Two years ago, my husband bought me a beautiful leather bound journaling Bible. I was so excited! I’d seen tons of pins with lovely designs across pages with Washi tape and water colors.
So I sat down with my empty Bible and some colored pencils and…
This was a really expensive Bible and I was not talented or creative. So I underlined some verses with some different colors, drew a couple of hearts, and closed it up for the day.
Since then, I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with writing in my beautiful Bible, but not really.
So today, I’ve invited Amanda Player to give us some advice for Bible journaling when you aren’t creative or talented. Amanda has an awesome Etsy store called Sweet Frog Print Shop that is filled with great printables to help with your Bible journaling.
She’s also designed a special freebie exclusively for Fishbowl Family readers that you can get by subscribing to our mailing list at the bottom of this post. And if that’s not enough she’s also given Fishbowl Family readers a special discount code to use in her Etsy store for 20% off of everything!
So without further ado, here’s Amanda!
Hi! Like Halee said, my name is Amanda Player. My full time job is working in my town’s school as their school counselor. My other full time job is being mommy to my two precious kiddos, Nolan (4) and Macy (15 months). When I finally have a chance to enjoy free time, I love to paint and doodle in my Bible! I also love designing artwork that others can download from my Etsy shop to use in their Bibles!
I’ve always been creative.
I’m one of those people who sees something on Pinterest and immediately begins to think of how I could make it myself. About 4 years ago, I saw something on Pinterest that I thought I could do myself. It was a really cute, hand lettered quote that I knew would look awesome hanging in my house.
After watching several YouTube videos on how to write in “faux calligraphy,” I bought a cheap canvas and a sharpie pen and went to town on my hand lettered canvas.
Needless to say, it turned out awful.
After this fail, I continued to practice my handwriting and ended up doing little commission projects on the side.
I enjoyed it, and in a way, it was therapeutic for me.
It was a way for me to escape the exhausting and mental demands of both my career and mom life.
After posting a few of my items on Facebook, I had a friend mention to me how awesome my handwriting and picture doodles would be for Bible journaling. I really had no idea what she was talking about. I’d never even heard of Bible journaling before. So, I researched on Pinterest and Instagram and immediately fell in love with the concept! Growing up, I was always the kid who would doodle in my Bible or notebook during a sermon.
Finally, I found something that was meant for a doodling girl like me!
Today, Halee has asked me write about how to Bible journal when you aren’t talented or creative.
And I know that some people feel like they aren’t talented or creative, but I’d challenge that belief a little. Some people do seem to be born more naturally creative or talented than others.
But with practice, anyone can get better at anything.
Which brings me to my first tip:
1. Commit to Bible Journaling
If you’re interested in Bible journaling, commit to do it for a set amount of time.
Give it 30 days or 60 days, and journal a little bit every day. You don’t have to drag out the water colors everyday. Start small and just commit to spend time using your colored pencils while you do your daily quiet time.
Journaling everyday can be hard because life is busy. There have been seasons of my life that I’ve only been able to journal 2-3 times a week. I still do my daily quiet time, but sometimes my life is so busy that I sacrifice washing my hair at night to spend my 30 minutes with God journaling in my Bible. I love it that much!
2. Remember Why You’re Journaling
You’re not doing it to impress people or fill your Instagram account with beautiful photos (although it’s totally fine to post your progress pics!).
You’re journaling in your Bible to connect with the God’s word.
As moms we often get so busy that we can’t even sit down and read our Bible without running through the never ending to do list in our heads. Bible journaling helps to make you slow down and really connect with the text and God.
I like to use my Jesus Calling devotional as a guide, and I also have a daily Bible verse that pops up on my phone.
I recommend finding a devotional that goes along with your set timeline to try Bible journaling. This will really help you connect with the text in your Bible and you will be amazed at the beautiful things you do with your Bible!
3. Start Small
For your very first entry, choose your favorite Bible verse to design.
It’s a way to help break the ice with you and the fact that you are about paint and draw in your Bible.
I understand. It’s scary at first.
It’s like there is something in the back of your head telling you it’s not going to turn out right (not today Satan)!!
Don’t listen to that and keep going. It may not turn out the way you plan, but it’s perfect and GOD KNOWS YOUR HEART. That’s all that matters. I’ve had pages not turn out as planned, but it really is okay.
How many pages are in your Bible? Yeah, you’ve got plenty of time to make those fancy! No worries!
4. Buy Some Supplies
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started.
