Monday, January 2, 2012

DIY Hula Hoops

I've been very interested in hula hooping for a long time. I used to be one of those people who could hula hoop nonstop. When I started seeing tutorials for handmade hula hoops, like the ones here and here, I got very interested. I knew that I really wanted to make some. So, for my first try I made some for my daughter, nieces, and nephews for Christmas. I made mine by combining the two previous tutorials I mentioned before and made a few changes.

First thing I had to do was to make a trip to my local hardware store for supplies.

You will need:
  • Irrigation piping/poly tubing
    • This is the stuff that is used for under ground sprinkler systems. I found this was a seasonal item in my area. This item was found in the garden center. This usually comes in 100 ft rolls. This tubing comes in different sizes of 80 psi - 160 psi. The larger the number the heavier the hoop. 80 psi was all that was left at the end of the season, when I went. This worked out okay for kids. Anyone older or if you want it as a workout hoop you will want it heavier. A big thing of piping is usually between $12-$20. You are going to want to clean the tubing when you get it home, mine was pretty dirty. I just used a basic cleaner. Also this will help the tape to stick better.
  • Insert-connectors 
    • Make sure they match the opening size of your tube. My tubing was 3/4" so I got 3/4" connectors.
  • Ratcheting PVC cutter 
    • This cost around $12 to $15 as well, but if you plan on making a lot of hoops this will make it easier on you. 
  • Colorful tape 
    • You can use duct tape, prism tape, and electrical tape. You will need to have electrical tape if you want to use duct tape or prism tape. This is because you will need to put the electrical tape around the edges of the prism tape or duct tape to make sure that those tapes stay put or they don't fray when you are using your hoop.
  • pot and boiling water
  • a knife
    Remember the below picture from this sneak peek post? These are all the supplies I picked up at Home Depot. I ended up ordering pink electrical tape and prism tape online. Now lets get to making that hula hoop.
Since I was just making this for kids I made each one 9 feet and 6 inches long. For an adult you would want to make them longer. For an adult they say you want the hoop to reach somewhere between your bellybutton and your shoulders. This is where I used my ratcheting PVC cutter to cut the tubing up.

All my connectors seem to have had these little tab things sticking out that was stopping me from pushing my hula hoop tubing completely together. You can see it in the below picture on the left side of the connector. You may or may not have this on yours.

I took a sharp knife and cut them off of all of mine. 

You will want to dip the ends of your tubing into boiling water. Putting heat onto the tubing allows the tubing to expand. This will make it easier to put the connectors into the tubing. You are only dipping the ends in for 15 to 20 seconds.

You will insert the connector into the side that you have heated up and then heat up the other side to put the connector into the other end. Once the tube cools down it will tighten onto the connectors. Make sure you push the tubing as close together as you can.

At this point I take a little bit of duct tape to help seal the hula hoop into place, where it is connected.

Now it is time for the fun part, tape!

 You will want to first start with either your prism tape or duct tape. You will want to angle the tape using your thumb as you are going to smooth out any creases. Quick note here, prism and electrical tape is a lot more forgiving then duct tape if you mess up, especially if the tape happens to stick together.

 After you have applied your prism tape or duct tape you will want to take your electical tape and wrap it around the edges of the prism or duct tape. You are doing this because the duct tape tends to goo up on its sides and the prism tape doesn't seem to stick as well after long periods of time. The electrical tape will keep it all in place and make it behave.

Once you have all the tape on, you are done. Enjoy and have fun. If you want your hoop to make noise you can put rice or dried beans into the tubing.

My daughter with her hula hoop on Christmas. She can hula hoop pretty fast with this.


  1. Hello i'm from spain where i can buy the conector??
    Please tell me

    1. I get them from a hardware store here. I would think you would be able to find them at a hardware store in your area. Unfortunately I am not familiar with stores in Spain.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hi! Lovely hoops. I notice that mine are bending into an oblong shape where the connector is. Do you have any solutions for this??

    1. Hi Erin,
      Thank you very much. When you heated the ends how long did you have them in the boiling water? How much have you used the hula hoop and what size was the tubing you use?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Have made many of these. I prefer the heavier hoops to the lighter ones available in the stores. Have fun.

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