Any cup can make a sparkleball if you have a little patience. The Original Sparkleball is three rings of 12, 9, and 4 solo-style cups. To make the Any-Cup, you must figure out how many rings and how many cups in each ring for your cup.
Build a ring that is nice and round and flat.
Write down how many cups it is. Do not staple yet.
Use clothespins, clamps or paperclips to hold in place.
Add lights and join halves as you do in
a Original Sparkleball. If you have fewer lights
than cups, add them randomly.
This method works with little cups too,
like the shot glasses and 1 oz portion cups above.
WARNING: It can be hard to get the Any Cup Sparkleball really round, but here are some tricks that help.
- TUCK RIMS
As you staple cups, make sure one rim tucks under the other. I alternate cup rims, over and under.
- STAPLE EVENLY
When you add a ring on top of another ring, staple at 4 “compass” points. With those 4 cups anchored, then finish stapling the rest of the cups in the ring.
- TRUST THE CUPS
As you settle one ring on top of the other, you’ll see some cups sit between two cups (valley)* and some sit on top of a cup. Wherever they sit, leave them and staple.
- LEAVE GAPS
There will be some gaps. Don’t force cups together. Instead, reinforce where cups do touch with a few extra staples.
Finally, one last really geeky sparkleball trick
that helps for roundness.
- When you stack Ring 2 on Ring 1, place the First Cup so it nestles between two cups, in a “valley.” Staple. Go across the ring and staple the Second Cup on top of a cup. From then on staple the cups where they fall, following the “compass” technique above.
- On Ring 3, do the opposite. Staple the First Cup on top of the First Cup in ring 2. (see photo) Go across the ring and staple the Second Cup in a “valley.” Staple the next cups where they fall.
- Alternate and repeat as you add rings until you finish.
- This is similar to hexagonal packing, which gives the ball a nice round shape.
Here are some Any-Cup Sparkleballs from our photo pages.
Click photos for details.
The any-cup method is how people build mini and giant sparkleballs.
Building a gigantic sparkleball also means creating secure hanging and support for the weight of so many cups.
More Any-Cup Sparkleballs to Make
more how-to posts:
– make The Original Sparkleball
– make The Any-Cup Sparkleball
– find the right cups
– tips for putting in the lights
– the best stapler
– how to hang it – 1
– how to hang it – 2
– using different kinds of lights
– drilling the perfect hole
– how to get it really round