My snowball light is 32 inches in diameter, took 800 coffee filters, 400 staples, 60 mini-cable ties, two people, and about 16 hours. I didn’t think it would take that many coffee filters when I planned this project. I originally bought 400 thinking I would have plenty extra. But I started out placing the coffee filters close together, so I had to finish the way I started or the light would have been lopsided.
If you think the sheer quantity of supplies I used is bad, consider the fact that I did exactly what the light-string safety instructions warns against: “Do not cover the product with cloth, paper or any material not part of the product when in use.” So, as with all of my projects, light this lamp at your own risk. Treat it like a burning candle or a lit Christmas tree: Never leave home when it’s lit. And only use LED lights. All you safety police should know that I kept my light on for several hours, and the bulbs never got warm, let alone in danger of bursting into flames. Granted, I only tried Ikea’s Glänsa lighting chain, so I cannot vouch for any other brand.
If all the above information didn’t scare you off, and you still want to make a snowball light, I recommend recruiting a buddy to help you, turn on a favorite movie, and build it assembly-line style. I’d also recommend making your snowball less dense by spacing out the coffee filters and therefore cutting your coffee-filter requirements — and time investment — in half. I hope some of you are brave enough to try it. I’d love to see what variations you come up with!
Special thanks to my friend Kristi who helped me for nine hours stuffing coffee filters, and lent me the use her apartment for the photo shoot.