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How to Make Banana Oxidation Art/ How to Tattoo a Banana

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We've all seen bananas turn brown. In this project I am going to show you how to use this browning process to intentionally cause certain points on a banana peel to brown prematurely. This lets you make pictures on the banana peel using only a small needle. When done properly, it doesn't affect the edible part of the banana, so you can still eat it later. This is a great arts and crafts project to add a little fun to your packed lunches.
 
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Step 1: Background: Why Bananas Turn Brown

Picture of Background: Why Bananas Turn Brown
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So why do bananas turn brown? Here is some of the chemistry for those who are interested. 

It all has to do with a series of chemical reactions that take place as the banana ripens. This process is called enzymatic browning. As the banana ripens, the membranes in the cell start to weaken. This lets the phenolic compounds in the cell's vacuole come in contact with enzymes like polyphenol oxidase. The enzymes cause the phenolic compounds to quickly oxidize. This reaction produces melanin which gives the ripening banana its brown spots.

If we manually rupture the cell membranes, we can cause this process to take place quickly in specific locations. Puncturing the banana peel with a needle will create a well defined brown dot in a matter of minutes. By making a lot of dots we can draw a picture on the banana peel.

TL;DR  Puncturing or bruising the skin releases chemicals that make it turn brown.




Cody68751 month ago
Neat! I would have never thought of that
cellopants3 months ago
I did one!
banana yes.jpg
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  cellopants3 months ago
Awesome
squishyjoss5 months ago
Nice presentation!!
awesome
JoLoveN9 months ago
As soon as I get more nanas I'm gunna try sumting simple to surprise my daughter with. Do it without her knowing & when she grabs 1 to eat she'll freak out asking how her name was put on it..... Or sumting like that. She'll be drawing on nanas for the rest if her life after I show her! Thanks for the idea!!!
cheddarevan10 months ago
Thanks for the awesome idea. Here is mine.
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Ploopy11 months ago
Coolest thing ever!!!
malibini1 year ago
GUESS WHAT!!! I made this!!! Here is a picture of it. The Pie was by my bff, and the Peacock was by me
Here are the photos
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Nice. I like it.
ktbman1 year ago
Thanks, Great project by the way.
malibini1 year ago
OMG this is so cool! I HATE HATE HATE Bananas though, can you do it on other fruits? Anyway, I am SO gonna do this to my sister's banana! Thanks!!
ktbman1 year ago
It's the middle of winter where I am. Couldn't you freeze them??
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  ktbman1 year ago
You can freeze them but it won't preserve the quality. The skin will still change colors. Then when you thaw the banana it will degrade even faster.
555mst5551 year ago
I wonder what happens if i decide to do a banana design on the bananna. HAHAHAH
-chase-1 year ago
That is soooo freaking cool! Bravo!

Now to kick it up a notch with a tatto artist gun/machine/[pen..!.

Have you tried doing it with one yet?

Either way - you have the touch... those banana's look great!
What a thing to bring in the lunch box... or serve!

I've got to do one...

Thanx for sharing your instructable!
got my vote and good luck!

- chase -
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  -chase-1 year ago
I have tried using a tattoo gun yet (mostly because I don't personally know any tattoo artists). But I can imagine that when using a powered tool, you would need to be extra careful not to pierce all the way through the skin.
It'd be fun to do a Jesus face then leave it in a grocery store on a sunday. Then wait and see if it makes the news...
evacooper1 year ago
i should have known phil hansen's name would appear here...
anyway this looks like a fun project!
Fantastik!!!
londobali1 year ago
Wow... you're an artist!!
This is a great idea.. too bad i'm really bad at art.. even stenciling.. :(

Nice presentation too...
Thanks!
I assure you, I have zero artistic skill. If you can trace a line, you can make this. All it takes is patience.
Really? even if i have a minus (less than zero) artistic skill ? you promise??
:D
OK, i'll try to have a go and will post my pic if i manage to make something..
:)
In fine crafting, how long you spend on something matters far more that how skilled you are, in terms of the quality of the finished product.
huh.. no wonder my "arts" collection isn't so nice..
I always thought i'm not gifted in arts.. :/
If you put it that way, maybe it's my lack of patience..
I'll try to give more time on my next art project, this banana art would be a perfect trial.. :D
cebohrer1 year ago
This is so cool !!! You are definitely an artist my friend....
Ymerej881 year ago
Great idea, but I don't think I'd have the patience to actually do anything more than a smiley face or my name. When I'm 'stuck in the house on a rainy day', I usually just browse Instructables (in fact, its raining now :)
gsmoger1 year ago
Wow, i just wanted to say how impressed i am with this idea and your artwork! I never seen anything like this and its such a simple idea I'm surprised i never seen this sooner. Your works of art are amazing and this is just a great idea. It makes so much sense, bananas turn black from exposure to air and some fruits give off its own chemical that actually spoils themselves which is why alot of fruits are in bags or containers with holes to let air in and out so thier own chemical that spoils them gets out. I can't recall what that chemical is called at the moment and i don't know if the banana has that chemical or if just the air exposure makes it black after awhile, but its such a simple idea that if u prick it with a pin that it would cause that part of the banana to turn black and you can make artwork or write words or little pictures on your kids or husbands/wives lunches...Pretty dang cool if i say so myself...
pravs2k1 year ago
Great art.Is there any way we could peel and dry,I wonder.Will try it as a valentine snack for my children!!!They are not on instructables.So they won't know I stole the idea- promise to tell them after all the oohs and aahs.
kdrodgers1 year ago
This is amazing!!! Great job!!!
realife111 year ago
" First, if you're like me and can't draw to save your life, you'll want to select a reference picture."

What do you mean, I thought you're images (even if traced) are fantastic!!!
You are too humble my friend!
Lindie1 year ago
Very cool! Good job!
spylock1 year ago
Wonder if anyone has done the "Cut up the banana while inside the peel"trick yet.It made my nephews day when I did it.
dlebryk1 year ago
This is one of the most fun Instructables ever. It is like chalk art on sidewalk, here today, gone tomorrow.
SO cool!!! What a great way to entertain the kids! :D
DIY-Guy1 year ago
Banana tatoos? Does anyone have a report of what a tatoo needle gun does?
My personal preference is to not tatoo my own skin, but for lunch this art is so appealing!
rakesh19881 year ago
Amazing art..... can we preserve these?
with a camera :p :)
ceanes1 year ago
very good, i never thought about that. thanks
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