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Coolest Homemade Life-Sized Gumball Machine Costume

I decided early I wanted to be a Bubblegum machine, life sized. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and kept adding, and adding.

For the head I papermached a giant balloon, cut holes into it and hot glued pom pom balls on it.  I originally started with bingo dabbers but it was not cutting it. Then I thought I would glue only half of the “gumballs” on the machine,. And inevitably took another trip to the Dollarstore and went all glue crazy.  I hot glued a metal pie plate to the bottom of the head piece to help it stay on and balance. Then I outlined it with aluminum tinfoil. I glued a red hat on top. For my body I had my leggings from a previous robot costume and taped 5c with electrical tape on a red shirt. I broke a plastic gumball machine and glued it onto a belt that I had spray painted silver.  There you have it!

This is by far my favorite costume but it definitely had a few downfalls such as straining my neck, bruising my chin and allowing me no peripheral vision. In retrospect the balloon could have been a bit smaller as I had to use my chin to hold it up and it wasn’t light. The bruise was still worth it, everyone loved the costume.

Head Piece:

 I purchased giant balloon from the Dollarstore. Looked up a paper mache recipe on the internet and volunteered my mother’s sun room for my space to create.  I paper-mached the balloon with 3 coats. It took a few days to dry and was very messy.

Once it dried, I popped the balloon and cut out two holes a) for my head  b)face. I cut my face hole small to start then had a friend outline how big the hole still needed to be. Remember… It’s much easier to make the hole bigger than smaller

I hot glued a metal pie plate to the bottom for support and balance. Then I outlined it with tinfoil and hot glued it on.


 I purchased multicolored and sized puff/pompom balls from the Dollarstore and hot glued them on the papermached head piece (you could also bingo dabbers). This step was the most tedious.

Top Hat:

I super glued a red top hat on an angle over the pom pom balls.


 I had the leggings already. You could have grey pants or leggings as well. I originally  spray painted shiny black leggings silver (I put flyers rolled up in the middle when spray painting).


I picked up a red shirt from the thrift store and wrote 5C on electrical tape.

I glued aluminum tinfoil over a cut cereal box.Then I spray painted an old belt silver. I glued th rectangular tinfoil piece to the belt and glued the money slot on top.

Note*  I broke a plastic toy gumball machine for the money slot.


I painted my nose like a gumball and carried around gumballs all night.

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

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