible in here. Photo credit goes to @scribblinggrace.
But my personal favorites to recommend for beginners are the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Large Print Leather Bound Bible from DaySpring, ESV- Crossway Double Column Journaling Bible, Zondervan NIV Journal The Word Bible, a ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition (Brown, Flap with Strap) Leather Bound bible
Clear gesso is always the most recommended way to prepare your Bible page. If you are at all worried about bleed-through or your page tearing, it never hurts to prep. But I will be honest, I hardly ever prepare my page, and now that I know the correct supplies to use (the ones below ;), ) I have not had any bleed-through or tearing problems.
My all-time favorite pen in the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush pen https://www.amazon.com/Tombow-62038-Fudenosuke-Calligraphy-Drawings/dp/B01M71S9DU/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1542925957&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=tombow+fudenosuke (both the hard and soft tip)-
These pens are great if you are at all interested in lettering in your Bible. They are waterproof (so you can paint on them without them smearing) and they do not bleed through the page!
My other recommendation is Micron pens (I like the 03 and 05 sizes the best)-
These also are waterproof and do not bleed. Great for a bunch of purposes like lettering, tracing, outlining, etc. And they come in a bunch of colors and sizes. The only downside is that they dry up quickly so be sure to keep your caps on tight!
My newest find is the FABER-CASTELL BIG BRUSH Pen:
The Big Brush Pen in black is super fun to use for big n’ bold lettering atop mixed media; my favorite is atop acrylic. It is not a “quiet” supply by any means. And that’s what I love most about it! In encourages boldness and risk-taking.
It might seem silly to include something as simple as a pencil and eraser on a list like this, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it’d be silly not to.
I use pencil to pre-draw nearly every layout I do…whether it’s on a separate sheet of paper beside my Bible or on the page itself. And I’m always glad I did because I’ve saved myself from running out of room or a misspelling.
Don’t underestimate the power of the pencil and eraser, my friends.
After hearing so many people rave about Crayola Twistables, I had to give ’em a whirl…and I have seen the light! Not only do you never have to sharpen these colored pencils (just twist ’em!), the dull tips are so soft on your Journaling Bible pages, and the vibrant colors blend so well together
And lastly, Flair Pens and these super fun colored Paper-Mate pens. They are easy to use, my kids love them and I have had no problems with bleed through. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J09CO6/ref=sxr_rr_xsim_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=9ddc66f6-9fc0-49ff-b2fa-06a39d9859e6&pd_rd_wg=7Kv75&pf_rd_r=XQ5J6VDQBSRA8DS7TRAC&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B000J09CO6&pd_rd_w=x2B71&pf_rd_i=papermate&pd_rd_r=ed7a8a5f-f190-42c9-9b23-c94be94ad2c7&ie=UTF8&qid=1542926093&sr=1
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I love my watercolors!
You do not need any fancy watercolors, I started with a cheap Crayola set. However, I highly recommend the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor Set– https://www.amazon.com/Kuretake-MC2036V-Gansai-Tambi-Color/dp/B00KERVO72/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1542926148&sr=1-1&keywords=kuretake+gansai+tambi+watercolor+palette+-+36+color+set
These beautiful Japanese watercolors are not too expensive and the paints are so nice to use- super pigmented and really smooth- and they come with such a great amount of colors! I also have never had any bleed-through with these watercolors with an un-prepared page.
When it comes to acrylic paints– any will work! I personally use Apple Barrel Acrylic paints that you can get at Walmart for 50 cents a pop, and they work great for Bible journaling purposes! Remembers for acrylics, you don’t need to go out and buy a whole bunch- you can always mix paints to create all kinds of colors!
The easiest way to add a big, bold splash of color atop your page is through a very thin layer of acrylic paint applied with an old gift card or credit card
Also, Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics are great for a more full body effect.
Masters Touch Acrylic Paints -(Exclusive Hobby Lobby brand): Neons are the best! These mini tubes are about $7.99/box at Hobby Lobby. Don’t forget that 40% off coupon!
Using these paint palettes are just a fun and clean way to keep your paints together and gives you the ability to blend colors easily.
And while we are here-
Some people swear by Windsor and Newton brushes- which are awesome if you have the extra budget- but I just use the cheap synthetic brushes that you can get in a big pack from the department or art supply store for a few bucks. Hobby Lobby has some great inexpensive brushes that I will find on the end caps of the aisle near the card stock/paint section.
