Introduction: The Awesomest Jelly Bean Dispenser Ever

Picture of The Awesomest Jelly Bean Dispenser Ever

Here is an idea that has you both building and enjoying a delicious snack for the afternoon! Yep, thats right, a JELLY BEAN DISPENSER! (also works for M&Ms.) Sorry about the sideways pictures. I cant really figure out how to fix that. oops! :)

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For this project, I used...
- 2 4''x4'' pieces of wood 7/8'' thick
- 1 31/2"x31/2" piece of wood 11/2" thick (31/2" 2x4)
- 1 31/2''x31/2'' piece of wood 1'' thick.
- 1 61/2'' to 10'' long piece of wood 1'' thick and 1'' wide
- 1/4'' dowel
- thin piece of wood at least 11/2'' long and exactly 1'' wide
- Mason Jar and cover. (screw on part)
- wood glue
- very small nails
- nails that are able to secure the wood good (not to long, not to short.)
- 1/2'' drill bit
- drill bit the size of the very small nails
- 3/4'' or 15/16'' drill bit
- Table saw
- Band/Scroll saw
- Tape measure
- Square
- Hammer
- Punch
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Varnish, Paint, or Polyurethane.
- Jelly Beans!!!!

Step 2: Cut and Drill

Picture of Cut and Drill

Cut all your wood down to size, and then mark the two 4x4'' top and bottom. find the middle of the top block and drill a hole in it with the 3/4'' or 15/16'' drill bit. Set both pieces aside. take the thin 31/2''x31/2'' piece, and the long piece of wood of the same width. (1'') Put the top 4x4'' piece and place it atop the thin 31/2''x31/2''. Using a pencil, put a dot into the 31/2'' piece through the hole, so you know where to place your long piece. center the long piece of wood over the dot, and mark where it is with a pencil. make the lines you just made about 1/16'' bigger, and cut out on any saw, just make sure it is even. After this, carefully glue and nail down the wood you cut onto the thicker 31/2x31/2'' piece.

Step 3: More Cutting, Drilling, and Gluing!

Picture of More Cutting, Drilling, and Gluing!

Take the long piece of wood, and make a line 1/2'' down. find the middle of this new, smaller section, and with the 1/4'' bit, drill a hole in the center. Do not drill through the wood, but go far down. About 3'' down from the hole you just made, mark a 11/4'' space. turning it on its side, mark a line that is 1/6'' above the bottom. from there, make 2 30 degree angles that go down to just a bit more than the length of a regular m&m or jelly belly jelly bean.
Cut out this space. (also look at the pictures below) Take the 1/2'' drill bit, and drill a small circle into the slot you just made. this will make it so the jelly bean will not fall out of the slot as easily. 

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

take the 31/2'' blocks that you put together, and center, glue, and nail the top and bottom 4x4'' pieces to it. Make sure the hole in the top piece is directly above the opening in the pieces of wood. (smaller 31/2'' that were cut earlier) once this is done, take the long piece of wood and place it inside the opening. it should fit snuggly, but slide easily. If it does not, sand or cut out more from the sides. once you do this, get the 1/4'' dowel, and put it in the small hole in the mechanism. (long piece of wood) mark the dowel so just a small bit goes above the top 4x4'' piece. cut and glue inside the hole. Now, take the thin scrap wood and cut a piece that is about 1/2'' bigger than the back of the mechanism. making sure the wood is inside the opening, glue to the back, and add a small nail if you wish. You should now have a working dispenser, with out the jar on top.

Step 5: The Jar

Picture of The Jar

Take the lid to your jar, make sure it has a hole in it bigger than the hole in the top piece of the wood, and carefully drill about six holes in it that are the size of your very small nails. center the lid on the top of the dispenser, and using a hammer and punch, carefully nail it in place. put on the jar, and voila, you have an almost finished jelly bean dispenser!

