How to Make Gumball Machines Out of Wood

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Gumball machines or dispensers that you can purchase at a store or online are typically constructed of plastic. If you want to make your own gumball machine a design can be created using an old glass jar and pieces of wood, such as cherry. You can make your own gumball dispenser by first obtaining the tools and materials needed to complete the project. You can find these at your local hardware or home improvement store.

Label the wooden disks 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a pencil.

Set the top of a glass canning jar on the top of the wooden disk labeled 1. Draw around the top of the jar with the pencil. Repeat this step for disk number 3.

Place a hole saw attachment into the power drill and drill a hole into wooden disks 1 and 3. Set the wooden disks aside.

Take the cut piece of wood from one of the wooden disks. Drill a half inch hole that is half an inch from the center of the wood. Drill a quarter inch hole into the side of the wood.

Place a half inch drill bit into the power drill. Drill a hole half an inch from the middle of the three remaining wooden disks.

Drill a quarter inch hole into the side of wooden disk number 3, so that it intersects the top hole. Expand the hole three quarters of an inch on each side.

Drill a half inch hole into the side of wooden disks 4 so that it intersects the top hole. Make a mark half an inch from the edge of the side hole. Cut a groove from the center hole to the mark using the router. This is the exit chute for the gumball.

Apply one to two beads of wood glue around the edge of wooden disks 4, 3 and 2. Stack the wooden disks in order from 1 to 4. Insert the small wooden disk from step 4 into the center of disk 3.

Apply wood glue to the end of the 1/4-inch dowel. Insert the dowel into the hole in wooden disk number 3 and the wood disk insert.

Attach clamps to the wooden disks and then wait for the glue to dry for at least five hours. Remove the clamps and sand the gumball base with the sandpaper.

Add mini gumballs to the jar and then place the base on top. Turn the gumball machine over and place it on a table. Slide the level to get a gumball out of the machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 4 wooden disks, 1-by-4 inch
  • Glass canning jar
  • Router
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • 1/4-inch wood dowel
  • Sandpaper
  • Mini gumballs


  • Use a metal pin to align the holes when assembling the gumball machine.