Need ideas for easy DIY Valentines for kids? This DIY mini gumball machine is the perfect Valentine for your little mini me’s! Kids absolutely love these replica gumball machines filled with multi-colored gumballs or Valentine’s day candy. Plus they’re simple and easy to make. Keep reading to learn how to make this easy Valentine’s day craft for kids. Plus explore other ideas for easy DIY Valentines for kids along with free printable valentines for your creations.
Candies and sweets were always a favorite of mine growing up. And the holidays were no exception. I loved getting homemade Valentine’s Day baskets from my parents as a kid. They were always filled with my favorites, like conversation hearts, chocolate and bubble gum! While I’m not much into sweets so much these days, with the exception of dark chocolate, if I get my hands on some bubble gum it’s legit gone by the end of the day. (Like seriously, how is it the flavor still last like 5 minutes after all these years?)
DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts
If you’re kids love gumballs and bubblegum as much as I did growing up (and still do!) then this Valentine’s day craft for a mini gumball machine is a must! These are such easy DIY valentines for kids. You can make this craft project in multiples if you have several children at home. Or even create groups of these gumball machines for your kids to give as homemade valentines for their classmates or friends.
Children can also help with this Valentine’s day craft. Tweens and teens can take over this project entirely. While younger kids can assist with some of the simpler steps for this project. If you have a toddler at home, they can assist by placing the heart shaped stickers onto the mini gumball machine at the end. They can also help fill the clear plastic ornaments with the gumballs. Just be sure they don’t sneak too many in the process!
Supplies for Making Mini Gumball Machines
Not only are these DIY valentines for kids easy to make, you won’t spend a ton on materials and supplies. Here’s what you’ll need to make DIY mini gumball machines.
- Multi-colored Gumballs: No gumball machine is complete without gumballs to fill it up. You can use round gumballs for this Valentine’s day craft. Or try these fun Nerds filled gumballs.
- Clear Fillable Round Ornaments: If you have extra ornaments leftover from Christmas, or that you bought on clearance, this easy idea for DIY valentines for kids is the perfect way to put them to good use. The clear round ornaments will serve as the top of your gumball machine that holds the gumballs inside.
- Red Solo Cups: Red solo cups, or other disposable red cups, act as the base for your mini gumball machines.
- Heart Shaped Stickers or Scrapbook Paper: You can use either heart shaped stickers or Valentine’s day themed scrapbook paper, cut into shapes, to decorate your Valentine’s day craft. While sticker are the easiest way to decorate the base of your mini gumball machine, you can also tape on heart shapes cut from scrapbook paper or colored construction paper.
Tools Needed for this Valentine’s Day Craft
In addition to the supplies for these easy DIY valentines for kids, you’ll also need a few tools to complete the project. Here are the tools need to construct your DIY mini gumball machine for Valentine’s day gifts.
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks: In order to craft your gumball machines, you’ll need a hot glue gun to attach the clear ornament to the red disposable cup that serves as the base. This is the fastest and easiest way to hold the two parts together.
- Rubber Band: While not necessary, a rubber band does make the completion of this project easier. A rubber band allows you to evenly cut the Solo cup down the height of the cup to be used as a base for your mini gumball machine.
- Sharpie Marker: You will need a Sharpie or permanent marker to draw a line around the cup. This line will serve as a guide to help you evenly cut off the top half of the cup.
- Scissors: You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors to cut the cups for your DIY mini gumball machines. Additionally, should you choose to decorate your DIY valentines for kids using scrapbook paper or construction paper in lieu of stickers, you’ll also need them to cut out the desired shapes.
- Tape or Glue Dots: If you’re using paper to decorate your Valentine’s day craft, you’ll need tape or glue dots to affix the decorations to the front of your DIY valentines for kids. Hot glue will work as well, however, it’s a bit much when working with simply paper. Tape or glue dots are also safe for the kids to use if they are helping to make these DIY mini gumball machines. You’ll also use tape to secure the ornament closed once you fill it with gumballs.
How to Make Mini Gumball Machines
To make each DIY mini gumball machine, first gather the materials and supplies you need for this Valentine’s day craft. Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to begin.
First, make the base for the gumball machine. To do this, place a rubber band around the center of the disposable red cup. Then use a Sharpie or a permanent marker to trace a line onto the cup along the rubber band.
Remove the rubber band from the cup. Then cut off the top half of the cup along the line you just drew using a sharp pair of scissors. Repeat this process for each mini gumball machine you want to make. Then set the cups aside.
Now open the clear fillable plastic ornament by separating the two halves. Fill the ornament with as many gumballs as it will hold. Place the two sides of the ornament back together and secure with a small piece of tape. If you are making more than one gumball machine, repeat for each additional machine you plan to make.
Next, use the scissors to cut a slit into the bottom of the cup. Flip the cup over so the bottom of the cup is faceup, while the open side of the cup is face down. Then place the ornament onto the cup so the loop on the top slides into the slit you cut.
Now use a small amount of hot glue to secure the ornament to the cup. Apply the glue to the inside of cup where the ornament loop pokes through. Then repeat the process with the additional cups and ornaments you prepared.
Flip the cup back over so that the cup is the base for the mini gumball machine with the gumball filled ornament on top. Then add stickers or decorative paper to the base of each one, as desired.
Printable Valentines for Kids
Once you’ve make your mini gumball machines for Valentine’s Day, you’re DIY valentines for kids are ready to gift! If desired, you can add a colorful, printable valentine to go along with your creation. I created two versions of my “I Chews You” printable valentines for kids to go along with this project. One version of these valentines features four large cards. The other has 8 small printable valentines. Both sets can be printed onto a single 8.5″ x 11″ page of cardstock.
You can download the set of 4 printable valentines for kids here.
Or download and print the set of 8 printable kids valentines here.
Easy DIY Valentines for Kids
If you enjoyed my Valentine’s day craft for making DIY mini gumball machines, then you’ll also love these easy DIY valentines for kids.
- DIY Mini Perfume Valentines with Printables
- Kid-Friendly DIY Glitter Perfume
- DIY Valentine’s Day Soaps for Kids
- Free Printable Valentines for Kids
- Dollar Tree Valentines with Conversation Hearts
- Heart Shaped Jelly Soaps
If you like my DIY valentines for kids, then be sure to check out my other Valentine’s day crafts. You can also follow Becca Ink on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for more holiday inspired DIY ideas.