Going BIG

This 20″ biggie is 7″ wider than the Original Sparkleball.

If you want to build a BIG sparkleball,  I’ve got the video for you.  This is the first any-cup sparkleball I’ve made that is perfectly round.  I mean, perfectly round.  The trick in Walter Calabrese’s video is — stay with me— that first you build 15 hexagons  and 12 pentagons.  Hexagons are made of 6 cups attached around a 7th.  Pentagons are 5 cups stapled in the exact way below.

Then you fit them together in a certain way.   Walter’s video shows you how.  My recommendation is to make all the hexagons and pentagons first.  Then attach them to each other with paperclips or clothespins, before you staple the entire ball.   You start with  a hexagram. Then you add 5 pentagrams to each side of it.  Then hexagrams.  Then pentagrams.  Don’t freak. Walter’s video is pretty clear.

Be careful as you staple.  Not too deep, about 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the rim. Also,  do follow Walter’s instructions to mark pentagons as you add them, or you’ll get lost.  I painted them, but you can mark them as he did or any other way.  This helps you keep the pattern straight as you build.

For the lighting, I inserted a lamp socket into a champagne flute so it would sit in the bottom of the ball, because I wanted the cord at the bottom not the top. There are many other ways to do the lighting, including Walter’s.  I also used a bracket under the ball for support and ran a single wire up through the ball to the top.

I highly recommend Walter’s method. It should work with any cup of any size if it’s similar in shape to the one above. I’m happy to answer any questions. Be patient, and have fun!  (Oh, and the official name of the structure/shape is a “truncated icosahedron.”)

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What’s Hanging Now – June

It’s “June Gloom”  in San Diego.  Skies are grey.  Not cool,  not warm. Kinda blah.  Tomatoes stall on the vine. Tourists feel cheated.  This big sparkleball is perfect.  Made with a mix of 16 oz color cups and 7 oz water cups, it brings cheer to the day and a summery glow to my evening.

junesunball2

So, You Bought The Wrong Cups

all cup sparkleball
any cup sparkleball

Many of us learn the hard way that it takes a solo-style cup to make the Original Sparkleball.  (I won’t tell you how many cups I went through when I tried to make my first one.)  But the good news is that any cup can make a sparkleball.  If you bought the wrong cups and you got enough of them and you’re feeling more than a bit brave,  give the Any Size Cup Sparkleball a try.    If your wrong cups are hard plastic  make a Hard Cup Sparkleball.  And if you’re feeling really brave,  jump in and create  your own unique sparkle object.  You’ll find tons of improvisation in the photo pages like the examples below.