Making Banana Art

Bananas have thick skin which is perfect for decorating with pens or even by poking a pattern directly. It's a perfect way to bring a smile to someone's face when unpacking their school or work lunch.

When I was in school, I used to take my mechanical pencil to my banana peels to make designs on them. Now I've learned to make prettier, more detailed designs on them. When banana peels are poked or cut, they release chemicals that cause oxidation, turning the marked areas brown. Here I'll show you how to use a needle on a banana, with an image of your choice, to make some gorgeous banana art.

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 ripe banana (not green, not brown)
  • 1 image you'd like on the banana (line drawings are best)
  • scissors
  • tape
  • sewing needles (I used 1 medium tip, 1 fine tip)


  1. Cut out your image, leaving a couple millimeters of space around it.
  2. Tape the image on the banana so it's as flat as possible.
  3. Begin poking the outline of the image. Puncture through the paper and a bit into the skin, not all the way into the banana. You don't want more than a millimeter of space between pokes.
  4. For smaller details like eyes and noses, use a finer tip needle.
  5. When you feel you've got all the lines poked, remove the image and tape.
  6. Take your needle and connect the dots by poking more holes, using the image as a reference guide.
  7. For things like pupils, flip the needle around and use the eye to make a wider puncture.
  8. To shade in areas, scratch the surface of the banana peel gently with the needle tip. I used a crosshatching technique by scratching up and down, then left and right over it.
  9. The longer you let the banana sit, the darker the image will get.
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