We chose to make a vending machine for my son’s costume. We obviously used a box that fit his size but with the 4 flaps facing forward- these would be easier to cut for the viewing part of the vending area.

The outside box was painted with a black gloss paint and black duck tape was used for the corner edges. The front half of the costume was a second cardboard (L-shaped) insert that would make the vending section. We wrapped that piece of cardboard with a silver reflective contact paper, used square ¼” dowel rods cut to width – actually about 3” longer since we poked the rod through the right side for support and it was hidden behind the button panel and glued to the left side of the box with Gorilla Glue.

We then used plastic slinkies: we slit the back of the box and twisted a few revolutions of slinky through the slot, slightly stretching it to the front of the dowel rods where we super- glued them. We very carefully opened the candy wrappers, removed the candy and re-stuffed the wrapper with fiber-fill stuffing and taped them back shut. We super-glued the wrappers to the inside spaces of the slinkies – we used 3 wrappers per slinky.

Make sure you mark each item with its code before gluing everything together. We used a shoe box at the bottom and made 3 cuts so that it could be pushed in. The glass front was a plexi glass panel which was glued to short square dowel rod “stoppers” on top of the shoe box. All other flaps had adhesive that would glue the plexi to the front flaps.

As for the control button panel, we used yellow and white foam sheets from the hobby store; small squares were cut out of the yellow foam stock and glued to a piece of white foam stock, cut to size. The coin slot actually worked in ours, but doesn’t have to; we taped a box just behind the coin slot. The change pocket was fake, just glued directly onto the box. The Snacks and Push signs were printed on full labels and adhered to the box.

And there we have the Coolest Homemade Vending Machine costume!