Gumball Machine Costume

October 18 2018

A retro gumball machine is one of our favorite DIY Halloween costumes. Not only is it one of our favorites, but everyone else seems to love it as well. We have three different takes on this costume and we had to share them all. This costume is super easy to make using an old dress or skirt, our All-Purpose Dye and fuzzy pom pom balls. Karen MarieTop Knots and Pearls and The LA Socialites will surely inspire you this Halloween season.

  • Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye - Scarlet or Cherry Red
  • Dress or Skirt and Camisole
  • Rainbow Fuzzy Pom Pom Balls
  • Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative (Recommended)
  • Measuring Cup
  • Large Metal Spoon
  • Plastic Container or Stainless Steel Sink
  • Plastic Table Cover
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Salt (If Dyeing Cotton, Rayon, Ramie or Linen)
  • Vinegar (If Dyeing Nylon, Silk or Wool)
  • Hot Glue Gun
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  1. Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills. Gather supplies. 
  2. Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained.
  3. Fill a plastic container or stainless steel sink with enough water for the fabric to move freely. We recommend using three gallons of water for every pound of fabric. The water should ideally be 140ºF. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath.
  4. To enhance the color: (1) add one cup of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add one cup of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  6. Pour 1/2 bottle of well-shaken Scarlet or Cherry Red liquid dye into dyebath and mix well.
  7. Test color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye. If color is too dark, add more water.
  8. Wet the dress or skirt you are going to dye and add it to the dyebath.
  9. Stir slowly and continuously. The first 10 minutes are the most critical. Stirring helps to ensure an even color with no splotches.
  10. Item can remain in dyebath from 10 minutes up to one hour. If dyeing a polyester cotton blend, keep the fabric in the dyebath for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the color takes fully.  Nylon tends to dye very quickly and much darker than other fibers so the actual time needed in the dyebath is less.
  11. When desired color is achieved, remove from dyebath. Fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter. Squeeze out excess dye. 
  12. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following these instructions.
  13. Rinse in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
  14. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.
  15. Using a glue gun, add the fuzzy pom pom balls to the top portion of the dress.
  16. Using a white square piece of felt, draw on “25¢” and an image of a twist knob. Glue the white piece of felt onto the dress directly under the fuzzy pom pom gumballs.
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