How To Decorate With Disco Balls

When thinking about modern decoration, a disco ball most likely isn't the first thing that pops into your head. The shiny decoration was a staple in nightclub interior design in the 1970s and '80s, when leotards, finger-pointing dance moves, and discos dominated the scene. But the disco era wasn't the first time we saw these shiny ornaments. According to The Vintage News, disco balls originated in 1897 and became widely used in underground dance houses during the 1920s dance era. People referred to these dances as "glitter balls," adding an exciting element to their Saturday night out. The first patent granted for a disco ball was in 1917 by Louis Benard Woeste, who called it the "Myriad Reflector" although Woeste didn't personally invent it. The trend eventually faded until the late 1960s, when it came back in full force for two decades.

And since trends are cyclical, we're seeing yet another comeback in the 21st century. But instead of appearing in clubs or dance bars, disco balls are having a moment in houses and apartments. Here are some fun ways to decorate with disco balls and hop onto the trend.

Create a makeshift chandelier

While disco balls are a novelty that is loved by many, they're also an interior designer's favorite trick for making a room more eclectic. The Ginger Home reports that disco balls reflect light throughout any space they're in, causing light beams to scatter throughout a room. Because of their reflective nature, disco balls are neutral objects, meaning they can be placed in virtually any decorative style without shifting the mood entirely. And one of the most creative ways to display disco balls is to create a chandelier out of them. 

According to Green Hearts, a private studio salon and disco church in Atlanta called the Disco Salon has a chandelier of at least 20 disco balls that interact with the building's stained glass windows. The owner, Yoshi Burke, explained its appeal, sharing, "The sun comes up on the side, and it moves and illuminates these two stained glass windows beautifully, and hits this structure and the light just gets everywhere."

While you can purchase disco ball chandeliers online, there are many tutorials online on making your own. YouTuber Sydney Coast shares an easy DIY using little more than mini disco balls and metal hoops. You just attach the reflective balls to the hoops and hang them up!

Serve everyone in disco ball glasses

Disco balls don't just have to be decoration; they can also be practical. According to DIY Blondie, you can create disco ball shot glasses using standard crafting supplies such as foam balls, reflective stickers, and scissors. This would be the perfect addition to any playful dinner party or a disco-themed birthday. Not only will it give your guests a fun glass to sip out of, but it will double as decor on the table. 

To create one, cut a shot glass hole in the foam ball, carve it out to fit a plastic cup, and trim the excess. Next, glue on the mirrored stickers with hot glue and set them to dry. It's as simple as that! And if you don't need extra glasses, you can also do this project on a larger scale to create a disco ball vase or centerpiece.

Hang a disco ball made of plastic shot glasses

According to Instructables, a sparkleball is an ornament made from plastic cups and mini lights that resembles a disco ball. To create one, you'll need about 50 clear plastic cups, a hole punch, a drill with a ½-inch bit, zip ties or wire, and your choice of mini lights. Before starting the project, ensure the cups will not melt under low heat. To create a sparkleball, drill holes in the bottom of the cups and use the hole punch to punch small holes into the sides. Next, affix the cups together in a circular shape using zip ties or wire and layer them until a circle is formed. Before closing the circle, wire in your mini lights and hang it in a room or outside.

You can also make a mini sparkleball using plastic shot glasses, hot glue, and LED fairy lights (via ZE). Like a full-size sparkleball, you'll glue the shot glasses into a circle shape and fill the ball with fairy lights before closing it off. This method is great for party decorations or centerpieces because of its small size.

Spray paint disco balls to fit your aesthetic

One of the best things about disco balls is how much light they reflect throughout a space and how much fun they are to look at. But the mirrored finish doesn't always complement the color scheme of a party or your home decor. Luckily, A Subtle Revelry discovered a way to spray paint cheap disco balls while ensuring they continue to reflect light. Not only does this let you play with different hues, but it's also a great way to transform an old disco ball you've become bored with.

To paint disco balls you'll need spray paint and, most importantly, a high gloss clear spray paint, ensuring that light still reflects off the ornaments. The disco balls can be hung up using hooks, placed across a table, or throughout a dance floor or room. Or, if you want them contained, try putting them in a decorative basket.

