Want to be the Discobelle of the Ball? This mirrored creation will be a crowd favorite!
Create a mobile party that will keep people dancing around you all night!
(Photo courtesy of Joshua Targownik)
Step 1: Materials
Materials for disco ball:
mirrored material (3 2x2 sheets)
2 24" plastic domes
velcro (heavy duty)
2 2" wide silver belts
Utility knife (with plenty of extra blades)
Hot glue gun
Dremel cutting tool
mirror cutting tool
Battery operated lights
ipod shuffle with speakers
Step 2: Cut Domes and Velcro Together
I decided my best option for the disco ball form would be using acrylic domes, available at many plastic supply stores. Although expensive, ($180!) and not perfectly round when seen from the side angle, they are very strong even when cut and still have flexibility. Also, I needed a solid way to attach the domes together, and get in and out of my costume, so the dome "lip" came in handy.
Using a dremel tool, (with help from my friend Dave) I cut out each dome's top and bottom to fit around my body. This step was made easier by taking rough measurements of my bust and bottom using wire shaped around my form and then sketching it on the domes.
I used industrial strength velcro (available at Home Depot) to attach the sides of the domes together. It makes an amazingly strong bond! After lining both edges I also made a velcro "hinge" on the interior of one side to make it easier to put on and take off.
I celebrated getting this far by dancing around doing the robot.
Step 3: Attach Straps and Pad/cover Edges
After velcro-ing the domes together, I needed a way to wear the costume that would support the weight of the mirrors (and it got heavy, fast!)
I cut two silver belts (orienting the buckles on my shoulders, easily accessible) and hot glued them to the interior of the domes. Later, I reinforced the straps with gaff tape to help hold up against the weight of the mirrors.
I covered the sharp cut edges of the domes with foam tape to pad them. Then I covered all edges with silver tape, to disguise where the mirrors ended.
Step 4: Cut and Glue Mirrors
These mirrors come in various sizes (I used 1/2" mirrors) on a fabric backing that is about 2'x2'. I picked mine up at the Kit Kraft hobby store for about $60 each.
To cut strips from the grid of mirrors, I used GLOVES and a sharp utility knife, running the blade between a row to cut the fabric backing. The blade dulls quickly, change often. Keep in mind, mirror edges are SHARP!
Laying the first row of mirrors was the most difficult. I started on the "equator" of each dome. My first try was not level, but luckily the hot glue pulled off cleanly when I decided to try again. This time I also used a laser level to make sure it was a good starting point. Then I started gluing strips of the mirrors up from the equator, offsetting each row in a brick pattern. I cut mirror tiles in half (scoring them with a cutter) to fill in the rows all the way to each edge.
Hot gluing the rows one by one was a time consuming process... but I got both domes covered in a couple nights. I finished off each edge with a row of mirrors as well.
Finished, the ball weighed in about 20+ lbs! A workout wearing that around all night for sure.
Step 5: Choosing the Outfit
I wanted to sparkle and shine head to toe... so I set out to find a great outfit. Something fun and cute that I could wear even if I took the ball off for a bit.
Tinsel wig $15
Sequined top $25
Sequined hot pants $30
The shoes were a goodwill purchase. I had some mirrors left over, so I went ahead and mirrored them too!
Step 6: Getting Into (and Out Of) the Costume
You might think the ball was cumbersome, weighing in at 20 pounds... well it was, but I designed it with practical needs in mind... (like going to the bathroom!) and wanted to be able to get in and out by myself. Crack it open, put one arm through, push velcro together and buckle up!
Step 7: Accessories
I bought mini speakers for my ipod shuffle, which I loaded with disco favorite hits. The speakers weren't very loud, but loud enough for a mobile party. I used velcro strap to attach it to one of my belts.
I had some belt strap, mirrors, and velcro left over, so I made a couple bracelets.
I attached small LED lights to the bracelets. They twisted on, with blinking and solid options. I found these at Michaels Arts in the wedding section. I also carried around a small but very bright LED flashlight to "spotlight" the discoball.
Step 8: Party!!
Now hit the dance floor and spin baby, spin!!
I was a fantastic sensation, clearly a crowd favorite... Everyone likes shiny sparkly things! Yes it was a LOT of work, but I enjoyed every minute of being the Discobelle of the Ball!
Finalist in the
DIY Halloween Contest