When I received the new Blessed Is She Catholic Journaling Bible at Christmas, I was ecstatic and a little nervous. Although I am a planner lover and enjoy decorating my planner, I have never tried a journaling bible. Sure, I would jot down notes in the margins but that was it. I went on Instagram and scanned a few hashtags involving bible journaling and definitely felt like I was in over my head. I don’t water color or draw well and I’m a newbie at hand lettering. What if I mess up? Should I even be drawing in a Bible? Finally, I decided to just give it a try and let the Holy Spirit speak to me as I color. He reminded me to not be afraid to try new things. I may discover something new to love. So, with an Amazon gift card in hand, I scanned the online aisles and purchased some accessories to use on this journaling journey.
(NOTE: Revolution of Love is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I purchased these items on my own and am sharing my honest opinion about them.)
Here are the items I started with…
I purchased Design One Scripture Ribbons for less than $10 because I like to be able to keep track of different books in the Bible – favorite passages, books I am studying or a Gospel reading I will write about soon. The ribbons will help me to keep track.
The ribbons were attached to a white piece of cardboard that you could slip into the spine on the Bible. However, you were supposed to pull off the brown covers to reveal the sticky side of the ribbon then press the adhesive to the inside of the book spine. This may have worked well with a book wider than this bible but the ribbons kept sticking to the inside of the spine before I could push them down far enough. I tried to pull the ribbons back out but they were sticking everywhere and I landed out yanking a few right off the cardboard holder. What a mess.
To correct it, I finally go the cardboard and sticky ribbons out and fixed it so the ribbons were back on the cardboard with no exposed adhesive. I slid the cardboard back into the spine and because it was a perfect fit, I did not slip out. I have been using the ribbons for a couple weeks moving them around and rearranging them in the pages and they work great. So while I do recommend these ribbons, for this particular bible, I suggest slipping it into the spine with the adhesive covers still on the ribbons. They should stay in place without a problem.
Normally, when I write with pen, I prefer to use these:
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen 2 Pens Set (It comes with a hard and soft tip.)
- Micron pens
- Staedtler pens
- For more options, see the post My Favorite Stationary, Pens, Stickers and Planner Supplies
However, I didn’t feel comfortable writing in my new Bible with pen that may bleed through and in which I could not erase my mistakes. I decided to leave that to the professionals! My fellow Blessed Is She sister Samantha is my go to girl when I want to learn more about pens. She tested out her favorites in the new journaling bible and shared her thought in Blessed Is She’s blog post – Everything You Need to Know About Catholic Bible Journaling (Tools + Resources).
As for me, I decided I am taking baby steps and wanted to start by only using colored pencils and erasable pens.
My favorite erasable pens are Frixion markers. I have three sizes – the thicker Pilot Frixion Colors Erasable Markers, the thinner Pilot FriXion Pencil, 0.7mm Ballpoint Pen, 12 Colors Set. (Also available in the 24 pen set) and the thinnest Pilot Frixion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen, 0.5mm, 10 Colors Set. I find the .7mm pens to be my favorite to use in the Journaling Bible.
(One note: It has been said that the ink of these pens disappear in extreme heat but the ink will reappear if book is placed in the freezer. I have never had an issue but I also don’t live in extreme heat.)
Since I already love Frixion, I naturally bought their highlighters too – Pilot Highlighter Frixion Light, 6 Soft Color Set.
The highlighters have such pretty colors, are not too dark, have minimal shadowing and are erasable if you make a mistake.
For the colored pencils, I usually use Prismacolors but they are a little pricey so I wanted to test ones that were not as expensive. I tried Artalicious colored pencils as well as a few of the Crayola colored pencils I already had.
They worked well and fit nicely into my pencil carrying case.
A couple days later I pulled out my favorite Prismacolor colored pencils to see if there was a difference. It may be my imagination but the colors seemed bolder and felt smoother on the paper. However, it wasn’t such a difference that I’d worry about it if I couldn’t afford the Prismacolors.
Stickers and Washi Tape
Nothing decorates a page quicker than washi tape and stickers, especially if you are artistically challenged. 😉 I have been collecting stickers since the age of seven and you’d think that decades later I’d be tired of it. Nope. From monthly sticker clubs (such as Pipsticks or Stickii Club) to the $1 bin at Target, there are always cute stickers to be found. For this Bible I chose floral Studio 112 stickers such as these, which are a little more pricey since they are card stock style.
For washi tape, you can pretty much find it anywhere these days – Target, Staples and craft stores such as Michael’s. I really like the Recollections brand and stock up when I have a Michael’s coupon. You can also find some of their washi collection here on Amazon. (I’ve only seen their faith/ bible journaling washi tape in the store.) I like the Recollections brand because it is well made and can easily be removed. Scotch Expressions Washi is another good brand, as are others found in craft stores, Target, etc. You can experiment with a number of brands with cute designs, just be careful of washi tape that is too cheap since it tends to rip off the roll and/or does not remove easily from the page.
Lastly, I was debating whether or not to get a Bible cover and was browsing Amazon and found this “Blessed” one. The Scripture on the front was perfect.
The cover is a little larger than the Bible, so there is about an extra inch or so but once it’s in the cover you don’t notice as much. I also like that there are two pen holders. I just have to make sure to tuck int the ribbons before I zip up.
(UPDATE: Now that I’ve used the cover for a couple weeks, I find I prefer not to keep it in the cover while using the Bible. Instead I just lay it inside (without tucking it into the cover slots) and place my prayer journal on top of it. Then I zip it up using it more like a mini suitcase that protects my bible and prayer journal when taking it outside the home. It works much better like this for me.)
Well, those are the Bible journaling tools I am using right now. I’d love to hear what products you have tried or are interested in. Let me know!
UPDATE: One final note I want to add, I am hearing from many of you that you are not artistic or don’t want to draw in the Journaling Bible. You don’t have to draw! You can use the lines to take notes, write your thoughts or copy Scripture passages that mean a lot to you. Second, I posted a few decent photos but I have many more pages where the writing is mediocre or sloppy. That’s okay! (It’s just between me and God. 😉 ) You don’t have to have pin-worthy drawing to use the Bible. Use stickers or washi as shown or you can keep it simple and minimal. There’s no “right” way so don’t stress over it.
If you haven’t purchased this beautiful Bible yet, you can find them in the Blessed Is She shop (in which proceeds go directly back into the Blessed Is She ministry) or you can also purchase a copy on Amazon.
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