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.

Love the idea. I am not having luck with it. The tutorial says to add color after using Versamark. My markers are SU but they don't seem to be giving me a really clean image. When I go straight from Versamark and then use the combo powder, my images look no where near as dark as the examples. HELP!

wackymama smile
wackymama  |  Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Try this. Ink and stamp your image first. Next go over the part you want to emboss with your VersaMarker. Add the powder, tap off the excess and heat.

Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM
Increible, precioso. Gracias
Monika  |  Thu Aug 7, 2008 at 12:30 AM
Since the Scratch n' Sniff technique is so popular, here is another simple way to add smell to your cards without having to embosse. Punch out a piece of a car freshner. They come in different colors and scents. You can easily use them as flower centers.
Manon Murdock  |  Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 8:27 AM
I tried this using the KoolAid that comes in the small pouch (you add the sugar later). It made a sticky, gooey mess. But a friend of mine tried it using Crystal Light and said it worked beautifully. I will try it myself and let you know. For now, I am excited to try it with cinnamon!
SheenaLanise  |  Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 6:19 PM
Can you also tell me what I should do differently, so the spot doesn't turn sticky?
Please and Thanks!!!!!
Kim Seabrook  |  Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM
really i've never thought of this. great!
shan  |  Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 7:31 PM
This was an AMAZING idea it was so COOL and easy and I made a beautiful card> smile
Janelle  |  Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM
Love this technique!! I used it 3 times and had no problems with my projects being sticky except once. I think it may be moisture or humidity. The 1st time I used the mixture right away and none were sticky. I had left over powder which I left in an unopened container. When I used it a few weeks later, it was tacky after embossing. The 3rd time, I embossed right after mixing it and again had no problem. I see those who said their project was sticky posted in the summer. My oranges & lemons were grainy too but I thought it gave my project texture. What I think is cool is it doesn't smell unless its scratched...the possibilities are endless!!
Lou Ann  |  Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 12:22 PM
I would really like to try the Scratch and sniff technique for my upcoming "Technique University." However, I have been reading some of the posts and questions and am a little concerned about the stickiness that people are asking about. What do I do to prevent this? I want my customers to enjoy a fun new project that they will want to do again. I appreciate any advice you can give.

Emily Williamson  |  Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 2:39 PM
I tried this technique repeatedly and was very disappointed. I heated the image a little longer than necessary to hopefully eliminate the stickiness. That seemed to get rid of the stickiness, but the kool-aid particles on the image smeared very easily. I tried going over that with more clear EP, but that gets rid of the smell. I'm bummed....
Linda  |  Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM
Linda, did you use the type of kool-aid you need to add sugar too (but don't add sugar)?
Lou Ann  |  Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 3:46 PM
Get technique! I have has success with Jello powder....
Soraiya  |  Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM

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