basic 13" sparkleball made with

soldering iron

You also need :

- 50 cups, hard or soft plastic,
9 oz tumbler style

- 100 mini-lights

- good ventilation

also helpful: clothespins

Melt a 1/4 - 1/2 in. hole in bottoms of 50 cups. Test hole to make sure 2 mini-lights will fit. Snug is good.


Put 12 cups in a circle.
If 12 doesn't make a circle, your cups aren't the right size.



Press hot iron through one cup to the next, at cup bottoms. Melted part will cool and form a strong bond while you hold cups together.


Add 9 cups on top of the first 12. Solder each cup to at least two other cups at cup bottoms. Let joints cool before moving to next cup.


Fit 4 cups into the space left. Join each cup to at least three other cups, at cup bottoms. Don't force cups. There will be gaps.


Now you have half a sparkleball (25 cups). Reinforce this half by melting joints wherever cups touch.


To insert lights, start at plug end of the cord. Put two lights in each cup. Work around, zigzaging from outer cups to inner cups. End up at the cup next to one you started with.

Set aside. Build second half just like first.


For lights on second half, start from the opposite end of the cord.

When all lights are in, press the two halves together so they fit nicely. Make sure all cord is tucked in. Clothespins are a big help to hold halves together while you join them.


Be careful not to burn lights or wire.

Make a hole in the top of your sparkleball, through two cups to make a hanger. Use hook and chain, as shown, or invent your own.

Plug in and enjoy!

Prefer or ?