How to Make a “Stained Glass” Sparkleball

adella3For a “stained glass” sparkleball, you’ll need materials for the Original Sparkleball 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.


Big thank you to Adella and crew :)

helpful DIY how-to posts:
–  find the right cups
 tips for inserting lights
–  the best stapler
–  how to hang it – 1
–  how to hang it – 2
–  how to hang it – 3
–  using different lights – 1
–  using different lights – 2
–  drilling a perfect hole
–  how to get it really round
–  make The Original Sparkleball
–  make AnyCup Sparkleball
–  making Mini Sparkleballs






For All My Dads

<i>sparkleballs by Carl</i>
sparkleballs by Carl

Sometimes we don’t get the dad we want.   We don’t get the man who teaches us how to drive a stick-shift or fix a leaky faucet.   How to negotiate a business deal or measure with calipers.  All those practical, cool things that make life more fun.   So throughout my life,  I’ve gathered helpful male friends who probably would hate being referred to as my “dads,”  but in so many ways, they are.

Here’s a big hug for my stepfather Bill.  Hugs and kisses to my surf grandfathers :) Bill Andrews and Inside Wave Dave.  The biggest hug to my husband Steve who lets me use his tool chest.

And a ton of gratitude to my sparkleball “dads.”  All the men who’ve shared ideas and photos with me, especially the Men of Yale Ave, Carl (The Master) Boro and Rob (Sparkleball Jones) Stephens.  You’ve all nudged me out of my comfort zone and into the garage of my dreams.


The Day Carl Changed My Life:

A Gift from Rob:

Wedding Sparkle Balls


Carol added yellow shot glasses inside the Solo cups.

Carol promised friends Inez and Sharon she’d make sparkleballs for their garden wedding.  She ordered everything she needed online and had Solo cups, mini-lights, stapler, and drill sent ahead, since she’d be flying west coast to east.  It all went according to plan except fair weather for the garden, so the sparkle balls ended up bringing a sunny glow to the last-minute indoor venue. wedding3  They now hang on the patio of Bewitched and BEDazzled, Inez and Sharon’s inn in Rehoboth, Delaware.  Cool idea:  wedding memento AND gift.


Piet Mondrian except round

lorraine2 (300x300)
Lorraine’s Sparkleball, 2015
Piet Mondrian, 1921
Piet Mondrian, 1921

Tomorrow is Lorraine’s birthday.   Lorraine is a true friend and that rariety of rarieties: a native San Diegan (by way of La Jolla.)  She was at my first sparkleball party where all the sparkleballs turned out cattywompus because I hadn’t worked out how to make them before I invited friends over.  Today, for her birthday sparkleball I cut up some soft plastic cups I found at the 99⊄ store and glued a few rims into the clear cups.  I like the modern art effect.  Sort of Piet Mondrian except round.   I hope she likes it.