The Original Sparkleball


The right cup is what makes the Original Sparkleball work.  

Click on photos for more details.
Steps and images ©Alex Finlayson 2018. Please ask permission to reproduce.

  • test lights before inserting.
  • staple deep in cups.
  •  1/2″ step drill bit makes drilling plastic easy.  or use a soldering iron to melt holes.
  • don’t over staple at first. Keep ball flexible then reinforce.
  • for hanger ideas check out Pinterest.
  • Carl has a neat  trick for keeping lights from slipping out of cups.

more helpful DIY:
–  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



17 thoughts on “The Original Sparkleball

  1. Fantastic! I had a sparkle ball ages ago but it broke when I moved. I think it was made from very brittle cups and hot glue which didn’t make it very sturdy, and it was only hanging by fishing line. Your ideas are better and have taken the mystery out of it for me. Glad you mentioned the chasing lights as that’s what mine had and it was mesmerizing. Thanks so much!

  2. Hello Sparkleball Lady,
    I received my Make-a-Sparkleball kit from you last week and wanted you to know how much I appreciate the expert packing. All the pieces are accounted for–cups, clips and party lights. The instructions are easy to follow. Thanks for that. My Sparkleball came together like magic and is filling our living room with an aura of holiday comfort and joy.

    This year, I will send all four of my sisters, and maybe my two brothers, a Make-a-Sparkleball kit to enhance their holiday season. What fun!

    Big Thanks Sparkleball Lady!

    Sue Conley
    Cowgirl Creamery
    Petaluma, California

    1. Hi Rose!
      As far as I know, the Solo-style cup is not available in Canada. Several options: order them from US Amazon. Make an Any-Cup Sparkleball with the cups you can find, or order a Sparkleball Kit from me and I’ll work with you on Canadian shipping. A friend just shipped kits to her family in Canada, and the shipping cost was about $15, I believe. If you do decide to order a kit, email me at Whatever you choose, I’ll be happy to help.

    1. Hey Angela– Tell me more. Did they break eventually in the ball or while building it? Were the cups exactly like SOLO, same shape, size, plastic? Because there are other brands. Check out this post on finding the right cups. Alex

  3. I live in San Diego and would like to buy a dozen kits for Monday. Is there anywhere I can go buy them locally? Thanks.

    1. Hi Barbara ~ I’m happy to help! I can have a dozen kits ready for you by tomorrow (Sunday) or maybe late today. Then you can pick them up from me at your convenience. I live in Pacific Beach. If that works, I’ll email you an invoice without shipping charge. Reply to Alex

    1. You can use any staple that is long enough to hold the cups together. I use both sizes of the Arrow P-22 staples. One is longer than the other, but they both work well.

  4. Thanks for these instructions! I just want to pass along a huge recommendation for the Arrow P22 stapler. I got the smaller Arrow that is black and red and uses JT21 staples and it would not work because it has no way to close properly around the lip of the cup. The P22 can go deeper and has a gap near the hinge when fully closed that accommodates the lip. Now I just wish I could find some chasing 50 or 100 light sets :(

  5. What happens when it rains heavily while these are out? I’d really like to make some to hang outside, but am concerned that the cups on top would fill with water and the whole thing would come apart due to the weight.

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