Valentine Bubblegum Machines

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Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day? This is going to sound horrible, but I don’t. After Christmas, I actually don’t “decorate” the house again until spring. Don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to Valentine’s Day. My husband and I usually try to plan a night out at a nice restaurant, the kids and I plan for their class parties and, once and awhile, if I’m organized, we’ll get cards and small gifts out to our immediate and extended family members.

These little gumball machines are the perfect gift for a special neighbor or friend. They’re easy to put together and look so gosh darn cute. Here’s what you’ll need to make one:

Plastic cup
Clear plastic ornament
Strong double-sided tape
Free printable offered in this post!

Start with your plastic cup, ornament and gumballs. If you want to pop a couple in your mouth while you work, it’s ok. I felt compelled to do the same thing.

Fill the ornament with the rest of the gumballs (that you didn’t put in your mouth) and put the top back on the ornament. Many of you might be thinking, “Where will I find a plastic ornament after Christmas?” Most craft stores carry these year-round.

Don’t you love these hot pink cups I found? I actually had bought these for my daughter’s birthday party last year. The party colors were hot pink and lime green. I was so happy I had a few left over for this project. If you can’t find this pink, red cups will still be fantastic.

Get the scissors and start cutting the bottom of the cup out, following the path around the first wavy line on the cup. Did that make any sense at all? I was worried it wouldn’t, thus the reason for the two photos of the cup – before and after.

Take the double-sided tape and run it along the inside of the cup to help secure the ornament. If you want it really secure, you could use super glue, I suppose. Just a word of warning, these aren’t meant to be tossed around. I wouldn’t suggest them for classroom gifts. They’re definitely something you’d maybe box up or put into a gift bag to give to a friend.

I really had a tough time with the photos for these guys. There was so much reflection coming off of the ornament. I think I tore a muscle trying to get some of these shots.

When your ornament is secure, download the printable heart and get the double-sided tape back out. You can either use tape, glue or sticker paper. It’s up to you! I used the double-sided tape for mine.

Aren’t they super cute? There’s just something about gumball machines. They’re so colorful, and, well, they just make me happy. What’s your favorite color of gumball? I have two – blue and red.

The best part of this project was seeing the look on my kids’ faces when they saw the finished products. They were super excited to try the gumballs, and even more curious to see how the “machines” were put together. My two-year-old studied hers for quite a while. Once they discovered how to open the ornaments, all bets were off, and gumballs were flying everywhere.

So, remember at the beginning of the post when I said I didn’t decorate for Valentine’s Day? Well, not true this year! Gumballs scattered about the carpet should definitely count for something, don’t you think?


  1. This is the cutest thing ever! I am going to make these for my little 4 year olds, I know they will love them!! Thank you for the fabulous idea.

  2. This is adorable and so unique! I’m impressed! Thanks for sharing! Featuring you on I Heart Nap Time today!

    • Abbey, I’m so excited! I always get excited about features, but when I’m featured on I Heart Nap Time, I celebrate. Going to grab some ice cream now! LOL Thanks SO much! You made my day!

  3. These are just too cute. What a great craft to make with and for kids for Valentine’s Day. Pinning:)

    Beth @ Hungry Happenings

  4. So simple and so cute!! I want to do this for my daughters. I would love to have you hop over and share with us at Tell Me About It Tuesday! (

  5. These are just too cute! I especially love how you repurposed the clear ornament…I have a bunch hanging around from Christmas, so thanks for inspiring me to think outside the box and come up with new creative projects for them!

    • I wanted to repurpose my clear ornaments too from a previous project over the holidays. Thanks for popping in and leaving such kind comments!

  6. I love this idea so creative. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  7. These are darling! You did a fantastic job!

    Visiting from The Pin Junkie Party!

    Shelley @ PaperCharm

  8. This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I can’t decide to make them for my daughter’s small preschool class for Valentine’s Day or for her upcoming birthday party. As you suggested, either way it will be a great party favor! I’d also love to share this in my weekly newsletter for SW Dallas Macaroni Kid ( with your permission of course. The parent’s will love this! Teia

  9. These are AMAZING!! I love them. If you get a chance, I’d love to see this on my linkup: Hope to see you there! 😉

  10. Super cute!! Great valentine idea.

  11. Do you know about how many gumballs you used for one? Just trying to figure out how many we would need for a Valentine’s Party at school. This is adorable and they are going to love it!!

    • Hi Kelly, I’m so sorry. I didn’t count them when I was making them. Your best bet would be to purchase a large container of the gumballs from Costco, Sam’s Club or Walmart and then fill one of the ornaments you plan to use to figure out how many you’ll really need. I’m sure you’ll at least need one of the larger plastic gumball containers for sure. Good luck!

  12. What size of ornament did you use?

  13. These are the cutest things ever!!

    Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again this week. (Sorry for the late comment!)

  14. These are absolutely precious and so unique! I love finding new creative ideas, this definitely falls into that category. I’ve pinned it onto my Valentines board :) Thank you for linking up last week to the Lovely Ladies link party, I wanted to let you know I’ve featured it this week at our new party! You can check it out here if you’d like
    and we’d love for you to come by again. Have a great week.
    -Molly from Just a Little Creativity

  15. Those are so stinking cute!!! Might have to make some for my employees!!

  16. Alexandria Taylor says:

    This is a fun, cute and easy way to make a gumball machine for my pre-k class. How you get the gumballs out?

    • Hi Alexandria – You need to open the bottom of the ornament to get the gumballs out. Smaller children should be supervised by responsible adults when opening the ornament. Good luck!

  17. These are adorable!!! What size cup is that? 12, 16, 18 oz??

  18. Believe146 says:

    This is such a good idea. I am thinking about making these fr my friends at school.


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