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8 Bible Journaling Hacks That Won't Break Your Budget

bible journaling Apr 10, 2019

Have you seen beautiful artwork in people’s Bibles online and wished you could do it too? Bible Journaling is a satisfying way to engage with God’s Word in a creative way.  There are endless lessons to be learned and recorded so that you can come back to them at a later date and recall the truths God has taught you. This process of recording your faith journey is priceless, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a big stash of supplies in order to create a beautiful treasure of memories to highlight the time you spend with Jesus.  

If you don't already have a journaling Bible, and your thinking about purchasing one,  you might want to check out this Facebook Live where I talked about how to pick out a journaling Bible. You can find a good one for $25-$35, but if that’s not in your budget right now, you can absolutely get started with things you already have around the house.

 Really, the only thing you absolutely need is a pen and paper, but a few little things can make it more fun and engaging.  The key is to create a place where you know you can come back to in the future when the need arises. It’s a way of storing up your treasures and creating a “belt of truth” that will help you when you’re doing battle later.

1. Sticky notes are stellar!

Sticky notes come in many shapes, sizes and colors that make them super easy to use and add a pop of color to your Bible pages.  They are nice because they provide additional space to write if you don’t have a journaling Bible and they are easy to remove. They will quickly become your favorite supply once you get started using them.


2. Greeting cards make great tip-in’s

If you’re like me, you’ve got a stash of old greeting cards stuck in a drawer somewhere that you can’t throw away because they are too pretty to pitch. Now is the time to pull them out and re-purpose them.  Cut off the front and use washi tape to create a tip-in by taping the card into the valley of your Bible, or a tip-out by taping the card like a flap to the outside edge of your page. If you have a corner rounder at your disposal, rounding the corners makes the card look more polished.  You can get the same effect with a scissors but I always have trouble getting them even. If you’d like them to be uniform, you can trace the circumference of a coin on the backside before cutting.


*Be especially careful if you tape a card to the outside edge of a page because if the card is too heavy, it can cause the page to rip when you are flipping through the pages.

3. Gather up some cheerful magazines.

Magazines are full of areas with color that you can cut into flowers or other shapes, or photos that can be put together in a collage in any available space in your Bible.  When I was researching different Bible journaling styles for the book I co-authored (Complete Guide to Bible Journaling), I came across a creative artist, Anneke Korfker, who created mini-collages from magazine cutouts in the median of the two columns of her Bible. We featured some of her work in our artists section and I am inspired to try this myself. 

4. Dress it up with simple stuff.

A simple paper clip and ribbon can add pizzazz to your page without breaking the bank.  There are lots of cute clips available on Etsy, but they are easy enough to make at home.  Simply fold tape or ribbon through the paper clip and then use it as a marker to keep track of places where you’ve journaled. 

5. Snag a fancy napkin at your next party.

Leftover party napkins are also a great way to add images to your Bible or journal. Napkins are great because they are so thin that you almost can’t feel that you’ve added anything to the page.  Cut the shapes out of the napkin first, and then separate the layers before gluing it onto your page. I usually use a glue stick to adhere it to the page, but I’ve seen other people who use gesso. 

6. Print pictures that you take with your phone.  

Images make an incredible mental tag. You’ll likely remember exactly where you were when you took the picture and it will brighten up your page with your memories.  I especially like to take a quick picture of something when I’m outside spending time with Jesus. I have formatted many of those pictures into long narrow images with areas for me to take notes on.  They have become treasures for me to grab when I hear a good sermon or hear a quote I want to remember.


7. Shop thrift stores and discount stores.

With Bible journaling on the rise, more and more dollar stores are stocking items like washi tape and faith based stickers. Their inventory often changes with the seasons so keep your eyes open for new designs. Thrift stores are a great place to look for leftover craft supplies, and paper. It’s a fun treasure hunt.

8. Find Free Printables

Many Bible journalers have free printable downloads they are happy to provide in exchange for your email. You can start with my free doodle cheat sheet HERE that will take you from blah to bling in a flash. Look around online for others giving away free faith based clip art.

When it comes right down to it, there is so much more depth to Bible journaling than the tools and supplies you use to do it.  It’s a journey with Jesus and it is what you make it. I have learned from experience that even the most meager illustrations in a tattered journal become precious because of the memories all tied up in the doodles.  When I look at what I drew or read what I wrote, I remember the time spent with Jesus and the truths He taught me in our time together. That’s priceless…...on any budget.


I’d love to connect with you and swap more ideas about Bible journaling.  If you haven’t already, join us in the private Facebook group, Everyday Faith, where I pop in regularly with tutorials and other encouragement.  I’ll see you over there. :)


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