DIY Bubble Gum Machine from a Planter and a Bowl

By May 16, 2012Celebrate

We threw Miles and Violet a Sweet birthday party complete with a candy bar, balloon lollipops and hard candies and of course, a lot of love! We invited friends with this adorable DIY Printable Sweet Invitation and then set out to deck the yard in candy!  Well, no sweet table would be complete without a gumball machine and I saw a few floating around on Pinterest so I knew it would be fun and simple to make one with the kids!

DIY Gumball Machine


Clay Pot and Base: I used an 8 inch pot and base but you could go bigger or smaller according to your needs.  Making small ones would be a great craft for a party!

Bubble Bowl: You can find these at Michael’s or Walmart.  I used the 8 inch bowl.  The key is to test the pieces to make sure they all fit the right way.

Doll Heads:  If you can find a single one, awesome.  I purchased a bag of them from Michael’s for a couple of bucks.  Basically they are a ball with a flat bottom so it can be glued easily to your top.

Super Glue:  I think any kind would work for the top but I had E600 so I went ahead and used it.

Velcro:  Most of the tutorials I saw used glue.  That would work fine, but I wanted to be able to take mine apart and use the pieces separately.  Now I can use the planter and the bubble bowl for other things as well.  I found super strong Velcro at Home Depot.  I only used 1 of the 8 strips so just know you don’t need much!

Spray Paint: 1 can.  Glossy will look best.  Pick a color!  I wanted pink but Miles was insistent that these machines are red, so red it is.  It literally took minutes.

How To:

I think the pictures are pretty clear but just in case…

1.  Spray paint your pieces.  I did 3 coats, each about 30 minutes apart.  I let them dry for a few hours.

2. Glue your doll head to your top.  Follow the directions on your glue to get a really good seal.

3. Place 4 pieces of Velcro on your pot with the opposite side attached.  Do a dry run first and set your bowl on top to make sure the Velcro will sit right on the bowl.  Then attach the Velcro to the base.

4. Remove the backing from the Velcro on top and stick on your top, being careful to get it in the center.  I was a little nervous but this super strong Velcro rocks!

5. Stick your top on and voila! You have an empty gumball machine

A Few Tips:

1. So I bought what seemed like a giant bag of gumballs and dumped them in.  I realized that these bubble bowls hold a heck of a lot of stuff and my gumballs were very sad at the bottom of the bowl.  You can see it above.  Candy is MUCHO expensive and I had no need for hundreds more gumballs so I looked around and saw my pile of balloons for the hard candy decorations.  I rinsed it off and blew it up inside the bowl to create a “hollow” center to put the gumballs around.  Yep, I felt like a genius.  I still needed to run to the store to pick up a few tubes of Rainblo but man did my machine look full and happy.  I was so glad I did this because even after the kids made their goodie bags full of candy there were still tons of gumballs left!

2. Please remember that these are clay pots and they will break.  Tell your husband.  When we were cleaning up the party he did not realize that the top came off.  Yes, I know, how could he not.  It is a fake gumball machine how the heck did he think we got the gumballs in or out?  Anyway, he pulled it off the table and the top went flying onto the ground.  It broke.  Maybe these could be made with the fake clay plastic pots?

3. If you are going to use this on a blog, for instance, take a picture of the completed machine before the party.  I didn’t so all you get is the action on the table.  I promise it is so adorable and as soon as it stops raining here I will make a new top.

This whole project takes less than an hour of actual work and it looks amazing!  Have fun and please let me know if you try it!

I originally saw the bubble gum machine at Kara’s Party Ideas.

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