Distress Ink Smooshing – Bible Art Journaling Challenge Lesson 22

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UPDATED: September 9, 2017 *Since this Distress Ink Smooshing post was originally published, I have fully developed the official technique for page prep, which will help you achieve the creativity of this fun lesson, with ease and no bleed through on your Bible pages. Info on this post has been updated where possible.


Hello Everyone! Welcome to week 22 of my Bible Art Journaling Challenge! I want to show you how to do a little ink smooshing in your Bible with Distress Ink! This is so fun!

If you haven’t yet signed up for this series, you’ve got nothing to lose. You’ll immediately get a welcome email and start in on a full year of weekly lessons… entirely free!

The greatest benefit of signing up, is a self-paced experience to keep you on track, in this beautiful journey of encountering Jesus through creativity, with myself and our supportive growing community. There are always new people starting and today is a great day to dive right in!

Let’s get started!

I’m not sure that ink smooshing needs an explanation. Basically, you smoosh ink onto your surface. 🙂 Okay, so maybe it also brings private feelings of creative bliss. And maybe I’ve also discovered some tricks to make it be successful on Bible pages. If you want some relaxed and fun time with your Bible, drinking in the Word, this is super fun and easy to do.

I found that traditional ink smooshing often done on watercolor paper, just doesn’t act the same on a Bible page. So, I took time to test out this technique before going to my Bible with it. What I found is that Distress Ink being a watercolor type ink, soaks right into Bible paper, through to the other side.

I wanted to dare my paper to take on puddles of color and found a way to do it! If you follow my video instructions, you’ll be creating splashes of color on your Bible page like I have. I am excited to see how far you push this idea for different uses!

Bible Art Journaling Challenge Week 22

Isn’t that a fun splash of color?! Now have a look what happened when I tested this out on a Bible page that did not have any page prep…

bible-art-journaling-challenge-week22 test bible page

Not so awesome all blurred together and bled through to the back side of the page is it? This is why I have an old, disused, mini Bible that I test things in, to help us all learn how to have happy creative time with God. 🙂

So what IS page prep? It’s simple technique I developed, where you add a couple clear layers to the surface of your Bible page, before you start creating on it. There is no reason to be intimidated by it, as it is very simple, but there is a definite knack to it which I have figured out. As you’ll see in this lesson video, I took time trying to figure out the best solutions and shared my journey of discovery along the way. Since filming this lesson, I’ve learned a lot.

Why you need page prep for ink smooshing

As you can see, you MUST page prep for this technique to turn out as a happy splash of color. When Bible journaling first became popular, there were a lot of problems with people experiencing bleed-through, where everything would just leak through the paper.

I took on the challenge to solve this and took months to develop the page prep technique and even went on to create the Page Prep course, which not only shares about the basics and advanced details of page prep itself (including comparisons of technique and product, etc.), but also other practical foundations, with 15 major art supplies addressed, plus important spiritual foundations we should all have as part of our lives as Bible journalists.

Along the way, I have recommended a few clear products which could be good for Bible journaling. At the time, they were the only options available and better options are now on the market.

With experience, I have learned that the Dina Wakley Media Clear Gesso, is the ONLY one which will “play nice” with 100% of the art supplies you put over the top of your clear layer when Bible journaling. I’ve seen good results with other options but I’ve also seen people try other clear products with an art supply which chemically reacted and ended poorly. I want the best for you and highly recommend you don’t listen to any other recommendations on this. As the inventor of the page prep technique, I can assure you that I do not have any obligation to any company and simply believe after my extensive independent testing, that you’ll get the best results following my guidance on all things page prep.

As for the page prep technique itself, there is plenty of great free info available for the basics from me and there is plenty of bad advice out on the internet too. I care too much about your journey to not be straight with you about this. Please take my advice and don’t use other products. I made the Page Prep course, to try and help people avoid the months of learning and testing I had and just get straight to the fun of Bible journaling without fear.

And by all means, please get yourself the heat tool I use (linked below), if you want to prep your pages. Again, other products won’t do and it’s not a hair-dryer which would give you more hair and less heat… a recipe for a less smooth page. Without heat-drying, Bible pages dry fairly wrinkly (not to mention the overnight wait, instead of minutes drying time!), and that makes for unhappy messages to me. 🙁 You can have properly flat pages with the heat tool and technique I use. 🙂

You can watch last weeks video tutorial, to see how I applied gesso. The gesso I tested in that post is not something I would recommend any longer for various reasons, as mentioned above. Here are my top recommendations for page prep supplies, including a heat tool with 3 different plugs, so be sure to pick the one that suits your area. 🙂

Page prep for ink smooshing

Anyway, for this ink smooshing technique today, I want to make clear the importance, that you add at least TWO layers of page prep.

