How to Make Good Fake Fruit

Keep real fruit nearby for reference.
Keep real fruit nearby for reference. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Aristotle once said, "Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies." Nowhere is this more true than in the art of crafting fake fruit. Fake fruit is used as a substitute for real food in decorative displays and theatrical performances. Fake fruit allows the user to enjoy the display longer, avoids wasting food and simulates contact with unsafe items. Making fake fruit is not about originality, but rather vision: the ability to distinguish the characteristics that make an item appear genuine. Sharpen your skills by studying real and fake fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit
  • Clay
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Foam
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sealer

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Study real fruit. Keep several pieces of fruit nearby for reference as you work.

Shape clay until it resembles the size and shape of the real fruit. Use a ruler to press the clay and form smooth flat regions such as the sides of a banana. Roll a foam cylinder over clay to make indentations. Rub the surface of the clay with a spoon to smooth the clay.

Add texture to the skin with material such as leather or sandpaper. Roll the clay against the textured surface as desired.

Cut the fruit in half, if it will be sliced. Use the knife to carve the center of the fruit and add veining or seeds. Make a pit by coating a small ball of clay with a thin layer of textured clay, or texture clay with a real pit.

Place the clay on a baking sheet that is reserved for crafts. Bake or cure clay as directed by the manufacturer.

Sand down any finger prints or imperfections.

Paint the fruit in layers with acrylics. Apply a base coat to cover imperfections. Color the piece in thin layers, and highlight curves with gloss medium. Darken shadows, stems, indentations and crevices with a small amount of a darker hue. Avoid putting white or black directly on the fruit; these colors are rare in nature and over-reliance on them will make your piece look flat and fake.

Allow the paint to cure for 48 to 72 hours.

Apply a sealer. Use a matte sealer for the skin and a gloss for exposed flesh.


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