Bible Journaling Basics

So What Do I Need to Begin Bible Journaling?

These are the very basics:

  • A Journaling Bible

My first journaling Bible – two years ago I began journaling with Crossway’s ESV single-column journaling Bible. Its hard cover makes it sturdy and adds support as you journal. This Bible also lays flat when open… at least it does until it gets full of journaled pages.

My First Journaling BibleThere are many journaling Bibles on the market right now. From Bibles with black and white illustrations ready to be colored to Bibles with every other page blank. They now can be found in many translations including The Message. I suggest that before you order a journaling Bible online, visit your local LifeWay or other Christian bookstore to actually see and touch the journaling Bibles there. It will help you to know what’s out there even if the store’s selection is not very large.

Lines or no lines? I like the lines in the margins of my journaling Bibles. They are handy for evenly spacing written journaling and help with spacing any art as well. They really do disappear into the art and don’t distract from it. I know this is hard to imagine but it is really true.

So you say you couldn’t possibly put a mark in your Bible? You can still Bible journal. Try using a blank journal, a traveler’s journal, or even a simple composition notebook.

  • Pencil and eraser

Just a normal yellow #2 school pencil and a pink eraser… that’s all. Simple! Just raid your kid’s school supplies.

  • Pen that doesn’t bleed through

If you don’t have one around the house look for these:

No bleed fine tip Sharpie pens – they actually say “No Bleed” on the package.

Sakura Pigma Micron Ink Pens – they come in different colors and different sized tips.

Sakura Pigma Brush pens or Graphic pens

Faber-Castell Pitt Pens – I only have one – the large black brush tip pen.

Good rule of thumb with pens (or any product for that matter): It’s smart to test any new pen on your Bible pages before you do a whole page that you love only to find that it bled through to the next page. Most Bibles have blank pages in the back.


These are the next step up from basic but still optional:

  • Alphabet stickers
  • Small alphabet rubber or vinyl stamps – they are inexpensive at the Target Dollar Spot and Michael’s.
  • Of course with stamps you also need a stamp pad – I really like the black StayzOn solvent ink pad. It’s crisp black, will stamp nicely over any art media (including metal) and dries quickly.
  • Acrylic paints and an old gift card
  • Watercolors – the cheapest set you can find at the craft store or Walmart – and a brush

Tip: the Micron pens do not work well to draw/write on top of the cheaper brand watercolors. The chalkiness of the pigment clogs the tips of the pens. But you CAN paint over top of the marker lines without the pen smearing.


These are the Go Crazy – definitely optional options:
(and I’m sure you could come up with your own wish list once you really get into playing with color on the pages of your journaling Bible).

  • Various stickers and/or printables (available inexpensively or even for free to download online)
  • Washi Tape
  • Colored pencils
    • Crayola Twistables Colored pencils – I’ve heard these work great!
    • Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils (artist quality)
  • Paints and tools
    • Watercolors – artist quality (there are many brands available – look in the fine art section of your local craft store
    • Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels – These are my very favorite for adding color to a page. They are soft and smooth and creamy and it’s really just amazing to see what looks and feels like a wax crayon dissolve in water.
    • Water brush or paint brushes
  • Rubber Date Stamp

Just for Fun Things:

See all that fun, floofy stuff sticking out of my Bible?

Seasons Illustrated tabs

Well, at first I said I didn’t want to do that and then I caved just a little to use these pretty tabs that Sara Laughed from Seasons Illustrated sent me for Advent 2015. It was all downhill, or uphill depending on your perspective, from there!

  • Tabs
  • Fancy paper clips
  • Tassels

Except for the tabs pictured on the right, I’ve made all my own pretty stuff. It’s easy to do! Maybe I will do a tutorial on here one day soon.


Links for information, printables, products, and information too:

There are several Facebook groups which offer inspiration, information, and encouragement. Most groups are closed groups due to the personal nature of the journaling that people share but it is easy to join by simply requesting to be added. You will normally receive a quick response.

These are my favorites:

Printables, articles, inspiration – https://www.illustratedfaith.com/

Journaling Challenges and tutorials on methods – http://www.rebekahrjones.com/

Lots of Bible Journaling supplies for purchase, some very inexpensive – https://www.dayspring.com/gift-shop/illustrated-faith

And last but not least – Pinterest. If you like Pinterest, search on “Bible Journaling” and you will be overwhelmed with inspiration and information. Pinterest is great when you get in a rut or need to stop journaling for a short time and need to be jump started to get back into the groove. Use Pinterest wisely to prime the pump and get out of a rut but make your journaling fully your own. It will stick with you best if it comes from your very own heart and is done in your own special way.