While recording thoughts and revelations in a bible is nothing new, the tradition is witnessing a revival through bible journaling and illustrated faith art. Simply searching the hashtag, #BibleJournaling on Instagram will cause hundreds of thousands of beautifully illustrated bible pages to pop up. And, while these examples can help inspire your own ideas, it can also make starting your own journal feel a little daunting at the same time. It’s important to remember that at its core, bible journaling is truly about reading the bible and noting the insights that help you personally learn and grow, and then journaling it in an artistic way unique to you. Here are some tips to help you get started on your illustrated faith voyage.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Type of Bible Format

To begin bible journaling, you first need to find your desired bible format to record all of your thoughts and insights. While you can opt to use a traditional bible, this format typically uses very thin pages which can potentially cause pens to bleed-through the paper. In addition, standard bibles tend to have very thin margins, which is not ideal if you want to focus your creative endeavors to the side. There are also several journaling bible brands that offer products with thicker pages, extra wide margins, and guides to color and paint. If you choose not to write or draw directly in your bible, you can also record everything in a separate notebook or journal, which gives you the freedom to do whatever your artistic side desires.

Mildliner Highlighters fanned out

Step 2: Get Artsy with Bible Highlighters and Pens

Once you know where you’ll be recording your insights, it is time to gather the rest of your supplies. These supplies can include anything from bible highlighters, colored pens, stickers, watercolors, to sticky notes and paperclips. You can even opt to give your bible a multimedia effect or create a minimalistic aesthetic. The Zebra Pen Mildliner Double-Ended Highlighter & Creative Tool is the perfect bible journaling highlighter because it comes in 25 soft, pastel colors that won’t bleed through bible pages, even if you opt for a standard bible. Unlike bright, fluorescent highlighters, Mildliner Highlighters are carefully curated to include mild hues that let highlighted text stand out without making it difficult to read. The chisel tip of Mildliner Highlighters is ideal for highlighting, while the fine tip gives you the freedom to doodle in the margins. Plus, these highlighters are aesthetically designed on the outside, featuring a sleek, white barrel and convenient pocket clip that quickly identifies which color you’re using. If you’re looking for something brighter and more traditional, try the Zebrite Double-Ended Highlighters. It also won’t bleed through pages and provides a flash of fluorescent color so your favorite verses are easier to find. For bleed-free and smudge-proof notes, the Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pen is the perfect bible journaling pen. It is available in 37 colors and in three finishes including milky, shiny, and vibrant. It also features water-based pigment ink that is acid-free and permanent. Reach for the Sarasa Clip Pens to help you organize your notes and insights.

Step 3: Pick a Verse and Get Creative

Now that your supplies are ready, you’re ready to jump in. The best place to start bible journaling is to pick a verse that is familiar and that you feel inspired by. Read the verse out loud, reflect on its meaning, and select the keywords that help relay its message. Then, sketch out your idea. This can simply mean highlighting verses, creating a graphic representation, or translating its meaning in your own words in the margins in calligraphy or your own handwriting. Take your sketch or notes to the next level by adding accents of color, doodles, or scrapbooking multimedia pieces on the page. Once you are finished, mark the page with a bookmark so you’re able to come back to it at a later date.

Step 5: Keep it Unique

Your bible journal is a place for you to reflect on the biblical verses and your interpretations of them. Your bible journal will not look like anyone else’s—and that is what makes it truly great. It is meant to be unique and personal to you and your experiences, and not a duplication of other people’s work. You can take inspiration from other journals and translate them into your own style. When beginning your own bible journal, remember to have fun with it. Try different techniques, add calligraphy or personal handwriting, highlight important sections, or even start a color-coding system so you know what you reflected upon with each verse. Use the tips above to get started and enjoy the journey.