How to Use Stamps for Bible Journaling
Bible art and journaling have become very popular, providing a creative way to spend more time in the Word. One of my favorite things to do when I'm Bible journaling is to stamp images or words in the margins with clear stamps. Clear stamps are fun and easy to use — and for someone like me who isn't gifted in "drawing" things, stamping lets me create beautiful images that I can color (which I love to do!).
- Something to stamp on (I use a journaling Bible, but you can also use any Bible, journal, or just a plain piece of paper)
- Clear gesso (depending on thickness of page)
- Stamps (My favorites by far — both for quality and cuteness — are from Ink Blot Shop, LLC)
- Clear Acrylic Stamp Block (Can also be purchased from Ink Blot Shop, LLC)
- Ink Pad
- Something to wipe your stamps with when finished (you can use baby wipes or a stamp cleaning cloth)
- Coloring supplies
Prepare Your Page
For this project, I am using my journaling Bible ( sold here).
You can also use any Bible, journal, card stock paper, or just plain old paper.
The pages in my Bible are thin enough that if I don't prepare my page with clear gesso before starting, the ink will bleed through to the back side of the page.
I also placed a thin piece of plastic (part of a cheap cutting board from Dollar Tree) behind my page and taped the page to the plastic backing with washi tape for stability.
In this project, I used a card to spread the gesso onto the page and then allowed it to dry completely. (Alternatively, you can brush it on.)
*It just takes a thin layer of gesso and if you don't want to wait for it to dry the old-fashioned way, you can use a hair dryer or heat tool to dry it more quickly.
I got carried away when I was stamping on this page and stamped animals much further up on the page than I had planned to, forgetting that I had only prepped the bottom part of the page. No worries, though, as it made for a cool picture to show the difference in what the back of the page looks like with and without clear gesso before you stamp. Also, the ink I used is waterproof, so when I realized my mistake, I went ahead and placed gesso over the whole area, so that I wouldn't get any bleed-through when I colored in the stamps later.
Choose Your Stamps
Here's the fun part — choosing your stamps.
For this project, I used several from the Ink Blot Shop, LLC's "Rainbow Promise" collection.
Place Stamp on Block
After you choose which stamp to use, pick an appropriately sized clear acrylic stamp block and place the stamp onto the block.
Ink Your Stamp
There are many inks out there to choose from fitting your different needs. Some are washable, some are permanent and some are waterproof (which is important especially if you plan to watercolor on the same page as a stamp or if you make a gesso mistake like I did).
To ink your stamp, either tap your stamp lightly onto the ink pad or tap the ink pad lightly onto your stamp.
Place the stamp where you like it and press down solidly, but don't "squish" down the stamp and don't smear it by rocking the stamp block back and forth.
Also, if you want only part of the stamp to transfer onto the page, you can block part of the stamp with paper, a post-it note, or washi tape. (I used paper here to only stamp part of the giraffe.)
Wipe Your Stamp
After you've stamped, wipe your stamp with a wet stamp cleaning cloth or with a baby wipe. It is ok if your stamp gets a little stained by the ink. It will still work fine! Also, if your stamps are starting to loose their "stickiness", wash them in soap and water.
You can leave your stamps as they are, or color them now.
In this project, I used Gelly Roll pens, Microline pens, and colored pencils.
Allow to Dry Completely
Before closing your Bible, allow the ink to dry completely.
Again, you can use a hair dryer or heat tool if you want to.
Here's the finished product.