Here's a new twist on sparkleballs for St. Val's Day - Make a sparkleheart! approx. 10 x 14 inches
The supplies and method are just like making a basic sparkleball. So review the sparkleball tutorial
before you begin making your sparkleheart.
You will need: 50 9 oz "tumbler" clear plastic cups
(must have slanted sides), 100 red mini-lights
(available online at all Christmas light sites), a soldering iron
, and good ventilation
. Red cups would be awesome, but I can't find them.
1. With a hot soldering iron, poke a 1/2" hole in the bottom of all 50 cups. Divide cups into two groups of 25.
2. Arrange 13 cups in a circle. How you join cups to each other is what turns them into a heart-shape, so the next steps are crucial. When you burn through one cup to the next, hold cups in place until the solder joint cools completely. Go slow. Be patient.
Here's a diagram to show you how to build the first layer and start the second. The white arrows show whether to attach cups at tops, bottoms, or both.
3. Join the 2 cups at the top of the circle (cups #1 and #2) at top rims only. This makes the top of the heart. Join the next 6 cups-- adding 3 on each side of cups #1 and #2-- at their bottoms only. You will have 8 cups forming an arc (almost half the circle.) print diagram for layer 1
4. Join #9 and #10 to #7 and #8 at tops and bottoms of cups. Join #11 and #12 at the tops only. The final cup, #13, is the last cup and the heart's point. Join it at the bottom to #11 and #12. Make sure these joints are strong.
5. The first layer should now resemble a heart. The joints must be strong enough to keep the shape as you add the next layer.
6. The 2nd layer has 9 cups. Add Cup #14 at the top. Nestle it into the space between cups #1 and #2. It may almost point upward. This forms the heart's center dip. Now place the other 8 cups on top of the first layer, continuing the heart shape. They will not necessarily touch each other but will attach to the layer below.
7. Fit the last 3 cups into the open space left. When you're happy with the fit, join them in. This first half will look now like a fat, smashed heart.
8. Thread 50 of the red mini-lights into the heart half. Each cup will have 2 lights inserted into the one hole. IMPORTANT: Start threading at Cup #13, the heart's bottom point, with the pronged end of the cord.
9. Build the second half exactly like the first. When you're ready to thread lights on the second half, please NOTE that on a heart-shaped sparkleball, you must begin and finish threading lights on Half 2 exactly as you did Half 1-- at Cup #13. (This is different than a sparkleball, where it doesn't matter since it's round.) You want to be able to join the heart halves perfectly, and the lights must match up.
10. Join the two halves securely, taking care not to burn the wires or lights. The finished sparkleheart will be 2-dimensional (not 3 like a sparkleball) and looks best hung against something so you can really see the heart shape. It doesn't work as well if it's free-hanging.
11. Make a hanger with clear fishing line, chain and "s" hooks, or a shower curtain ring. You can see more on hangers on the last step of the sparkleball tutorial