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.
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top photo: Jason Clouthier’s Sparkleball Spider with Skull Face / Massapequa NY
Painted sparkleballs are a fun way to celebrate your team colors or match the front gate. With spray-paint, it’s super easy to do. Make sure the spray-paint is made for plastic, then go to town.
I like to put the cups upside-down and 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 left 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 or spray single cups before you start building.
You can coat the entire sparkleball or cup with paint. This will give a much different effect to the lighting. Use more than one color and you can make stripes or a pattern.
Last month at New York Maker’s Faire, Rob Stephens displayed his popular programmable RGB/LED sparkleballs, pixelballs. But the surprise hit was his sparkleball hat. So many people asked to try it on, that Rob had to take photos. Mark Mathias was there and with Rob’s help, carried the idea to his church’s youth group, who made pixel and battery-pack sparkleball hats for Halloween.
Check out Rob’s website and his photo collection of “Sparkle Heads.” Rob’s also working on easy instructions for programmable LED sparkleballs.
Fran, my neighbor across the street, always rates my sparkleballs. After all, she has to look at them. The newest one scored an A+. “Black Beauty,” as Fran calls it, is an Original Sparkleball with black cups inserted inside each clear cup. The black cups are Hannah K brand from Amazon. I intended to use them by themselves to make a black sparkleball for Halloween, but the ball didn’t come out right. So I added them to a clear sparkleball. This will work for any cup you can drill or make a hole in. As you add lights, put a black cup inside a clear one and insert lights through both. The Hannah K cups come in lots of cool colors which will be fun for the holidays.
Drill holes in the cups. When halves are built, slide black cup into a clear cup.
You can hotglue the 2nd cup in but lights should hold it.
Add lights as usual.Proceed around ball adding cups and lights til done.