Battle of the Inks! | Which ink is best for Bible Journaling?

Hello everyone! I thought it might be helpful to have a blog post to go along with today’s Tip Tuesday video so you can easily come back to it for reference. You can find the video here or over on my YouTube channel (where you can find lots of other helpful Bible Journaling videos 😉)

I get asked ALL THE TIME which ink is best for stamping in our journaling Bibles. Now, this is one of those things where everyone is going to have their own preference and some Bibles might react differently than mine do, so just keep that in mind.

I thought this might just be a helpful guide as you try to decide which inks will work best for you and your style and just remember to always test them out in the back pages of your Bible to see how they react.

I tested a variety of inks in my Crossway ESV Interleaved Edition Bible so you could see how the inks behave on Bible paper. There are so many inks on the market and I only chose a few that were in my stash and that I had seen as popular options in the Bible journaling community.

My Favorite

Pros- The Versafine Onyx Black is my current favorite for using in my Bible. This ink is permanent when dry so it’s great for using with any wet mediums that I might want to use. It has the crispest and deepest black impression so I can use it with either fine detail stamps or solid images and get a nice looking stamped image.

Cons- This ink does bleed through the pages of my Bibles but I just cover up bleed through with either white paint or patterned paper on the other side. This ink is technically a pigment ink and so it stays wet longer which means it needs to be dried really well with a heat tool if you are stamping on something like gesso, paint, or any other slick surfaces.

Tip- Even with a heat tool you may find that this ink doesn’t dry 100% on non-porous surfaces so you might want to add some clear embossing to help seal in the ink.

StazOn

StazOn is a common ink used in the Bible journaling community but it’s one that I only use in rare occasions.

Pros- It’s permanent when dry so it’s great for using with wet mediums. This ink is unique in that it’s great for stamping on non-porous surfaces like plastic, gesso, or paint and is permanent so great for stamping on fabric.

Cons- Bleed through! This ink bleeds the worst out of all the inks I tested today. It’s also very hard to clean off your stamps so it can build up on them which results in a not perfect stamp impression. The cleaners that get this ink off of surfaces (StazOn cleaner, alcohol, etc.) are very tough on clear stamps and may damage them with repeat use.

Tip- Be sure to save the plastic insert that comes in the pad as this keeps it from drying out too fast.

Illustrated Faith Black Eyed Pea Pigment Ink

Illustrated Faith used to have inks included in their monthly kits so you may have a few of those laying around but you can still purchase the black ink pad and they are all pigment inks.

Pros- This ink is a pigment ink which means it sits on top of the page and does not bleed through.

Cons- This ink is not waterproof so you want to use it as your last step if you are using any wet mediums on your page. A pigment ink stays wet longer so if you are stamping on top of a non-porous surface (like gesso, paint, plastic, etc) this ink will take a LONG time to dry and it’s best to hit it with a heat tool to set it.

I found that this ink isn’t a true, deep black and has a more faded look to it.

Tip- Since this is a pigment ink that takes longer to dry you can try using embossing powder with it to create heat embossed images. This works best with a fresh pad that is pretty juicy so it’ll grab onto the embossing powder.

Memento Tuxedo Black

You may have this ink pad in your stash if you like to use alcohol markers (like Copics) but it isn’t a great one to use in your Bible journaling.

Pros- Plays well with alcohol markers. (which aren’t good to use in your Bible due to bleed through).

Cons- It says that it is water resistant but it bled and feathered when I applied water to it in my Bible. This ink also bleeds through the page and has a slight purple/blue hint to it.

Tim Holtz Distress Ink

I personally love experimenting with Distress Inks in my Bible due their unique properties but not everyone loves them for Bible journaling.

Pros- They can be smooshed onto a non-porous surface and activated with water to create a watercolor-like paint or you can get soft blends of color by using them dry with a foam blending tool. I have a few different videos showing various ways for using these inks on my channel. (Distress Ink Playlist)

Cons- These are a dye based ink so they bleed through Bible pages. They also react with water so they aren’t good if you want something permanent that won’t move around with wet mediums.

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide

Distress Oxides are pretty new to the market and are a unique blend of pigment and dye inks which means that they react very differently from other inks out there.

