Friday, March 4, 2016

Which Inks for Bible Journaling?

I love stamping in my Bible! It's a super cute and easy way to add pictures and journaling and you might even have some stamps and ink in your crafting stash already! But those thin Bible pages come with some extra challenges-bleed through!

So today I'm going to show you the different kinds of inks I use in my Journaling Bible and why I like or don't like them. All of these examples are done on unprepped pages since I don't bother with page prep.

Dye Based Inks

I have a nice collection of dye based inks from my scrapbooking days. They are by a company called Close to My Heart and these ink colors coordinate with the colors of their scrapbooking papers which makes my Type A heart squee with joy. Since this is what I had already, these are the inks I started with.

I love all of the colors that I have! And these little inks are fast drying. They make nice crisp stamped images and are easy to find.

But they do bleed through. You can really see the difference between the ghosting of the pen verses the bleed through of the inks. In the ghosting, you can tell there is something on the previous page but the ink is all on the original side. With bleed through, the ink has actually seeped through the page.

Depending on the age of your dye based inks (newer=more juicy=more bleed through), the brand, the color you are using and how hard you stamp, there can be more or less bleed through. They work really well for scrapbooking and other paper crafting but not bible journaling.

I also have a Distressed ink which is dye based. Distressed inks come in loads of yummy colors and are designed to help you create a distressed look in items but you can use them just like regular inks.

I find that it stamps quite well and makes a nice, clean stamp. And the rainbow of colors is a huge plus.

I have had mixed results with the bleed through though. Mostly, I get this: part bleed through and part ghosting. Sometimes, it's pristine ghosting and sometimes it bleeds through so much that it stains the page behind it. While I still use this stamp pad, I probably won't buy anymore for use with stamps.

Pigment Based Inks

I have recently added some Tsukineko Dew Drop pigment inks to my collection and I love them! This set is actually shimmery and sooooo pretty!

Pigment based inks are thicker and sit on top of the page. This causes them to take longer to dry. I've also found the stamp pads to be juicier so I don't need to press so hard when inking up my stamp.

And the ups side is all ghosting and no bleed through! Pigment based inks are harder to find but they are great for bible journaling.

A word of caution with these Dew Drop ink pads. This brand comes in pigment based and dye based as well as chalk based (which we'll get to next) so be sure to check the packaging carefully before you purchase.

Chalk Based Inks

When I first heard of chalk based inks, I assumed that was a third type of ink. However, I have found that there are pigment basked chalk inks and dye based chalk inks and I happen to have some of each kind.

Dye Based Chalk Inks

My dye based chalk ink is also from my scrapbooking days and I have two colors-brown and dark blue. Both are designed to add a distressed look but not for stamping.

This chalk based ink is definitely less pigmented that the dye based inks and gives sort of a distressed look when stamping.

And I have found that the brown one gives very little bleed through. My blue one, however, bleeds horribly. I haven't really found other dye based chalk inks on the market but I'd be hesitant to purchase especially in deep colors.

Pigment Based Chalk Inks

Most chalk inks are pigment based like these Dew Drop chalk inks. They also come in a wide variety of colors and they are sold in packs of four coordinating colors like gelatos which I think is really fun.

Like my Close to My Heart chalk inks, they also give a softer, distressed look especially on larger stamps. I had a hard time getting the centers of the stamps inked without over inking.

 But again there is no bleed through and these dried much faster than the pigment based ones. I'm definitely going to be purchasing more of these.

There are loads more brands of inks out there but I did want to share a sampling of what I have experience with. Most inks will list on the label what kind they are but if you can't find it or if it's worn off, there is a very easy way to tell if you have a dye based or pigment based ink pad.

 Dye based inks (top) have a felt like ink pad while pigment based inks (bottom) have a sponge type ink pad.

 Happy Stamping!


  1. I was a Stampin' Up demonstrator for five years, and I really liked their inks (although the newer style pads are different--I preferred the older style which had a cloth top) They might work okay for journaling, assuming the pad isn't too juicy. Staz-On might work well for your purposes too--it is VERY dry, goes on dry, and doesn't bleed, but it is a pain to clean up (and clean up your stamps). But it does make a nice crisp image that you can color over and not get any line bleed.

    1. I have heard great things about Staz-on and I really want to get a black one.

  2. I've been using my note books as a bridge to start Bible journaling, its been so much fun. The stamps look super cool.

  3. Every time you post things about these I go "Oooh!" and "Ahh!" because of how pretty it is!!!