Shawna Bailey
Shawna Bailey
  • Hometalker
  • West Orange, NJ

Turn Plastic Cups Into Giant Sparkle Balls

5 Materials
$3
10 Minutes
Easy

If you're looking for a really big impact Christmas decoration, this is the project for you. Using just Christmas lights and some household materials, you can make giant sparkle balls for your home.

Step 1: Gather your materials

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I used about 100 mini plastic cups, fairy lights, a stapler and a drill (Optional) to make holes in the cups. If you don’t have or don’t want to use a drill, then you can punch holes with an x-acto knife or even a screwdriver. If you’re using something else to make holes, check to make sure the holes are correctly sized for your fairy lights. It would be a real shame to build your whole sparkle ball only to discover the lights don’t fit.

Step 2: Put holes in your cups
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I used an 11/64 sized drill bit to make holes in my cups. By drilling through them, I was able to do 100 cups (in 2 groups) in under two minutes. Like I mentioned before if you aren’t using a drill, then just make your holes with whatever you're using.

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Here's what each cup should look like after you've added your holes.

Step 3: Staple them together
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Using a stapler from our office, I started building the ball. Make sure to squeeze all the way down when stapling, so that the cups really stick together. I found it easier to staple as far down away from the lip of the cup as possible.
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In order to make a ball, I simply put the second row (and third and fourth row..) of cups around the first row. That, combined with the gentle slope shape of the cup, made it easy to make a ball.
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Here's a picture of half a ball. You need to make two halves and attach them after you have added the lights.

Step 4 : Add the lights
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Because my holes were exactly the same size as the fairy light bulbs, I was able to pop them in and they all stayed in place. If you find that your holes are too large, a small drop of hot glue will hold them in place. If you find that the hole is a little too small, force the light in -- then they won’t fall out. If it's really small you might have to make it bigger.
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Voila! These are safe to hang outside.
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We string them all along our porch for a really WOW effect you can see from the street. I actually hang them using a small piece of string I tie in between two of the cups. You can easily save these from year to year!
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2 of 64 comments
  • Jeannette Stroud
    on Nov 12, 2017

    I make these using 9 oz. solo cups and put 2 mini lights to each cup and use a soldering gun to old them together and the last for years and I sell them

  • Kimberly Jones
    on Dec 1, 2017

    When I made these years ago, I put a strand of tinsel/garland inside the ball before closing it up completely Helped the sparkle.

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