Introduction: New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

For a 2018 New Years Eve party I made a scale model of the famous Times Square Ball Drop. It will be the perfect addition to your 2020 celebration to ring in the new decade! There are nine layers of cup rings that make up the ball: 6, 11, 15, 18, 20, 18, 15, 11, 6. There is enough room left in the middle to allow the ball to be placed on a pole.


  • 120 styrofoam cups
  • 2 poster boards
  • 2 sets of christmas lights
  • LED light strip
  • Clear tape
  • Flagpole
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • String

Step 1: Create the Center Ring

Tape 20 styrofoam cups together in a circle to form the center ring.

Step 2: Second Layer

For the second layer you will tape 18 cups together, placing them in-between the first layers cups.

Step 3: Repeat Until the 5th Layer

Repeat the process of placing the cups in-between the layer before it until the first half of the ball is complete. 3rd layer: 15 cups, 4th layer: 11 cups, 5th layer: 6 cups.

Step 4: Flip Over & Add Lights

Flip the ball over and repeat the cup rings until the fourth layer. 2nd layer: 18 cups, 3rd layer: 15 cups, 4th layer: 11 cups. Then tape the LED strip around the inside of the ball, making sure the lights face in on each other. Begin the lights at the bottom ring.

Step 5: Final Ring

Create the final ring of 6 cups and tape the excess LED strip on it.

Step 6: Plug It In!

Plug in the light strip with the receiver at the bottom, and test to make sure it’s working.

Step 7: Outline Numbers

Sketch the number 20 on the first poster board as large as possible. Do the same for the second poster board (will be different depending on what year it is).

Step 8: Punch It Out!

Using a pencil or other pointy object, punch holes in the numbers on the poster board, spacing them out evenly.

Step 9: Push in the Lights

Push the Christmas lights into each one of the holes on your two boards.

Step 10: Put It on the Pole

Drop the ball onto the pole. Tie string at the bottom and top of the ball, loop it through the top of the pole, and leave enough slack to allow the ball to raise and lower the length of the pole.

Step 11: Plug in the LED Strip

Plug in the strip and use an extension cord so the ball can be lit even when its at the top of the pole.

Step 12: Happy New Year!

Let it drop and turn on the sign when the clock strikes midnight!

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