Candy Dispenser (5A)

I wanted a special gift for a friend far away and decided to wait till inspiration struck. I often give up too easily and settle when it comes to gifting. The inspiration finally hit one morning, and I took to the web to see what products are available.

BTW, shameless plug for the good folks on ETSY making magic happen with their arts and crafts. The prices can be competitive with store-bought stuff, and the idea of helping someone who is trying to supplement their income or make an income appeals to me. I also visit ETSY for seeds and plants, too, and so far I have been impressed with the service and the quality. Take a look for yourself at

Anyway, I wanted a candy dispenser that my friend could place somewhere in his home office. He works in the creative world designing board games, and my hope was that on those occasions when he hits the dreaded designer’s block he might waltz to his candy dispenser, pop out a treat and get the juices flowing again.

Though I found many ready-made dispensers but in the end I opted to make my own using the DIY Triple Candy Dispenser video from Specific Love Creations as my starting point. I made two dispensers as I am certain my grandchildren will love to help themselves next time they are on site (and their mom gives them permission!)

Candy Dispenser (6)

I call this device the Creativity Enhancing Candy Dispenser (CEDC), and its construction gave me a chance to use my new trim router. I had a scribbled sheet of shop notes somewhere to share but cannot find them. Hopefully they will turn up.

My primary deviation from the video is that I made my drawers 1 7/8 rather than 2” wide. The wood swelled a bit after painting, and I needed a little extra clearance. Also I mounted my jar lid rings using silicon and two flathead sheet metal screws. Otherwise the lid pops loose at the first filling, and no one wants candy all over the floor although with a loose application of the three second rule the stray candies can still be eaten if one gives chase quickly.

Candy Dispenser (4)

We’ve tested the dispenser with:

  • Skittles – works well but the candy gets sticky quickly in warm hands. But I like Skittles so who cares?
  • M&M’s – I cannot eat chocolate, but my wife loves it so M&M’s get their own spot. Be warned that M&M’s tend to chip and leave small bits of sugary sweetness behind.
  • Jelly Belly jelly beans – These work better than anything else we’ve tried. The dispenser drops a generous load with each operation. Jelly Belly jelly beans are an amazing candy though they do include a couple of nasty flavors, but that’s OK. The good ones make up for the occasional dud. Have you tasted their buttered popcorn jelly bean? Mercy! I hope the person who thought that up got a big raise.
  • Peanut M&M’s – May have to shake the drawer a bit to get them out. Usually dispensed three at a time but worth the effort according to Shawn.
  • Cashews – did not work very well. Might work better with cashew pieces. Or salted and shelled peanuts?
  • Tylenol – Not a good idea as children might confuse them for candy, and besides the hard capsules jammed up big time.

We are enjoying this project, and I received this picture of my friend’s CEDC on the job far away. The best part is we can think of each other when we stop by for a treat at our respective oasis.

I really miss him!