Bible Tabs for Perfectionists

Adding tabs to your journaling Bible, which show the books of the Bible, should be relatively easy, but as it turns out, there’s a lot of little things that can go wrong.  (Trust me, I learned the hard way!)

Here’s a few tips:

  • I think the “Books of the Bible” tabs work better along the side than on the top.
  • Leave the tabs open as you place them along the page, so that you can be pleased with the spacing; it’s easy enough to re-position the tabs before you close them by gently lifting them up.
  • Check that you didn’t miss a book of the Bible.
  • Be careful closing the tabs so that you don’t catch an extra page along with the first page of the chapter.  (I managed to do this three times!)
  • Do this job while you have plenty of time and ability to concentrate; adding Bible tabs is one of those relatively mindless tasks where it is easy to make a mistake.
  • Some people find that the tabs become a place where the page rips.  It doesn’t hurt to reinforce the tab with washi tape or even packaging tape on both sides.

This tip is not specific to Bible tabs, but I happened to learn it putting tabs onto a Bible:  If you really mess up a Bible to the point where the perfectionist within you can’t be overcome, it’s ok to start a new Bible and use the old one for practice, especially if you haven’t gotten too far into the process.  You are likely going to be spending years with the Bible, you might as well be happy!  It’s a small price to pay.

It always makes me smile to see a picture of a chubby Bible with tabs and book marks on the top.  I have never used tabs in my Bible Journaling, but I decided if I started a new Bible, it would have tabs.  My daughter is interested in starting Bible Journaling, and picked out a sweet Bible with a bird on the cover.

We bought some tabs and put them in the Bible at the top.  The Bible didn’t close right.  It didn’t look cute and chubby.  It just looked odd.  I stopped after putting in the first set of Bible tabs from Illustrated Faith, which only covers half of the books in the Bible, and I pondered what to do.  The Bible tabs are nearly impossible to remove.  Making matters worse, the first page we did in the Bible was kind of a disaster; the page tore.

Bible tabs 3

After about a month passed and I still was unhappy, I decided God allows do-overs.  I can save the Bible above for trying out different supplies or doing a trial run before putting something in the Bible that I use all the time.  I may also cut the tabs out and figure out a way to doctor up the corners.

I bought a new Bible for my daughter.  We tried again with the tabs along the side.  This time, I carefully placed the tabs along the side of the Bible, making sure that I was pleased with the spacing before my daughter closed the tabs.  The tabs are easy enough to re-position before you close them.  I skipped the book of Haggai and made it all the way to Luke before I noticed.  I just plucked them off, made room for the Haggai tab, and put them back on.

bible tabs 1

I was much happier with the finished results!  I love the cheerful tabs!

bible tabs 2

And the Bible closes nicely….

bible tabs 4

Hope his helps!  I think I will eventually add washi tape to reinforce each tab because I want this Bible to one that my daughter keeps forever!

3 thoughts on “Bible Tabs for Perfectionists

  1. That bible you bought your daughter is lovely design. Which one is it/version? And is it hardback? Thankyou enjoyed your post!

    • The Bible is one of the ESV Journaling Bibles from Crossway. It has a hard cover and its double column instead of single column, which makes it a bit smaller. The cover is “Autumn Song.”

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