How and why I (Yvon Prehn) created the Bibleverse Shop of Printables
Most everyone thinks the Bible has good advice that is probably helpful for happy living. Many think it is not only that but contains the message of eternal salvation wrapped up in the story of Jesus.
I think it is all that and more. I love talking about the Bible and Jesus in my podcasts, blogs, and videos—go to www.Bible805.com for links to them. Feedback from people who have found these materials has been positive, yet I wanted to share the value of the Bible and the importance of salvation from Jesus with many more.
As I thought and prayed about how to do this, I thought about a little plaque my grandmother gave me when I was a child (and that sits in my office today) that says, "Only one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." That little message has been a North Star for my life and inspired me to make positive decisions I believe are pleasing to Jesus. She had another plaque in her home that I got after she went home to Jesus that says, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” Many times these little reminders changed my outlook from self-absorbed to God's goodness.
Grandma had an extraordinarily difficult one. She was left alone with four children in a small country town during the Depression when her dearly loved husband was hospitalized for over forty years. Yet her faith, joy, and love for Jesus never wavered and at her funeral, the Beemer Mennonite church was packed to overflowing with people who had come to know Jesus from her Sunday school classes and life. I don’t know how she did it but the little plaques she left behind remind me of the spiritual realities beyond present troubles and help focus my eyes on eternity.
Could little things like that help get people today interested in turning people to spiritual realities? Can simple images here and there inspire people to remember the Bible or become interested in learning about it or in a life trusting Jesus? As I was thinking and praying about this, I remembered this passage:
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates Deut.6:6-9, MSG
As Moses suggested thousands of years ago in the verse above, the Bible in tangible bits and pieces in front of us, in our everyday lives is an important way to remind us of God, his will, and ways. I realized we can do that today with printable signs on our walls, as desk reminders, as posters, and shared social media images!
This solution was literally right in front of me—I’d been encouraged by my grandmother’s little plaques; I’d been encouraged by images people had given me or I’d purchased to remind me of Bible passages or positive saying; I’d been creating and printing out ones for others. These are popular today and available all over in stores and online. I realized I could do this!
That is why I created the Bibleverse Shop, a universe of downloadable images you can print out in many sizes either on your desktop computer or you can use a printing service to make larger images as posters or frameable prints. You can use them as gifts, as campaigns in your churches, as wall posters, or in table placeholders.
The Bibleverse Shop has both Bible verses and quotes inspired by the Bible, or sayings that help turn our minds towards living in a way that pleases God. Most come from my daily Bible, devotional, and personal study. These are passages that have spoken to me, and I pray that others will find useful.
Practical implementation of my idea—far from required reading, but if you are curious as to how I came to use what I am finally using to create these images, here was my process
Note: for this site, as all my sites, I do NOT take any advertising of any outside products, nor do I participate in any affiliate marketing programs. The products I recommend and that follow are only because I believe they are truly useful for you.
I had been creating images of verses and sayings in Canva to share on my Instagram account; I had also been downloading and printing them out as gifts. In the process of doing that, I guess I am a bit slow, but I did not realize an entire, huge, online industry of Printables (what I was creating, but did not know that is what they were called) existed. I then realized that I could be creating and selling my designs as Printables for others to use in the same way that would encourage many and provide a ministry income source. This was incredibly exciting, but I quickly discovered it was a LOT of work to actually make it work out in the real world and I spent many months researching how various people created and sold Printables.
I tried different formats and online stores. Shopify was super fancy, but expensive, complicated, and the download process did not work as well as I liked. There were limitations on file size that did not work for what I wanted to do (and I thought not necessary today given the availability of cloud storage). Everything was an “add-on” for Shopify, and it could cost quite a bit by the time you had a functional store and offered the number of files I felt people needed.
I explored Etsy extensively and learned a lot from it (and may still do a little shop there), but they were limited in download size and even though I found it would take a LOT of work to make the images in a large variety of sizes, that seemed to be the best thing to do if I truly wanted to help individuals, churches, and businesses that would benefit from the images. Most Etsy vendors (many who have great images) can offer them in only 2-3 sizes or formats and sometimes tell customers that this or that ratio will work for other purposes. I found either the ratio system too complicated or the sizes too limiting—great for personal home printing for example, but not helpful if you wanted to print posters for your church.
Woo Commerce and other online stores were too complicated for me. It is just me and Jesus doing this now and though I am rather good with tech, I’m not great at it and I couldn’t manage something that took all my time to figure out and maintain.
I then found the online store Payhip (www.payhip.com). It is super simple and free to use (they take a percentage of sales, but you do not pay until something sells) and they allow extremely huge uploads. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles and store options, but it gets the job done. It feels like it is newly created without a lot of legacy code junking up the system (as Shopify and Woo Commerce seem to have). In addition, they have an extremely responsive help desk, nice people who answers your email questions, specifically and helpfully within a few hours. I enjoy working on it.
I next did tons of research on how to convert Canva images into the formats needed. Canva is a great creation program, but the final results are not in the needed resolutions or size of files to optimally serve people who may want to use outside services for printing or for downloading. If you want to offer them to people to successfully convert them into the 300 dpi images needed for professional reproduction you must do additional image conversion work. In addition, the PDFs from Canva that are in high resolution are HUGE files and I was concerned about downloading times for my customers if they had less than optimal systems. What to do?
Again, lots of research and recommendations on how to both condense PDFs and convert PDFs into high resolution jpgs. It was a huge frustration especially if you try to do this for free. There are lots of garbage programs and YouTube videos out there on this. Many hours, days of ultimately wasted watching and trying different systems. IGNORE them all if you are trying to do this and go immediately to a wonderful program I finally discovered, www.smallpdf.com. I realized I had to go with the paid version, but it is worth every penny. It does a massive size reduction conversion of PDFs and then with a few more clicks will convert the PDF to a high-resolution jpg. I love this program also and I feel like it enables me to create all the sizes my customers might need for any use of the images they want to do.
Eventually, I want to do videos that will illustrate these processes. No promise on when—I will notify you in my church communication newsletter and website (www.effectivechurchcom.com) when I do them.
For now, I hope you enjoy and use the printables as much as I do. I’ve found them to be a great source of personal encouragement and greatly appreciated gifts when I’ve shared them with others.