Why I Love the Arrow P22


Nobody pays me to promote the Arrow P22.  I’ve  tried other plier staplers, but the P22 is  my personal favorite  for building sparkleballs.  It staples plastic cups like butter.  Well, almost.  Sometimes it needs a little oil. Sometimes  a staple jams. It’s a tad clunky.  But we’re old friends, and nothing does the job better.

Today I learned that the P22 is made in the USA.  Hooray!  And that Arrow was founded by Morris Abrams, the inventor of the staple gun and clearly a man with an overall special talent for staplers.  Mr Abrams was born in New York City in 1908, the son of Romanian immigrants.  I like that my stapler has an authentic American story.  Just like sparkleballs :)

The Arrow P22™ will run you $15ish, with a box of staples adding another 2.50 or so. Once you have it, you’ll find it’s good for stapling all kinds of things.  Look for it at Ace Hardware, on Amazon, in places like Home Depot, and maybe at craft stores. Don’t forget to buy Arrow P22 staples.

 


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

 

 

What is a Sparkleball?

short answer: light ball made with string lights and plastic cups.

long answer:  The Original Sparkleball is made with Solo® 9 oz cups joined together by staples, clips, glue or soldering. 100 mini-lights are threaded into the ball, two lights to a cup.  Different cups and lights can be used.   However, all sparkleballs are built by people.  Nothing commercial has ever fully replicated the magic of a lighted sparkleball.

Sparkleballs started popping up around the US in the 1970s.  No one knows who invented it or where the first one was made, but the craft has now spread around the world.  In Italy sparkleball snowmen are popular. In Fullerton, California, one neighborhood hangs over 500 sparkleballs during the holidays.  Guy kept his wife’s sparkleball going for 27 years, which is pretty amazing. Photos really don’t do them justice.  Time to make one and see :)


• DIY The Original Sparkleball.
• Order the original  Make-A-Sparkleball Kit
• Sparkleball photos on Pinterest and Instagram.

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Want to make a Sparkleball? Talk to Carl.

After Carl Boro saw a neighbor’s sparkleball, he went home and just figured out how to make one. With time he developed his own designs and methods, creating a garage full of colorful sparkleballs made from different cups and lights. He sent me some photos a few years ago, and we began a lively email exchange.

In 2015 I visited Carl at home near San Francisco.  It’s no exaggeration to say that day changed my life.  The fun we had exchanging ideas and working together cemented our friendship.  It also pushed me to update and improve this website.  I became more determined to share the mutual enthusiasm of friendship and craft with people like you, so that all of us around the world can work together — no matter what our beliefs or backgrounds–  in a safe, creative virtual garage like Carl’s.

Below are just a few of Carl’s creations, as well as links to posts about him.  Leave a comment and Carl will answer. To see over 90  photos of Carl’s wondrous work, visit Pinterest.

PINTEREST / Carl Boro Sparkleballs 

VIDEOS /
Carl’s Trick for Keeping The Lights
from Slipping Out
Carl’s Trick for Making Perfect Holes

POSTS /
Visit to Carl’s Workshop 1
**Visit to Carl’s Workshop 2**
Visit to Carl’s Workshop 3
Hard Cup vs Soft Cup
Black Cup Sparkleball
“Retro” Ball
How to Get It Really Round
Hard Cups and Bobby Pins
Moonglow Sparkleball
Turducken Sparkleball
Game Day Ball for Dad
Halloween Ideas
New Year’s Eve Ideas

 

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Hard Cup vs Soft Cup

the one that broke

A few days ago, I dropped an old Hard-Cup Sparkleball I love. Five cups shattered, and  there’s no way to repair it.  That’s the thing about hard cups.  They’re really sparkly, but they crack. Two other important points:  you can’t staple them and they are a slightly different size than solo-style cups.  BUT they come in more colors!

Here are the  instructions for making a Hard Cup Sparkleball.  I used to use a soldering iron to melt the cups together, but now I use hot glue.   (Master Sparkleballer Carl Boro uses silicon caulk.)  From the instructions you’ll learn that there’s a different formula in how you put the Hard Cup Sparkleball together.   This is very important.  If you try to make it like an Original Sparkleball, it won’t work.  You’ll need more cups too.

photos below by Carl Boro, who loves making hard-cup sparkleballs.

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Happy Valentine’s Day   

          Katrina adds flowers to the cups.

A Valentine sparkleball?  Let us count the ways.  Make a sparkleball with red or pink lights.  (here, here, here,  here.)  ❤ Make a zip-tie sparkleball with red zip-ties.  ❤   Spray-paint the inside of your sparkleball red before you add lights.  ❤  Spray red glitter everywhere.   ❤   Draw big red hearts on the cups with a permanent marker to make a stained-glass effect.  ❤  Make a clear light sparkleball and tie a big red bow on top.   ❤   Make a giant sparkleball out of Solo red cups or a mini out of ‘lil Reds.   ❤  Put red roses in the cups like Katrina did.  ❤  Or just buy a bottle of champagne and all your sparkleball supplies and make one together.

See these and more Valentine ideas on Pinterest  💕

 

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