Recently I received photos of the holiday display at Slick’s Boutique in Boothbay Harbor Maine. There are 38 original sparkleballs in all and it’s absolutely magical. (We’re talking 1500 cups and 3800 clear lights.) While Slick’s dazzling display is unique, below are a few more sparkleballs-in-shops for your cheer and pleasure :)
For a “stained glass” sparkleball, you’ll need materials for the Original Sparkleball (or a Sparkleball Kit) plus some permanent color markers. (I like Sharpies.) Next, find an artist. Mine was 11 year old Adella, who was willing to color 50 plastic cups with the markers and with a little help from cousin Anna, brother and sister Russell and Gigi. The results are stunning. Alone, each cup is a little work of art. A starry night, ocean wave, flowers, funny faces. Put together, the cups become like stained glass with colors as vivid in sunlight as they are lit up at night. It’s a stunning sparkleball and memorable keepsake.
In an email from Amsterdam, Sandra dos Santos sent these words: May sparkleballs continue to bring light to the darkness. That’s exactly why I love this craft. In a world which seems to be growing in darkness and division, how dear it feels to hand-make a small sphere of light. How sweet to see sparkleballs around the world in Egypt and Amsterdam and Florida made for no other reason than joy. Merry Sparkleballs to one and all.
The easiest mini-sparkleball to make is with 4 oz “souffle cups.” These pudding cups are close in proportion to 9 oz solo-style cups, just smaller, so the same 12-9-4 formula works. I learned this trick from Randy and Brandon Schimka, the father and son team who produce Belardo Lights, one of San Diego’s most popular front-yard electronic light and music holiday displays. The Schimkas, including granddad Joe, work all year planning and building for opening night Saturday after Thanksgiving. On the Schimka’s website, you’ll find the inspiring story behind Belardo Lights and many how-to’s for their custom-made display items and electrical systems, including their souffle cup mini-sparkleballs. (See our page on mini’s for other ways to make them.)
See the Schimka’s light show at 5306 Belardo Dr, San Diego CA, 28 Nov – 27 Dec . Great video of the entire display with mini-sparkleballs