short answer: light ball made with string lights and plastic cups.
long answer: The Original Sparkleball is made with Solo® 9 oz cups joined together by staples, clips, glue or soldering. 100 mini-lights are threaded into the ball, two lights to a cup. Different cups and lights can be used. However, all sparkleballs are built by people. Nothing commercial has ever fully replicated the magic of a lighted sparkleball.
Sparkleballs started popping up around the US in the 1970s. No one knows who invented it or where the first one was made, but the craft has now spread around the world. In Italy sparkleball snowmen are popular. In Fullerton, California, one neighborhood hangs over 500 sparkleballs during the holidays. Guy kept his wife’s sparkleball going for 27 years, which is pretty amazing.
• DIY Original Sparkleball.
• Order the Make-A-Sparkleball Kit