Holiday lighting should be fun, festive, and either inexpensive or very hardy (able to withstand being packed away and brought out every year). We were pleased to discover Sparkleballs as they fill all of our criteria for holiday lighting and manage to be both inexpensive and surprisingly hardy. Easy to make, and easy to repair, LED Sparkleballs also known as Cuplights are like some holiday version of a disco ball merged with a UFO.
What is a Sparkleball exactly? According to Wikipedia, it's an ornament handmade out of Christmas lights and plastic cups, using soldering, staples or cable ties to join the cups. Aptly named Instructables user Sparkleball_lady shows us how to make our own Sparkleball or Cuplights using items you probably already have in your own home.
While there are several versions of Sparkleballs, this Instructable shows how to make the no-soldering version and requires 50 soft 9 oz. tumbler-style plastic cups, a hole-puncher, a drill with a 1/2" bit, a string of LED (we recommend LEDs for low energy consumption and temperature) mini-lights (100-150), and 200 small zip-ties.
We think this is a fun project and would be great to make with kids. Since there is no soldering involved or saws, it's a project that is pretty all ages friendly. With plastic cups being in abundance around the holidays, this project is also a great way to re-use them instead of just tossing them in the bin.
Check out the post on Instructables, for the ultra simple DIY instructions.
For some more great examples of holiday lighting, check out these posts: