How To: Make Scratch and Sniff Stickers
Relive childhood memories with stickers that do more than just stick.

Numbers Wizard

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It’s been said that smells are the strongest sense tied to memory. The smell of apple pie baking may bring you back to your mom’s kitchen, or maybe you can’t get a whiff of powder without thinking of your grandma who thinks she’s Elizabeth Taylor’s twin.

Scratch and sniff stickers are a great way to remember those cherished (and sometimes uncomfortable) childhood memories, and you can make your own at home with a little effort and a few common items.

The first thing you will need for this project is the scents. You can use anything, from essential oils to scented sprays and other kinds of perfumed essences. Some people use flavored gelatin as well, so use whatever you like.

The other thing you will need is sticker paper, which is sold by most office suppliers. Sticker paper comes in multipacks of various sizes and is usually compatible with most Inkjet printers.

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You can design your artwork starting with a simple sketch or you can work directly with an image editor of your choice. InkScape and Illustrator are great for creating sticker artwork that will be easy to re-size, but you can also choose non-vector editors like GIMP and Photoshop.

Go for simple graphics, keep the artwork clean, and make it colorful.

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You can use online stock images that can turn into stickers instead of drawing your own. This will work well for people who don’t feel comfortable with drawing, or who have little time to start from scratch.

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Unless you are fitting one big sticker on a single sheet of paper, you will have to make copies of the original artwork to print more than one sticker.

To do this, create a document matching your paper size and copy and paste the artwork you want to use. Depending on your design and paper size, you will be able to fit a large number of stickers on a single sheet.

Stay away from the borders to ensure no element of your original artwork will be cut off on any of the stickers, and space out the various copies of the artwork so it’s easy to cut your stickers. Test on normal paper before printing on your sticker sheets.

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Once you print your stickers, cut them out with a pair of scissors or a trimmer. Lay the stickers face up on a towel, napkins, or an old newspaper and apply the scent, either by carefully spraying it or by dropping a small quantity of essence on them. If you are using gelatin, apply by brushing it. Let the stickers dry before using them.

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Do you smell that? It’s the scent of a fun project anybody can start and finish easily and that’s especially fun for kids!

Edited in Illustrator CS5.

About the Author
Harold Fishman is the resident numbers man, specializing in calculating print values, costs, shipping times, along with great deals and savings.
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  1. great idea for a caft project! Thanks!

  2. fun areticle. i never would have thought to make a a sractch and sniff sticker at home thanks

  3. love it you rock

  4. Does it lose its sticky after the scent is placed?