Have a disco-inspired Christmas

Disco balls don't have to be saved for parties — you can also use them during the most magical time of the year as decoration. According to Studio DIY, you can create a Christmas tree almost entirely made up of mini disco balls using disco balls, a wire form, and hot glue. To create the project, start by gluing on larger disco balls, then working around by size, decorating with the smallest ones last and closer to the top as fillers. That way, there are fewer gaps between the disco balls.

You can even take the project outside, like the Public Hotel's Chrystie Park garden, where they decorated a 20-foot Christmas tree with hundreds of disco balls, laying one over the other to make it look like it was entirely made of reflective balls (via Secret NYC). If a disco tree isn't your thing, you can use mini disco ball ornaments to accent your Christmas tree and reflect Christmas lights in every direction (via Gala Darling).

Decorate with a melting disco ball

One of the disco ball DIY trends floating around the internet is mimicking melted disco ball art using styrofoam. Users on TikTok have created melting disco balls using styrofoam half balls, molding clay, silver paint, and adhesive mini disco ball mirrored strips. To make the look yourself, affix two half balls together, cutting out and shaping them into your desired form using clay. When dried, paint the form silver, and stick it on disco ball mirrors until the surface is completely covered. 

But before starting your DIY, decide where you would like to place it. If you're going to position it on a shelf, you can create a silhouette that drips over the edge. But if you decide to place it on a table, you can make the ball look like it's melting into a puddle. The possibilities are endless, and your creativity can run wild.

Accentuate your front door

Mini disco balls are so versatile that you can add them to virtually any surface or existing decorative item. Cassie Bustamante suggests decorating your front door with a pom pom and disco ball wreath for the holidays. To make a pom pom disco ball wreath, use a wreath form and attach DIY pom poms to it. She used a plastic pom pom maker from Amazon to make the balls, but you can also buy them from a craft store if you want to skip a step. To add sparkle, she wove in mini disco ball ornaments as accents.

If you don't want to create a wreath from scratch, you can also use a pre-made one and affix Christmas bauble ornaments and disco balls to the surface using zip ties, wires, or hot glue (via AmaraLiving). You can also hot glue mini disco balls around a wreath form and layer in ones of different sizes for an eclectic wreath that can be used year-round.

Tie down balloons at a party or create a balloon arch

If you're looking for a way to add flare to a balloon bouquet or to spice up your party decor, A Bubbly Life suggests using disco balls to weigh down helium balloons. You can even spray paint the disco balls to match your color scheme. This decor hack also works to decorate photo booths and backdrops — you can use bigger disco balls to make more of an impact in photos. 

You can also use balloons that look like disco balls to create a balloon arch or backdrop for a party (via Amy Party Balloon Decor). It will make for some memorable photos! To create a balloon arch, secure the balloons together in an arch or garland shape and place them against a shiny backdrop. In this example, the YouTuber added a tinsel background and neon light balloons for a little extra sparkle.

Create your own disco ball ornaments

While mini disco ball ornaments can be purchased online or at any home goods store during the holiday season, you can also make them with a few recycled supplies. According to DIY Craft Tutorials, to make DIY disco ball ornaments or mini disco balls, use glass ornaments, broken CDs, and a hot glue gun to create a mosaic pattern on the ornaments. For added detail, you can spray paint the ornaments with reflective spray paint prior to adhering the broken CD pieces or spray paint them with colorful reflective paint afterward for a modern finish.

You can either place the DIY disco balls onto a tree, in a glass jar, or mixed into a decorative bowl for a modern but festive look. Other fillers you can use with your DIY disco balls are natural objects like pine cones, sand, or sticks of dried cinnamon. You can also place the mini disco balls in a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter (via Aunt Peaches).

Make it a statement piece

Because of their size and ability to reflect light, disco balls are great statement pieces in a room. A statement piece is something that draws your eye to it when entering a room. Statement pieces can commonly be interesting lighting, a colorful chair, or large defining artwork. For disco balls, you can purchase eclectic disco ball sculptures, like the Mushroom Disco Ball from Lena Jade, or create your own sculpture using styrofoam, clay, and adhesive mirrors.

