I am so excited to share this with you all. But first I have to give you a disclaimer before I get to all the fuss and fun of today's blog.
Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with any of the products or persons mentioned in today's blog regarding Bible journaling. All and any references to products or to those using said products are purely the opinion of the author (me).
Okay, with that out of the way do you know what the craze of Bible journaling is? Let me first say that the reason I am writing a blog entry about it is because it's an excellent, yes excellent way to get into the Word of God more, memorizing verses, meditating on the Word, and incorporating your artwork (or not) with the Word of God. That is essentially why and what Bible journaling is. You may already be doing this or have never heard of it. I stumbled onto it when looking at Pinterest (link goes to Bible Journaling on Pinterest). I will be incorporating a lot of graphics of examples of Bible journaling in this blog entry so you can see what it is (none of these are mine), how far or little you want to go with it--it doesn't matter--you do what YOU want to do. And comparing to others is illegal. Not really, but it should be.
I know this seems to be geared more towards the gals, but I'll have you know that my husband is getting one so he will have more room in the margin space to right his notes. Yes, my husband, daughter and I are going to be joining the many others of Bible journalers. I am SO excited. I am artsy so this is an awesome way for me to incorporate artwork in with the Word of God. It was actually something I was praying about. I was getting back into art, but was wanting to include God with it in someway. And then I stumbled upon it.
I did grab my own Bible which is an NIV Thompson Chain Reference Bible so there are some smaller column areas on the side margins where the 'chain' references are. So, I used artwork for about 3 different verses and was very pleased. But I realized I did specifically want a journaling Bible which has a 2-inch margin (for your artwork) on the outer edges of each page. Actual journaling Bibles can be found at CBD (Christian Book Distributors) or at the place that I believe started the craze for Bible journaling called Illustrated Faith. CBD also sells pens and highlighters that do not bleed through the pages. Journaling Bibles average in price around $26 if you don't get a leather one. If you go shopping for one, be sure to note whether you are getting a 1- or 2- column Bible. I think the 1-column Bibles give you more margin space or it would seem that way, but ask. Also, some of the Bibles I found, if getting an ESV, for example have reading plans with them that I didn't want. So be an educated buyer when you purchase.
When I checked on YouTube, I fell upon a Bible journaler that has a channel there named hello jillsky. She has several videos about Bible journaling starting for beginners on up. But there are many YouTube videos on this subject. So, sift through those to get some more ideas if you're interested.
As you can see from the examples I have shown, you have people who keep their journaling or artwork in the margin areas. And you have people who go all out like this picture to the left. It's beautiful work. My preference is to still be able to read my Bible while journaling. Now, you can still use watercolor or acrylic paint (a thin layer) and still be able to read your Bible which I'm all for doing that. I just don't want to completely cover up the words. That's the thing about this: do what you want with your journaling and DO NOT COMPARE YOURS WITH ANYONE ELSE.
What if you're someone who is interested in this, but you can't afford or don't want to buy a special journaling Bible? The only most obvious downside is that you won't have enough margin space to do your journaling. Most Bibles have their margins filled to the brim. But I tested it on my own regular Bible like I mentioned earlier. I learned from a YouTuber who was doing some special artwork and then transferring it into her Bible--there's a way to get around the dilemma of working with the thin Bible pages and avoid bleeding to the next page underneath and the pages after. If you're a painter or artist who has worked with acrylics and oils then you will know what I'm talking about. It is like gesso. But the particular product I use is:
-Golden brand Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Gloss). This can be found at Michael's and other art type stores. All you do is put a little bit of this in on a plate, a small amount. Mix just a little amount of water. I suggest using a medium to large size flat brush to paint with. It will paint on very easily and be very shiny. I recommend you place a sheet of wax or parchment paper behind the page you are working on. Let the coats dry in between really well before beginning your journaling. I have tested this method and used acrylic paint with a credit card (like the ladies at Illustrated Faith have suggested) using a thin layer of the paint, I tested it with watercolors all over the page, pens. Nothing has bled through any of the pages I've tested. I suggest testing pages in the back of your Bible if you are wanting to try this.
I hope this blog entry has excited and not bored you. I know not everyone is going to get excited about using artwork in your Bible. But let me reiterate that you can do this without covering the words in the Bible and still read it, if that is something that bothers you. So, do your own research for resources if you are fantastically excited. You'll find a lot out there. Happy Bible journaling!