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.

When Sparkle Balls Fail

The biggest reason a sparkleball doesn’t turn out right is you’re using the wrong cups.  Only Solo-style squatty plastic cups will make an Original Sparkleball.  If your 12 cups don’t make a nice, tidy circle then ditch your cups and go shopping.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sparkle blob.

“the sparkle orb disaster”    (read the story)
Lena’s sparkle “ein” (egg) in Swiss snow.

Lights can be faulty, which is why you always plug them in and check before inserting. It’s best to use new lights instead of an old string you have lying around so your sparkleball will burn brightly longer.   The stapler can be wrong, too. A lightweight stapler is probably not strong enough to hold the cups together for very long. Even my friend Carl, the master sparkleball maker, has faced failure.  This morning he went out to his garage and found this:


It seems the silicon caulk that Carl uses doesn’t like Smart&Final brand hard cups.  I had a similar problem before I learned to use paperclips to hold hard cups together after I’d hot-glued them so the glue could get a good set.

Finally, there’s The Velveteen Rabbit reason sparkleballs fail:

spotted at a Vermont barn party by Juliet

Old Age and too much love.  Cups get brittle and yellow.  Lights go dim and bonds wear loose.  It’s time to say goodbye, recycle, and move on.