5 Tips for Bible Journaling Lettering

Interested in creating your own hand lettered designs in your Bible journaling? Use these helpful tips, to make Bible journaling lettering that brings the Scriptures to life.

Bible journaling lettering

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Several years ago, when I first started Bible journaling, I used a lot of stamps. Most of the words in the stamp sets were lifted straight from the Scriptures: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23), “my help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121), just to name a few. Which is great—for times when I wanted the ease of stamping a simple phrase from the Bible.

But, after a while, I realized that the most meaningful and impactful journals that I did, were those where I chose my own words to write. And, I wanted to create beautiful Bible lettering for those pages! So, I started hand lettering my own designs.

Of course, there are lots of times when I still use stamps or printables in my journaling… but it’s just so nice to do some Bible verse calligraphy when the occasion calls for it. Sometimes, there just isn’t a stamp to say what I want to say!

If you haven’t yet tried Bible journaling hand lettering, you might be wondering if you can even do such a thing. What if you don’t have a creative background, or you’re worried that your lettering won’t be ‘good enough’?

In that case, just remember this: Your Bible journaling is a reflection of your journey with Jesus, and it’s completely unique to you. The message of the Scriptures, and how you’re learning to apply them to your life, is much more important that what it looks like. Each person’s journaling will look different. And also, there is no such thing as perfect! Who’s perfect? Only God! (Certainly not me!)

So, now that we have that cleared up, onto the Bible hand lettering tips…

5 Tips for Beautiful Bible Journaling Lettering

As I mentioned in my post about how to learn Bible verse lettering, a lot of what I’ve learned is from Krystal Whitten’s wonderful book Faith & Lettering. In it, she teaches an overview of hand lettering, along with chapters about how to draw flowers and other embellishments, plus a whole chapter on Bible journaling.

Faith and Lettering book with pen and pencil

So, if you’re a total newbie, and want to learn hand lettering and calligraphy, I highly recommend her book. Beyond that, here are my own tips for how to create your best Bible journaling lettering…

1) Learn different hand lettering styles

Definitely before you try lettering in your journaling Bible, make a point to learn different styles of lettering. By knowing, say, how to do script lettering, and also how to draw serif and sans-serif (block) letters, you can combine different styles to create the best look for that particular Bible passage.

A simple (and free!) way to do this, is just to choose a font on your computer that you like and want to imitate, print it out, and use tracing paper to trace the letters. This way, you get familiar with the shapes of each letter, and you’ll be able to draw your own similar letters for Bible journaling.

Bible journaling hand lettering - God's timing

When I first started out, I was much more interested in the flowy script lettering designs…but, I’ve come to embrace other lettering styles as well. It really is helpful to know how to draw a variety of different hand lettering styles!

2) Sketch your design on scrap paper first

Whatever you do, before you create your Bible journaling lettering, work out your design on a piece of paper first! You can erase, re-draw, and erase again, without fear of messing up your Bible page. Adjust the letters to fit in your journaling Bible margin, play with the spacing and placement of them, and THEN when you have it like you want it, trace your design into your Bible.

3) Don’t be afraid to do something different/vary styles

Bible journaling with colored pencils - Proverbs 3:5-6

One thing I’m always learning about hand lettering, is to create ‘outside the box’. The beautiful thing about doing your own lettering, is that you can tweak the letters to fit however you want. Unlike a computer font, which can’t be changed, your hand lettering can be adjusted in a variety of ways.

Make some letters smaller, and others bigger… create ‘bounce lettering’ (where each letter is adjusted up or down, to create a ‘bouncy’ look)… or, make your words curve in an arc or around a circle. The creative freedom is yours!

4) Use a light pad for tracing

My next tip for Bible journaling lettering is a very practical one: Use a light box or light pad to trace your lettering into your journaling Bible. A light pad just makes it that much easier to see what you’re tracing, no matter how thick your Bible pages are, or (in my case) how much paint you’ve slathered onto your page already!

I use an Artograph Light Pad 930 LX (which is about 9″x12″), but you can find lots of other brands in different sizes on Amazon. There are even small light pads about the size of a Bible page.

5) Create lettering with fonts

Lastly, if you’re short on time or creativity, feel free to take a shortcut, and just create Bible verse lettering with fonts on your computer. (Yes, you can cheat! While this option doesn’t offer the flexibility and uniqueness of true hand lettering, it does save time.)

Bible verse calligraphy printable - choose JOY

Type out the words you want, choose appropriate font(s), and print. This hack makes Bible verse calligraphy easy, because all you have to do is take your homemade Bible verse calligraphy printable, and paste or trace it into your journaling Bible.

Do you have any of your own Bible journaling lettering tips to add? I’d love to see how you’re using hand lettering in your Bible journaling, as a means to glorify God and grow in your relationship with Christ.

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