Getting Started With Bible Journaling

One of my favorite things about hand lettering is that it can be used in so many different ways to create all kinds of art. I particularly love that I can use it to help me in my faith journey through Bible Journaling. If you’re new to the idea of Bible Journaling, it’s a great way for artists and creative types to connect with God. Basically, it’s the art of lettering and/or illustrating Scripture verses and Biblical truths. You can do it in a sketchbook, a journal, or even right in the pages of your Bible. Some people like to paint, stamp, and add stickers and embellishments, while others {like myself} enjoy hand lettering and illustrating. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, it’s all about using your creativity as an act of worship.

You don’t need to invest in a ton of expensive supplies to get started, you can use whatever markers and pens you have on hand, except for permanent markers, which will bleed right through the pages. The first thing you may want to invest in, though is a Journaling Bible. While you can do your journaling anywhere you like, here’s a quick guide to the various Bibles out there right now that are made specifically for this purpose. {Note: These are affiliate links, so if you click and purchase anything, you will be supporting this website.}

Single Column/Wide Margin Journaling Bibles

This is by far the most common style of Journaling Bible. Each page has either a single column or a very thin double column of text next to a wide, blank margin. Sometimes the margin will have very light lines or dots that can serve as guides to help you keep your lettering straight. Long, thin designs work best in this style of Bible. Some people create art right on top of the printed text as well…it’s all about personal preference. Wide margin Journaling Bibles are currently available in these five translations:

ESV Journaling Bible by Crossway

KJV Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson

NIV Journal the Word Bible by Zondervan

NKJV Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson

NLT Reflections Bible by Tyndale


Illustrating Bible by Dayspring

The newest Journaling Bible on the market is the Illustrating Bible by Dayspring. It falls into the single column wide margin category, but it has a few important differences that make it unique from all the other options. First and most significantly, it’s spiral bound. This means it can lay completely flat while you work, which is a huge help for us artists, and it can also be folded over on itself.

It’s the largest Journaling Bible on the market, measuring 9 ¼” square with 3 ¾” margins, and it’s printed with paper that’s 75% thicker than the typical Bible page. The size makes it a little less portable than the other Bibles, but gives you more space for your artwork. At this time, the Illustrating Bible is only available in the CSB translation. It’s currently sold out, but will be back in stock in February.

Interleaved Journaling Bible by Crossway

The other style of Journaling Bible is the Interleaved version, which has one full blank page next to every page of printed text. This allows you to create full-page designs instead of being limited to the size and shape of the margins. Currently, this is only available in the ESV. I have the hard cover version, but it’s also available leather bound and leather with a flap and tie. This and the Illustrating Bible are my two favorites; this one because of the full blank pages, and the latter because of the spiral binding.


Markers & Other Supplies

One of the questions I’m asked on a daily basis is what pens and markers I use in my Bibles. Here’s a list of my personal favorites. In my experience, these do not bleed through any of the pages in any of the Bibles, but they do “shadow,” meaning that from the reverse side, you can see that something is written on the page.

Fine-tip black markers

For outlining and detail work, you’ll want fine tip markers, preferably in sizes 01, 03, and 05 mm. I use all three of these brands with equal satisfaction:

Tombow Mono Drawing PensFabercastell Pitt Artist PensSakura Micron

Brush Pens

For brush lettering, my absolute favorite pens are:

Tombow Fudenosuke black and colors

For larger brush lettering and for coloring in illustrations, I like Tombow Dual Brush Pens. They’re available in 108 colors and can be purchased individually or in 10-pack color palettes.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

White Pen

For highlights, you’ll want a white gel pen that can write over top of your black and colored markers. This is my current favorite:

Signo Uni-Ball Broad White Gel Pen


I like to do a light pencil sketch of the shape and size of my design before going over it with markers. Any pencil will do, but you will want a fantastic eraser. Any of the Tombow Mono erasers will do a great job, but my favorite is this one because it makes the least mess:

Tombow Mono Dust Catch Eraser

If you don’t have any or all of these supplies, don’t let that stop you from getting started! All you need is a piece of paper and whatever markers you have on hand to turn your favorite Bible verses or truths into art. I am so looking forward to sharing more with you about Bible Journaling, teaching you all kinds of fonts and embellishments and layouts in my upcoming book Hand Lettering for Faith, which releases in October of this year {2019}. Until then, I hope this helps you get started with a new hobby that will let you use your creativity to worship your Creator!

If you’d like to hear this information in podcast form, check out my podcast Crafting & Coffee with Amy Latta Creations!

Don’t forget, if you like it, then you oughta put a Pin on it!

Getting Started with Bible Journaling #biblejournaling

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  1. Thank you for sharing this! Great information and tips.
    I did some mixed media on my Journaling Bible, but sometimes it is great to just simply drawing and coloring on it, too. Your pages are inspiring and gorgeous, Amy

  2. After reading this I went and ordered my first Bible similar to the first one you have posted and it arrives today!! I’m so excited.

  3. Hello! Iwas looking at a bible on Amazon and almost got the one you listed 🙂 I ended up getting a bible at hosanna revival. They are sooooo beautiful. I’m excited to start my bible journaling 😉

    Ursula : {modern diys and home decor inspo}

  4. I got a journaling bible recently and am looking for ideas to use it…your website has been really helpful!

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