Twist open plastic balls

Hey all,

I'm looking for milky/fogged/hazy (I'm not sure what the right term) twist open plastic balls, like the one on the first picture.
My plan is to put some LEDs in them to make glowing balls, but all I can find is clear plastic, as in the second picture.

Any suggestion where can I get something like this? The size should be about  2" (diameter).

-Greg



Picture of Twist open plastic balls
Hard_plastic_sphere_open_up_sphere_openable.jpg_350x350.jpg
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Toga_Dan2 years ago

there is also spray frost for making bathroom windows more private

Good one!

But clear acrylic spray paint should do the same!?

Was just thinking about your comment and as spray paint is solvent based the solvent should do the same as the acetone, just easier to handle.

Let's hope Shinjin tries out some of the ideas and reports back what works best :)

shinjin (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

Thanks for all the suggestions. In the end I ended up buying transparent Christmas ornament balls. I've clipped and filed off the hangers and used acrylic spray paint to get them translucent. The "color" (if you can call it that) I used is "Magic White" and gives just the translucent look I was looking for.

As for the other suggestions:

-Acetone/nail polish remover: didn't etch the balls a bit.

-Spray frost: many reviews complained, it scratches off too easily, so I didn't even try.

The picture is of the finished balls with LEDs inside.

IMG_4748.jpg
Kiteman2 years ago

The word you are looking for is "translucent".

Glass lightbulbs have this property because the inside is dusted with a fine powder - try putting a small amount of flour inside a ball and shaking it.

Also, ping pong (table tennis) balls are already translucent, and glow nicely with an LED inside them:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Eyeball-Throwies/

"frosted" lighbulbs get their feature through hydroflouric acid, which corredes the surface of the glass, giving it the milky look.

Putting flour inside a plastic ball will only make a mess ;)

It must have been a "pearl" bulb I cleaned out, then.

You get some bulbs with a similar looking coating like flourescent lamps for a better white light output, usually sold as more energy efficient than the standard filament type.

But they are quite rare around here and I was just thinking of the old style incandescent lamps from the old days.

Toga_Dan2 years ago

nail polish remover might etch the surface. or straight acetone.

shinjin (author)  Toga_Dan2 years ago

Nice idea! Anybody tried that? How even does it get? Works on this plastic or that?

It does work but your have to be careful as the acetone softens the surface and it becomes extremly sticky.
You can also use it to glue the two halfs together permanently.
One way of doing it is by pushing them into the acetone and to shake the excess off, use some blue tack or similar on a stick to hold the balls.
In small numbers very fine sand paper also works quite well in creating a frosted look.