How to Make Bible Tabs for Journaling

Bible journaling tabs are an excellent tool, to make the Scriptures you’ve studied easy to refer back to again and again. You could always buy some pre-made tabs, but it’s so easy to learn how to make Bible tabs, why not just create your own?

how to make Bible tabs

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One of my favorite things about Bible art journaling, is how it turns my journaling Bible into a personal reference library… Each of the Scriptures I journal on, gets its own tab so I can easily refer back to it later.

The Lord surely knows I need that repetition, when it comes to applying His Word to my life! And I’m so glad He provides this way of recording the lessons of Scripture, so I can go back to them again and again.

Maybe you’ve noticed that too, in your own Bible study… that no matter how many times you read a particular Bible passage or verse, there is always something new to learn, or re-learn each day. The same Scripture you journaled about last year, might yield entirely new insights today.

It’s just one of the many ways God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), and accomplishes its purpose in our lives (Isaiah 55:11)!

How to Make Bible Tabs for Your Journaling Bible

So, then, what’s the best way for how to make Bible tabs, so you can easily refer back to the wisdom and truth of those Bible passages you’ve studied before?

First things first: Choose what kind of PAPER you’d like to use for your DIY Bible tabs. I think cardstock works best, because it’s sturdier and won’t bend or crumple easily like regular paper. But, if you have some paper you like and really want to make tabs with, you can always fold it over to make a thicker tab (so your tab folds over the edge of the page, and adheres to both sides).

As for what kind of cardstock to use, there are lots of options! You can get smooth, textured, patterned, or so on…and I really like the multi-color stacks that come in small sizes, perfect for making tabs with. However, it’s best to NOT use cardstock that has a foil or glitter texture, because those things are difficult to write on. If you love sparkly things as I do, go for pearlescent paper, which has a lovely shimmer, and you can still write on it.

Once you’ve selected the cardstock you’re going to use, you have several options for the cutting and adhering part of how to make your own Bible tabs…

1) Purchase blank writable tabs

Okay, so this is the easy way out! If you want to bypass the choosing paper, cutting, and sticking it in your journaling Bible, then ready-made blank Bible tabs are the way to go. They come pre-cut and ready to stick, so all you have to do is write on them. Easy as pie.

The Avery UltraTabs pictured above come in many different colors, metallics, and patterns—not to mention different tab widths too. They’re an excellent way to ‘make’ your own tabs, without actually doing much making. All you have to do is decide what kind of Bible journaling pens to use for writing on them!

2) Use a tab punch or cutting machine

If you want to know how to make Bible tabs with a traditional tab shape, it’s actually quite simple. A Bible tab punch will cut a tab shape for you in seconds. Or, if you happen to have a cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette, you can find tab templates to use with it.

Even though I have a Silhouette Cameo and could make my tabs with it, I’ve actually never done this traditional tab shape thing…

3) Cut your own tabs of various shapes and sizes

My favorite way to make DIY Bible tabs, is actually just to cut a rectangle out of cardstock, and use my Fiskars edging scissors to give it a decorative edge. Sometimes, I’ll use a decorative punch to cut a little heart or star shape out of the tab. Other times, I just leave the edge straight with no decoration at all.

how to make your own Bible tabs

I like this method best, because it makes each of my Bible journaling tabs completely unique. They’re different widths, sizes, edges, and colors, which makes it easier for me to spot a specific Bible passage. If I’m looking for, say, Psalm 86, that tab is pink with a little heart cut out of it.

Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

Psalm 86:11 Bible journaling

How to Apply Bible Tabs

Okay, so you’ve got your DIY Bible tabs cut the way you want them, now what? The best way to apply Bible tabs in my opinion, is with a gentle adhesive that won’t damage the Bible paper and yet is strong enough to stay put.

I use (and highly recommend) Scotch removable scrapbooking tape, so if I ever did want to remove the tab, I could do that without damaging the paper. Granted, I haven’t yet had any reason to remove my Bible journaling tabs (other than repositioning it when I first put it on), but I still like having the option. And all my tabs have stayed securely in place, even though the tape is technically ‘removable’ and not ‘permanent’. (Scotch does have a permanent double-sided tape though, if you’d prefer that).

DIY Bible tabs with scrapbooking tape

And, that’s it! Now you know how to make Bible tabs, in three easy steps: 1) Choose your paper (cardstock works best), 2) Cut your tab shape, and 3) Adhere to the Bible page with double-sided tape.

Never forget, the supplies and materials you use for Bible journaling are just a means to an end. The most important thing is that you’re spending time in God’s Word, getting to know Jesus better, and learning and growing in your relationship with Him. So, in this case, the best Bible tabs are whichever ones get you to dive deeper into the Scriptures…no matter what method or materials you use to make them.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Erica May 13, 2021, 3:02 pm

    Hi Barbara. Thank you so much for these practical, yet valuable tips. 🤗 Cannot wait for the weekend to purchase some items and start creating a few tabs. 🗂
    Be safe & Take care.
    Blessings
    Erica 🎀

    • Barbara Austin May 13, 2021, 7:54 pm

      You’re welcome Erica! 😊💗

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