Step 6: The Finishing Touches

Picture of The Finishing Touches

Erase any pencil marks, add a coat of varnish, paint, or polyurethane, and you have a finished jelly bean dispenser! For a cooler design, you could try using an old lightbulb for the jar, or even a tree stump instead of the wood! I hope you enjoyed my instructable! Even if it is a bit confusing! (this is my 2nd instructable)


JerryM117 made it! (author)2017-05-18

I have made one similar to this one years ago, and had not seen one that someone else had made until I saw yours.

pbelloli (author)2017-02-24

Thanks for the inspiration. It was a fun project and good use of scrap wood. Keep the ideas coming!

rorih3450 (author)2016-08-16

do you have to use jelly beans or can you use something else?

finnsmith made it! (author)2016-04-23

This was awesome! It worked great!

Glad you enjoyed it!

OttoP4 made it! (author)2016-07-12

I made this special one out of big walnut and ash planks. It was quite a work to cut and plane everything, but it was worth it. This special one goes to my special one as her birthday gift. Hope she'll love it :D

OutdoorGirl16196 (author)OttoP42016-07-22

That looks awesome!

CalinB3 (author)2016-07-21

definately gonna make this

NormaD6 (author)2015-08-24

Might I suggest a good hard wood and food-safe polyurethane? I would be hard pressed to use a wood candy dispenser if it did not have a good food-safe finish!

ColeH12 (author)NormaD62016-03-04

As long as the polyurethane dries, it should be fine. The only non-foodsafe part in poly is the carrier that keeps it a liquid. Once, it evaporates, it should be fine.

JosephT10 (author)NormaD62015-12-19

Good point.

Mineral oil or beeswax are also food safe - could do the outer pieces with whatever you stain and finish you like, and do the areas that are in contact with the candies with the food safe version.

SmarmyT made it! (author)2015-12-03

Two versions that I made. Both were just using scrap wood, screws, the jar (and lid), m&ms, a power drill, and a clamp. Very easy, very fun, and very tasty.

gloriluis (author)2015-11-13

gracias por sus proyectgos son muy profesionales

MichaelH160 (author)2015-10-10

I purchased a similar one of these at an event in town.. All the skittles pick up the wood flavor.. Is there a way to fix this?

19kschafer (author)2015-01-04

This project is very fun and pretty easy. It takes a few hours but the product works great! I tried a different style for the sliding piece of wood. I cut an entire hole in the wood so that you could easily put your hand underneath it and let the jelly beans fall into your hand.

Great idea! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Hi I'm making this in a school project and I don't really get the measurements so can you please give it to me in CM

MichaelH160 (author)jokingbatman2015-10-10

Multiply everything by 2.54

MichaelH160 (author)MichaelH1602015-10-10

Whoops I mean divide.. Divide everything by 2.54

hizane1501 (author)2015-07-06

I made this with tools that I made from this same site! So fun! Thanks

buck2217 (author)2015-07-01

Cute dispenser

360B (author)2015-06-28

is this an American site?

if so then DAMN

Iamjillian (author)2015-03-25

Looks cool! I love Jelly Belly Jelly Beans! What's your favorite brand of Jelly Beans?

Matthew McDonald (author)2014-12-04

Is it determined how long the project takes? I have an hour or so for my engineering class and we get to build whatever we want, so I am going to work on this. And if you have anything else you made out of wood, could you make sure I can see them, because if it doesn't take long, then I need to build another thing, so Thanks!

The project should take less than an hour. I have built cutting boards, wooden spoons, pens, wooden bowls, etc. that are easy and fun to make! (in a short amount of time)

Thanks, and the project looks fun. It's only a matter of time before I can start building it.. XD

pclarke2 (author)2014-09-26

Great little build I can do many times using all my scraps I have lying round.

I used pine with mahogany top and bottom.


That looks great!!

michaelgc (author)2014-09-22

Great little project, thanks for the idea...

no problem

olboyuk (author)2014-06-24

Made one with my son last night. So simple but effective.