To create a sculpture, you can use virtually any medium from plastic bottles, traditional ceramic, recycled metal, or wood. But the easiest and most cost-effective option for beginners is to use air-dry clay, also referred to as paperclay (via Susie Benes). To get interesting shapes with air-dry clay, you can use aluminum wire to add detailing like arms or curves, and either leave them exposed or wrap them in clay. When the clay is fully dry, you can spray paint it whatever color you like and affix mini mirrors onto it.

Keep it cozy with a pillow

Because of the wide variety of fabrics available, you can turn virtually any item into a disco ball with reflective material. To bring a modern but functional disco ball into your space, Thread Sewing School suggests making a disco ball pillow. To create a disco ball pillow, download the template on its website, and use a disco ball patterned fabric, stuffing, and basic thread and needle. 

However, the site warns that reflective disco ball patterned fabric is a bit more challenging to work with than regular printed fabric because the foils on it are a bit sticky, and the needle will need to be cleaned between stitches with rubbing alcohol. You can also use a sewing machine, felt, and fabric glue to create a more tufted and full-looking pillow (via A Kailo Chic Life). It's a little more minimalist and might be able to blend into the room better.

Get groovy showcasing your plants

A fun way to bring disco balls into your space is to use them to showcase your plants. You can do this by purchasing pre-made disco ball planters or making your own. To make your own, Gypsy Tan suggests using a small disco ball as a vessel and creating a hanging planter. To do this, you remove a few rows of mirrors with a craft knife and cut along the line where the mirrors were removed. Inside, the ball may be hollow or contain a styrofoam filling. If there's filling, remove the inner layer. This is where you'll place a pot. Next, drill holes in the side and thread jute twine or cord through so you can hang the ball. Some plants you can easily hang are air plants, arrowhead plants, burro's tail, bird's nest ferns, or Boston ferns (via ProFlowers).

If you don't want to cut open a disco ball, you can also use a dollar store glass vase or circular vessel and mini mirrored tiles (via GSD Creative). To create this look, you must clean the glass with rubbing alcohol and apply adhesive mirrored tiles. You can also use broken CDs or nonadhesive mirrored tiles and hot glue them to the glass surface. This decorative DIY can be used as an accent on a credenza or as a table decoration at a party.

Plug in a disco ball light bulb

No longer do disco balls need to be mirrored, round reflective surfaces. Because of technology, they can be simplified down into colorful light bulbs. According to The Toy Network, any lamp or lighting fixture can become a disco ball with this new technology. These light bulbs have a clear casing with divots, making them look like a prism. Inside, colorful lights spin and reflect off the prism surface, making light dance around the room.

If you're feeling crafty, you can build your own disco ball inside an Edison light bulb that actually lights up (via W&M Levsha). To do this, carefully break open the light bulb, empty its contents, and carefully build a decorative disco ball mechanism inside with wood and adhesive disco ball glass. Snap everything together with an LED mechanism and wood binding, and you'll have yourself a disco ball in a lamp!

Adorn existing items with disco balls

You don't have to do massive DIYs or purchase elaborate decorative pieces when decorating with disco balls. Instead, you can attach mini disco balls or mini mirror tiles to your existing items. Aunt Peaches attached her decorative disco ball ornaments onto a chandelier with clear glass crystals. You can also add adhesive mirror tiles onto the legs or surface of a coffee table (via Jenna Pilant). If your coffee table doesn't have legs that you can easily alter, you can also use decorative ceramic orbs and adhere mirrored tiles onto them.

Interior designer Ana Bunjevac of Willow & Birch Interiors tells The National News, "You can use two or three different sized ones on your dining room table as a centerpiece. You can even cut one in half and frame it to make a wall collage; it all just depends on your personal style."

Place them in the bedroom

Disco balls are a great way to bring some retro romantic flare into a bedroom. The Dive Motel in Nashville, Tennessee, uses disco balls hanging in their rooms to contrast Venetian tiling on the wall. The placement brings an eclectic flare into an otherwise traditional space.

To install a disco ball, you can hang one off a stable hook. This option is purely decorative and will only reflect light in a static form. You can also install a disco ball hooked onto a motor (via House of Rave). The motor allows the ball to spin, which will cause light beams to dance around the room. There are different motors based on the size of the disco ball, from battery-powered to extra heavy duty. Once the motor is screwed into the ceiling based on its instructions, you can clip the disco ball chain onto the device.