My website is http://www.sparkleball.com (it has lots of photos). Once again, I earn nothing from this. It is all free and in the spirit of thrifty crafting. If you'd like to share a photo of your creation, please let me know. I'm just a fanatic, fascinated by this American craft. Thanks for sharing!
Sparkleball Lady from San Diego, CA
Editor's Note: This looked so easy and pretty that we decided to make one for the site. It took about an hour but the next ones will go faster. The cups cost about $5.00 for 2 packs of 40 (you need 50), but you could probably get them in bulk for cheaper. We had the lights on hand but basic 100 strand light strings are usually only a dollar or two. We also needed to buy a cheap soldering iron, which was $8.00, but you might have one already.
The instructions on the site are detailed and have step by step photos. Here are a couple of helpful hints that we figured out along the way:
I have seen these balls used for placing on your awning when camping. They look really neat.
i'm wondering if you could hot glue the plastic cups together?
I never had luck using a glue gun. I've used a soldering iron and a hole puncher (with zip-ties) and others have told me that they've stapled the cups together. The glue just didn't bond well with the plastic cups for some reason.
If you're having trouble joining the cups, remember to join them <i>at their bases</i> (not the rims). This trick will insure that the first circle and next layers can splay out with a little give, rather than be too rigid and maybe break apart. Sometimes there are even gaps between the cup rims.
GREAT job Editor and thanks for your hard work! :)
Every year a neighbor puts across the front of their house. By day they look goofy out there.. by night they are BEAUTIFUL!
I use clothespins to hold the cups together while i solder them. Sure beats burned fingers. You can also use clothespins to try different sized cups to see how it will turn out before you attach them.
These are the most creative handmade things I've ever seen! They should be more than 10 bucks!
This is a guide about making a snowman with plastic cups. Clear plastic cups and mini Christmas lights can be used to make a fun snowman decoration.
By Sparkleball Lady from San Diego CA
Thanks for the great instructions! They are really pretty.
I am so happy to see these instructions! i made one of them many years ago but connected them together with paper clips. Mine was just plain clear with white lights...I put it out on my porch and everyone wanted to know where i got it...these instructions are so much easier and i'm going to get one made before Christmas...i also went on the site and was amazed at all the different ones made..thanks again for the instructions...Now my project has a name...I never knew what they were called before..
I need help with completing my first Sparkle Ball. It was fun to make, but I need to know more about the hanger. Pictures suggest an S hook on each end of a chain. What does the S hook within the ball hook onto?
I assume you wouldn't want to hook it to a wire.
Bruce from Mercedes, TX
At a hardware store, you can get little rings that have a screw on the end. I don't know what they're called, but you can find them with the picture hanging stuff. Just screw it into the ball, and you can hook an s- hook into it!
I just found this site! It sounds like fun. I would like a description and directions for this. THANKS a bunch.
Editor's Note: Here is a link to the Sparkleball article on ThriftyFun.
I have been making these the last couple weeks and fishing line works great. It is thin enough that it slips right into the holes left by the soldering iron at the base of the cups. If you need to use S-hooks you should make sure you burn one hole large enough for the end of the hook.
Does anyone know how to make light up outside Christmas Ornaments to hang from a tree? I have seen ones made from what looks like small plastic cups, string of lights, somehow shaped into a ball. Has anyone heard of these or made them?
Janet from Pennsville, NJ
Editor's Note: Here is a link to instructions on how to make lighted balls with plastic cups:
i found the link to a page that shows how.i have never seen these!they are very neat!
Those are called sparkleballs. This is the website for them. It will tell you everything you need to know and give you step by step instructions to make one. There are also pictures of sparkleballs from all over the world.
Here is an idea - you will need:-
small empty jam jars - save the nicest shaped ones
strings of beads from a charity shop/thrift shop or jumble sale
florists or garden wire
transluscent glass paint
a cheap child's paint brush for each colour used
tea light candles
What about small jamjars - painted with transluscent glass paint - and a wire around the lip of the jar and a loop to hang up. You can thread beads onto the wire as well. Then pop in a tealight candle and this will make the jar glow shining out the colours of the paint - red and green look best. Even if you are not arty you can just paint stripes of different colours. Holly leaves are easy to draw too - especially if you outline with a felt pen and then fill in with the glass paint. If you do not have a tree to hang them from - a cheap clothes line strung with these little lanterns would look good, especially if the wire loops are at varying lengths to give a random line. Even a rotary line would look really pretty with these lanterns glowing in the dark. Apart from the glass paint - the rest of the things needed to make these costs very little. If you have any broken decorations then salvage any bows or sparkle from them and glue this onto the jars too. Remember not to hang them too high - as you will have to replace the tealights each night.
Kindest regards - Borasic Lint