How to Tattoo Fruit

Tattooing fruit is a cost-effective way to practice using a tattoo machine. It also allows you to get a feel for working on a curved object (like the human body). 

As a new tattoo artist, it’s important to practice your tattooing before jumping to human skin (even your own) so you can feel comfortable with your machine first.

If you want to get started tattooing fruit, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll be breaking down:

  • Which fruits are the best for tattooing
  • What to consider when working with fruit
  • Additional options for practicing tattooing

Options for Practicing Tattooing

There are plenty of different ways out there to practice tattooing before actually jumping onto yourself or other clients.

Pig Skins

Getting pig skins from butchers and preparing them for tattooing can be a pretty disgusting process. Plenty of apprentices are required by their mentor to try tattooing pig skin. 

However, with the rise of practice skin, it’s not as necessary and we don’t recommend using pig skin.

Fake skins are a great option for people first starting out in tattooing. They are the closest thing to real human skin that you can get. 

However, not all practice skin brands use high-quality materials, and they can be tough and hard to stretch. 

To make sure you’re getting the best practice, we recommend buying Reelskin, Frankenskins, or Pound of Flesh fake skins.


There are lots of artists out there who have practiced tattooing on fruit before moving to human skin. This is a cheaper option than fake skins, and it is easy to access.  


The skin of fruit is usually more tough than human skin. This can promote bad habits that lead to artists causing more damage than necessary when they move onto clients. We highly recommend tattooing practice skin before tattooing real people.

Practice Tattooing Fruit

Which fruit you decide to tattoo will make a big difference on your practice. 

For example, apples have a very hard (and thin) skin, which would make it difficult to get good practice. Trying to tattoo a melon would be difficult because the rind is thick and tough.

The best options are probably oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and bananas.

Tattooing an Orange

Tattooing an orange is a good option because it’ll get you used to tattooing on an object that’s not perfectly flat. 

For a stencil, you can either use a stencil and stencil primer or you can draw a design on with a Sharpie. Especially if it’s your first time tattooing fruit, it’s recommended to stick with simple tattoo designs

Even though you’re tattooing fruit, it’s best to practice the same way you would work on an actual client. That means using Vaseline on the skin, stretching the skin, wearing gloves, etc. 

Challenges to Tattooing an Orange

While tattooing oranges will let you get practice with your tattoo machine, it won’t let you get the best practice for human skin because it’s much more tough. (“Tattooing” an orange feels more like cutting the skin than actually getting pigment into the skin.)

We had a hard time getting the needle into the skin (we used an 11RL). Additionally, there are pits in the skin, which means you’re going to be moving up and down while trying to get the right pressure to puncture the skin.

Tattooing a Banana

As far as fruit goes, a banana is the closest thing you’ll get to a human being. The layer of the skin is about the same thickness that you are trying to get into on an actual human. (However, fake skins are still more accurate than any fruit.)

Compared to tattooing an orange, it’s easier to “tattoo” a banana without leaving a gash in the skin.

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

Practicing your tattooing on fruit is an exciting step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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