Introduction: DIY Cardboard Gas Pump Gumball Machine

About: I like crafting and making stuff

Gumball machines can bring great joy to the people around them. Invented in 1907, the bring a long history of distributing gumballs. However, gas pumps go back even further to 1885, making them more historic than the gumball machine. These two classic inventions are both unique in their own ways, so I decided to try and combine the two.


For this project you will need:

  • cardboard
  • hot glue
  • red spray paint
  • white duct tape
  • silver duct tape
  • a sharpie
  • a pencil
  • gumballs
  • a plastic container
  • a ruler
  • scissors
  • velcro
  • clear packing tape

Step 1: Making the Gumball Dropper

Cut out 2 cardboard circles with a one inch diameter. Cut out a piece of cardboard that has the same thickness of your gumballs, but also has a length that is longer than the perimeter of the two circles you made. Glue your cardboard strip around the perimeter of one of the circles, making sure you leave a gap that can fit a gumball. Using your remaining cardboard from the strip, make a U shape and connect it to the other end of the cardboard strip. Cut the remaining cardboard off.

Step 2: Making the Gumball Machine Walls and Catch

Make a square that is 14cmx14cm and 5 rectangles that are 14cmx22.5cm. Take one of the rectangles and glue it to the middle of the 14x14 square. On the left and right side of the square, glue on a rectangle. Next, make a funnel that can dispense one gumball at a time. Take a pencil and stick it right through the piece of cardboard in the middle of the square. Next, stick the pencil through the middle of the gumball dropper and glue it on. Cut out two strips of cardboard and glue them about half way up of the right and left side of the cardboard rectangles. Angle them inward and take a rectangular piece of cardboard and place it where the two pieces will be angled down. Once you have marked that spot, remove the extra piece of cardboard and from that point, and bend the two strips to be going strait down. Take another one of your rectangles and cut a hole out where the pencil sticks out, the funnel sticks out, and cut 2 slits where you would retrieve the gumballs. Finally, glue that piece onto the front of the square.

Step 3: Making a Drawer

Taking your remaining rectangle, cut it in half. Glue one of those halves to the top of the machine, and trim about one centimeter off the other half. Cut out an identical piece of cardboard to the remaining piece from the rectangle. Cut out two pieces of cardboard that have a length of 8.5 cm and the height of the two rectangles. Glue all of those pieces together. Make the bottom by tracing the inside of the box and cutting it out. If this is all done correctly, you will be left with a rectangular prism that has no top. Finally, cut out three identical squares, glue them together, and glue them to the center of the front of box.

Step 4: Making the Top

Cut out a piece of cardboard that is 11cmx14cm and glue that to the top back of the machine. Next, cut out pieces of cardboard that can be glued around the funnel.

Step 5: Adding the Gumballs and Final Customizations

Spray paint the entire gumball machine red. Next, cover the pencil with white tape and the edges with silver duct tape. Print out a Flying A Service logo, cover it in clear packing tape, and glue it to the flap where the gumballs will come out. Get your plastic container and cut out most of the lid. Hot glue the lid to the top of the funnel. Cut out another Flying A Service logo, cover the top in clear packing tape, and glue it to the front of the container. To make the pump, cut out two strips of cardboard. Wrap one strip around the upper half of a sharpie, and glue the other piece two the sharpie in an upward angle. cover the whole thing in silver duct tape and add a small piece of velcro to the side. Glue another piece of velcro to the right side of the machine. Finally, add your gumballs to the container and screw it onto the machine.

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