Why? Page prep is not just about avoiding bleed through. It’s not just about avoiding your ink soaking through to the back side of your Bible page. Page prep with my recommended two layers, will also give your Bible page enough strength to endure more liquid than could be added to the surface normally. It is quite wonderful!


With a little ink smooshing and drying, your Bible page will relax and after being closed up for a couple weeks, the page will be even flatter!

Ink smooshing video tutorial and devotional

So what about all this ink smooshing goodness?! Enjoy the video lesson! 🙂


I used my NASB Note Takers Bible, for this lesson and the scripture for this challenge is Isaiah 12:3…

Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.

You’ve heard me share some scripture in my video and a bit about this verse already. I won’t repeat that here. But, I want to add something to it. As I was finishing up writing this blog post this morning, something happened.

Eyes to see, ears to hear…

I was listening to a worship song on YouTube which is on a playlist I’ve put together of worship music. I was listening to whatever came up next and after a while, noticed this one song was just repeatedly singing “Eyes to see, ears to hear. Eyes to see, ears to hear….”

It was distracting me from focusing on writing this post so I randomly selected another song without much thought. What happens? YouTube bumps that next song to somewhere in the middle of the video where someone is in the middle of closing a time of worship. What does he say exactly where YouTube starts the video? “Eyes to see, ears to hear. [Long pause…]”

This is one way God speaks to me. Needless to say, it turned out to be an intentional distraction. 😉

So what is it about? I want to encourage you to join me in having eyes to see and ears to hear what God has said to us. If you’ve had dreams He has put in your heart, or had prophetic words spoken over your life that you’re wondering how they will come to fruition, I want to encourage you today to drink deeply from the joy that comes from the well of salvation.

God’s presence

Sit at God’s feet and be refreshed. Ask Him for a fresh word today. Let Him speak to you again. Perhaps for the first time. I pray for you now, that you would hear God clearly in the quietness of His presence.

Perhaps you’ve been feeling a real tough season upon you and finding joy in God’s presence feels like a tall order. Like stress overcomes you at times and finding the presence of God is feeling difficult to place. Just quiet yourself and simply tell God out loud that you invite Him to speak to you. To come love on you and fill you with His peace and assurance. His joy.

Don’t empty your mind but instead fill it with God and His ways. Meditate on Him. Ponder His beauty and His ways. Consume your mind with God and His amazingness.


Hearing a word from God

I want to assure you that God is a gentleman and will not go where He is not welcomed. Invite Him to the places of your life that you feel safe to welcome Him. If that is every place, let Him know. He wants to love on you today and refresh you with His well of salvation. I encourage you to take some time to put praise on your lips and tell God all the ways He is wonderful in your life. Let Him consume your attention in that quiet place.

Continue to praise Him and worship Him until you feel His presence show up in a more tangible way to you. When that shift happens, sit or lay quietly in God’s presence and let Him speak to you. If you’re serious about hearing from God, have a paper and pen ready to jot down what He says to you.

When you feel He’s spoken whatever is on His heart to share for now, just begin to talk with Him about what He’s said to you. Begin to pray into it and ask God to give you the tools and understanding, the favor and wisdom necessary to step into the fruition of what He speaks over you. Perhaps He’ll remind you afresh of past promises and words over your life. Perhaps He’ll breathe life on old dreams. Or even show you new things.

I want to encourage you to not limit God’s voice by thinking you are too small or insignificant for the wonderful things He wants to see come to life in and through you. See, we were born to change our corner of the world for the better. This is not some heavy burden. Instead it is a mandate with the full back up of the King of Kings! It is THE King of everything, putting His breath, His wisdom and His insight behind His promises and words to and for you.

If we sit at the well of salvation, draw from God’s heavenly mindset and be filled with everlasting joy, we have the strength to laugh and smile our way through any season. How? When we take time to sit in God’s presence and remind ourselves of His goodness in all seasons, He gives us strength to be the best version of ourselves.

We must take time in God’s presence to give Him a chance to refresh us with His own encouraging words over our lives. When we do this, we have strength to press on and joy to overcome what comes before us.

A date with God

It can feel awkward to sit quietly in God’s presence if you’re not used to it. Like you’re sitting having a coffee date with a friend just waiting for them to speak, with what feels like hours of awkward silence. Start the conversation. Worship Him. Tell Him how wonderful He is and why. Not sure how? To “dote” on someone is to “be extremely and uncritically fond of” them. Just dote on God.

Perhaps for you that includes some music. Sometimes I like to listen to instrumental music on soaking.net to allow myself to focus on God, without distracting songs I know how to sing along with. I feel it is key to not empty our minds as the world suggests, but full our mind with Him. Meditate on Him day and night and date Him with a passion that consumes.

