Erika Lloyd shared her holepunch technique with us back in 2008 and introduced a whole new world of  possibilities.  Put 4 holes in each cup, then use what you want to join them. Twist ties, zip-ties, ribbon, yarn, glitter sticks.  Above, I used coated electrical wire.  At left, Erika adds beads to her wire.

This is an updated version of our Instructable for No-Melt Sparkleball.


click photo for details


Drill or melt 1/2″ hole in 50 cup bottoms.
A step drill bit makes this easy.

0holesPunch, drill, or melt 4 holes in cup rims.
Use hole-puncher, drill, or soldering iron.  Each hole should have one opposite it.
 Doesn’t have to be exact.

jointDon’t connect too tightly.
If using zip-ties, don’t tighten completely.
Keep ball flexible as you work.

Wait until the end to tighten fully and trim tails.

12cupMake a ring of 12 cups.
If it isn’t nice and round, then your
cups aren’t the right size.
Switch to Any Size Cup instructions.

9cupJoin 9 cups.
This’ll be a bit wonky.

0stackAttach 9-ring on top of 12-ring.
Rims must touch or overlap all the way around. Make new holes if necessary.

Join 4 cups.

Insert 4-ring into center of 9-ring and connect.
One side ready for lights!

Start at plug end. Insert 2 lights per cup.
Test lights before inserting.

0lightsAdd lights cup by cup.
Zigzag in to center and back out
as you go around.

Finish at cup next to one you started with.

2sidescropNow build 2nd side.
Start lights from opposite end of cord.
Sides pull together as lights meet in the middle.

joinsidescropJoin two sides.
Make sure cord hangs clear.

studycrop2Make a hole in the top for a hanger.
If you used zip-ties, tighten
ball all over
and trim tails.

  • only 9 oz Solo-style cups will work
  •  step drill bit (about $14) makes drilling plastic easy.
  • don’t tighten connectors too tight at first.  Keep ball flexible then tighten up at the end.
  • for dancing sparkleball use chasing lights with function control.
  • I like Carl’s trick for keeping lights from slipping out of cups.
  • there’s no one exact way to make a sparkleball, so innovate!





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