I get questions about which art supplies are best to use on Bibles quite often. I run the free Bible Art Journaling Challenge which makes me a happy target for these great questions on a regular basis. Below, I’ve linked collections of supplies I am happy to recommend.
I keep this page up-to-date by adding to these collections as I have time, or new supplies come on the market, so check back now and then! 🙂
I regularly get requests for advice on choosing a Journaling Bible. My free, Complete Guide To Choosing A Journaling Bible, is my answer to all the questions. I keep this guide up-to-date and you should find it incredibly helpful from searching Bibles by types, translations and languages, to understanding translations and what you need to know when choosing a Journaling Bible. It even has a free checklist for simply choosing a Journaling Bible. The guide will open in a new browser tab, so you can come back to look at supplies once you’ve selected a Bible.
Getting Started With Bible Art Journaling
As you watch me take you through my own bible art journaling, you’ll learn about which art supplies I suggest and how I think they best work on Bible pages. You can start with what you have, most likely and work toward getting some of my recommendations just below to start you out! Any other supplies can be picked up along the way as you get inspired. My Bible Art Journaling Challenge video tutorials, are a great way to learn how I use art supplies which I recommend.
Starter Bible Art Journaling Supplies
People often see me using all sorts of art supplies and think that starting to art journal in their Bible, will be too costly. I would encourage you to look around your house at what you might already have and only get a small set of anything if you want to try out a new kind of art supply. If you get 12 colored pencils and love them, get a full set and enjoy having backup extras to use or share. If you find out you prefer watercolor (or something else) instead, then you’re not out the money for trying something new.
I’ve chosen to recommend what could be considered, a great little set of supplies to get started with. Last time I checked, these items total about $50 when bought together, yet, a few of them could be found around your house meaning you can start without much expense! If you’ve got more to spend, you will always find the art supplies I use in each tutorial, listed in my blog post for that video. Also, I’m currently developing an online course to help with this topic much more in depth. For now, enjoy this page and sign up for my emails to ensure you’re notified when the course is ready!
Bible Page Prep
Once people gain a bit of confidence with their Bible art journaling, they begin looking for ways to “add more” to their Bible pages. I get A LOT of questions about how and what to prepare a Bible page with, in order to allow whatever art supplies I use, to not “bleed through” to the back of the thin pages. I have a list here below of my recommendations. I will always keep this list up to date with my most recommended options and you can look through my archives (found through Bible Art Journaling Challenge pages), for videos showing how I do this process. In my opinion, if you expect to put any liquid substances onto your Bible pages, you’ll want to prep your pages first.
If you’d like to prep your Bible pages like I do, I recommend you choose ONE of these bottles below. My favorite is the Dina Wakley Media Clear Gesso and my second favorite is the Art Basics clear gesso. These are both matte finish, super smooth and very clear. Perfect surface to work on while allowing you to see your Bible text.
After you choose a bottle of gesso from below, get yourself a blending foam applicator (favorite!) or a simple foam brush and lastly, a heat tool. Many people complain to me that they believe their Bible pages are less smooth than mine. The culprit is usually the lack of a heat tool and any other brand is likely to heat your delicate Bible paper too hot. The craft sheet is ideal for cutting down to fit one piece under your Bible page and one over the opposite Bible page. You then have a heat-proof, spill-proof surface to protect over and under as you prep and create!
If you’d like to learn all about how to page prep, how 15 major art supply categories work in your Bible with or without page prep and go on a spiritual foundations journey, I’ve got a wonderful online course, Page Prep, which hundreds of students are growing in! I’d love to have you join me if this sounds right to you. Learn more at www.PagePrep.com
A helpful mention regarding the whole world of Bible page prep…
- A basic here for you about gesso is that it comes in various colors – white, black, grey… and clear. For Bible art journaling you want clear (to see Bible text under it) and not all brands are created equal. I recommend brands that play nice with your art supplies being super smooth and matte finish. A gloss or semi gloss finish would run the risk in time, of being able to stick to your adjacent Bible pages which would be best avoided!
- You can check out my blog post, “Felt Tipped Pens On Gesso“. Many people have ruined felt tipped pens and markers due to not knowing how to use them on their art surface safely. This post is excellent for ensuring you get the best out of your pens and markers while Bible art journaling.
- I should point out that the above linked blog post was written a while ago and while the information is accurate, you can always look to this page as a place to gather new and updated recommendations on similar products which may have the same results as the ones recommended there. 🙂
Art Journals For Creating Outside Your Bible Pages
Sometimes you just want to illustrate your journey with God, without creating directly on the pages of a Bible. These are the art journals I own, use and can happily recommend, plus a few Illustrated Faith books, designed with Bible journaling in mind.
Scripture Inspired Adult Coloring Books
If you want to warm up to illustrating your journey with God outside the pages of a Bible, these scripture inspired adult coloring books, are designed by people within the Bible art journaling community.
Resources For Learning About Bible Art Journaling
Illuminated Journaling is written by Jann Gray, a SUPER sweet and SUPER genuine woman I’m honored to have become a friend of. Jann took the time to write about this Illustrated Faith / Bible Journaling movement and I hear it is helping those who want to understand the topic a bit better.
Devotionals To Consider
I hope by now, you’ve discovered my free devotional series’ on this blog. They are linked below. Enjoy! You might also enjoy the monthly devotional kit from Illustrated Faith and DaySpring, or one of the Bible studies by Havilah Cunnington.
I don’t know Havilah very well, but our parents when to Bible college together and she has a real gift in teaching the Word of God. Havilah’s studies are not geared for Bible art journaling, but can easily be used to point you in a direction as you seek to grow in God. Her books here go hand-in-hand with her free online videos for each study.
*To support your creative journey with God, I have affiliated with Scrapbook.com (SC), Dayspring (DS), and Amazon (AZ). I receive a small percentage per order, when you click on my affiliate partner links and purchase. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me. It’s a sort of “tip” from these companies for sharing their great products. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me. You may see my full disclosure for more info on how this works. Thanks for your support which helps me provide free content for you! I occasionally also link to other shops which I am not affiliated with, to ensure I recommend whatever is best, regardless if it supports me.