Saturday Surprise. . .Times Square Ball revisited!

UPDATE: Hi everyone, Keith here! I wanted to repost this blog since churches are getting ready for their VBS's! I do want to add a little something extra. I found this website dedicated to the "Sparkleball". Supposedly, this is what they are called! I hadn't realized when I first made mine. Oops!

Now, for the original post!

The Times Square Ball we made for the VBS Previews has taken on a life of it's own. Originally, I wanted to create a "Times Square Ball" that we could use in the Preview events and "drop" (just like the real Times Square Ball) at the end of each day but little did I know that it was going to be a big decoration hit!

Here's the story. The ball was not developed as we were creating the curriculum. . .that's why it's not in theDecorating Made Easy book. I kinda thought of it as we were driving to our first event in Ridgecrest. Carol (my editor) and I were talking about it. . .trying to figure out how to make it. When we arrived in Ridgecrest, a group of us ran to Wal-Mart for supplies. We picked up what we thought would work, including their last box of Christmas lights! An hour before EXPO was to open, we finally started to work on the ball. . . we really didn't know if it would work or not but it did!

Here are the supplies that I used.

  • 50-100 count Christmas tree lights
  • 55 9oz. Solo clear plastic cups
  • glue gun
  • drill (I used a 3/16" drill bit because that is the size my lights would fit in)

If you use LED lights, it should lessen the chance of melting. I actually poked the entire casing through the hole.

I wanted to do another Foto Friday today and show how to make the Time Square Ball with photos but I think it might be easier to do it with a video! Enjoy!

You can change this up by using white lights or lights that sparkle (which might look really cool!) or even add some taller plastic cups to the ball to add some depth to the ball.

Just remember to have fun!

Update: I've been asked how I would drop the ball.

Honestly, we ran out of time after it was created, to figure out how best to drop the ball! The Preview event was about to start. I was determined to “drop” the ball at that first event, even though I didn’t have the right materials to do it. It was a funny, funny sight. . .me on a ladder behind the Times Square set, trying not to fall off the ladder (don't tell my boss!), and slowly lowering it by hand!

I've given some suggestions in the comments field but after thinking about it, I think I've figured out a solution. If you have a piece of PVC pipe (I used a 1 inch in diameter piece), inserted that through the ball, in between the cups. (see photo).

Now, you should be able to pull the ball down using the extension cord. Or attach some fishing line to the ball and pull it down with that!

Here's a bit of an extra for you. . .2 close-ups of  some of the VBS 2012 products!




  1. vbsguy says

    Great work Keith. I know what the first picture relates to. Our VBS friends are going to love it! I'm not sure about the second pic.

  2. Jenny says

    Love it! In fact we loved it so much we made an even bigger one. It was taken outside this afternoon to transport and the glue literally melted in the 93 degree, humid heat outside. We could all cry. It took hours to make and now it is not even recognizable! :(

    So, word to the wise. Avoid the hot summer sun with this one!

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