Introduction: 125 Coffee Cup Light/Art Object

Picture of 125 Coffee Cup Light/Art Object

For the Paper Cup Challenge I wanted to make something that would use more then just a few cups at a time, because the more cups it takes to make something means that less will be thrown away. When I was thinking up things to make out of cups I remembered seeing balls made out of plastic cups and Christmas lights so I thought I'd try to make one from coffee cups. In trying to make a ball out of 12 oz cups it started to get too big to hang from the ceiling, (just over 2 feet across), so I made half of one and hung it on the wall and here it is and how it was made.
This is made like a soccer ball,using hexagons and pentagons.

Note: some of the pictures show the cups with out their bottoms cut out,YOU MUST CUT OUT ALL OF THE BOTTOMS, if you don't the pentagons WILL NOT FIT when you get to step 9.
I tried it both ways and found out that the pentagons will only fit if you cut out the bottoms, this makes the cups more flexible. Otherwise when you push the pentagons in it will force apart seams and rip out the staples
I used pictures from both types because not all of my pictures came out right or I forgot to take some  and had to take more while writing this.
Sorry if this causes any confusion.

Step 1: Whats Needed

Picture of Whats Needed
Tools
  • stapler
  • staples
  • small knife
  • paper clips/clothes pins
  • hammer and nails
  • screwdriver
  • drill and bits
  • wire cutter/stripper
  • screws
  • saw
  • pencil
  • paint/spray paint
Supplies
  •  
  • 1 1by4 6ft. long
  • lamp socket
  • extension cord/lamp cord
  • 125 12oz. coffee cups
  • party bulb (mine's orange)
  • add on plug (optional)

Step 2: Cutting Out Bottoms

Picture of Cutting Out Bottoms

Using a small knife cut out bottoms of cups.

Step 3: How to Make the Hexagons

Picture of How to Make the Hexagons

Making the hexagons (you will need 10 of them)
Take 2 cups, find the side seams and line them up together,
making sure the bottom edges and the top rims are even then staple the 2 cups together,
then, using 1 of them as the middle, start adding your cups till you have 6 on the outside and 1 in the middle (7 cups make 1 hexagon).
As you put them together make sure that edges are even.
You've finished the first 1 now you need to make 9 more.

Step 4: How to Make the Pentagons

Picture of How to Make the Pentagons

Git 5 cups and using paper clips to put them together, forming a rough pentagon.
Rearrange them till you have evenly spaced, then start stapling together removing one staple at a time making sure to keep the bottom and top edges even. If you only   use 1 staple to hold them together at the top you can then before you staple the bottom you can rearrange the bottoms to make them even forming a nice pentagon.
you will need to make 6 pentagons

Step 5: How to Make the Half Haxagons

Picture of How to Make the Half Haxagons

Start the same as step 3 but stop at 5 cups as in picture. this will make half hexagon you need to finish the shape.
You will need 5 these.

Step 6: First Stage Assembly

Picture of First Stage Assembly

With all of the shapes made we are ready to start putting them together.
For the first part we will need 5 of the hexagons made in step 3.
Staple the first 2 together, making sure the space between them make a shape somewhat like a square,as note in picture and of course you still need to bottom and top edges are even with each other.
Now add the others making the shape in the picture.

Step 7: Second Stage Assembly

Picture of Second Stage Assembly

Now we need the last 5 hexagons.
You attach them to the outside of the first assembly in a wagon wheel like manner to form the shape in the picture.

Step 8: Thrid Stage Assembly

Picture of Thrid Stage Assembly

Now you need the 5 half hexagons you made in step 5.
Using them to bridge the gap between the hexagons you put on in the last step.
Making sure everything is even as in the other steps staple the half hexagon to the hexagon on one side.
Now you might need to pull it together on the other side to get them to meet up together.
staple that side then do the other 4 the same.