Pros- These react with water so you can use them like watercolor…similar to the regular Distress Inks. Due to the pigment properties in these inks, you can get some beautiful and seamless color blends by using them dry with a foam blending tool.

These inks can be stamped on dark surfaces and still show up bright and vibrant due to the pigment properties in them. Add some water and they become even brighter since the water seems to “oxidize” the ink and creates a really soft look to the image without changing how it feels to the touch.

Cons- The dye portion of these inks do cause them to bleed through Bible pages and this is intensified when you add water to the inks. Since they are meant to react to water they aren’t good to use for stamping anything that you want to be permanent.

ColorBox Pigment

These inks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors which makes them a great option if you need #allthecolors!

Pros- These are a pigment ink which means that they don’t bleed through even when water is added to them.

Cons- These are not permanent so water does cause them to feather and move around so you’ll want to use all of your wet mediums before stamping with this ink.

Tip- Since these are a pigment ink they take longer to dry so try using them with embossing powder to create a heat embossed image. You want to be sure to use an ink pad that isn’t too dry so that there is plenty of ink to grab hold of the embossing powder.

Colorbox Chalk Ink – Another Favorite!

I had picked this set of inks up by mistake but was really surprised by it’s performance in my Bible and will be grabbing more colors!

Pros- This is a chalk ink which is similar to a pigment ink in that it sits on top of the page and doesn’t bleed through. The difference is that this dries quicker so you don’t have to worry as much about smudging it while waiting for it to set.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this ink did not move at all when I added water to it (note: I did set it with my heat tool). I don’t know if that would work with different brands of chalk inks but these in particular didn’t move or bleed!

Cons- These take a little longer to dry then a dye ink or the Versafine but I always use my heat tool to set my inks so that isn’t too much of a con for me.

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There are so many more inks out there that I didn’t try out so be brave and explore what’s out there (you can test products in the back pages of your Bible to see how they work). I plan on having a future Tip Tuesday focus on heat embossing and so I’ll talk about some different kinds of inks in that video/post that I didn’t mention in this post.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED (affiliate links)
Crossway ESV Journaling Bible Interleaved Edition
Crossway ESV Journaling Bible Interleaved Edition
Shop at:
AMZ | DS
StazOn Ink
StazOn Ink
Shop at:
SCRAP
Versafine Onyx Black Ink
Versafine Onyx Black Ink
Shop at:
AMZ
Illustrated Faith Black Eyed Pea Ink
Illustrated Faith Black Eyed Pea Ink
Shop at:
DS | SCRAP
Distress Ink - Black Soot
Distress Ink – Black Soot
Shop at:
SCRAP
Distress Oxide Black Soot
Distress Oxide Black Soot
Shop at:
SCRAP
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Shop at:
SCRAP
Colorbox Pigment Ink
Colorbox Pigment Ink
Shop at:
SCRAP
Colorbox Chalk Ink
Colorbox Chalk Ink
Shop at:
SCRAP | BLITSY

Until next time!

Lindsey

 

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5 thoughts on “Battle of the Inks! | Which ink is best for Bible Journaling?

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  1. Thank you for this amazing review! I need new stamps and am always on the looking out for the next best ink that is permanent. The detail is so thoughtful and now I feel ready for the craft store well informed and ready to buy what will work best for me. Merry Christmas!! Thanks again for the post, K

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  2. Thank you so much for your reviews and tips! I am addicted to all your YouTube videos I’m new to all this Bible journaling I love it even more thanks to you!! God bless ❤️

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  3. So I tried the color box Chalk ink in my bible hoping it would be a good choice to add color stamping without bleed through. I found that the darker colors actually did bleed through unfortunately. It was on an un-prepped page. Would u have another suggestion for colored inks that wouldn’t bleed through?? I took some pictures to show but I am not sure if I can attach them to this post.

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  4. Thanks, Lindsey! I am getting ready to purchase ink pads for an upcoming Bible journaling workshop and was trying to find out which ones worked the best. I use StayzOn but those are a bit pricier and so I needed a different option. It’s good to have other experienced Bible journaling teachers to get advice from! Blessings to you!

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    1. I usually take a combination fold Versafine (for those that don’t care about bleedthrough and want something permanent) and a cheap pigment ink (like the Michaels brand) that doesn’t bleed but isn’t permanent. I’ve yet to find the perfect ink 🤷🏻‍♀️

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