Nature's Works of Art: Fruit & Vegetable Printing

Let some of nature's most perfect works of art bring out the designer in your little one. 

This is a relaxing activity to do at a shady picnic table on a warm summer afternoon.

Ages: 3-adult

What You'll Need

  • An assortment of fruit – Apples, and various citrus fruits work well, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

  • Poster paints

  • Paper plates

  • Paper suitable for printing


  • Slice fruit in half -- apples can be sliced either top-to-bottom, or right through the middle (exposing the star-like shape); citrus fruit woks best when sliced crosswise to expose the segments of fruit

  • Pour a small amount of poster paint on each paper plate, spread it evenly over the bottom of the plate.  You want a thick film, but not a pool.  

Start Printing!

Press the cut side of the fruit into the paint, lift and press firmly, like a stamp, onto the paper. To get a clear print, be careful not to squish or wiggle the fruit around as you press. 

Depending on age and inspiration, the results of this project can be wildly colorful – different fruits in many different colors – or subtle and soothing – simple patterns of a single fruit in one or two colors.

TIP: When done on large poster paper or a paper bag, fruit prints make a fun and original gift wrap or gift bag.

Potato Printing

A close cousin of fruit printing, potato printing requires a little more help from a grown-up or older child.

You'll need a large potato, cut in half.  Press the open surface onto a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.  Using a marker, draw a shape on the flat portion of the potato, and then scrape or cut away all the potato except the shape. You may want to start with a very simple shape – a diamond, heart or star. 

Start Printing!

Use the same technique as with the fruit – press into the paint, and then print.  See how many ways you can combine just a few shapes and colors.