Introduction: Needle Felted Plant Cell
Plant cells are wonderfully planty. Felt ones are wonderfully planty AND fuzzy, and you can see them much more easily than real plant cells!
I added a pin back to my cell so that I could wear it.
Not all the organelles that would be found in a plant cell are included, and there is only one of each even though that might not always be true in an actual cell.
Step 1: You'll Need...
For this plant cell, you'll need:
• Roving in whatever colours you'd like to use
• A felting needle (these have barbs to catch the fibres and make them felt)
• A block of foam to felt on
• A toothpick or skewer (to help shape organelles)
• A pin back or safety pin (optional)
Step 2: Making the Cell's Base
Pull off a piece of light green (or whatever colour you want the background/cytoplasm of your cell to be) roving. It should be a little bigger than you want your finished cell to be.
Put the roving on your foam and start stabbing and jabbing it with your felting needle. It should start to shrink and condense. Make sure to watch the needle, because I have been told that it is EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL to poke yourself with it.
As you work, fold over the edges and felt them down to shape and tidy up the cell. If you hold it up to the light and you can see thin spots, add some more green roving and patch them. Keep adding roving and felting it until you are happy with the shape and thickness.
Step 3: Cell Wall
The cell wall surrounds the plant cell. It gives the cell (and therefore the plant) structure. Cell walls are not found in animal cells, because animals have skeletons to hold them up.
Take some dark green roving and twist it into a noodle shape. Felt it down around the edge of the cell.
Step 4: Cell Membrane
The cell membrane keeps some things inside the cell and others out, letting only specific things through.
Using blue roving, add another, slightly thinner line just inside the cell wall.
Step 5: Nucleus
The nucleus is like the brain of the cell. It controls the rest of the cell.
Felt a small orange oval to the centre of the cell. Add a red dot.
Step 6: Golgi Apparatus
The Golgi apparatus is also known as the Golgi body, or Golgi complex, but apparatus is just such a fun word! This organelle collects and combines molecules, such as sugars, then releases them back into the cell.
Roll out red pieces of roving, the same way as the cell membrane, but much shorter. Since the Golgi apparatus is found near the nucleus, this is where you should attach your pieces. You can also add a small red dot or two.
Step 7: Chloroplast
The chloroplast photosynthesizes, meaning it changes energy (sunlight), carbon dioxide, and water into oxygen and sugar.
The chloroplast is made with a dark green oval, and black dots arranged regularly on top of it.
Step 8: Mitochondreon
Mitochondria turn nutrients into energy in a form that the cell can use.
This is where the toothpick comes in.
Put a piece of brown roving on the cell, and give it a few stabs at both sides. Using the toothpick, push the roving back in the middle, forming a bean shape. While holding the roving like this, felt it down.
Add small white stripes, coming from alternating sides and reaching just over halfway across the mitochondreon.
Step 9: Vacuole
Vacuoles store stuff in the cell, such as nutrients and waste.
Using light blue roving, felt a large oval onto your cell. For some reason, in my mind vacuoles should be large and puffy, so I added more roving on top.
Step 10: Endoplasmic Reticulum
The endoplasmic reticulum transports proteins through the cell.
Using teal roving, attach small strips to the cell in the same manner as for the Golgi apparatus. Attach another strip perpendicularly, so that the strips all appear to be connected.
Step 11: Pin Back
If you want to, you can turn your plant cell into a pin, either with a pin back or a safety pin.
Felt or sew on the pin back. If you felt it on, be sure to stab mostly from the front to avoid affecting the appearance of the organelles too much.
Enjoy your fuzzy plant cell!