How to Make Gumball Machine Jewelry

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I always begged my mom for a quarter whenever I would see those gumball machines with the little treasures in them. I never got the exact one I wanted on the first try so I was left with a pile of second choices. What to do with these little trinkets? Try making jewelry! It's time to clean out your junk drawer and gather all those party favors and Happy Meal toys to make some trinket-inspired jewelry.

Things You'll Need

  • Trinkets or small toys
  • Necklace chain cut to desired length
  • Jump rings - I used 8mm to connect the trinkets and 4mm to connect the clasp
  • Clasp for each necklace made
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Spray Paint (optional)
  • Ring base (if making a ring)
  • White glue (if making a ring)
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Glue gun or crazy glue (if making a ring)
Make a fancy necklace out of gum ball machine toys.
Make a fancy necklace out of gum ball machine toys. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 1

Gather all your trinkets and decide on which will look good together on a necklace. Make a little collection of items that go together. For a necklace, get your chain and larger jump rings and your needle nose pliers. If jewelry making is new to you, I highly recommend finding a mom-and-pop specialty store because they provide helpful tips and will ensure you'll get the right supplies.

Gather all your trinkets and decide what to include on your necklace.
Gather all your trinkets and decide what to include on your necklace. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 2

If your trinket does not have a hole for a jump ring you will need to make one. Luckily these little bananas have the perfect spot to put the jump ring through. Use the needle nose pliers to slightly open ring and fish it through the hole on the banana (or whatever you are using).

Gather all supplies and attached jump ring to trinket.
Gather all supplies and attached jump ring to trinket. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 3

Decide how you want your trinkets arranged on the chain. I am using three bananas, so I found the middle of my chain and added my first trinket. Loop the jump ring with the trinket attached through a link on the chain. Use the needle nose pliers to close the ring. If you don't close it well the ring will open and you will lose your little toy.

Attach the trinkets to the chain and space them out evenly.
Attach the trinkets to the chain and space them out evenly. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 4

When you are finished adding your items, attach the clasp. Use the smaller jump ring, in my case 4mm, and open it with your needle nose pliers and attach it to the clasp. Then attach the jump ring holding the clasp to one end of the chain. Close the ring securely. I used a very open chain so I didn't need to attach a larger ring to the other end of the chain for the clasp to attach to when wearing it. You may need to use one of your 8mm rings if you are using a fine chain.

Attach your clasp to one end of the chain.
Attach your clasp to one end of the chain. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 5

Now you've finished your necklace! I still have more trinkets though - time for round two.

No one will ever believe this necklace is made from a gumball machine!
No one will ever believe this necklace is made from a gumball machine! (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 6

I have a lot of these little animals with a little plastic parachutes attached. They are cute but I wanted it to make it a little less kindergarten. Solution? Gold spray paint. I cut off the little parachute and spray painted the front, waited for them to dry and spray painted the back.

Class up the toys with gold spray paint.
Class up the toys with gold spray paint. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 7

Follow the same steps as you did for the first necklace, and attached your painted trinkets to the chain. Attach the clasp to the back as well, like you did with the first necklace.

Follow steps 1-4 for your second necklace.
Follow steps 1-4 for your second necklace. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 8

The painted toys make this necklace the perfect statement piece!

Everyone looks good in gold.
Everyone looks good in gold. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 9

Maybe a necklace is not for you? Let's make you a toy cocktail ring. Select items that have a flat back. This will make attaching the trinket to the ring base much easier. The items can use a little sparkle as well. I covered the item in white glue and covered them in glitter. Set aside to dry.

Glitter makes everything more fun.
Glitter makes everything more fun. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 10

Use hot glue or a stronger crazy glue to attach the trinket to the base. Let dry before wearing.

Glue the trinket to the ring base.
Glue the trinket to the ring base. (Image: Susie Delaney)

Step 11

These sparkly rings are so glamorous. Make these easy jewelry pieces with kids, or make some and give them out as fun gifts or party favors!

I have always wanted a hamburger ring.
I have always wanted a hamburger ring. (Image: Susie Delaney)

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Tips & Warnings

  • This can be made with kids with supervised help from adults.
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