Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fruit Stickers

As I was eating a banana this morning, I noticed the fruit sticker.  No big surprise there - I love these little guys.

And the more I pondered the sticker, the more I realized that when you talk about ephemera, this has got to be one of the most ephemeral objects one can find! 

Aside from me and other artists, I would venture to say that 99.9999% of people would never keep these things.  First of all, they're really sticky!  And the longer the sticker is kept, apparently, the stickier it gets (I found that out this morning as I was rearranging the stickers on the plastic for the photo).

Now we're touching on why I love them so much - because they're ubiquitous but completely disposable.  I would imagine junk mail stays around longer in people's homes than fruit stickers!  Think about it - you have to make a concerted effort to keep these things, especially on fruit where the skin or peel is inedible, like bananas.  If you're eating watermelon or cantloupe or citrus, you're just going to leave the label right on the fruit and there it'll stay even after it's thrown away.  Apples, plums and tomatoes are probably even more bothersome to most people because you have to remove the stickers before you eat the fruit.

Check out the photos above  and to the right - aside from the typical banana and apple stickers, my awesome sister is responsible for the rest of these colorful beauties.  Is she the best sister, or what?  I asked her if she wouldn't mind saving a couple for me, as she and her family love fruit and try all different kinds of exotics (they have an amazing produce market in Madison).  Thanks to her, I've got additions to my artwork for some time to come.

If you're wondering what's underneath all of the real stickers, well, that's just the coolest calendar I ever had.  A Japanese design team named Argyle Street Tea Room came up with the idea of using fruit labels as a calendar (it's the jewel case type - if you're interested they are still making them, at least for 2010). 

And of course, I love using them in my art!  Here are some ATCs I've done using these simple little gems:


  1. how do you remove these stickers without damaging the fruit or vegetable?

  2. Hi sugarcookie! With certain fruits like apples or bananas, it's pretty easy because the skin isn't soft. With peaches, plums or pears it's a little more difficult - but because the stickers are a thin plastic, you can usually wash the back. Some of the adhesive may come off, but then you can just use gel medium to adhere it to your art work. :D