A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
News:  Vote now for your favorite craft challenge entry!  THREE amazing Ticketmaster prizes up for grabs this month.  Who will get one?
Total Members: 301,599
Currently Running With Scissors:
410 Guests and 1 User
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1] 2 3  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: SPARKLEBALL (no-melt) **Tutorial** -- Easy, Child-Friendly!  (Read 15537 times)
Tags for this thread: ornament , tutorial  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
sparkleball lady
« on: November 24, 2008 08:01:48 AM »

Sparkleballs are fun!

For years I've been making sparkleballs, but this year, thanks to a new friend and a  new husband, here's a new way to make these light balls without melting plastic.  Thank you, Erika for the hole-punch idea.  Thank you, Steve for the zip-tie idea.

No more stinky burning plastic!  But it requires soft Solo (or Solo-style "tumbler") 9oz plastic cups.

For one no-melt sparkleball you need:
  • 50 soft plastic cups - 9 oz tumbler-style with slanted sides
  • electric drill with 1/2" bit
  • hand-held hole-puncher
  • 100-150 mini-light strand
  • 200 zip-ties (Erika uses lengths of wire, but I find zip-ties easier.)
  • optional:  beads, glitter

Drill a hole 1/4-1/2" in the bottom of all 50 cups. You can stack several and drill them at once.  The hole must be big enough to slide 1-3 lights through (depending on how many lights in your strand).  Drill one cup and check that lights will fit through. You want them to insert snugly. If the hole cracks a little when you push the lights through, that's ok.
OPTIONAL:  For a very pretty effect, dip cup rims in glue, then glitter.  Let dry.

Punch 4 holes around the top of each cup.  Space them evenly apart, so each hole has one across from it.  If the cup has a raised lip, punch holes just under it.

Arrange 12 cups in a circle.  Attach each cup to the one next to it using a zip-tie through the touching holes.  DO NOT TIGHTEN the zip-ties until all cups are attached.  Then tighten zip-ties one by one, making sure the circle of cups stays flat.  Trim zip-ties.

OPTIONAL STEP:Here is where you start adding the beads if you want.  Slide plastic beads onto zip-ties before tightening.

Place 9 cups, one by one, on top of and around of the circle.  Attach each cup to the one it sits on top of.  When all 9 cups are in place, then attach each one to the cup next to it. (These cups will attach at 3 holes.) Finally, tighten all zip-ties and trim.

Place 4 cups into the space left in the sparkleball-half you're building. When they fit neatly, attach them to each other.  These cups will attach at all four holes to other cups.  If holes don't quite meet, punch new ones.  When all cups are attached, tighten zip-ties and trim.


To insert lights: start at the prong end of the cord. Insert the two lights closest to the prong into a cup at the outside rim. (The plug will then hang out when you put the two halves together.) Depending on how many lights you're using, insert 1-3 lights in each cup--using half the strand of lights on this half.

Work slowly. It's important NOT to skip a cup or miss a light. If you crack a cup, that's ok. This is the hardest part, but you're half done!

Build the second half of the ball just like the first.  When you thread the lights, start with the opposite end of the strand, so the lights will meet when you join the halves.

Press the two halves together, making sure all wires are neatly tucked inside the ball.  Attach halves with zip-ties.  Tighten them and trim.

To make a hanger for your sparkleball, decide where the top is.  Do you want the cord out the top? Or the bottom?  I make my hanger out of 2 "s" hooks and a bit of chain, but you can use fishing line, zip-ties, wire coathangers, or ribbon.

Plug in and enjoy!

If you'd rather make sparkleballs with a soldering iron-- the old-school way-- here's another Craftster tute to show how:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=189563.0
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008 10:04:21 AM by sparkleball lady - Reason: to add link to another craftster.org tutorial » THIS ROCKS   Logged

It's not what you have but what you do with it that matters.
Offline Offline

Posts: 2180
Joined: 26-Jul-2007

Ti canteremo noi cipressi i cori...

View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008 08:19:06 AM »

Oh wow!
Great tute............  Smiley

http://YouCraft.org ... free crafts classifieds
... with lots of cute things listed
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008 08:22:54 AM »

I absolutely LOVE them!!!  Thanks so much for all of the instructions.  I can't wait until I can start making some for my house! 
Offline Offline

Posts: 258
Joined: 22-May-2008

Still creating the ever growing to do list........

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008 08:25:51 AM »

YEAHHHHH! I'm so glad you posted a tute! I was signing in to search for this exact project and here it is! They look great. We are off to buy supplies!
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008 08:35:46 AM »

Those look great!!! Aaaaand you don't have to melt plastic?? Hooray! New project ahoy!  Cheesy

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark places where it leads." ~Erica Jong
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008 08:42:30 AM »

Oh cool! I love that last photo too!

« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008 08:46:54 AM »

those are AWESOME!!!!! thanks so much for the tutorial!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008 09:04:04 AM »

My granadma used to make these but this is much easier! Thank you for the tutorial. I love the bead idea too!!
Offline Offline

Posts: 1522
Joined: 19-Mar-2008

no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008 09:07:01 AM »

Just a cheap idea in regards to wire/zip ties:

I didn't want to have to go buy zip ties, but also didn't want to have to spend the time cutting all that wire.  But you can usually find cheap ornament hangers at dollar stores in packs of 1-200.  The wire isn't super pretty, but they're also in very managable lengths.

Just an idea!!!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008 09:07:31 AM by littlebiskit » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I am walking 12 hours straight for my local Relay For Life event.  [a href="http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11MW?px=16690269&pg=personal&fr_id=30095"]Please support me![/a href] I'm only 40% to my goal! =0(
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 4065
Joined: 08-Mar-2008

View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008 09:08:33 AM »

these are freekin cool!  thanks for the tute!  making these for outside!  yayhoo Grin

This and That... my main blog. Drop by and say "Hello!"
  Sew Stuffed a blog about the dolls and stuffies I make
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
Kathy Reichs and Linda Emond on "Bones Are Forever"
Rebecca Serle on "When You Were Mine"
Get Energized with Pete Cerqua
"Make Your Leadership Come Alive" Book Trailer
Author Wendy Lawless on Growing Up with Her Mother
Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Souvenir Tea Towel Pillow
Spotlight on: Making Toys
May 27, 2015 Featured Projects

Comparison Shopping

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2015, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.