Lighted Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Ball
50 (9 ounce) Solo Clear plastic cups (short squat ones)
1 string 50-light set
100 paper fasteners (or hot glue if you are in a
climate where it won’t melt while storing)
24-inch coated wire or heavy duty fishing line
Hole punch or small pointed soldering iron
Drill and bit (size depends on size of mini-light base
Drill holes in the bottom of all 50 cups. Take 38 of these cups and put 2 small holes near the rim at the top (not needed if hot gluing), opposite each other. Put the other 12 cups to one side for now. Do not punch holes in these cups yet.
Working one half of the ball at a time, begin by taking 12 of the cups and the paper fasteners (or hot glue) and fasten cups side by side. By the time you get to the 12th one, it should form a circle. Complete by attaching together. Set aside.
Take 2 of the unpunched cups and punch only one hole near the rim. With 7 punched cups, fasten together side by side. Take each of the 1 hole punched cups and attach to each end of the 7 attached cups. Take the 2 cups on the end and bring them together, forming another circle, that will arc out, punch hole in both cups and fasten together. These 9 cups should fit on top of the 12 previously fastened cups. With the hole punch, fasten the 9 and 12 grouping cups together. Take 4 unpunched cups and punch 1 hole in each near rim. Take 2 of these cups and fasten together. Fasten other 2 together. Set these on top of the hole left in the 9 cup grouping so they fit. (They will not be exactly opposite each other. Make holes in each of the cups where they join the 9 group. Fasten or hot glue together. This should form half of the ball. Repeat to form other half.
Putting lights in
(Holes should have already been drilled before putting cups together.) With open end of ball facing you put light (at opposite end of plug-in) in one of the holes in the 4 center cups. (At this point, begin putting garland (gold or red or any color) along with the lights. This helps to hide the wire and really sets the ball off.) Continue until lights have been put in all 25 cups. When you do the other half, start with the light closest to the plug and put that into one of the 4-cup cluster and work your way out. The last one will be a little hard to manipulate as there isn’t much wire to work with. Making sure plug and lead in wire is outside the cups, set the first half on top of the second half fitting into each other. Punch holes where cups touch and fasten together. Where wire comes out, put 2 more holes in the tope of two joined cups. Thread coated wire, or fishing line through these and make a loop to hang the ball with.
Tie the wire and hanger together near the cups with red velvet 1/4-inch ribbon (this is optional). Some also make these with the top 4 cups omitted, and figuring out another way of hanging it, probably a hole put on each side of the ball and 4 lines coming up to hang it with. Fasteners take longer, but the ball is sturdier. Fasteners are better also if a bulb needs to be changed. Hot glue may melt if stored in an attic where the temperatures get hot enough to melt it.
NOTE: You can also make 1/2 balls the same way as the full, only use 35-light sets and the 4 cup cluster has 2 holes each and 6 of 12 cups have 2 holes (every other one). To finish off back, put a plastic 12-inch plate and fasten it to the back with the bottom of the plate to the inside near the wires.