How to make a non-edible plant cell model

Written by jessica cook | 13/05/2017
How to make a non-edible plant cell model
Represent a plant cell with a few basic arts and crafts supplies. (Plant image by Platinum Pictures from

If you have to make a plant cell model for science class, you're not alone. Teachers have been assigning this type of project to their students for years. While some students may make a plant cell model using gelatin and candy, if you want to make a non-edible plant cell model, all you need is a little creativity. Your non-edible plant cell model will outlast its food-filled counterparts and will be easy to transport and store.

Paint the inside of a rectangular aluminium foil baking dish a light green colour. When the paint dries, use light blue paint to represent the vacuole; paint this over the inside portion of the entire left half of the baking dish.

Glue strands of yarn to the inside top rim of the baking dish to represent the filaments.

Mold a large blue ball out of modelling clay to represent the nucleus. Make one small red ball for the lysosome, three small white balls for the peroxisomes and three small purple balls for the secretory vesicles. If you do not have these colours, use whatever colours you have on hand. Glue these items inside the baking dish on the green portion, grouping them together by colour.

Roll out four large green ovals using modelling clay. Glue them around the edges of the vacuole side of baking dish, on top of the yarn. These will represent chloroplast.

Make an oval-shaped disc out of lightly coloured modelling clay, then roll a thin line of a darker colour and swirl it on top of the disc. Glue this into the cell to represent mitochondria.

Roll out a flat strip of lightly coloured modelling clay. Take half of it and fold it back and forth accordion style, then cover one thin edge with coffee grounds and glue it around the nucleus to represent the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Repeat this, but omit the coffee grounds and glue this on the edges of the rough endoplasmic reticulum to represent the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

Snap a spaghetti noodle into one-inch segments and glue these into the cell model to represent microtubules. Cluster a few of them together to represent the centrosome.

Things you need

  • Rectangular aluminium foil baking dish
  • Paint
  • Yarn
  • Glue
  • Modelling clay
  • Coffee grounds
  • Spaghetti

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