How to Make a Doll Gumball Machine

Introduction: How to Make a Doll Gumball Machine

About: Wife, mom, Christian, Geek. Crafter, jewelry-maker, cosplayer, and doll mom.
Simple method for creating an old-timey gumball machine for your 15-18: doll, such as American Girl.
This idea was borrowed with permission from Kathleen at Katworks. You can find her online at:

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Step 1: You Need:

  • cup, such as from applesauce, yogurt, or pudding, washed and dried
  • black primer spray paint (optional, but will yield better results)
  • acrylic or spray paint in desired shade (I used red for the older look)
  • clear coat spray paint, mod podge, or other sealant
  • clear round Christmas ornament (or other clear sphere with an opening)
  • pom-poms (small to medium-sized) in multiple colors for best look
  • hot glue gun
  • paintbrushes (if not using only spray paint)

Step 2: Prime & Paint

Prime and paint the cup and lid/topper of your ornament. You may need multiple layers of acrylic paint over the primer. If you choose to skip primer, rub lightly over surface of cup with a bit of sandpaper to dull the smoothness a little before painting. Clear coat and set aside to dry.

Step 3: Add "Gumballs"

Add the pom-poms to the ornament. Fill it as full as you'd like, but don't pack too tightly or the pom-poms will squish and lose their round gumball shape.

Step 4: Mount the Ball

Once the paint is dry and you've replaced the lid/topper o the ornament (you could seal it with glue to keep it more secure), it's time to put it all together.

Cut an X shape, or cut a small hole in the bottom of the cup to help the ball push in a little and sit more securely, then glue the ornament onto the cup.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Your dolls now have a fun, old-timey gumball machine! If you used an ornament for the ball, then this craft doubles as a fun, unique, handmade Christmas ornament as well.

If you'd like, you can add a dowel rod and round base for a free-standing machine.

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thank you! Yes, that's Kit.


    3 years ago

    Wow! Nice! Is that the American Girl Kit Kitteridge?? I just watched that movie!

    that's cool, i made a gumball machine too using an arcade toy container, a shot glass and pom poms