Making your own hula hoop is a great rainy day project and is a fun way to personalise your plastic circle of joy.
What you need to make a hula hoop:
- MDPE (medium density polyethylene) tubing: available from hardware and plumbing suppliers. It normally comes in a roll of 25m, which will make you around 7 or 8 hoops. It comes in various thicknesses but for a beginner we would recommend going for a 20mm or 25mm thickness.
- PVC cutter or hacksaw: available from all good hardware stores. The PVC cutter is easier but if you’re handy with a hacksaw you should have no problem.
- 1 x ½” connector from Fancy Tapes, order more than you need as they are not widely available in the UK!
- Tape measure and marker pen.
- Hair dryer OR bowl of boiling water OR heat gun.
- Rubber gloves (optional for safety!)
- Tapes to decorate the hoop, available from the wonderful Fancy Tapes.
How to Make a Hula Hoop in 7 Easy Steps
First, decide on the diameter:
- Most beginners start off with a 40″ outside diameter size. It is easier to start with a larger hoop.
- To work out your perfect hoop size: Measure from the floor to two inches higher than your belly button – this will give you the approximate diameter of your hoop. If your waist is slightly smaller than average, take off an inch or two. Likewise, if your waist is slightly larger than average, add an inch or two.
Now for some maths!
- Work out the circumference of the hoop by multiplying the diameter by 3.14
- For those who love algebra, this is the equation: C = d x π
- For a 40″ diameter hoop this would be: (d) 40” x (π) 3.14 = (C) 125.6″
Measure and cut:
- Use the tape measure to measure out your circumference (in this example: 125.6″) and mark the spot where you need to cut.
- Get the PVC cutter (or saw) and cut the tubing where you’ve marked it.
Heat it up:
- If you’re safety conscious put on your gloves because things are about to get hot!
- Make sure you have the connector in arms reach.
- Heat up both ends of your tubing. If you’re using the hairdryer or heat gun, direct the heat in the direction of the ends of the hoop. If you’re using water, dip each end into the water ensuring it is submerged about 3”.
- The aim is to soften the tubing ends so the connector will fit in.
- Once tubing ends have softened (max. 1-2 mins) push the connector into the softened ends one side at a time.
- Keep pushing the ends of the tubing together until they meet in the middle of the connector and the connector has disappeared.
- There should be a little bit of resistance but if it’s really hard, go back and soften the ends some more.
Voila! You have made yourself a hula hoop.
- If your hoop is more oval than circle, don’t worry! You can squash the hoop into shape by holding it on the vertical plane and pressing it gently into the floor, moving the hoop around its circumference until it is the shape of your dreams.
And now to add some flourish
- Buy some tape in contrasting colours (again Fancy Tapes for the win!) at least one should be a grip tape and the other(s) can be as fancy as you like.
- Start off with the fancy tape on a diagonal angle at the connector site, wind the tape around the hoop, keeping the spacing as even as possible.
- Repeat the process with your grip tape going into the spaces you have left between the fancy tape.
- It’s a time-consuming job to wrap a hoop (the results are worth it!) some find it easier to stand up with the hoop between the legs but find a system that works for you.
- You can put as few or as many colours on your hoop as you want – the more tape the heavier the hoop!
- There are an infinite number of ways to wrap your hoop so remember to have fun!