Thankfulness on your lips

If you’re not used to welcoming God’s presence, just practice. Get good at regularly slathering God with praise He deserves. Get good at thanking Him for EVERYTHING you have been blessed with.

My mom used to stand at the sink doing dishes shouting things like, “Thank you LORD for this WONDERFUL day. For your presence and being with me today…” Her habit was a model for us all.

If you can’t think of anything to thank God for, try searching google for “things to be thankful for” to get inspired. Just get thankful and put that thankfulness and praise on your lips. It’s honestly not good enough to think thankfulness toward God. Find a place you feel safe to speak out loud and go for it. Make it a habit. If you do it already, get better at it. I know I can press in more. We all can!

As you create this habit, you’ll find a shift happen in your life. You’ll feel happier as your focus goes off the difficulties in front of you, to the joys around you. And in that place you’ve practiced and become good at, you’ll find the joy you need in that well of salvation offered to those who call on God’s name and call themselves His kid.

Going Down To The River

Last week while I was working on this challenge, I found myself repeatedly listening to this song, Going Down To The River. I want to encourage you today to just get into a place with God where you immerse yourself in His presence and get set free by Him to be the very best, you.

Nobody else can be you. That is your job. Swim in God’s love. Get refreshed. Be encouraged to a place of total hope and joy as you put praise on your lips and create a deeper habit of doting on God.


 More ink smooshing

I mentioned in my video in this lesson, that Kristina Werner has a video tutorial, on the ink smooshing technique. Her fun video is done on watercolor paper which acts very different to Bible paper, but is a great tutorial for understanding this ink smooshing technique a bit better overall. And her color choices are so fun too! Here it is… https://youtu.be/aICGdZGUdYE

Wink of Stella

I must share a close up of how that Wink of Stella brush did on my lettering. Super fun yeah? 🙂 I know I’m late to the party with my excitement about Wink of Stella but better late than never! 😉 And of course, you can enjoy a close up view of that ink smooshing goodness!


Distress Ink

Today I used a few different Distress Inks. Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Evergreen Bough and Mowed Lawn. These blues and greens work great together without creating a muddy look and remind me of water from a well with a fresh burst of color. I’ve shared in my art supply list below, all the colors from the Distress Inks product line that you might enjoy using for this technique if you want similar results to myself.


Bible journaling supplies featured

As promised, here are the supplies I featured, in this lesson. I hope they help you find anything you may want to try out.  These supplies are purely optional and you are free to participate with whatever you have, using the devotional for this lesson.

Links lead to my own sites, or my affiliate partners, DaySpring, Scrapbook.com, Amazon.com, Simon Says Stamp, Michaels, Amazon.co.uk and Joy Clair. I occasionally also link to other helpful sites whom I am not affiliated with. When you find products which I’ve recommended through my affiliate partners, this ministry is supported. This has no effect on you and helps impact lives through this ministry. You may view my disclosure for more info on how this works. Thank you. I so appreciate your support, which helps me support your creative journey with God!


Learn about page prep

Page Prep, opens for enrollment a couple times each year and you can learn free in the meantime! Page Prep is an in-depth online course about the spiritual and practical foundations of Bible journaling. It has over 40 video lessons and will take you from beginner Bible journaling, to fresh confidence in your creative time in the Word. You’ll learn all about page prep, before heading into a whole lot more fun in bite sized chunks! All, with a focus on what matters most… God and His beautiful Word!

To learn more visit: www.PagePrep.com

Page Prep Bible Journaling Online Course By Rebekah R Jones

Join me in this Bible Art Journaling Challenge

You can find answers to most any question you may have about participating in this challenge, on the Bible Art Journaling Challenge page and learn more about this devotional series, on the Orginal Series page which holds the lesson archive, supplies list and and how to join in!

Be sure to head over to our Facebook group, to chat about this Bible Art Journaling Challenge and get started on your own creativity!

Many of you ask if it is okay to share these posts with your friends. Please share! It is a simple way you can partner with me to impact lives. And remember, you can join this challenge any date you wish. The community is always growing and you are welcome to participate whenever you want!

Thanks for joining me. Please take a moment and comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

You are loved. x


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

*Links take you to my affiliate partners, DaySpring, Scrapbook.com, Amazon.com, Simon Says Stamp, Michaels, Amazon.co.uk and Joy Clair. And, occasionally to other shops whom I am not an affiliate of. When you find deals which I’ve recommended through my affiliate partners, I get supported. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me. You may view my affiliate and product disclosure for more info on how this works. Thank you, I so appreciate your support, which helps me support your creative journey with God!