With a little January love your sparkleball will last longer. (Guy’s sparkleball lasted27 years.) Whether you plan to store it till next Christmas or leave it up year-round, here’s a good routine.
Loosen gunk in the cups with a dry paintbrush.
Blast out any debris with a shopvac blower. Or compressed-gas duster. Finish with a wipe of windex.
Mend loose cups.
If storing, make sure sparkleball is dry then cover with a drycleaning bag or trash bag.
Hang out of the way, from garage or closet ceiling.
I’m also happy to say, that if you do nothing, your sparkleball, like a good dog, will still live a very long time and give joy no matter how dirty it is. Please share below, if you have any storage or cleaning tips. :)
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 :)
It’s time! Let’s kick off the 2015 Holiday Prep Season with Amber Merefield’s Sparkleball Tree. Here’s how she does it: for each ball, Amber makes a hanger out of two lengths of chain, s-hooks, zipties, and a swivel snap hook. Outside, she uses a combo of ladder and tree-climbing (“like Tarzan”) in the 20-30ft dogwood tree, which is wrapped in white lights. Each sparkleball is hung with several releasable zip-ties. The zip-ties aren’t tightened completely to give the sparkleballs play in the wind. Once sparkle balls are in place, Amber runs the electricity, using custom-length extension cords made of SPT-2 wire and vampire plugs. A custom “wire harness” at the base of the tree sends a separate cord and plug to each ball. We love the effect of sweeping white tree and red balls, but Amber says she has plans to add green and blue balls this year.