Every New Year’s Eve there’s a party crawl in Steven Wilson’s Baltimore neighborhood. Neighbors visit 5-6 houses, then end up at Steven’s house. This year he decided to go all out with a spectacular Midnight Ball Drop. Starting the project in early December, Steven built a mega-sparkleball with 10 oz hard cups, foil tape, and Applights. He ran PVC pipe through the middle so the ball would slide down a pole and made a support out of wire hoops from Michael’s. And that’s just the half of it. Check out the rooftop lowering system.
Sparkleballs are all about cups. So let’s shake things up a little and put cups inside, on top of, between, and over the cups. Add a second set of cups, and you’ll totally change the lighting and the overall look of the ball. Using hard plastic cups like shotglasses, you can solder holes in them for the lights, then hotglue them into the solo-style cups. Or turn them upside down and glue them over the lights. Soft cups can be treated the same way and even stapled inside Solo cups. I love Sabel’s “Sporeball,” where tube shots are inserted between the main cups. Here are some ideas to spur your creativity, but, really, the deal is, just go for it :)
Here are some easy, medium and semi-hard ways to make colorful sparkleballs to hang at Easter or any other spring celebration. Click on the photo for more information. This Pinterest board also has more ideas.
Sparkleball friend Carl Boro has astonished me again. He built this full blue sparkleball — blue cups and blue lights– with blue bobby pins! Carl discovered that long bobby pins are perfect for connecting the 9 oz hard plastic cups. (Not Solo-style soft cups. They have a raised lip.) I did a quick google search and found Durahome, EDI, and Party Essential hard cups on Amazon. My local grocery sometimes has them, and so does Party City. If you build one, make sure you check out the Hard Cup instruction page. The Hard Cup formula is different than the Original Sparkleball.
Carl says you’ll need about 126 bobby pins. Not a big investment. He also said that the clips slipped a little when he put the lights in, but once that was done, he just straightened the ball out.