[ bible journaling ][ Move the Mountains ]

Bible Journaling for Beginners: Do It Like a Pro

Bible journaling is cool. If you like Jesus and art (and who of you doesn’t?), then you’ll probably find Bible journaling on your list of next hobbies to learn. But where do you start? With Bible journaling for beginners!

Let’s be honest, some of what people draw is intimidating. I was encouraging a new Bible journaler the other day on Facebook about her work, which was good, and I said “You may not be Da Vinci but you are an artist!” and literally the next post was someone’s gorgeous rendition of the “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo.

DSC03662 (2)I get it, some people are extraordinarily talented at illustrating. But guess what, you probably do something flawlessly they wish they could do. Einstein couldn’t tie his own shoes; it is a give and take.

HOWEVER, there are many tools that can help you learn to Bible journal like a pro and I’m here to share them with you! Now, you don’t have to feel like an awkward turtle when you get started on your journey. (below are affiliate links, it is how my babies eat)

Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 1: Get a Journaling Bible.

Do you have to get a Journaling Bible to do Bible journaling? No. If you want to do it like a pro? Yes.

Below I have my best selling journaling Bible, one that I happen to use all the time.

Looking for a leather journaling Bible? This soft cover journaling Bible has beautiful leaves embossed in the leather to inspire your Bible journaling time.

Things I love about this Bible:

  • It’s beautiful on the outside and has a flexible cover like leather
  • It has 2 inch margins for journaling
  • There’s a read through the Bible in a Year Plan
  • The pages are thicker than normal Bibles so it holds art supplies better

On my website, I cultivate a variety of different journaling Bibles in different translations. Click here to see all of the journaling Bibles I currently offer.


Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 2: Choose a medium.

While you wait for your journaling Bible from Move the Mountains to arrive, you should choose a medium to get started in. Now, I’m going to warn you: art supplies are pricey. If you want to try to do them all in your journaling Bible, I highly suggest you space out your purchases.

Besides choosing a cover for your journaling Bible, this will be the next hardest choice you make. So, here is a list of options and if you want to keep your total investment UNDER $100, then choose hand lettering and one other medium:

  • hand lettering only
  • scrapbooking
  • watercolor
  • acrylics
  • pencils



Hand lettering is a must for Bible journaling for beginners. It is the only must craft-wise. So, to begin your journey, you need some Micron pens. This compliments well with any medium you choose, and I highly suggest these Micron pens!

These pens are made with archival ink, which is a fancy word for “fade-resistant”. They are super high quality and you’ll instantly fall in love with them!

If you go to a place like Michael’s and buy them individually, get BLACK and three sizes: 01, 03, 05.

In the Scripture Writing Online Class, you’ll learn how to write neatly, hand letter, and how to use it to hide God’s Word in your heart in this step-by-step online class.Handlettering help: If you need a guide for handlettering, there is no shame in that, I offer an entire Scripture Lettering Class!

In this class, I teach you the basics of handlettering and how we can use it to write God’s Word on our heart. It has rave reviews from everyone who has taken it.

Click here to learn more about this fun, helpful class!



If you don’t feel capable of drawing or painting, scrapbooking is way cool. Even if you are a minor scrapbooker, you probably have most of the supplies you need, but it is a good idea to make sure you have the basics:


My favorite medium is watercolor because I can use it over scripture and I am still able to read it. Call me old fashioned but I think that we shouldn’t cover up the Word of God for the sake of “expression”. You need those words, those words give you life and they are your defense against the enemy! It would be like me giving you the best multivitamin in the world and you opening the capsule to draw something in the powdery contents.

Untitled design (1)To get started using watercolor, you will need some paints (click here), and an Aquash paint brush (click here) .


This choice can bring such vibrancy to a page, it is amazing. Acrylics can be used at full force or watered down for a softer look, but either way, this option can transform Bible journaling. I love how they can save the brushstroke look!

If you have never used acrylics, don’t be afraid! Click here for a short albeit dry instructional video that will just give you the basics of acrylics!

The video above says you need a palette, but you don’t, you can just use a paper plate or something like that. All you REALLY need is the paint (click here) and the brushes (click here).liquidex

Side note: using acrylics will cover up scripture.


Pencils and I have never been friends… because pencil drawings can be very unforgiving. Even with a nice set from Prismacolor, my art never turns out satisfactory. However, if you are concerned that you have no idea what do to with a paint brush, pencils are a great choice!

pencilsPrismacolor offers the best/affordable sets you can find, click here to view their 12 pack.

My favorite thing about using pencils as your medium is that you can use them to create a “glow” or a “halo effect” in your drawings.

If you feel so clueless that you can’t decide which option is the best for you, take a class! Visit Paper Source (the staff is SO helpful)! Go to the library and check out some books on beginning your creative journey!

Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 3: Gesso or not.

3 days ago I had never heard of this product, it is likely that you have not heard of it either. It is a magical substance that helps to protect your Bible journaling pages from bleeding (ink/paint leaking to the other side of the page) and some shadowing (the image darkens the other side of the page without bleeding).

However, though it protects your pages, it takes a long time to dry (unless you buy a special dryer). If you are starting with a mindset of thriftiness, gesso and its dryer are unnecessary.

