Bible Journaling with The Crafter’s Workshop

Hello, it’s Gracie Chavez, from Graciellie Design. Today I have an inspirational post to share, with a creative idea for the new year. I’m sharing a few tips using The Crafter’s Workshop products for Bible Journaling. I know many have a special journal for all your mixed media paintings, collages and so on. I thought that sharing how I journal on my Bible could inspire you to try out something new and different, to expand your creativity and, of course, including TCW as a special part of your journey.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided product that was used for the following project, nevertheless all opinions are my own.

Bible Journaling is one of the most beautiful mixed media discoveries I’ve made and although I’ve known about this fairly new journaling, I was scared to work on a Bible… The page is thin, the margin is limited and so when I started researching I found that there was also some limits as to what products can be used on a Bible. What intrigued me the most was that many specific types of gesso and paints were recommended, and journalers would usually stick to a specific brand.

When I finally decided to jump in and let go of all my fears, not for a minute did I doubted about how I would prepare my Bible page… Of course, TCW9007 Clear Gesso. This is not exactly a recommended gesso, which I have to say is very strange, since it works amazing! I have tried it twice with great success, with PanPastel colors and with watercolor crayons also. Of course I also tried out inks, paint markers, color pencils, pens, and other to finish my pages and the gesso was able to hold all my media perfectly! So if you ever thought there was only one brand you could rely on to prime your Bible page, now you know TCW Clear Gesso Matte works!

I like to apply the clear gesso using a sponge applicator and instead of one heavy coat I apply 2 light coats of it, making sure to dry it with a heat tool. When you dry your page, move your heat tool constantly  so you don’t burn your page. On the other hand your could try to let air dry your page since it doesn’t get too wet with the gesso. The page warps a little bit but it will flatten once you finish your page and close your Bible. So don’t worry too much about it! Here is an example of a previous page I prepared with clear gesso and then drew and color with PanPastel. I noticed that the PanPastel colors glided and blended smoothly thanks to the gesso and that, of course, makes the process easier!

Priming your Bible page with TCW clear gesso matte

Here is a third example using TCW9007 Clear Gesso Matte, using Distress Oxide Inks. The gesso will allow you to play with different techniques like adding splattered details with water. It also allows you to virtually erase all the ink if you want to start over, by just spraying water and swiping the ink off with a clean cloth. I stamped my images and sentiment with Archival Ink. There very little texture left from the gesso aplication and I particularly do not mind if the page is not entirely smooth. As you can see the images stamped perfectly well!

For my floral page, I noticed that the watercolor crayons melted and blended easily thanks to the clear gesso. It really made a difference. Never try to add water to a Bible page you haven’t prepped first, it just won’t work and you may ruin your page. In this case, with the clear gesso, I was able to add enough water to my watercolor crayons and also add layer after layer of color which is what made the design be so unique. I went from pink to lilac to red without a problem, blending the watercolor crayons and layering other media to add detail. I used a little bit of Prismacolor pencils, Sharpie acrylic paint markers, Distress Oxide paint and as you can see, the page is just fine!

I love to use TCW stencils to sort of create a transition between my illustration on the bible margin and the rest of the page. This time I wanted to add a distressed texture. Usually I would use a 6″x 6″ stencil, but since the TCW754 Distressed Details is a 4 in once stencil -with different small patterns in one stencil-, and I wanted the distressed texture to look bigger, I used the 12″x 12″ version and it worked great! For the stenciled details I applied a second generation of Distress Oxide ink which blended really nicely with the rest of the page.

That is all for today. I hope you found these tips useful and that you feel inspired to jump into the beautiful world of bible journaling on the new year! Until next time.

One thought on “Bible Journaling with The Crafter’s Workshop

  1. Beautiful!! Thanks so much for the clear gesso tip and all of the great information about the products you’ve used on top of it! I’ve been so leery about journaling in my Bible but now I am gung ho after Christmas. Your pages were beautiful, your instructions very informative! Thank you!

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