Any-Size Cup


Any cup can make a sparkleball with time and patience.  Oh, and, buy lots of cups.  You’ll need at least a hundred, even with small cups.

formula is different for every cup shape and size
best to clip entire ball before you take it apart and rebuild it, stapling.
click photos for details.


drill holes in 50 cups to get started.
drill more as you go along.


experiment with one side

  • add cups to a ring until it makes a perfect circle.  clip cups together (don’t staple yet.)
  • don’t count my cups. yours may be different.
  • make second ring, with 1 or 2 fewer cups.  clip.
  • make third and so forth until you have half a ball.  each ring will be smaller and smaller.
  • keep notes of the number of cups you use in each ring.
  • set aside Side One.  (Don’t staple yet.)

mock-up of the entire ball 

  • build Side Two like Side One
  • when you have the two sides, clip them together to make sure you like the shape.
  • you may need to adjust by adding or subtracting a cup here or there or losing/adding a ring.

stapling and lights

  • finally, staple each side.
  • add lights before you assemble the final ball.
  • use as many lights as you want, but remember they add a lot of weight.
  • on one side create a hanger than will support the weight of the ball.
  • I used two chopsticks here.  More ideas on Pinterest.

Step 5

  • join sides with clips, then staple.  best to staple at compass points first, then fill in.
  • test hanger to make sure it can hold weight.
  • whew!  you’re done!  plug in and enjoy!




13 thoughts on “Any-Size Cup

  1. It took me awhile to figure out that the stapler was so important! After purchasing 4 different staplers, and trying the twist tie and hot glue method, I finally found the Arrow P – 22 stapler. It reachers far into the cup and staples go right in! Also stapling each ring together before stapling to each other made it easy to work with! Thanks for all your help and I love the pictures from all over!

    1. Hi Janet! Sometimes there’s no other way but experience :) I’m so glad you found a method that works for you– and that you were willing to share. (I love my P22!) Send a photo, and I’ll put you on the sparkleball map. Alex

  2. Hi, PleaseI need your help. I wanna know the formula if I’m gonna use a 3oz cup.
    We live in UAE, 9oz is really hard to find.. Pls help!

    1. Hi Hannah! Because cup shapes vary I can’t tell you exact formula. But if you build it as the Any Cup instructions show, ring by ring, you can figure it out. Use paperclips or clothespins to hold cups together while you figure. Build Ring 1 to be a circle. Build Ring 2 one or two cups smaller, and so on. I can tell you that it will take you probably 100 cups or so. Keep me posted! Alex

  3. Thank you so much for your quick response. I’ll be trying the 3 oz or the 1 oz by tomorrow.. I was assigned to decorate our christmas party andsparkleball is a very great idea, budget friendly and easy to do.. just having a slight prob looking for right sizes of cups and its formula. I was just trying to figure out also how many cups do I really need, to build atleast 8 sets of the Sparkle balls before buying it.

    7 oz is a bit big for a very low ceiling hotel. (I was planning to hang it)

    However, I will surely give you an update!
    God bless!

  4. Hi! I saw these big light balls how to- wonderful instructions!
    I saw the black glue gun could you tell me where I can get one?
    I have been looking all over for one just like it!.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Peggy, Janet is right about the stapler. A plier stapler works best on the soft cups. Glue gun works great on the hard plastic. But people make them all kinds of ways. I think I got my glue gun at Michaels (a craft store) but you can find them at hardware stores like Ace and Home Depot. Good luck! Alex

    1. If you’re using 2 oz shotglasses or the mini-Solo- reds, follow the instructions for shotglass mini. If you’re using 2 oz portion cups, the formula is 12 – 9 – 4. It’s a good idea to put it together with paperclips or clothespins first (at least one side) to make sure you’re using the right formula, if you’re not sure.

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