If you are using any of the products I’ve suggested in their proper fashion, then you won’t have any bleeding but it is likely they will have some shadow that you can see from the other side of the page and watercolor will likely crinkle.

gessoInstead of this product, if you don’t mind a little shadow or crinkle, I suggest using my budget-minded technique: whenever painting or drawing, use a flexible cutting board under the page you are illustrating.

If this is a must for your list though, click here to get some GESSO.

Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 4: Practice!

I’m slightly a perfectionist and I want my journaling Bible to look beautiful, so I practice. I have an art journal that I doodle in and start ideas in, then when I have a great idea, I go for it.

Sometimes, if I’m REALLY excited, I just wing it and that can turn out amazingly… or gross. For myself, it is hit and miss, but for a beginner, it is best to practice your idea before reaching for your Bible.

What am I suppose to practice, you ask? Go to MTM’s Pinterest board for Bible Journaling by clicking here and pick something you want to copy. Print or screen save it and then meticulously copy it.

Becoming an artist is like becoming an athlete, you have to practice for muscle memory. Your hands need to be trained how to execute artistic pieces, so breath and take it slow, YOU ARE LEARNING.

Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 5: Plan.

Planning is very important when you want to do your own pieces, otherwise you might get stuff like this.DSC04074 (2) 🙁 Ick, right? It looks like a funky, yellow blob and maybe a purple person on it? Poor Matthew 1. To avoid this, use a pencil to plan your drawing in your Bible, you can even do a sketch before on a separate piece of paper as a guideline.

Despite your best efforts to plan, your brilliant idea may not pan out. That is ok! You are growing in the art of journaling and you need to give yourself grace.

DSC03817Bible Journaling for Beginners Pro Tip Number 6: Ask the Holy Spirit for Inspiration.

When in doubt, call the Holy Spirit out.

He knows where you want the lines to go, He knows what will look beautiful (just look at the universe He helped to create), He knows if you need a break. He knows. Invite Him to join you, after all, spending time with God is what this is all about!

If you have all that you think you need to start Bible journaling like a pro except where to start: begin by choosing your favorite verse and use one of the examples from our Pinterest board (click here) as an outline and commit to finishing the page.

It might take you 30 minutes, it might take you 3 weeks, but that is ok. Take a lesson from Nike and just do it!

Ready for more encouraged in Bible journaling? Check out our FREE Bible journaling educational series: Bible Journaling with Move the Mountains. Sign up below!

Tags: , , ,

About Author

Amanda Schenkenberger

I'm a wife to a hard working man and a mama of four little adorable boys. We live near Portland, Oregon and we love it. Portland has a great vibe and we love sharing the good news of the gospel with the people here.

I'm a stay at home mom first, then a work at home mom. The kids have to come first. I love people, hiking, coffee, converse, and Jesus. I also love coffee. And another favorite thing of mine is coffee. :) If you like coffee, we should be friends.

My one ridiculous dream I'd really like to come true is to collect one of every Starbucks mug that is related to a city or country.

Have a blessed day!


  1. Amanda, love the blog! Great start, clear, leaves out ALL the anxiety of how to get started and the basics of what you need. You’ve seen the questions I ask…I wish I had this blog 2 months ago. It is so hard to get a simple answer on how to start bible journaling because once your feet are wet we get so excited. Thanks again, I can’t wait to see where this blog and your journey goes.

    God Bless and best of luck,

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback, Alyson! I know it can seem overwhelming but fun (a recipe for confusion), so I’m glad to hear I eliminated the anxiety for you!

      I really encourage you and everyone reading this to bookmark this page in their favorites so they can share it with friends and family who are at the beginning of their Bible journaling journey!

  2. I would like to print this info so I can easily refer back to your notes for help. So I’m wondering if you have this in email form or should I just copy and paste to print? Love all the help as I’m just beginning as well!

    1. Hi Karylila!

      I just emailed this article to your harding.edu email. I would suggest you save it in your email and bookmark it as a favorite in your web browser because the only way to access the helpful links is through the article online. Of course, you can print it for a reference while journaling and make notes on it as well (it should be easier now that it is in your inbox)! Such a great idea!

      Great question!

  3. At first I wasn’t a fan of bible art/journaling because I felt that it took away valuable time from reading and studying the bible but the more I saw blog postings on it and beautiful pictures on my instagram feed, I finally gave in and bought my first journaling bible. The problem is I’m not an artist and in fact I have horrible writing. I’m going to need to do a lot of practicing before I touch my new bible. For now I’ll keep reading the scriptures in my study bible and practice my doodling so that I can create beautiful God-inspired artwork. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I’m right there with you. I have never considered myself an artist and I had a hard time using my journaling Bible for art. But after praciting and planning (and taking it slow), I feel comfortable painting in my Bible now! You’ll get there!

    1. I’m so glad you are inspired by this! God’s word is such an amazing source of inspiration and He wants to work through you to create something that expresses your heart. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get started!

  4. I like the Bible Journaling idea but with over 10 different Bibles, and translations, I can not get my husband to agree to another Bible even though some are falling apart from over use. Will have to be content with journaling in a tablet for now.

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.