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DIY Gumball Machine


  1. Terra cotta pot
  2. Clear container for glass globe. I used a container I found at Dollar Tree that already had a lid. You could use a variety of different items for this. Please watch my YouTube video for examples of other items I suggest.
  3. If your clear globe container does not have a lid, then you may want to make one. I recommend using a tera cotta plate and either a wooden ball, or a pom pom.
  4. Paint and paint brush. I used acrylic paint and it worked well. You could also spray paint your pieces.
  5. Permanent vinyl and other items to decorate your piece.

I first tried serval different combinations of items I had to see which combination I liked best. I decided to go with a plastic container with a lid and a medium size tera cotta pot. If you need to cut or melt some plastic pieces off for your pieces to fit together nicely, then you should do this now. In my YouTube video I show and talk about some different suggestions I thought about using. One of the suggestions was a plastic Christmas ornament. If you use this, then you could leave it as is, or cut the top of the ornament off with a box cutter or exacto knife and then make a lid to fit on top of it. The lid could be a terra cotta plate, with a wooden ball or a pom pom. There are so many different things you could use, so get creative with it. I have also seen someone use plastic cups instead of terra cotta pots for their base.

I then painted the base of my gum ball machine, the terra cotta pot. I also paint the lid of my container. I painted the inside of my clear container lid so that the design on the lid and shininess of the lid would show through. I left the very top nob of my lid unpainted. If you are making your own lid, then paint the terra cotta plate, and the wooden ball if you are using one. You could also spray paint your pieces if you want.

gumball machine

Once everything is dry you can assemble your pieces. If you used the same materials I used, then the container sits nicely on top of the terra cotta pot and you can choose to glue it in place or not. If you are using an item with a more circular bottom, then you will need to glue the clear circle to the upside down terra cotta pot, as well as the lid if you made one. I recommend either gorilla glue or hot glue to glue your pieces together.

Now that your structure is complete, it is time to decorate your gumball machine. There are lots of different things you can use to decorate your gumball machine. Some options include: stickers, vinyl, flowers, ribbon, lace, and hand painted designs. Applying some lace or ribbon around the gum ball machine where the lid connects to the clear container or where the clear container connects to the terra cotta pot base would look nice. I decided to keep my design very simple, because my clear container with lid had lots of detail/design in it already. I just made a little design in Cricut Design Space, and cut it out of white permanent vinyl.

gumball machine

To make this design in Cricut Design Space I first started with a blank canvas. There is a button in the upper right hand corner of Cricut Design Space, that says new projects. This will open a blank canvas for you. On the left hand side of your screen you will see the text button. Click this and type in kisses or other word you want. With your word still selected, click on the font drop down menu in the upper left hand of your screen. You can then select which font you would like to use. If you do not have Cricut access, then some fonts will cost you to use. Fonts that cost money to use will indicate the price of that font on the left side. They will also have a download button on the right side. My design contains only free fonts. For kisses I used the font called Curlz MT. I then made another text box and typed 25 cents. For this font I used Dulcis. In the font drop down menu there is a search bar at the top, which you can use to help you find these fonts quickly. Next, with the word kisses selected, I used the curve button in the top middle of the screen, to give my word a little curve to it. You can curve your word by moving the dot, or by typing in a number. I curved my word to a diameter of about 7. I also rotated my word a little. You can also size your letters to your liking and rotate them to fit how you want. I resize my pieces when I am finished making my designs, but for your reference my kisses word was about 3.59 inches wide and 1.22 inches tall in the end. My 25 cents was about 2.11 inches wide and 0.687 inches tall.

To make the hearts in this design click on shapes on the left hand side of your screen, then select the heart shape. You can also purchase additional shapes, or buy Cricut access to get all the different shapes if you think you may use them for other projects. I made a total of 5 different hearts in my design. I resized and rotated each heart to fit my design to my liking. You can add more or less hearts or other shapes if you like. I ended up making an additional heart to replace the dot for my I. To do this I just left the dot for the I on the carrier sheet, and did not threw it away. I then lined up my extra heart over my I. Once I was happy with my design I selected the entire design, and sized it according to my gum ball machine. For my piece I made it 4 inches wide, and just made sure it was not to tall for my terra cotta pot. My design was about 2 inches tall so I was good. You can make different parts of your design different colors if you want, by selecting the item you want to change to another color, by clicking on the colored square in the operation box, then selecting the color you want. I recommend selecting all the similar colors and then clicking attach in the bottom right corner of the screen. This will keep your spacing for your pieces and make it easier when applying your design to your gum ball machine. I kept my entire design one color. So, I selected my entire design and hit attach in the bottom right corner of the screen. This keeps your design space accordingly. If you do not select attach, then when you go to make your design, then Cricut will place each piece on your mat in order to save the most material. It will then be harder to place your design on your gum ball machine and keep everything straight and spaced out correctly. So, I recommend using the attach button so it is spaced and everything for you.

Once my design was ready to go and sized accordingly, I cut it out with my Cricut machine. Any of the Cricut machines can be used to cut out this design on permanent vinyl. I like to put more pressure in my settings to make for easier weeding and to insure my design is completely cut out. Next, I weeded out my design. The white can be difficult to see and weed. I recommend using a light to help you see the cut lines. Just go carefully as you weed out your design. I also like to use my weeding tool to help hold down pieces or to remove pieces. Once my design was completely weeded out, I applied transfer tape/vinyl over my design. I then rubbed my design on both the front side and back side to help it adhere to the transfer tape. I then slowly removed the transfer tape. Your vinyl design should come up with the transfer tape. You may need to use the weeding tool to help a few pieces release from the carrier sheet and transfer to the transfer sheet. Then line up your design and place it on your gumball machine. Try to not place your design down on your gumball machine more than once. The vinyl design will want to stick to the gumball machine, and you may not be able to get it back up once it has touched it.

gumball machine

Apply any additional decorations you may want on your gumball machine, and do not forget to add your candy (fake or real) inside. If you want this to be a decorative piece rather than functional, then I suggest using pom poms in place of candy inside. This is a relatively quick and easy project to make, but it is cute. It can be functional or simply decoration. You can make different sizes depending on what you want. You can also paint them different colors to really change up the look. So, this is a great easy project to try out and its fun to get creative with. I would love to see the gum ball machines you have made, and what you used to make yours. It also helps other readers get more ideas when they go to make theirs. You can share your ideas and pictures in the comments below, email me and I will share them, or post/share them in any of our social medias. I love hearing from you and seeing how I inspired you or how you inspire others. Happy crafting.

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