Get What You Get – A Gumball Machine for Random Tattoo Designs

If you’re looking to get a tattoo, but don’t have a specific design in mind, or if you’re just looking to get a classic tattoo at a discount, the Get What You Want tattoo gumball machine may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Located at the Elm Street Tattoo shop, in Dallas, Texas, the Get What You Get gumball machine is filled with random tattoo designs packed in plastic balls. Interested customers must pay $100 to turn the little knob and have the machine release a random tattoo design which they can then have inked for free at the shop. While there are no bad designs in the bunch, the owner of the Elm Street Tattoo shop anticipated that some people may not be satisfied with their first design, so for an extra $20, they get another turn. You don’t have to get the design tattooed, but the shop does state that the fee for using the Get What You Get machine is not refundable.

“They’re all good ones — old-school snakes, devil heads,” a shop employee told the Dallas Observer. “All of these tattoos I would price out between $160 and $180 … maybe $250.” So you’re getting a considerable discount as long as you’re willing to take a gamble.

According to a post on the Elm Street Tattoo shop’s Instagram page, “Tattoos will be completed on a first-come, first-served basis. If there’s no line, you can get yours right away. If all of the artists are booked, you may have to make an appointment.” The tattoo gumball machine was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, and people haven’t exactly rushed to give it a go, but the shop plans to keep it around for a couple of months, and is considering making it a permanent feature.


Apparently, the whole tattoo gumball machine thing isn’t new at all. The Idle Hands tattoo shop in San Francisco has been suing one since 2009, and they were inspired by Justin Shaw, of Faith Tattoo, in Santa Rosa, California, who has been doing Get What You Get Tattoos since 2004.