Going Solar!

solar2Solar mini-lights are way improved, in function and price.  The solar sparkleballs I made in years past were dismal.  But now– solar is totally sparkly.  Which means you can hang a sparkleball anywhere, as long as it can charge in direct sunlight. The little solar panel  sits atop or hangs below.   These lights come from Amazon, and so far, they’re pretty great even if they didn’t come with instructions.  (Amazon has quite a selection of solar.)   This may be my new sparkleball favorite :)





helpful DIY how-to posts:
–  find the right cups
 tips for inserting lights
–  the best stapler
–  how to hang it – 1
–  how to hang it – 2
–  how to hang it – 3
–  using different lights – 1
–  using different lights – 2
–  drilling a perfect hole
–  how to get it really round
–  make The Original Sparkleball
–  make AnyCup Sparkleball
–  making Mini Sparkleballs


Make a Prince Sparkleball


What better way to salute the artist known as Prince than a glittery purple sparkleball?  Spray-on glitter and paint from Ace Hardware.  Purple mini-lights from Amazon.

20160428_122224Build an Original Sparkleball.  Before adding lights, spray-paint the centers of the two halves, as shown below. ( Leave some clear plastic showing for sparkle. )  When the halves dry, spray glitter inside the cups and around the rims.  You may want to spot-spray a few extra puffs of purple all over, inside and out, because, well, purple is what this is about.

Clear mini-lights will work.  I used purple, which are a bit too raspberry. Maybe they’ll show purple tonight when it’s dark out.20160428_112218

purpleRAIN[Note:  The spray-on glitter was disappointing, but I love the idea.  Need to try some different brands. If you’ve had good luck with it, please let me know.]

Previous Prince Sparkleball post:
What’s Hanging Now: Purple


But are they Sparkleballs?

I’ve seen a bunch of pseudo-sparkleballs in my time, and some are pretty wonderful.  Manufactured sparkleballs are really just round light fixtures, and none of them have that  je ne sais quoi  of  a real one. They don’t have the Original Sparkleball‘s  50 little reflective chambers, nor its inimitable sparkle and glow.   The deal is, sparkleballs are handmade.  If you want one you’ll have to make it.  Or find someone to make it for you.  

Fake Sparkleball
I spotted this one in Palm Springs last week. It was pretty glamorous. (Moori, $300)