OutdoorGirl16196 (author)olboyuk2014-11-11

I'm glad you liked it!

SlickSqueegie (author)2014-06-17

nice work! Wasn't confusing at all, you did great.

My son just made one in Jr. High tech class

Thanks! and thats awesome!

CheerNationsAcronessG (author)2014-10-23

how is thw jelly beans supposed to come out

when you pull that thing on the side it opens the hole for the jelly beans to pur out then you push the stick and the jelly beans are pushed out

akwhitacre made it! (author)2014-07-04

Really easy to make, but with the humidity that's kicked in here this summer, jelly beans just aren't playing nice. However, any kind of hard candy has worked well. I bored a larger hole (after determining jelly beans didn't work for me) and made *two* cutouts into the slider: a shallow one for small candies, and a deeper one on the opposite side for peanut M&Ms.

A few key changes/notes for my slider vs. the one in this tutorial...

1. The 30-degree cut into the slider was too steep to prevent jams. I made a longer, shallower cut...maybe ~60 degrees...that more easily guided extra pieces back up into the bore hole. (My second cut-out for peanut M&Ms was fine to leave at 90 degrees.)

2. I didn't make the front 30-degree cut. After testing, it just didn't seem necessary.

3. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for dispensers used by kids, I didn't add a back stop. I wanted to be able to pull the slider out all the way in case of a particularly bad jam, which, in the case of soft candies, can leave a gummy residue that keeps the slider from sliding easily from then on. Leaving off the stop means I can clean the slider when needed.

Other small touches you can see in the attached photo: I routed a curved edge into the two 4" pieces, and I hot-stamped a logo (check out this tutorial) on the front right.

Other recommendations...

Use a miter saw instead of a table saw if you have one. Not only is it quicker, you can use it to trim the edge where the 1x2's sit atop the 2x4's and make them perfectly flush.

The dowel is so tight you really don't need glue. You never know if, over time, it will crack or get broken, and you'll want to be able to replace it if needed.

Rub a white candle on the slider to get a smoother slide.

Line up your wood grains.

If you do make a second cut-out for larger candies, remember to add a dowel to the other side of the slider. If you check out my photo, you'll see I drilled all the way through the slider; I trimmed about 1/3 off two dowels and placed one on each side of the hole.

Wow! I love your recomendations! It turned out great. This was a very early project of mine, so I now know that the miter saw would have been a better choice (oops!) Also, The wood grain! ah! I knew something wasn't right!

Fishyfish123 (author)2014-06-17

Shelby, you could maybe turn it upside down.

Love it!!

15303shelby (author)2014-06-17

Fantastic idea what if you wanted to refill the container and there is still jelly beans in it just wondering

And this was not at all confusing to me awesome job

kbc2 (author)2014-06-16

pretty cool! my 3 y/o daughter had no idea what i was reading but saw the jelly beans and told me to make one. as stated in another comment, be careful on the spacing of numbers when giving measurements, 3 1/2 vs. 31/2. but still a great i'ble!

emilyvanleemput (author)2012-08-10

mmm, I wonder what happenned to the red jellybean :)

It went back into the jar...?

hahaha, i guess the world will never know...... :)

jlepack (author)2014-03-09

I loved this instructable. I built one similar to this. very fun project.

OutdoorGirl16196 (author)jlepack2014-05-17

Thank you!

kosteej (author)2014-01-16

Hi! I love this! Do you think it could be possible to re-create the pieces using a 3-D printer?

OutdoorGirl16196 (author)kosteej2014-01-25

yeah, I think so. I have absolutely no experience with 3-D printers, but from what I've heard, this would be a really easy project to make with one. And thanks! I'm glad you like it!

brandt e (author)2014-01-06

I might make one out of a log.

Great idea!

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to figure out how to build stuff. I will occasionally document my work. Enjoy!
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