Instructables
Picture of Solar Sparkleball!
Like cousins No-Melt Sparkleball and Sparkleball Mini,  Solar Sparkleball is a handmade light ball made of plastic cups and Christmas lights. The big difference:   the lights are little icicles powered by a solar panel.  Arranged in a sparkleball, the icicles make a star shape and give off a starry, snowy light.  Lovely in trees!  (For a kid's project, adapt directions using the No-Melt method.)
 
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Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need
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1.  50 Solo-style 9 oz tumbler-size plastic cups (with slanted sides) 
2.  A string of solar holiday lights.  I used  icicle lights (25 to  a string) from Target  
3.  clothes pins  (optional)
4.  soldering iron  (or for a no-melt version adapt using No-Melt Instructions)
5.  zipties to make hanger
6.  hot glue gun to anchor lights (optional)
7.  outdoor work space;  fans for ventilation 

Step 2: Light Holes

Picture of Light Holes
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Using a hot soldering iron,  melt a hole 1/2 - 3/4" in the bottoms of 25 cups.  Test first hole to make sure you can slide icicle light through. 

Divide 50 cups into two groups of 25, distributing the cups with holes equally into the two groups.  You're ready to start building.

Step 3: First Layer

Picture of First Layer
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Arrange 12 cups into a circle.  Clip together with clothespins.  ( Scatter the cups with holes.  )  With hot soldering iron join the cups to form a ring.  The best method is to melt cups together at their bases (through cup walls).  Hold joint til cool.  Work around the ring.

Step 4: Second layer

Picture of Second layer
Using the clothes pins,  space 9 cups on top of  and around the 12-cup ring.  (The photo shows the second layer in blue cups just to be easier to follow.)  Again, scatter cups with holes equally around the ring.  Solder the nine cups, at their bases,  to each other and to the First Layer.   You should see the ball-half forming, like a dome.
Bosun Rick4 years ago
You can avoid the need to replace the rechargable battery by simply removing it from the holder. I use these (solar-powered) lights around my camper each summer, and they "keep" very well if charged up all of the last day of use before removal for the winter.

I usually store them inside the light fixture in the fall and winter, so they are there & ready in the spring. One note: just be sure to give them time to recharge on the first day you put them out.

Merry Christmas!