Every year we try to upload a fun and unique Christmas DIY project. Last year we made an inverted christmas tree chandelier and the year before that we uploaded the Book Wreath tutorial. If you haven’t seen either of those… you’re going to want to! This year we have made an absolutely positively gorgeous sparkle ball made out of plastic Solo cups! Thats right, plastic cups from Walmart 😉
- 48 clear plastic 9 oz Solo cups
- Stapler (best option is this long reach 190, but if you don’t want to go out and buy one, a normal stapler will work just fine)
- 1 Box of 50 christmas lights (white cord)
- Drill bit – (21/64ths inch bit)
- Spray paint (optional)
- 6 Clothes pins
Step 1: Painting
- Layout 50 solo cups face up or face down. If you paint the outside of the cups, the inside of your ball will appear shinier. If you paint the inside of your cups, the inside of your ball will appear less shiny and a little more metallic looking. If you spray down into the cup, spray in a circular motion to better coat the insides.
- Spray the cups until they are all evenly coated, then let them dry for 20-30 minutes.
Step 2: Drilling Holes
- We recommend that you drill each up individually to ensure that each hole is centered and pierces through clean. However, you can stack multiple cups and drill through all of them at once if you’re looking to save time.
- Drill a hole in the center of one of your cups to test for size. If the light bulb fits perfectly snug in the hole, then you’re ready to go! If not, adjust your drill bit size accordingly (we used a 21/64ths inch bit for our holes).
Step 3: Building the Ball
- You will build the ball in two different halves. We recommend that you practice stapling on a few of your extra cups to get the angle and grip down! It also might help to have a pair of pliers on hand in case you need to remove any staples
- Starting with 12 cups, staple them together one at a time.
- Stagger the edge of the second cup under the lip of the first cup.
- Try to staple as far back as you can, making sure you keep the cups flat on the table as you staple all 12 together.
- After you’ve completed your ring of 12 cups, you will want to layer a new ring of 9 cups to the top of it.
- Before you staple, use your clothes pins to get the placing just right. Clip the first cup to the bottom row, then balance the second cup next to it while you clip the third cup. Continue to clip every other cup until all 9 cups are on top.
- You might end up with a large gap once all the cups are on, which is totally fine. Just adjust the placement until they are all evenly spaced out.
- Staple a cup without a clothes pin to the cup below it. Make sure that the lip of the cup is in front of the lower cup.
- Then, remove the clothes pin from the next cup and staple it to the cup below it, continuing to stagger the lip of the cup behind the edge of the first cup and in front of the lower cups.
- Continue to do this until all 9 cups are stapled to a lower cup (this will help create a rounder ball).
- Now, take 3 cups and hold them together to find the spot where they make a little triangle.
- Staple the first cup near the tip edge of both of the cups, making sure that the lip of the top cup is on top of the lower two cups, repeating the process on the last two cups.
- Squeeze the 3 cups together and staple near the top edge.
- Now if you feel your ball needs more support, you can staple the second row of cups together side by side, making sure they all properly stagger.
- Repeat all steps again to make the second half of the ball!
- Once both halves are built out, you can add one more layer of spray paint to color any staples or unwanted holes/scratches.
Step 4: Adding the Lights
- Now that your two halves are built, its time to add the lights!
- Stick the lightbulb closest to the side of the 2 prong plug into one of the first 12 cups.
- Continue on to the next hole zig sagging back and fourth until 24 of your 50 lights are in holes.
- Now onto the second half! Starting with the last light on the strand fill in the rest of the holes the same way you did on the first half.
- You should have two extra light bulbs floating between the two halves. Just put them inside when you close up your ball.
- Normally you would let your power cord hang out of the side of the two halves, but we needed some extra cord length to hang ours so we stuck an extension cord in the center of the last 3 cups on one half of the ball.
- Plug your lights into the extension cord and staple the top 3 cups for reinforcement so the extension cord will hold the ball up
- Now just staple the two halves together and you’re done!