Again, you do not need any fancy colored pencils to get started! However, Prismacolor pencils are widely praised about. If you plan on using colored pencils regularly, they are a great investment.
Watercolor pencils are also super fun to use, they can sometimes bleed through, so you may want to prepare your page to use them. You can also use map pencils from the Dollar Store or even Crayola erasable map pencils (my kids love these for school too!) . I also hear great things about The Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils from Faber-Castel.
*I always recommend preparing your page if using stamps since they tend to bleed-through the most*
Stamps are super fun to use, you can find them super easily at any craft store or online. I personally love stamps from Growing Medows on Etsy and Illustrated faith. You can also find super cute stamps like the image above on Amazon.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE ABOUT STAMPING IS THE INK PAD.
I recommend to use a Pigment Ink – such as ColorBox or the Illustrated Faith brand or Stazon. These should not bleed-through an unprepared page (though you will probably get some ghosting or shadow.) The downside of the pigment inks is that they take longer to dry, so just keep that in mind.
Chalk, dye, or solvent inks, will bleed-through your page (I learned this the hard way!) These inks can be used if you prepare your page, but there is still a chance of bleed-through. ~Tim Holtz Distress Inks are super popular dye based ink, that I hear great things about- but again, I would prep the page will gesso first.
So I personally don’t use a ton of stickers or washi tape in my Bible journaling, but I know so many awesome women who make the most gorgeous pages with them, so of course, I have to share.
Stickers are pretty self-explanatory and I am sure you have seen them at your craft store- there are so many options today! And I mean, stickers are just plain fun!
Washi tape is another great tool for Bible journaling. They come in all kinds of colors and patterns- I have a lot of Bible journaling friends who have amazing collections of washi tape that makes me swoon. You can find washi at you local craft store as well.
Gelatos are a medium that I LOVE!!!! I use these often and they are really fun and great to use for Bible journaling since they don’t bleed!. They glide onto the pages like 'butta'. You can leave them as they are or you can wipe them with a damp paper towel on your art and they become like magical watercolors!
Neo Colors are my other favorite to work with! These intensely saturated mark-making wax crayons that are beloved by bible journaling friends and give a soft, rich, and buttery texture that leaves a beautiful effect on your pages. These are bunches of fun.
I absolutely LOVE my heat gun! If you are impatient like me and hate waiting for things to dry, I highly suggest investing in a heat gun! This thing saves me so much time when working on pages and allows me to finish pages all in one sitting.
I use an embossing heat gun like this one. You can use a blow dryer, but I like the heat gun because it’s faster, and it doesn’t blow a ton of air, so things like watercolor puddles don’t run around.
What version do I have? -ESV is my main journaling bible
DO I USE WATERCOLORS? yes, I typically buy cheap ones from Michaels that are for kids. They are in a plastic white tray. Nothing fancy. I'm love cheap art supplies, the most expensive isn't always the best but every now and then, I will treat myself!
DO MY WATERCOLORS BLEED THROUGH? they don't, mainly because I don't use a ton of water. Less water is better when it comes to this project.
IS THE BIBLE PAPER THICK? it’s not super thick but it's thicker than a normal bible. If you used a sharpie it would bleed.
DO I WRITE WITH A BRUSH OR PEN? A pen-for my Journaling bible I've chosen MICRON AND FABERCASTELL. Those two are my go-to pens.
WHAT MARKERS DO I COLOR WITH? I use light shades of Faber castell Pitt pens. They don't bleed although I'm sure it would if I used black to color with.
AM, I DOING A BIBLE STUDY? Yes. I am technically in The Amazing Collection Bible Study, but really, studying God’s Word is a lifestyle and journey. I try to read the Bible the first I wake up in the morning. Other days, I am just picking a page, reading it, and then studying that page and writing what it means to me.
DOES THE WATERCOLOR CAUSE WRINKLY PAPER? Yes, water coloring always causes warp. That's just part of it, but... My main journaling bible has a leather strap to keep my bible closed so once it's dry, I shut my bible and let the pressure flatten it back out. The slight wrinkle doesn’t bother me. If anything, I feel like it gives my bible ‘character’.
DO I USE CRAYONS IN MY BIBLE? I do! I use Crayola Twistable to do all my highlighting.
I think that was all the main questions that I’ve recently been asked. This is a fun journey and hopefully you'll join me in making bible reading way fun and take a picture to show me!! Post it on your Instagram or Facebook and show the world too, there can never be too much Jesus on social media if you ask me!