Help, I Messed It Up! (What to Do About Mistakes)

My Dearest Bible & Art Journaling Friends,
Spoiler alert:  “Mistakes” happen. We can call them “oopsies”, “unintended outcomes” or even “happy accidents” (just like Bob Ross said). Whatever we call them, they are a fact of life.
Today I decided to focus on this important basic concept we must master to preserve our sanity when Bible journaling: Know what to do when something goes wrong. 

I worked on this page to feature in the DaySpring Bible Journaling group featuring the Women of the Bible “Better Together” kit (featuring Huldah’s story – amazing!). As I worked through it, I used some little teardrop-shaped inkpads I’d purchased recently to make this flower and used a simple yellow crayon to do the center.


Disaster! It soaked through! (Spoiler alert: It’s not a disaster. It’s ok! No, really… it’s actually ok!

I was happy with the outcome for such a simple page technique until… disaster! It. Soaked. Through. And isn’t that everyone’s greatest fear with ink pads? If it soaks through, it’s surely ruined, isn’t it?!?  (Spoiler alert: NO, it is most certainly NOT ruined. 😀)

Allow me to share the single greatest piece of advice I try to heed for myself when an “unexpected outcome” happens and I get a result about which I’m not immediately happy.
Here’s the secret: DON’T PANIC! Take a deep breath. It will be OK. (And say it with me again, friends, “It doesn’t have to be perfect!“)
Who remembers the wonderful, kind voice of Bob Ross (and his legendary afro)? Remember that he said that there are no mistakes in artwork, only “happy accidents”? I challenge each of us to see this sort of thing as exactly what Bob Ross said; it’s a happy accident!
Yes, the ink soaked through on one of my pages, right? So. What. It’s not a big deal. Instead of panicking and telling myself (and others) how “I messed up my page,” I challenge each of us to find a way to make it awesome!
For instance, here are just three quick ideas I could use for the back side of this page (and have used with other “happy accidents” in the past):
  1. Use paint and/or ink over the soaked-through portion to intentionally do a similar flower design on the back side also. Take that, “mistake”!
  2. Cover with absolutely anything – die-cut decorations, stickers, or some fun and beautiful washi tape. All of these can look amazing!
  3. Add splashes of bold acrylic paint here and there on the page and on top of the ink here as beautiful background for another page.
Most important tip for your “happy accidents”: Dont. PANIC. It can always be fixed.
And you know what else? God always shows up for me every time.
I have had ink and paint soak through. I’ve torn pages, stamped words upside down, and smeared things I thought would be impossible to fix. But God shows me every single time that he can make all things beautiful. All. Things. And time spent in His word is more beautiful to him than any design I put on the page anyway, don’t you think? ❤️
So, let’s have some grace for ourselves. When it doesn’t look as expected, just go with it and call it a “happy accident”!
Big hugs,
P.S. Here’s a personal challenge from me: On your next Bible journaling page (even if it’s your first!), I challenge you to say 100% of nothing negative about it, even to yourself, and not even silently. Criticize nothing. Apologize for nothing. Celebrate the beauty of the time you spent in the Word! Your art is beautiful to Him, and you CAN do this. I believe in you! ❤️
P.P.S. Just getting started Bible Journaling? Find supplies and resources at DaySpring here.  Looking for more great articles on Bible Journaling? There are some awesome choices on DaySpring as well. Try these. And if you’re just getting started, I recommend starting with the basics, like 7 Easy Steps to Start Bible Journaling. Enjoy!

Note: Some links on this site are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. No pressure to purchase, ever, and opinions expressed here are always just mine.

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