My 2 Biggest Bible Art Journaling Mistakes & What I’ve Learned From Them
UPDATED: Dec 21, 2021
When I first started Bible art journaling, I soon realized what everyone does… I have A LOT to learn. Bible art journaling mistakes abounded. Of course, we all have a lot to learn about God, His Word and His ways. And that is what the focus of Bible art journaling is. But in this post, I’m just keeping it super practical.
The questions came at me from all sides. “How do I avoid bleed through in my journaling Bible?” “Which art supplies are prone to bleed through?” “Which art supplies are less archival?” “Which art supplies should never be used in a Bible?” “How do I layer lots of color in my Bible, without it bleeding through to the back of my Bible page?” “How do I make sure that my Bible art journaling is always transparent?” “Which pens are best to use in my Bible?” And on, and on, and on… the questions go.
Thankfully my years of experience with art supplies helped make my learning process a bit less painful than some are faced with. Even with that, I made Bible art journaling mistakes like we all can. I often get asked how to avoid Bible art journaling mistakes, before they happen. While it is impossible to avoid ever making any mistakes, today I want to share with you what I’ve learned from my biggest Bible art journaling mistakes.
My mistakes may surprise you and perhaps you might be able to somehow speed past them, because of what I can share with you today.
So here they are…
My two biggest Bible art journaling mistakes and what I’ve learned from them
MISTAKE NO. 1 – I stalled before I started Bible art journaling
When I first learned about Bible art journaling and when I actually started Bible art journaling, had a 3 month gap. I am guessing that if you’ve thought about Bible art journaling, or have even started Bible art journaling, you may have experienced that moment, (or that loooonnngg period of time), when the nerves try to set in. “What if I hurt my Bible!?!” “How do I honor God while creating in the Bible?!?” The questions and the nerves crowded my mind while I processed through how I felt about it all. Can you relate?
The moment I learned about Bible art journaling I was honestly SOLD on the idea. I knew it could have a real impact on my life. But learning about it and knowing that I would do Bible art journaling, is different to getting on with it. That is 3 whole months that I can never get back in my life, that I simply thought about Bible art journaling and did not just DO it.
WHAT I LEARNED – Ban perfection from your presence
When I took time to process through any hesitations I had about starting the Bible art journaling (which I was actually quite excited about), I found that a desire for perfection had found space in my life. I wanted to please God in my desire to worship Him through creativity in my Bible and had latched on to the lie, that He wanted perfection from me. In truth, God wants to be intimate with me. Do you have ANY friend in your life that prefers you to be perfect in their presence? The desire for perfection is an unhealthy perspective and keeps us from embracing the best we can have in relationship with God.
The solution to perfection truly is a simple one. Though admittedly hard to break away from, it is simple. We must ask God to show us where we feel inadequate. Where do we feel that we are insecure, or unsure of our true identity. Our value MUST come from God and His extreme passion for us. It must never come from a desire to impress. When God made you He said His creation was good. He is already impressed. We are nothing without God. But, with God, we are capable of much and truly beautiful.
We must face where the insecurity finds a root and break away from it. We must ask God to help us embrace the truth about who He says we are. Beautiful. Capable. Respectful of Him. In love with Him. He knows we want to honor Him through Bible art journaling and loves to watch us display our affection.
The day I started Bible art journaling, the mental battle was over. I will never stop Bible art journaling. My life will never be the same again. Connecting with God through creativity is life changing. If you are hesitating in any way with Bible art journaling, today is your day. Know that you cannot disappoint the God who already loves you so much that while you were still at your very worst, He sent His son Jesus to die on a cross for you. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less. You can only grow deeper in love with Him. Do it. You will never regret it.
MISTAKE NO. 2 – I hurt my Bible pages
Despite having grown up with a grandma who was a professional fine artist and a super crafty mom, I still have made tons of creative mistakes right on the pages of my Bible. I’ve had terrible cases of bleed through. I’ve smudged ink. I’ve used art materials and supplies on my Bible paper which wasn’t suitable for use on Bible paper.
Not having anyone to teach me how to create on the pages of my journaling Bible, cost me a lot in mistakes and money.
WHAT I LEARNED – You are loved regardless if your Bible art journaling looks good
Creative perfection is not the key here. The focus of Bible art journaling should ALWAYS be 100% on growing in God through creative time in the Word. I am also a firm believer that we should enjoy His presence. Enjoy Bible art journaling.
The problem so many face is that fear of actually hurting your Bible pages through lack of creative skill. I have had a pretty steep learning curve, but have been grateful to apply my previous skills to what I teach in Bible art journaling. Along the way, I invented and developed the “page prep” technique, which is where we can create a clear base on top of our Bible pages, before we create on them. Page prep acts as a sort of barrier to avoid bleed through and so much more. The trick is in the technique and what you use. Also, in knowing which art supplies should, or should not be used in our Bibles in the first place.
