Scratch and Sniff Technique

by Beate Johns

Add fragrance to your solid images with this easy technique.


  • Clear embossing powder

  • Sugar-free drink mix

  • Solid stamp

  • Heat tool

  • Versamark™

  • Small container

  • Measuring spoon

  • Cardstock


  1. Step 1

    Add one measuring spoon full of sugar-free drink mix to a small container.

  2. Step 2

    Add 1 1/2 spoonfuls of clear embossing powder to the same container.

  3. Step 3

    Mix the drink mix and the clear embossing powder together.
    Set aside.

  4. Step 4

    Ink stamp with VersaMark where the scent should be.

    Use pigment ink instead of VersaMark ink. If you do that, skip step 5.

  5. Step 5

    Add color to the stamp with markers or ink pads.

    Use colors that match the sugar-free drink mix.

  6. Step 6

    Stamp image on cardstock.

  7. Step 7

    Pour drink/embossing powder mix over the stamped image. Tap off excess powder.

  8. Step 8

    Use a heat tool to heat and melt the embossing powder mix.

  9. Step 9

    Finish your card.


    Try different smells
    Sugar-free hot chocolate mix

    The work is already done for you
    Try embossing powder that already have the smell mixed in. Check Cornish Heritage Farms or Card Scents for those powders.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Scratch and Sniff Technique. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

When my Demonstrator showed us this technique, we stamped the image in regular ink. Then used the versa mark pen to color in where we wanted the powder to adhere. My images were a bit grainy, but never sticky?? On strawberries the grain actually looked like seeds. I alos have a watermelon stamp that I stamp and emboss in black, then color with my red marker, then color with the versa mark pen. The options are endless. I still want to try ranch dressing on a cucumber card. I will post it as soon as i finish.
Kathy Swanson  |  Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 10:42 AM
You say to use sugar-free drink you mean unsweetened? to me, "sugar-free" has an artificial sweetener in it. that may be what contributes to the sticky problem.
artstamper99  |  Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 12:13 PM
Kool Aid doesn't have any sugar in it. When mixing it as a drink you add the sugar later. It is very grainy indeed. That's why I used Marker colors similar to the drink mix color.

The Versamark doesn't hurt the ink pads or markers you use. I used that technique a lot of times and it never did anything hurtful to my markers or pads.

As for stickiness. Maybe reduce the drink mix a bit and use more embossing powder or try a different drink mix. I haven't tried this technique too often and mostly with smaller stamps. I hadn't had that problem yet.
beate  |  Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM
We are going to this set for ice cream party invitations. This is a great idea. It's a keeper.
diana b  |  Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 1:07 PM
I have tried this repeatedly, with these proportions, it is still sticky (days later), with more clear embossing powder, there is little or no smell. I think the kind of drink mix you use makes a big difference.
j!LL  |  Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 6:37 PM
This is such a clever tutorial, Beate!!!! I also LOVE the cards and layouts in the gallery!!! THANK YOU for sharing!!!!
Michi, Orange County, CA  |  Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 8:46 AM
hi that is a cute idea for my thank you card's thanks so much u make such a beatitfull card smile)
Roberta  |  Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:08 PM
Great tutorial, Beate! Never got around to trying this, definitely will now!
Angie Tieman  |  Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 1:37 PM
This is such a wonderful idea! Can't wait to try it out grin
Carol  |  Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 6:53 PM
I have tried this several times w/ no luck but I never inked up the stamp w/ a color, only versamark. I'll give it another whirl w/ color this time.

squirrellyshirley  |  Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 8:17 AM
Thanks Beate,
Another yummy way to use a cute stamp set. This is in our (Aussie) new Spring mini, and I can order it from the 1st July. It's on my wish list!
Belinda  |  Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:05 PM
I did this with coffee and it worked pretty good
paula  |  Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 6:44 AM
I have used this method before I have altered it just a bit. I found that the mixture was not covering the way I needed it to. So I added the same color of embossing powder to the mix. I also stamp in the same color of craft ink. With these alteration I can have full coverage with the image. Example: Red Craft ink, Red embossing powder, clear emboss ink, Red Kool-aid mix. If you are having any issues give it a try.
Brooke S  |  Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 9:42 PM
They now have this embossing powder that smell like coffee, bubble gum.. if you guys are having problems with the kool aid go with the new stuff!
Eli  |  Tue Jul 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM
Over the top!
Shawn  |  Wed Jul 2, 2008 at 11:41 AM
What do you do about the sticky. I can't ready any response you send.

Cheryl at [email protected]
Cheryl Braney  |  Wed Jul 2, 2008 at 7:22 PM
When you said sugar free, maybe you should have said non sweetened. Some of the comments are that it is still sticky after embossing so maybe they are using kool-aid with an artificial sweetner which of course says sugar free. I have not tried it yet but I am just saying that might be the problem.
Cheryl in Tennessee  |  Wed Jul 2, 2008 at 8:28 PM
I think this is such a neat idea. I can't wait to try it.
Krista  |  Fri Jul 4, 2008 at 6:26 PM
I have looked and looked and can't find sugar-free kool aid! is it something that's only available in the US??
Michelle  |  Sun Jul 6, 2008 at 9:52 AM
I believe you are only supposed to use the drink powder that comes in the little envelope that doesn't have any sweetening at all. They make a half gallon of kool aid and you have to add sugar to it. if you buy something that is "sugar free" it will have a sweetener in it that is a derivitive of sugar and will get sticky when heated.
molly  |  Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:25 AM

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