Introduction: Gumball Machine Costume

About: Hi! I'm a slightly feral mountain hermit that likes to be helpful. I do community management at Instructables & Tinkercad. 🙌 Want to hear me chat about making? Search "CLAMP Podcast" on YouTube or your favorit…

This year I decided to go as a gumball machine. It's silly and a great excuse to wear copious amounts of pom poms. :D

I saw a picture on Pinterest and immediately went full on arms-flailing-that-is-so-adorable mode and knew I wanted to recreate the costume.

A gumball machine is a really great last minute costume!

P.S. Please pardon my lack of in progress photos. I made this costume from about 8:30 pm to 2 am on the 29th and somewhere along the way entirely forgot to pick up the camera. Ha!

P.P.S. This costume is WARM. The top doesn't breathe at all. But you will give and receive awesome fluffy hugs while wearing it. So I guess it evens out?

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • pom poms (any size you like, really - I used a mix of sizes. I pretty much bought out the whole stock at the Joanns near me.)
  • a red pencil/mini skirt (I made mine, more info in later steps!)
  • a black or white tank top
  • white felt
  • black felt
  • silver/grey felt
  • safety pins
  • glue gun + sticks

Pretty easy! I was able to complete this costume in about six hours, but I bet it will only take you a couple hours or so if you don't insist on making the skirt yourself. :D

Step 2: Make/buy the Skirt

I couldn't find a skirt that fit well or wasn't really short, so I decided to sew up a knit pencil skirt. I found some thick red jersey at Michael's that looked perfect for it!

The most important thing here is that the skirt you choose has a bit of a high waist and fits close to the body near the waistline.

I have never sewn clothing from jersey before, so it was definitely a learning experience, haha!

If you're interested in making your own custom skirt, have a look at these two links:

My three biggest tips for sewing jersey:

  1. Use a ball point sewing needle and stretch stitches
  2. Use a walking foot
  3. Don't stretch the fabric as you sew

P.S. Don't have paper for drafting? Use some old wrapping paper and masking tape to reinforce it. Thank you Christmas kitties!!!

Step 3: Glue on the Pom Poms

The clearance tank top I bought was super long. Why do all tank tops hit at mid thigh these days? WHAT KIND OF GIANTS ARE BUYING THESE TANK TOPS?? I cut it off right where the waistline of my skirt sits so I could avoid lines under the skirt. I also did a super rough hem to keep it from curling.

Once that was done, I put on the tank top and the skirt and marked where the top of the waist of the skirt sat with safety pins - that way I'd know not to glue pom poms lower than that.

There are tons of ways to add the pom poms, but I did it the fast and easy way - just covered the majority of the front with pom poms. Just apply a good amount of glue to each, and hold it in place until it cools.

Once I had the tank top front mostly filled, I put it on and added pom poms wherever there were any big gaps.

Try not to go overboard on the hot glue - you can glue the back of the tank top to the front pretty easily. ;)

Step 4: Make the "metal" Plate for the Front of the Machine

This is easy enough - I just cut pieces of out felt and glued them together. :)

For this part, I decided to use Fabri-Tac, the best textile glue that has ever existed in the history of everything. It dries clear and it's flexible unlike hot glue.

Step 5: Pin on the Front Plate and Party!

I decided to go with safety pinning it on because I didn't want to ruin the skirt, but if you bought a cheapo skirt, you could just as easily glue it on. :D

Halloween Costume Contest

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Halloween Costume Contest