I’ve learned A LOT along the way. If you haven’t already enrolled in my Page Prep course, I’d encourage you to check it out. I’d love to have you join hundreds of other students on a 7 week journey of spiritual and practical foundations for Bible art journaling. I’ve worked SO hard on this online course. My heart has really been to create a way to allow you to stand on my shoulders and step past my learning curve. To step past the creative confusion and focus in on what matters, being transformed by the Word of God.
You can head over to PagePrep.com to learn all about the Page Prep course. I will still keep having great free content on this blog and am excited to share this course, so I can offer you even better content that is full of support and classroom experience.
Oct 23, 2016 @ 5:34 pm
you are so right – all we need to do is delve into the words – not even try to be ‘perfect’. Sometimes it works – and – oh deeeer – sometimes it’s a mess! I like to pick up second hand bibles in charity shops to wok on rather than sepecialy produced ones. I find that I don’t worry so much about messing up
Rebekah R Jones
Oct 24, 2016 @ 4:37 pm
That is a great idea to use second hand Bibles, which I know has really helped others. That “pressure” to get it “perfect” in an heirloom or brand new Bible can be enough to keep some people from getting started.
Oct 24, 2016 @ 12:22 pm
Maybe some one could share notes on your course. I am living off SSI so no extra money for your class. Thanks for all you do and classes that are free, I really enjoy them.
Rebekah R Jones
Oct 24, 2016 @ 4:41 pm
I’m sorry to hear about your financial situation. I pray you experience great blessing in extra ways! As you can imagine, having a student share notes would be unfair to other paying students and to myself, so it’s not something that should really happen. But there is a lot of free content already on my blog, plus more to come which you and others can enjoy free. x
Oct 25, 2016 @ 10:32 pm
I agree sharing notes should not happen. It is your valuable intellectual property.
Rebekah R Jones
Oct 24, 2016 @ 4:38 pm
Thanks Brenda, I’m glad you’re enjoying my free content! There will be lots more to come. x
Oct 24, 2016 @ 5:05 pm
Rebecca is it possible to make payments on the prep page? Small payments ? Thanks
Rebekah R Jones
Oct 24, 2016 @ 6:34 pm
Hi Brenda! Thanks for asking. Because the course is 7 weeks, it doesn’t really feel right to have people still making payments on something long after we’ve finished the course duration. I realize the course has lifetime access, but I don’t want to burden you or anyone, with payments beyond 2 months. My recommendation is to set aside payments to be ready for when the course is relaunched in early next year. Currently, that means you have at least 4 months before it will be available for sale. You’re already signed up to learn about the course, which means you’ll be notified when the early-bird discount is available again. It was $99 this time. You’re likely to be ready to purchase at the early-bird rate (whatever it is at that point) if you set aside roughly about $25 per month, during Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. I’m not set on the date yet but that should give you something to aim for. Hope that makes sense. I look forward to having you in the course when you’re able!
Oct 26, 2016 @ 6:47 am
Rebekah: You are so inspiring and I love to see your videos and beautiful examples of making the scripture come alive. You have a strong faith easily shared with so many! I hope to take the 2017 prep course and in the meantime I will experiment and “play” on my own and hopefully bring these wonderful words more alive in my walk with Christ! THANK you for sharing your heart and expertise.
Dec 3, 2016 @ 10:57 pm
Rebeckah: do you know when Bible Journaling
started in America, and who was the first to
Rebekah R Jones
Jan 12, 2017 @ 11:39 pm
That is great Linda! I’m glad it is helping. I can see you’ve gotten subscribed and hopefully you’ve just received your first email. I’m sorry for the confusion. Thanks for coming on the journey with me! x
Mar 9, 2017 @ 2:05 pm
There is a book called Writing in the Margins or something similar. It gives a lot of history about journaling.
Rebekah R Jones
Mar 9, 2017 @ 3:13 pm
Thanks Sharon. xx
Mar 9, 2017 @ 12:58 am
I am one of those chickens that is afraid to even start. Yikes! I feel like I’m back in grade school and waiting my turn to jump into the already turning jumprope. I keep almost jumping in. I’m really going to do it this time. Really.
Rebekah R Jones
Mar 9, 2017 @ 1:54 pm
Robin I hope you’ll consider joining me in my Page Prep course this time! You’d be in good company with others taking the plunge together and it is such a blast to see all that God does during our journey together! Either way… jump girl, jump! <3
Mar 9, 2017 @ 3:02 am
I am interested in Bible journaling but one thing always stops me. I am in an intense Bible study. I find that writing notes as to what a particular passage or word means or a reference to another page most helpful. So how do I accomplish both goals? Journaling and word study. Often it’s many words on a page. I just discovered your site and am excited to be learning this tool. Can you direct me to a page or an article that may be able to help me?
