Make a Sparkle Ball with Christmas Lights and Cups

If you have a few plastic cups, a string of Christmas lights and some patience, why not prepare a sparkle ball? The sparkle ball is a handmade gadget of Christmas lights and plastic cups. You can attach the cups together in different ways: soldering, using glue for plastic or some cable ties. Mini-lights are put through the cup bottoms so that each cup turns into a reflective chamber. When the lights are turned on, you have a relatively large and beautiful sparkling sphere. You may choose single color lights or multi-color ones. Follow the instructions below to prepare your own sparkle ball.

 Needed Supplies

All you need are the following items:

  • 50 9 oz. clear plastic cups, use though ones
  • Soldering iron
  • String of 50 (mini) or 25(middle) lights

 Step 1: Preparation of the Cups

 Turn on the soldering iron and melt holes at the bottom of all 50 plastic cups, large enough to insert the lights afterwards.

 Step 2:  Arranging Layers of Cups

Arrange twelve cups in a ring by using clothe pins to fasten the cups closely in a ring. Press the bottom of each cup and connect it to its closest neighbor with the help of soldering iron to melt its rim. Be careful not to make a large hole and fasten the cups together. Then, build a second layer of cups on top of the first ring. For this layer, use nine cups. Connect as in the first ring. Press the last four cups into the space that is left and build a hemi-sphere. Solder them, making sure that each connects to at least two or three neighboring cups.

 Step 3: Placing the Lights

Now, the hemi-sphere is ready to insert lights. Start at the end of the plug, inserting two lights into the holes if you are using mini size and one light if you went for middle size. Begin inserting lights in the first larger ring as this is the easiest way to accomplish the task. The job is half way done, and the second hemi-sphere has to be built as the first one, following the same steps. To fasten the lights in the second hemi-sphere, thread in the very center by working from the outside.

 Step 4: Putting It All Together

Press the two halves tightly together and keep the electrical plug to the outside of the ball. Join the halves with soldering iron and be careful not to melt the lights or the cable.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Your sparkle ball is now ready. You may choose some fishing string or cord to fasten the sparkle ball anywhere you want it. If you plan to put your sparkle ball some place outside, it should not be directly exposed to snow or rain.

 General Instructions for Safe Work

Be careful with the soldering iron as you may get burnt if you are not used to working with it. Pay special attention when fastening cups as both hemi-spheres should be equal, forming a complete sphere. It is better to choose mini lights and put them in pairs inside each cup: the ball will be shinier.