All you need is a journaling Bible, some watercolors, washi tape, colored pens, and printables! I’ve purchase a lot of my supplies over time, and the ones I have listed are what I use over and over again.
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible
I love the beautiful white pages in this Bible, as well as the blank cover! Perfect for painting and personalizing (which is something I do in my shop).
Watercolors are my favorite to use because they are quick and easy to use, and they dry fast!
A lot of my Bible journaling friends enjoy using craft paint and gelatos as well. And while those are awesome, watercolors are the best paint for a beginner. But when you are ready to get fancy, craft paints and gelatos are a must!
Make sure to purchase some good paint brushes too!
Make sure to select pens that won’t bleed through the pages in your Bible.
I love to use the Illustrated Faith brand pens as well as the Micron pens. To make a bolder statement on my pages, I use the large Faber Castel pens which come in a ton of colors! But black is my favorite. Seriously, I can’t live without my black Faber Castel large brush pen.
I love to use washi tape to help make a bold statement or bring my design together on my page.
I also use them to adhere my Books of the Bible tabs into my Bible. There are so many different colors and designs available, that the possibilities are endless. You can easily purchase them in bulk on Amazon, but they always carry washi tape at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.
I love to use downloads and printables to help guide me with the designs in my Bible.
I use a lot of my own designs, but I also like to support other small businesses by purchasing their downloads.
My favorite thing about using printables is how easy it is. All I need is a good color printer and a pair of scissors. Then I stick them to in my Bible using double sided tape. Easy peasy!! Here are some links to my favorite shops with downloads.
One of my favorite types of printables are journaling bookmarks. You can use them as bookmarks, print and stick them in your Bible, or trace them in the margins.
Sweet Frog Print Shop (that’s me!!)
Scribbles on my Heart
Illustrated Faith- Print and Pray downloads
There is so much posted on Etsy for sale in terms of Bible journaling! I’ve barely scratched the surface. Browse through Etsy’s search feature using “bible journaling” as your search item and you will be opened up to a HUGE world! It really is amazing and inspiring at the same time. There are so many people out there trying to spread God’s love!
5. Put it all together
When you finally have your supplies and an idea of what you want to design lined out, you’re ready to put it all together.
I like to start off by either highlighting or creating a border around the verse I will be using. Then I add color by using my water colors. If I have chosen a certain download to use, I usually go with that color scheme. After it has dried, I will add some washi tape, pictures, stamps, and stickers. I may also add notes on a notecard or in the margins; sometimes I add a tab on the top or the side if I want to easily access that entry.
It’s really neat to see how far I’ve progressed in my walk with God!
6. When in doubt, hit up Social Media!
Social media is such a fantastic resource for all things Bible Journaling.
Some of my favorite hashtags to search for are: #biblejournaling , #biblejournalingcommunity , #illustratedfaith , and #journalingbible. I have found a HUGE Bible journaling family through Instagram, in which we all support each other in our small businesses and our walk with God through Bible Journaling. I also find inspiration for my pages there as well!
Pinterest is another valuable resource!
Just search “Bible Journaling” and you’ll be opened up to a world of artwork, designs, YouTube videos, creative lettering ideas, etc! If I have an idea of a picture in mind, I always search on Pinterest for the how-to! A lot of the shops that you find on Instagram and Etsy will have several of their products linked on Pinterest. Pinterest is also a great budget friendly resource too. If you search for “FREE Bible journaling artwork or designs”, you’ll see tons of FREE RESOURCES! A lot of them are Bible journaling blogs, and I love nothing more than supporting those little blogs. So kudos to all my blogger friends who share FREEBIES!
Facebook is another one of my favorite resources. Bible journaling groups are everywhere!!! They are really wonderful because they help guide a Bible journaling newbie from the very beginning. It’s like a family that helps support and encourage you through design, devotionals, videos, and so much more!
Here are the groups I am part of that I enjoy:
Bible Journaling: Freebies, Inspiration, & For Sale
Faith in heART
If you have Facebook, I encourage you to go and take a look at all the groups they have.
I hope that you have enjoyed learning about me and my Bible journaling obsession. I know that if you give it a try, you will be hooked like me. Maybe you’ll fall so in love with God’s word through doing this, that you will feel driven to start a group at your church! How fun would that be??
Come by and visit my Etsy shop or follow me on social media! You can find me at:
Sweet Frog Print Shop
You can subscribe to Fishbowl Family’s mailing list below, and we’ll send you this awesome freebie I made exclusively for Fishbowl Family readers! Plus you’ll get an exclusive discount code for 20% off of everything in my shop!