Rebekah R Jones
Mar 9, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
Mary I think there are a lot of people who mistake Bible journaling as a replacement for time studying the Word. It should though, add to what we do and make it richer. In my own life, I study the Word and enjoy taking notes as well. Then, I use Bible journaling as a way to further dive into the Word and also record what God has been revealing to me during my time of study. I then have a creative reminder of that time of study and creativity with God. I’d recommend you don’t throw out your study time and instead, use it as a springboard for your Bible journaling! Considering your interest in writing notes inside your Bible (from what I understand), you may enjoy looking at my tutorials on tnserts, tip-in’s and overlays. They would add a way for you to fit more info into a section you’re studying and creating in. Here is a link to them: https://rebekahrjones.com/tag/inserts-overlays-tip-ins/ <3
Mar 12, 2017 @ 3:18 am
I’ve joined the BAJ challenge on Facebook, signed up for Page Prep and have watched several of your online videos. I am very excited about the Page Prep. When I got my journaling Bible (ESV) for my birthday last Thanksgiving from my daughter I was thrilled. I dove right in because the idea of a new creative outlet in Bible study touched my spirit. I did not have any instruction in the beginning and made some sloppy mistakes and used some art supplies that didn’t work like I hoped. But the whole experience since I started has been wonderful. Perfection can still be an enemy, but the process of adding color, art, design, stickers etc, to deepen my focus on God’s Word is so fulfilling. Thank you for your willingness to share and offer your experience to expand ours…and not be held back in fear. God bless.
Rebekah R Jones
May 18, 2017 @ 1:45 pm
I’m sorry you seem to have missed that they are back in action now! Yay! I had an unexpected break from a concussion but am doing well now and will catch back up as the year unfolds. Another lesson has already been released. If you’re not already subscribed to get emails when new lessons come out, it may help ensure you get each lesson as the series unfolds. You can do so here: https://rebekahrjones.com/bible-art-journaling-challenge/deeper-still/
Jun 14, 2017 @ 12:37 am
Rebekah, I love your blog and videos. I actually got started in my journaling Bible by coloring a page after I read the book of John. I’m used to “coloring” in my Bible because I enjoy Precept Inductive Bible studies where you mark patterns in the words and ideas. I see the scripture in color! I love learning the new techniques you are teaching in your videos. And I love how you put the words of scripture and the love of God first. Thanks for what you do and for sharing with us.
Jun 23, 2017 @ 3:32 pm
I found your Page Prep course most informative on all fronts. I enjoyed the devotionals as well as the practical aspects of art supplies and techniques. It is because of your demonstration that I tried Inktense pencils and I find they are amazing and an excellent medium for me. Thank you , so very much for this course.
Sep 19, 2017 @ 3:55 pm
I started Bible journaling almost a year ago, receiving my first journaling Bible for Christmas, along with a few basic supplies. I had given my step-daughter my scrapbooking supplies years earlier (believe me I had well over $1000 worth of supplies)! I thought I wouldn’t need them again.
Then, I discovered THIS!! I didn’t know the impact and the thirst I would have to do this! I meet up every week with my very good friend who lives in another state, on Skype. We get up early anyways, so we decided to dedicate a morning for us to do our journaling together. We choose a verse, alternating weeks, and then have a week to prepare. We spend upwards of 2+ hours on Skype working ‘alongside’ one another…sisters in God’s word~! I started a Facebook page only to share our creations, thoughts, inspirations…or most importantly, GOD’s WORD! It has become the absolute MUST DO for us in this uncertain world! I referenced her to you as I found your information, skills, sharing of God’s message while journaling to be something very important to me.
I copy, trace drawings…but I paint my page myself. It is amazingly uplifting, fun and fulfilling to create something of my own hand beyond that of the initial drawing. It become MINE as my gift to God!
As a result of your input, I have acquired new supplies. I am not so afraid to do this in my new bible. I am grateful for the opportunity to go deeper into God’s word.
I look forward to more from you and wanted you to know how you have affected my life, and likely many more!
Jul 1, 2018 @ 7:32 pm
I would love to take part of your course: how to protect pages and what products NOT to put in any Bible. I am on SS and I can’t afford your class. Can you make your class shorter? less expensive?
Jul 5, 2018 @ 9:26 pm
Hi Marie! I’m sorry you’re finding the cost difficult. Wish I could help! At the moment, each lesson costs about $2.40. As you can imagine, it’s not viable to support students or the ministry making it less expensive than it already is, but I will open enrollment again next year so perhaps consider saving a bit each month like some students do and you’ll soon have enough to join in! I pray you are blessed much in this season!
Jul 5, 2019 @ 1:14 pm
I make mistakes in my Bible art journaling all the time. Thanks for sharing.