Tattoo a Banana (Oxidation Art)

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Introduction: Tattoo a Banana (Oxidation Art)

About: I am New Pew, I create electronic projects and share these creations on my YouTube channel. In every video I mainly show how you can make these innovative creations yourself! There is a description of each pro…

In this Instructable I show you how to make a drawing on the peel of a banana. A banana turns brown through a series of chemical reactions called enzymatic browning. By poking the skin of the banana with a needle, this process is locally accelerated, resulting in a brown tip. By making a lot of dots next to each other you can make a drawing on a banana.

Video Tutorial:

Supplies

  • Banana
  • Image (printed on paper)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Needle
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Patience

Step 1: ​Place the Image

Print the image you want to make on the banana on paper. Make sure that the image is the right size, because it must fit on the banana. Cut out the picture and place it in the right place on the banana. Secure the image with adhesive tape, making sure that it is tight and that there are no creases.

Step 2: ​Make the Tool

Take the needle and put it in the mechanical pencil. The needle you use should be about the same thickness as the pencil leads. Let the needle stick out slightly with the sharp side.

Step 3: ​Just Prick

Use your needle to pierce through the paper and into the banana peel. Try to make the puncture as shallow as possible. Repeat this all along the line. Try to keep the dots close together (no more than 1 mm apart). When you have traced all the lines you can remove the image from the banana. Check that all lines are good, you can poke some more holes if necessary.

Step 4: ​Ready

The image on the banana is now ready. You can now shade or color the image by poking more dots in it or by making scratches in it. This does take some practice before you get it under control. It is advisable to practice a number of "normal" images first.

Have fun making this project!

I am curious about your creations!

3 People Made This Project!

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22 Comments

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wobbler
wobbler

Reply 10 months ago

You should really do better research first and not make assumptions. Phil Hansen wasn't the original artist, he simply wrote a book about this technique. All you have to do is search for "banana tattoo" and put a date limit to before 2012. Here's one from Matt Robinson published 11 May 2008. There are also lots of references to tattooists using bananas as tests for when they were learning to tattoo as a banana feels and responds like human skin. I suspect the technique originator is lost in time.
ref:https://www.deviantart.com/mattrobinson/art/Banana...

Kudos to New Pew for making this technique known to people who may never have seen it or thought of doing it before they saw it here.

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MonaLisaLivesHere
MonaLisaLivesHere

Reply 10 months ago

Thank you for your extensive research.

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kevinbruce.legge1
kevinbruce.legge1

Reply 1 year ago

Reminds me of my mom preparing my dad's lunchbox. Only on his banana she would write, "Thinking of you"..... ;-) ;-)

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artteachernc
artteachernc

Reply 1 year ago

Interesting. Although I used to do this with my dad when I was a kid in the 1970's... Not really sure who invented it!

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LeslieGeee
LeslieGeee

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Mona, thank you for pointing this out. I have seen too many "tutorials" that do not give credit where credit is due OR better yet get permission to use their idea and instructions. The instructions may or may not be a bit different but the idea was still previously out there. We are starting to live in a society that believes what is yours is mine and too bad if you do not like it. Shame on us.

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carworld11
carworld11

1 year ago

very cool

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NEW PEW
NEW PEW

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks!

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carworld11
carworld11

Reply 11 months ago

you are welcome

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DO8
DO8

1 year ago

I have a child whom I had to coax to eat ANYTHING. She didn't like many foods and so when I sent her lunch with her, I thought I would write a note....on the banana. And I added a face that said, "DON'T EAT THIS BANANA. Whatever you do, don't eat it." Well she enjoyed the game and of course ate the banana because it didn't want to be eaten. So I wrote notes on the sandwich baggie too that said, Mr. Peanut and Mrs. Jelly do NOT want you to eat this. I don't know why it worked, but it did...and so when she went to college, I sent her care packages with notes written on the food or packaging. She's still a picky eater though...you can only fix so much. LOL

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WUVIE
WUVIE

1 year ago

I just HAD to share this on a Facebook group. LOL!

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lennowak
lennowak

Tip 1 year ago on Introduction

Thanks for sharing your fun Instructable!
I gave it a try. Photo attached..
I used a push pin, only because that is what I had...

1691DC44-F158-42C0-81AE-73D4374EB704.jpegC63B0890-8375-43BE-B1ED-1B4AAF8267A0.jpeg
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nvuono_
nvuono_

1 year ago

This is how I transfer a design to pumpkins for Halloween carving but I never thought of trying it on a banana!

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DaVinci46
DaVinci46

Reply 1 year ago

If you scratch a child's name into a young pumpkin it scars as the pumpkin grows. Come harvest time the child 'finds' their magic pumpkin. Wonder of wonders!

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bill2009
bill2009

1 year ago

This is cute. How long does it take to "develop"?

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excelkeenan
excelkeenan

1 year ago

Priceless ... this is another thing on my Bucket List I just had to get out of the Way ... send this to Washington ... it will give them something to do in their frequent idle times !

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maxman
maxman

1 year ago

I'm going to put the face of Madonna on a banana and see if I can sell it on ebay.

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cme19b
cme19b

1 year ago

Hi! Do you know if this works on any non-food items?

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helio1
helio1

1 year ago

Que sensacional!!! Muito bom.