Introduction: Christmas Disco Ball

Picture of Christmas Disco Ball

This is a quick project that really looks cool. This is a lighted ball that uses miniature christmas lights with multi function controller.

Step 1: You Need the Following Items.

Picture of You Need the Following Items.

You need the following items:
1 - Coat Hanger
50 - SOLO 9 oz. clear plastic cups
1 - 150 multi-color miniature christmas light set with multi-function controller.
1 - Soldering Iron.

Step 2: Let's Make a Ball!

Picture of Let's Make a Ball!

To start grab a couple of plastic cups and your soldering iron. Hold the cups next to each other and poke a hole with the soldering iron at the base of the cups and one at the top of the cups. Let it cool briefly and give it a squeeze with your fingers.

Step 3: Add Some More Cups

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Now add a cup to each end of the first two.

Step 4: And Add Even More Cups

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Now stack three more on each side of the group of four.

Step 5: Keep Adding Cups

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Now just keep adding cups to make the ball when you get close to the top leave a few out so you can get your hand in side. Now at some point they won't fit exactly but don't worry about it if there are gaps just make it a ball it will look fine.

Step 6: Find the Center

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Set the completed ball on a table and determine which cup is the bottom center cup and mark with an X. This is for the coat hanger to be installed last.

Step 7: Light Installation

Picture of Light Installation

Light installation. A few comments about the lights. Most of the 150 light string sets have 5 colors of lights but only a three channel controller. So what I do is buy a couple of strings and change all the bulbs so I have a three color sequence. I think it looks better but I have made them without doing this also. When installing the lights power them up so if one unplugs it shelf you will see and fix it before getting everything together.
To install the lights poke a hole with the soldering iron and quickly install the bulb. Make hole a little smaller than the diameter of the bulb so it's a friction fit. Install three lights per cup (50 cups X 3 = 150 Lights).

Start at the cup marked with the X and keep adding lights cork screw fasion until you get to the top.

Step 8: Add the Hanger

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Once you get all the lights installed cut the coat hanger and shape one end to fit in the bottom the cup you marked with an X.

Step 9: Finish Up

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Poke a hole to fit the hanger through and slide through. I usually put a few zip ties to center everything up.


That's it I hope it brings as much joy as it has for our family.

Comments

sparkleball_lady (author)2008-11-11

Sparkleball.com

Love your instructions! If you'll email me a photo I'll link to your site from www.sparkleball.com, a free website devoted to "disco balls" and "sparkleballs."

sparkleballlady@yahoo.com

thatkidej (author)2007-11-21

My grandma has one of these, they're pretty awesome. Thanks for the guide :D

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-21

this is awesome!

stomper51 (author)2007-11-21

Oh Great....now you got me thinking about a new design. I'll send my wife to you when she dosen't see me for a few days. Thanks for the link.

Patrik (author)2007-11-21

Very nice - and looks even better from a distance.

You could also try this with those disposable plastic wine glasses - the kind with a removable base. Some of those even have faceted sides, which would tend to lend more sparkle to your ball.

Here's some more inspiration for other spherical designs with dixie cups:

Dixie Cup Spherical Dodecahedron

About This Instructable

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Bio: Have a degree in electronic engineering technology. Have a repair shop with my brother and nephew were we provide drivability diagnostics and vehicle control programming ... More »
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