All over Europe people make the most amazing snowmen out of plastic cups. The French #bonhommedeneige are dapper. German #schneemann are hearty. Italian #pupazzodineve are fun-loving. (I know I shouldn’t generalize, but it’s true.) The photo at left is from France. The person who posted it explains that it was created by her colleague’s children for a nursing home visit. The children made the cheery snowman and delivered him with gifts. Go to Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook to see hundreds more sparkleball snowpeople and sparkleball santas.
Yes and no. Yes, if the hotglue is so hot it literally melts the cups to each other. This works best on hard plastic cups. But no, hotglue isn’t great for putting Solo cups together in a sparkleball. The cups just resist the glue. (There are chemical reasons for this.) Carl Boro uses silicon caulk on his hard cup sparkleballs. I’ve used superTAC500, a special hotglue made for plastic, to customize and decorate sparkleballs. Otherwise, I stick to my stapler and gripperclips. If you are a dedicated hotgluer of sparkleballs, please let us know. I love to be proven wrong.
Tis the sparkleball season! Time to get stapling! There are lots of videos on youtube to show you how to build an original sparkleball. But they don’t always show you the best way or the tricks of the trade. That’s why it’s nice to have some step-by-step instructions with a few shortcuts and some technique thrown in. If you’re a perfectionist (like a few people I know), there are some tricks to getting your sparkleball really round. These tips of Carl’s may sound geeky, but they’re simple, and they work.
DON’T OVER STAPLE
Use only 1 or 2 staples per cup. This keeps the ball flexible and stretchy as you assemble it. When you’re done and like the shape, you can add more staples.
STAPLE DEEP IN THE CUPS Don’t know why but this makes a difference.
HOW TOSTAPLE – 1
As you join cups, make sure one rim tucks under the other, and the rims touch. Doesn’t matter who’s on top, but the cups should nestle neatly.
HOW TOSTAPLE – 2
When you fit the 9-cup ring on the 12-cup ring, first staple at 4 “compass” points. When those 4 Cups are anchored finish stapling the rest of the cups to the 12-cup ring. Really important to get the right shape.
As you settle one ring on top of the other, you’ll see some cups sit between two cups (valley) and some sit on top of a cup. Wherever they sit, staple.
There will be some gaps. Don’t force cups together. Instead, reinforce where cups do touch with a few extra staples when you’re finished.
Time to get cracking on those Halloween sparkleballs and costumes. Be on the lookout for orange mini-lights at your drugstore or hardware store. Of course, everything you need can be found online, including Solo Cups and hard plastic orange and black cups.
Click photos for more info.
top photo: Jason Clouthier’s Sparkleball Spider with Skull Face / Massapequa NY