Homemade disco ball

Sorry to keep referencing that article, but one thing she also said that stuck out is that mormon mommies are crafty. Well, crafty I am, though I’m still imperfect in said craftiness.

I have been trying to make this disco ball (off and on) for a while now. Why? So I can spin it around while I’m dancing to nyan cat or trolololol, you know. Or really any of the music I actually do listen to regularly (which does include both of those songs sometimes!). Gotta keep my spirits up when the kids are gone. And if you think that sounds crazy, I challenge YOU to keep from smiling as you dance with the little lights spinning about the room.

Anyway, I tried once by cold-temp-hot-gluing (an oxymoron if I ever heard of one) cut up AOL CDs to a big pink bouncy ball. That went smashingly until the hot-cold-glue (or whatever you want to call it) got the best of the ball, and the whole thing crumpled into a sparkly mess.

I thought about using a foam ball, by the way, but you know those 8″ foam balls are almost as expensive as buying a real disco ball? Hello, where is the thrifty craftiness in that!? I was musing over how to get a nice round shape from a balloon with paper mache, when a brilliant friend (who also has a mormon mommy blog, incidentally!) suggested using a blow-up punching ball. Bingo.

So attempt two consisted of paper macheing that, then getting a not-so-brilliant idea to hang the whole thing in front of a slightly warm oven to speed up the drying process. Hot air expands, and the paper mache broke in half. The kids enjoyed the science project.

I tried again a few weeks later, just before my buddy’s birthday. I’d invited lots of friends over with their families, and kids were running wild everywhere. Apparently one of them thought the neat paper ball was pretty awesome, and beat it up til it broke. Alas. That was in April, and I sort of gave up on the project for a while after that.

But tonight… tonight, I am in a funk. My kids are gone for the week. I run on an average of two dozen hugs a day or so from those little sweeties, not to mention their awesome insights and conversations. (Which reminds me, I’ll have to post what my son said this morning before he left…) and I miss them sorely when they’re gone. I told my friend earlier tonight that I’m lost in the deep dark forests of Funklandia. And I lay there a while staring at the ceiling before it occurred to me: what better thing to do when you’re in a funk, than play some funky music? And how much better would that funky music be if I had my very own disco ball to go with it?

Thus I shall try again, and this time I’ll document my process. It simply must turn out well if I’m going to blog about it, right? So here we go.

These are the paper mache basics, in case you don’t know them:
First I covered my work area with a few layers of newsprint. And by newsprint, I mean grocery ads, because I don’t buy dead-tree editions of the news.
Next I mixed roughly equal parts flour and water in my blender. I could have done this with a spoon, but why would I do that when I’m lucky enough to have a Blendtec? I poured this sludge into a cup I’d been given earlier today at Betos.
Then I tore some more ads into strips and dipped them in the sludge, squeegie-ing them off with my fingers to get rid of the excess goop.
Anyway, then I put the goopy strips on the balloon. Paper mache 101. Technically, it’s really Papier-mâché 101 but I figure not many people are going to google that.

After a few go-rounds, the balloon tipped over and bounced off my countertop onto the floor. So I decided to hang the whole thing via binder-clip from the spice cupboard above my stove… a clever move if I do say so myself. I had to wash my hands for that part, so I decided to document my process. Thus here I am.

Luckily, I’d ripped up exactly enough strips to give the project one layer, so I finished that much up. I’ll give it one more layer before I wrap up tonight, and another layer in the morning. Hopefully it’ll be ready for mirrors by tomorrow!

And here are the photos I took. They were totally boring, by the way, so I decided to spice them up a bit with a super cheese disco ball effect in photoshop. It doesn’t look that great, but the real effect is certainly going to add some random fun to otherwise boring kidless nights.

Paper strips, paste, hanging the ball, the ball-hanging binder clip mechanism, and the fully coated balloon. All done up with sparkles and rainbow light. Hooray!

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