For a “stained glass” sparkleball, you’ll need materials for the Original Sparkleball plus some permanent color markers. (I like Sharpies.) Next, find an artist. Mine was 11 year old Adella, who was willing to color 50 plastic cups with the markers and with a little help from cousin Anna, brother and sister Russell and Gigi. The results are stunning. Alone, each cup is a little work of art. A starry night, ocean wave, flowers, funny faces. Put together, the cups become like stained glass with colors as vivid in sunlight as they are lit up at night. It’s a stunning sparkleball and memorable keepsake.
Ordinary sparkleballs don’t look that hot in daylight, but painted sparkleballs look terrific. They’re also a fun way to celebrate your team colors or match the front gate.
With spray-paint, it’s super easy. Just spray the cups before you start building. Make sure the spray-paint is made for plastic, then go to town.
I like to spray the thickest coat on the cup bottoms, with just a little overspray on the sides. Once the ball is together, the wires are hidden but there’s plenty of clear plastic to shine and reflect the light. A little like a tie-dyed effect. To do this, spray once the halves are built before you add the lights.
You can also use more than one color to make a pattern. I generally don’t paint the insides of the cups, just the outsides, but you can paint a sparkleball any way you want :)
Spring is a colorful and joyous time. For April, I wanted bright colored sparkleballs, since my dry California yard doesn’t have much springtime bloom.
I bought cans of spraypaint in flowery shades of pink, yellow, green and blue. I made four Original Sparkleballs. Before adding lights, I spray-painted the centers of the halves. Just the center. (see photo) Some paint drifted to the sides of the cups, and there were some loose spatters. All good. But I left plenty of clear plastic for sparkle. I added colored lights, but I think clear or multi’s would have worked fine. Voila! A sparkleball bouquet of color! Even when they’re not lit.
All the spring festivals of the world are colorful and joyous times, even here in California where spring lasts about a day. In honor of le sacre du printemps, I offer this easy way to make color sparkleballs.
Make an Original Sparkleball. Buy a can of spray paint meant for use on plastic. Before you add the lights, spray the center of both sides. Just the center. Some paint will drift up to the sides of the cups, and there will be some loose spatters. All good. But you still want plenty of clear plastic for sparkle. When it’s dry, add lights. I used colored lights, but you can go with standard clear or multi’s. But the best part is, your sparkleball is colorful even when it’s not lit :)