Need your creative juice for filling a toy vending machine for my girlfriend
December 15, 2010 8:48 AM   Subscribe

What creative, fun and affordable things could I fill 2" capsule vending machine with designed specifically for my girlfriend?

I purchased a toy capsule vending machine for my best girl as a fun gift for xmas.... I want to fill the capsules with fun, unique items so that she can have a fun little item each day for many to come. It'll be on free spin (naturally) :) The machine holds 180 capsules at a go.... so I thought I would confer with some of the most creative folks I know, the AskMeFi community on what you think would be fun items to fill it with?

Currently I have: her favorite candies, little notes, fortune cookies, a few little novelty toys, homemade coupons for dinners out and other events she might enjoy, and a couple of small usb flash sticks with music mixes on them.

Any other ideas for fun, unexpected or goofy items to fit in those 2" capsules?

Thanks and happy holidays!

p.s. Posted anonymous as she is a frequent reader of this site. :)
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (38 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
Plant seeds.
Silly putty
If she's into bath and beauty products: those little bath bead thingies.
a tiny air plant (bromelliad)
candy necklace, ring
silly shaped erasers
bouncy balls
posted by sciencegeek at 8:51 AM on December 15, 2010

small rubber band ball
unfilled water balloons
those buckyball magnets that people seem to love
posted by sciencegeek at 8:56 AM on December 15, 2010

little origami things
mini lip balms or nail polishes, if that is her style
cat toys (I'd think it was funny)
hair ornaments/decorative bobby pins (again, if that is her style)
fancy teabags
pretty rocks
cool colored/patterned shoelaces
lego people

I love this idea so much and want to steal it and use it somehow for everyone I know but also for myself.

Mostly for myself. No one loves delayed gratification and small surprises more than I do.
posted by little cow make small moo at 8:57 AM on December 15, 2010

If you guys split up, can I have you in the divorce? :)

Suggestions: mini soaps, earrings, hair clippie, squishy animals, all kinds of charms, tons of mini orgami!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:01 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

random selection of foreign coins
go to a bead store and get pretty things
animal crackers
those little cracker things that you throw at the ground and they *snap* - I see them around Chinese New Year/Tet and 4th of July.
floating bath toys
a medal - no idea where one gets these, but I just like the idea of walking around wearing a medal.
hair thingies - bands, clips, etc
felt balls
diamonds (aka cubic zirconia. you can get a good handful of 0.5cm round ones for 34 bucks. this in and of itself is a sort of awesome present. there's something to be said for cackling evilly and letting "diamonds" run between your fingers.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:06 AM on December 15, 2010

posted by fire&wings at 9:09 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mini comics made just for her about what you did that day! Or something.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM on December 15, 2010

Inside jokes written out by you on strips of paper
posted by shortyJBot at 9:14 AM on December 15, 2010

Cute binder clips, gourmet jelly beans, bendy Pink Panther
posted by lakeroon at 9:20 AM on December 15, 2010

Japanese erasers in incredibly detailed shapes of things like sushi and cars
Candy (fancy or not so fancy, individually wrapped)
a few cheapo vending machine toys from actual cheapo vending machines
lottery tickets
posted by Sublimity at 9:21 AM on December 15, 2010

Tiny prints of favorite photographs.
posted by jedicus at 9:22 AM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is such a great idea!

I can't think of a specific thing, but I think it'd be fun to also have one bigger thing made up of smaller things, distributed among several capsules. Extra-cool if the various parts are kinda obscure, so she'd have to hold on to them to figure out what it is.

One (kinda lame) idea: a voucher for something or other, printed onto one of these jigsaw things, and then 3-4 pieces of the jigsaw per capsule.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 9:32 AM on December 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

It might be cool to get a blank mini puzzle and write "Let's go shopping! Good for one shirt/electronic device/whatever she's into." This way she could get a larger item later on, but she has to be able to put together the puzzle first. The balls with these inside them could be scattered amongst the others. This is the cutest idea ever, by the way.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:34 AM on December 15, 2010

Sorry, ClarissaWAM, I guess we had the same idea at the same time!
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:35 AM on December 15, 2010

Origami swan
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:45 AM on December 15, 2010

This is an awesome idea. If she likes makeup, individual MAC eyeshadows, mini nail polishes, or get a bunch of samples from cosmetics counters or divide up a gift set like this one.

Pendants or charms are good. I'd advise against any sort of rings because they can be easily interpreted as a proposal. (Unless you're planning on proposing via vending machine, which would be extra awesome.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:49 AM on December 15, 2010

What a great idea! If you ever decide to propose, I hope you put the engagement ring inside one of the balls. I absolutely love the idea that it could happen on any old day, and not necessarily one you'd planned for. It would be the surprise of a lifetime... (and almost for both of you!).

Some more ideas:
Lindt chocolates (individually wrapped)
Sexy underwear/negligee (if it can be made small enough)
Hair accessories
Temporary tattoos
Ink stamps
Jelly beans (if she's a HP fan, Bertie Bott's every flavor beans!)
Movie tickets
Love notes
Clunky rings
Thigh high stockings (again, if small enough)
M&Ms, Werther's caramels etc.
Baggies of nuts
Luggage tags
Modjeskas! (I got mine from Williams-Sonoma - they're excellent but expensive)

I also like the puzzle/voucher ideas above. Go for it!
posted by widdershins at 9:57 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

More ideas in past threads:
- 30 small gifts - many will work for your circumstance too
- Tiny gifts - tons of awesome answers!
posted by barnone at 10:18 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lots of stuff at Archie McPhee.
posted by barnone at 10:23 AM on December 15, 2010

For adventure, a folded-up treasure map or the first clue of a scavenger hunt.
For a laugh, pogs.

