Scratch Art Paper

scratch art final

I often get asked if making your own art materials saves money. The honest answer is that sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, a fact I find true of DIY projects in general. Can you purchase scratch art paper at a low cost? Of course! But making it is a lot of fun, from coloring the hidden layer, to painting it, to finally scratching it.


  • white card stock cut into postcard-size pieces (roughly 4″ x 6″)
  • crayons
  • painter’s tape
  • small roller brush or paintbrush
  • black tempera paint and liquid laundry detergent
  • shallow bowls
  • toothpicks, forks or other items to scratch with


  1. scratch art 1Cover the surface you are working on; this is a messy project! Tape the backs of your cards to the work surface.

  2. Using painter’s tape, mask off the edges of each postcard. I left about a 1/2″ border on all sides.

  3. scratch art 2Cover the entire postcard with crayon. This is an important step. You can either use one color of crayon or multiple colors. I recommend using a few colors.

  4. Mix the paint and detergent together using a 1:1 ratio. Pour into a shallow bowl. I like to use recycled meat trays for this. If you are using India ink, pour it directly into a bowl/tray.scratch art 3

  5. Using your roller brush, cover the entire card with the paint-detergent mixture. Let dry.

  6. Repeat with additional coats as necessary until the entire surface is covered. Let dry completely.scratch art 4

  7. Peel the tape off the cards carefully so as not to rip the card stock. When the cards are finished, scratch them using toothpicks, chopsticks, forks, etc. to make drawings.

scratch art 5

I absolutely love how these turned out! The final product always looks like a little piece of art no matter what the skill level of the child; in fact, I think the messier the scratching the better! Tell us: Did you use your scratch art paper as cards? Or as works of art for the home?