I picked up this cute and fun pink bubble gum machine at a yard sale a couple months ago. I knew I wasn’t going to fill it with candy of any sort, but I just knew I had to have it for something. So I bought it and I stared at it knowing that it needed a second life. Finally, inspiration hit. I love terrariums and pop them in mason jars and canisters. What if I took that idea and made a terrarium inside my gumball machine? I was pretty pleased with how it came out. Now my Upcycled Gumball Machine Terrarium sits in a place of honor in front of the window on our science shelf.
Upcycled Gumball Machine Terrarium
- Gumball machine
- Succulent plants
- Small pebbles or rocks
- Aluminum foil
- Optional: gnomes, fairies, or other decorative miniatures
1. Remove the top of gumball machine by taking off the top screw- this is easily done with a quarter, credit card, or flat head screwdriver.
2. Make a nest with the aluminum foil, pressing it into the cracks on the outside and in the center around the metal pole. Note: I am not planning on using my gumball machine later for food. If you are, you may wish to seal off the upper area a little better. This is my quick fix to keep the majority of water, rocks, and soil from getting inside the mechanisms.
3. Next place a layer of small rocks or pebbles to help with drainage.
4. Place about 2″ of soil on top of pebbles, then place your succulents as desired.
5. Mist plants and soil lightly to dampen but not saturate.
6. Cover with a 1/4″ layer of sand.
6. If you want to add a touch of whimsy to your terrarium you can add miniature fairies, gnomes, furniture, or other accessories. You can see we added in a gnome couple that we already had and made a stream right through the middle with some smooth glass beads.
7. Continue to mist occasionally with water, succulents do not need to be watered much or very often.