Cardboard Vending Machine




I made a cardboard vending machine that 100% works with common house hold items

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Step 1: Materials

My machine is built using only cardboard, tape, a glowstick and staples.

Step 2: How It Works

Basically when you put your quarter in the coin slot it falls on a seesaw making the other end go up on top of a piece of cardboard that prevents you from moving the push and pull button. once that is up you the push the button which slides a container with a hole in the middle underneath the bucket that holds the candy. then, when you pull the button out it slides the container over a hole and the candy falls out of the container onto a ramp that brings it to where you grab your candy.

Step 3: Instructions (What You Will Need)

basically want you will need is :

-Two big Cardboard Boxes

-A hot Glue gun ( I used tape but a glue gun will be way easier)

-Scissors or a craft knife

-A cutting mat

-A wooden skewer ( I used a glow stick)

Step 4: Step One: Coin Slot

First, cut a slit for your coin towards the top of one of the cardboard boxes. To make sure you got the right size, take a coin, lay it flat on your box and draw two lines. One on each side.

Step 5: Step 2: Seesaw Mech.

Next you want to make the seesaw. take a popsicle stick and cut it into 5 pieces, they don't have to be the same size. glue those pieces to one end of a new popsicle stick, stacking them on top of each other. Then take a strip of flimsy cardboard and take your skewer, put it on the middle of the strip of cardboard, fold the cardboard over the skewer and turn the skewer in the little hole you made with the cardboard. Glue this to your stack of popsicle pieces. stick your skewer in the hole again to make sure it fits and then remove the skewer. On the side of the popsicle stick without the hole for the skewer, place a piece of popsicle stick stand up. you want to set that aside

Step 6: Step 3: Push and Pull Button

You will now make your push and pull button. take a piece of cardboard that is roughly 25cm by 10cm. cut as shown in picture (make sure hole are just big enough for the skewer to fit through).The lines are cut through halfway to make it easier to fold. fold along the cut lines to form a square. glue or tape it together.

Step 7: Step 4: Candy Catcher Thing

now you are going to make the thing that catches the candy and pushes it into the hole, on the ramp and out to where the candy comes out. Take 3 popsicles sticks and position them so that they form 3/4 of a square. place your candy in-between the popsicle sticks to make sure that your hole is big enough. where your candy ends, place a piece of cardboard so that your customer gets only one candy and not two. glue your pieces together and cut off any excess popsicle stick. set this aside.

Step 8: Step 5: Candy Holder

Take a piece of cardboard and place your candy on it. mark off where the candy ends. Sideways then long ways.

Partly cut and fold in to a rectangle like you did with the button. glue it together.

Step 9: Step 6: Putting It Together

Place the skewer through the seesaw, then through the button and at the end, glue it to the candy holder thing. At the end, where the seesaw is, glue the skewer to a piece of cardboard the height of your button. This will prevent the stuff from falling off the skewer.

place a piece of cardboard roughly 10cm under the coin slot in the box. (Make sure there is space underneath the cardboard) This will hold the mech. place the seesaw under the coin slot. Mark where the button is and cut a hole for it to go through. Pull the button through the hole. Make sure the coin falls onto the seesaw by placing your coin in the coin slot.

Then attach the candy holder above the cardboard part of the candy container. Do this by attaching strips of cardboard to the holder and the box.

Right in front of the seesaw put a piece of cardboard high enough so that the seesaw is blocked and cannot move until you drop in a coin and lifts the seesaw up.

You the have to cut a hole underneath the hole in the candy container. Then cut a hole in the front of the box where the hole you just cut is. connect a piece of cardboard from one hole to another. this will be your ramp.

If you have done it properly then your machine should be completed and working. Have fun!

Cardboard Contest 2016

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2016

Summer Fun Contest 2016

Participated in the
Summer Fun Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

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    17 Discussions


    Answer 5 days ago

    If you mean how to use it all you do is insert your coin and pull the lever/ button and your candy should come out!


    Question 6 weeks ago on Introduction

    Would it be possible to create this into a giant vending machine that can dispense balloons?

    1 answer

    Answer 6 weeks ago

    It could work! That sounds like an excellent idea. Though you would have to adjust your measurements to fit the balloons. I hope it turns out!


    2 years ago

    Get aluminum flashing in a roll from Lowes and build the same thing out of metal. Beats spending $350 for a used machine. I'm building an art vending machine for an exhibition.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Voted for the cardboard contest, this is a prototype for other materials

    1 reply
    Danyal Muhammad

    3 years ago

    You worked hard to make the machine work properly but it has no practical value.

    3 replies
    Danyal MuhammadDanika_Rennie

    Reply 3 years ago

    I didn't mean that. I was saying that in reference to the contest. I apologize for what I said to you earlier.