Step 9: Forth Stage Assembly

Picture of Forth Stage Assembly

All you need to do now is push the pentagons into the spaces and staple them to the rest of the assemly

Step 10: How to Make the Wood Support

Picture of How to Make the Wood Support
Cut the wood into 3 pieces;
  1. 23 inches long making a mark 10 inches from one end
  2. 16 3/4 inches long making a line about 6 inches long down the middle at one end.This will be the bottom
  3. cut this one 22 3/4 inches long. On one side make a mark 13 inches from one end. Now make another mark 13 inches down on the other side coming from the other direction. connect the two marks. they should not be directly across from each other.N ow cut along this line. this should make pieces #2 and # 4 in the picture.
Now nail # 3 and # 4 , using the angle you just cut in them , line them up  along the 6 inch line down the middle of one end of # 2.
Next place #1 above pieces #2 and #3  so that the line you made 10 inches from one end meets up with the edge of # 2 and nail
drill the hole to hang it by 2 inches down from the top of # 2 just like in the pictures.

Optional; now is when you can paint if you want.


Step 11: Ataching Light to Base

Picture of Ataching Light to Base

First cut the extension cord about 8 inches  from out let end,set aside this piece for latter
Split the cord you have left about 2 inches from the end.
Strip about 1 inch off of each end.
Bend each end so that it looks like the ones in the picture.
Screw these to the bottom of light socket as in the picture.
Now mark the cord where you want to put the switch.
With a small sharp knife make about a 1 inch split in the cord like in the picture.
Next cut one side of the split in the middle and remove a little extra off each end so they cant touch as in the picture.
Follow the directions that came with your switch to finish putting it on your cord.
Don't forget to test it to make sure it works.
to finish screw the socket down to the base where #1, #3 and #4 meet.
NOTE: make sure you have the right size switch for your cord.

Step 12: Mounting to Base

Picture of Mounting to Base

Place base face up on floor.
Place cups over base.
Staple cups to base.

Step 13: Hanging on Wall

Picture of Hanging on Wall

Using a long screw (2 1/2 to 3 inches), hang on wall ether by screwing it into a stud or anchor, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches to hang the light on
Turn on, sit back and enjoy.

Step 14: A Little Sowething Extra

Picture of A Little Sowething Extra

You thought I forgot about that piece of extension cord didn't you.
Well I didn't it's right here.
So instead of throwing it away you can make it into a handy short utility cord, all you need is an add on plug to put on the end and your all set. Just follow the directions on the package and your all good. Enjoy

Comments

HaliR (author)2011-06-24

Im going to try this and also put different colored plastic wrap over the cups

creasemaker (author)HaliR2011-06-24

Great idea, post some pictures of it here when you make it

safa salkhi (author)2011-05-02

thank u for amazing post .My student and I did too.Hope u like it

creasemaker (author)safa salkhi2011-05-03

Thanks, you did a great job and I how it looks with the two colors.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

scs3000 (author)2010-05-20

 Cool, but this was a cover-featured Readymade Magazine project a while back.

creasemaker (author)scs30002010-05-20

Really, I've never seen that magazine before. This project started out as something different. I was going to hanging light/ball but as I started to make it, I found out that  it was going to be about 24 inches wide, way too big to hang from the ceiling So to make half of it an hang it on the wall instead. I got the idea from hanging balls made from plastic cups and Christmas lights as a kid. After I thought of making this I looked online to see if any one else had made anything like it. All  I could find where the ones made out of plastic cups melted together.
So, yes I am quit sure someone else has probably made something like this before, because once you start putting cups together like this they naturally start to form a ball.
This is in no way a new idea, it is just my version or twist on it.
If you can I would like it if you could  post a picture of  it here, I would really like to see it.
Thanks.

meerar (author)2010-05-10

fantastic instructable. i remember some designer  doing similar with melded polystyrene cups

good clear instructions. if i could only get my hands on some paper cups ....

meerar (author)meerar2010-05-10

http://bcndesign.narotzky.com/2008/09/28/the-ballad-of-the-styrofoam-cup/

is the link to the Styrofoam cup lamp

creasemaker (author)meerar2010-05-10


Thanks, I put a lot of work on it.
I found a site when I was researching for this www.sparkleball.com, I might try to one of these one day too.

About This Instructable

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Bio: working on fixing up my apartment the challenge; to do it as cheap as I can using things i find or have access to.
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