Learn the basics-- and the variations are endless. See more sparkleball photos at the end of instructions.
The directions may sound difficult but will make sense as you work. Build your first, and you'll be rockin' and rollin' by your second sparkleball.
To make a basic sparkleball, you will need the following supplies: 1. A soldering iron (pictured) 2. 50 9oz Solo-style plastic cups (with slanted sides; "tumbler" style ) 3. A string of 100 lights, mini-light size. 4. Clothespins make it easier to hold cups together while you work. 5. A fan for ventilation, and you must must must work outdoors. very toxic fumes.
Arrange 12 cups in a ring, as pictured(clothespins make it easier but are optional). Put the hot iron inside a cup. Press it through the side, at the base,to the next cup. (See photo below.) A welded joint forms when the melted place cools. Connect each cup to its neighbor at their bottom sides.
Now build a second layer of cups on top of the first ring. Use 9 cups in this layer, and again work from the cup bottoms. Space them evenly around; clothespins really help. Work cup by cup, joining it to at least two other cups. Make the joints at the cup bases or from inside the cup, at the bottom. This layer will have gaps between cups but that's ok.
Now you're ready to thread lights into the sparkleball half. Start at the plug end (plug was cutoff from photo, but it's right by the tag which is visible.) and insert two lights into the first cup. You'll start inserting lights on the large ring you made first.
Insert 2 lights into each hole, working from top layer into bottom and back up.