Or, how about some QR codes to lead to digital goodies.
posted by neca at 10:57 AM on December 15, 2010

I love the classic small Swiss Army Knife - it's great for doing my nails! It comes in all sorts of colours, so pick her favourite.
posted by Dragonness at 11:08 AM on December 15, 2010

Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

I should think that the first thing any marriageable minded girlfriend will think is that there is a ring in here somewhere. If there is, kudos to you sir.

If there is not...
posted by mearls at 11:15 AM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

- Grow animals!
- Earrings
- Pop rocks
posted by Gucky at 11:21 AM on December 15, 2010

No ideas beyond the ones mentioned right now, but this is the coolest thing ever. Hope your girlfriend swoons!
posted by cyndigo at 11:49 AM on December 15, 2010

Clues for a treasure hunt?

Small keepsakes from holidays in the past, wrapped up with a note?
posted by twirlypen at 1:08 PM on December 15, 2010

Stickers, bouncy balls, teabags (esp those numi flowering ones!), poems, keyfobs...

Love the puzzle piece idea too. You could even do a treasure hunt type puzzle where you release written clues or letters in an anagram. Once all the clues/letters are found, she can solve the puzzle and find another gift.
posted by Joh at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2010

Earrings (easy to find nice cheap ones on Etsy).
LED keyring torch.
Mini tool - like this one.
Hair clips or scrunchies. Again, lots of cool stuf on Esty, especially felt ones.
Nail polish
Shiny rocks (i.e. amathyst, tiger's eyes...etc). Everyone like shiny rocks!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:21 PM on December 15, 2010

Tiny harmonicas (these totally exist).
Other small instruments, like an ocarina.
Action figures. GI Joes can fold up really small.

Also, you may just be the best person ever.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:30 PM on December 15, 2010

novelty condoms (if you would use them)
flavoured lube
little tiny notes with special 'dates' for you to take her on, special places to go, things to do out (or for creatively staying in), like homemade gift certificates for a massage by you, etc.
posted by sockraticpielogue at 6:19 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks a million for all the fantastic ideas and wonderful thoughts and suggestions! I know this blows my anonymity, but I wanted to pop in and show my appreciation! I'll be running out Friday morning to fill it up with all the fantastic ideas you all have presented here!

My Girlfriend = my Wife of 8 years, I was trying to throw the scent off of my avid RSS reading wife...and it was working quite smashing until they delivered the capsule machine this afternoon while I was at a dental appointment. My wife signed for it.... oh well. :) The contents of the capsules will still surprise, right?

Thanks again and happy holidays to all of you!
posted by MeetCleaverTheatre at 7:22 PM on December 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

Please do tell where you got the machine from... I love this idea!
posted by Night_owl at 9:05 PM on December 15, 2010

@Nightowl - got the vending machine from a site called I'll let you know how the surprise turns out (just stayed up extra-late last night getting the machine ready for filling) :)
posted by MeetCleaverTheatre at 4:15 AM on December 16, 2010

Did you ever watch Let's Make a Deal with Monte Hall? Sometimes the contestant would win something nice like cash or a car or furniture, but sometimes they would get a "zonk" which was a booby prize. Maybe a goat or a wheelbarrow. I would mix a few zonks in there, just to mix it up.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:00 AM on December 16, 2010

If you guys do the Christmas tree thing, you could put some cute ornaments in there. They don't have to be traditional or "boring"; etsy, Anthropologie, UO, Crate & Barrel, etc. all have cute quirky ornaments.

Dunno if it'd be too big but stockings or limb warmers?

Tea. Stash makes ok individually wrapped tea bags; I recommend Holiday Chai (rum and gingerbread flavored) and Chocolate Mint Oolong along with their standard Double Bergamot Earl Grey.

A USB keychain drive? If she's girly, maybe nail polish or lipgloss or tiny compacts of eye make-up (Sally Beauty Supply has a million different colors in tiny interlocking compacts). Travel-size bottles of hand cream, other lotion, perfume, or fancypants shampoo or body wash--hit up Sephora, they've got a zillion samples of everything. Cute undies. Bath salts or bombs or beads, if she's into that.

If she drinks, you could get her lots of little sample-size bottles of liquor they keep by the register that she might otherwise never think to try--sweet tea vodka or some weird schnapps or special rum or scotch or something.

Jewelry is ideal of course. Rings or earrings or pendants or pins/brooches. etsy has lots of cute fridge magnets too. Bumper stickers from say, her favorite online comic or cause or something.

If she's artsy, bits of clay or paint or other material to work with.
posted by ifjuly at 8:37 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cute keycaps too maybe--lots of boutiques online have them, places like ModCloth or UO etc. Spices or little vials of extract if she cooks. A tea infuser ball.
posted by ifjuly at 8:39 AM on December 16, 2010

posted by kookywon at 12:55 PM on December 16, 2010

Wind-up toys
murano glass animals
puzzle piece, one in each, so that it takes awhile to assemble (and maybe spells a message?)
perfume samples
dried flowers
dollar coins
boggle dice
posted by mai at 6:40 PM on December 16, 2010

Write on a piece of paper: Redeem this favor for a 10 min backrub.... or something similar.
We used to do this as kids, but it would be: doing the dishes, making beds, or playing monopoly/risk. (my sister hated long games).
posted by krieghund at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2010

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