Scratch & Sniff Stamping

As promised, here it is: Scratch & Sniff Stamping!  This is a fun way to add scent to your cards which brings an additional component to your design.  It is fairly easy to do with a few supplies you might already have on hand or can pick up at the grocery store. Beate at Splitcoaststampers has a tutorial here.

The basic idea is to use a powder, such as sugar-free drink mix or cinnamon, and combine it with embossing powder, stamp your image, sprinkle on this enhanced embossing powder and set it with a heat tool.  You want to be sure to use a sugar-free mix because if you used sugar it would caramelize and turn brown when you heated it.  I’ve read about using sugar-free gelatin for this technique, but I haven’t tried it yet.


VersaMark watermark ink pad

VersaMarker pen

colored markers

pigment ink (optional)

clear embossing powder

sugar-free drink mix (or cinnamon or cocoa powder)

small container for mixing embossing powder with drink mix

measuring spoon

heat tool

tweezers (optional)

rubber stamp (fairly solid designs work best)

card stock

Directions Using Drink Mix:

Note: Although I try to match flavor/scent with color, I didn’t buy every drink mix flavor possible.  Lemon works fine, in my opinion, for any citrus fruit and red punch is equally good for cherries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.

In a small container combine 1 part drink mix (I use about 1/2 tsp.) with 1 1/2 parts embossing powder.  And to be honest, I don’t measure precisely – I eyeball it. I tried with with ultra thick embossing powder but I prefer the regular kind.

The method that I’ve had the most success with is to color my stamp with colored markers, stamp it onto the card stock, than to draw carefully over the stamped image with a VersaMarker pen.  This ink is a bit sticky and is slow to dry, so the embossing powder/drink mix combination will stick to it.

  • If you have a VersaMark ink pad but don’t have a VersaMarker pen, you can ink your stamp on the VersaMark ink pad then color your stamp with the colored markers.  This wasn’t as satisfactory for me, but it will work. If you have a portion of your design that you don’t want to be embossed with the drink mix (for example, the stem on the cherry stamp), be sure to either wipe of the VersaMark ink or carefully ink only the cherry part of the stamp with the VersaMark ink.
  • If you have pigment ink in the color you want your finished image, you can use that instead of the marker pens and VersaMarker Pen combination.  Pigment ink is also slow to dry.

Sprinkle the embossing powder/drink mix over your stamped image and  tap off excess powder.

To protect yourself from scorching your fingertips, hold the card stock with tweezers and aim your heat tool at the back of the paper, moving it back and forth a few inches away from the paper.  As it heats, the embossing powder melts and and gets shiny. I found that when I started by aiming the heat tool at the front of the paper, directly at the image,  the embossing powder/drink mix blows away.

Finish by aiming your heat tool directly at the embossed image for a few more seconds so it is completely melted.

Let cool off then complete your card. The embossed image is kind of grainy which I think adds a nice texture to the finished project.  Scratching the stamped image will release the scent of the drink mix.

This is a really cute card for showing off a scratch & sniff lemon slice: it has a cup made from vellum popping right off the front of the card! This tutorial at Splitcoaststampers will show you how to do it, step-by-step.  The piece of vellum is cut at an angle, a 1/4 inch edge is scored and folded on each side.  You sponge colored ink on the inside of the piece of vellum and attach with the other side of the vellum facing out.

When you adhere it to the front of your card, bring the edges in a bit to form the curve of the cup.  A bendy straw is a great addition (I didn’t have a paper umbrella) and that tangy, scratch & sniff lemon slice garnish really finishes the card.

Directions Using Cinnamon or Cocoa Powder:

For the cinnamon scratch and sniff Scotty Dog I stamped the image with VersaMark ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder.  Moving quickly I sprinkled cinnamon over the image, tapped off excess and heated it from the back with heat tool.

I found the cinnamon didn’t adhere to the full image but after heating again I sprinkled more cinnamon, tapped off excess and heated a bit more and it worked out.

The finished card is blue card stock with a piece of blue and white striped paper.  The Scotty Dog, with a striped paper collar and a bit of silver ink on his dog tag has been matted with blue patterned paper and a brown button is a nice embellishment.

If you had a little gingerbread man stamp like this one, this would  be pretty cute for a Christmas card!  The cinnamon is fragrant and festive and just the right color for gingerbread without any colored ink.

Using the cocoa powder was a little frustrating but worth persevering because who doesn’t like chocolate?  OK, I know not everyone loves chocolate but those who do love it would be very happy to receive a handmade card that smells delicious and chocolate-y.  It is more subtle than the cinnamon but still carries the aroma of the cocoa.

I tried sprinkling cocoa powder over the warm embossing powder but that wasn’t very successful so I used the same method as with the drink mix: combine embossing powder with cocoa powder.  This worked fairly well.   Here is a chocolate lab I stamped:

For the card at the start of this post, I drew an oval with brown marker and filled it in, than inked over the whole oval using my VersaMarker pen.  Next I coated it with the mixture of embossing powder and cocoa powder, tapping off the excess powder and finally I heat set it, starting with the back of the paper and finishing it from the front.  I cut out this oval for my cupcake.  (It doesn’t look like much yet, but it sure smells good.)

Next I put a piece of pink card stock through my paper crimper.  I used a scalloped oval punch to cut a half-oval from one edge of the crimped paper and than cut the angled cupcake base shape, giving the look of a fluted cupcake paper.

I punched a small circle from deep pink card stock, inked it with VersaMark ink and embossed it with cherry drink mix/embossing powder to garnish the cupcake.  I finished the card by adhering the scratch & sniff chocolate cupcake with pop-up dots to white card stock stamped with  Happy Birthday, topped off with the scratch & sniff cherry with a green paper stem.  This was matted with green card stock and attached to a deep pink card layered with patterned paper and green ribbon.  Chocolate and cherry…doesn’t it look good enough to eat? Yum!

Please do let me know if you use this technique for one of your own projects.  Thanks for stopping by!

1 Comment

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One response to “Scratch & Sniff Stamping

  1. Pingback: Pancakes and Pizza | dianne faw

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