How to Make a Hula Hoop

jasonstrauss Jason Strauss may very well be the Godfather of hooping these days. Not only has he been sharing his excellent directions on how to make a hula hoop for years, and how to make a collapsible hoop, it was Jason who gave the editors of hooping.org their first hoops the night we met him. Many others who have encountered Jason over the years have similar stories to tell. We’ve been with him many times to hear the “you taught me how to make a hoop” stories too, so if you’re looking for Hoop Making 101, start with reading Jason’s instructions.

Vera made her first two hoops using those directions. Philo followed the same plan when he decided to make a hoop for the first time, only instead of a blow dryer, which he didn’t have at the time, he boiled some water and he continues to prefer the simplicity and manageability of using hot water.

While the primary difficulty involved with hoop-making continues to be simply finding the right tubing, visit our Hoop Making archives for more tips on how to make a hula hoop, a collapsable hoop, a LED Hoop and more.

71 comments for “How to Make a Hula Hoop

  1. Ariel
    September 1, 2007 at 9:03 am

    To make a hula hoop, it says you’ll need a connector. I can’t find a connector, is there a more specific name or something that can replace it?

    • raychilllove
      June 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      you can buy the “connectors” at any hardware store such as lowes and home depot. ask for INSERT CUPLINGS, those are the connectors that i use and they work great!<3

  2. Irena
    October 14, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Click the link for Jason.

  3. Ira
    November 18, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    A blowdryer would work, and hot water seems messy.
    I use my oven. It has a vent in the back to exhaust the hot air and I just hold the ends near this for a while and it gets plenty soft to put the connector in. A bbq qrill works well too. Hold the cut end over the bbq grill, keep it moving, and not for too long.

  4. April
    April 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I was wondering what the perfect kind of hoop to make for tricks is? I have larger, heavier ones but I am finding it difficult to lift up. As soon as I start to get it above my head, the weight drops to one side and falls down. So what size hoop and what kind of weight is perfect for a trick hoop?

  5. Dawn
    June 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Hi, want to make my own hoop went in my local diy shop but could not find black tubing or conectors, no one knew what i meant,.. Can anyone in the UK tell me where they got there’s and what to ask for please,
    thanks x x

  6. Sally Cox
    June 17, 2008 at 3:36 am

    I just bought some tubing from B&Q (25mm x 25m for about £20)It’s bright blue rather than black. I’m still trying to get hold of some suitable connectors as the ones I got are too fat even though they are 25mm! Then use orindary electrical tape for base coats and just keep your eye out for any exciting colours/textures for stripes etc.

    • lena charles
      March 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      it took trial and era for me to learn where to find the irrigation tubing. for now on go straight to Lowes they have the couplings and the correct piping you need. when you find it you’ll know. the only thing is there are two different types. make sure you look on the coil for 160 PSI, that’s the weight you want.

      • Lyn
        January 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm

        Not necessarily. I went to Lowe’s and they had the tubing, but only in sizes that were WAAAY to narrow or WAAAY to wide. I ended up having to order mine off of Amazon.

  7. Sarah
    July 29, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I am trying to find tubing and having some trouble…just for clarification- is the 3/4″ diameter the INSIDE or the OUTSIDE diameter! THANKS!

  8. Cavale
    August 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Hiiiiii. I have the same question as Sarah… Somebody answer pleeaasee.

  9. August 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    The simple answer: It doesn’t matter.
    The complicated answer: The pipe that I use is just sold as 3/4″ tubing. I use polyethylene farming irrigation tubing, stuff like this. Now when you start talking to people who are experts with plumbing and such and they’re trying to sell you tubing and you’re telling them 3/4″ and they ask you if that’s the internal or external measurement, it’s really because they’re not making hoops with it. They’re trying to come up with the exact measurements for let’s say a sprinkler system connection. Whether it’s the internal or external measurement of whatever pipe you find doesn’t matter. The only difference will be the slightest difference in the thickness of your hoop.

  10. Rebecca
    August 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Wherever you get the tubing, thhey will have connectors to match. I use 3/4 inch tubing, but honestly… have no idea if that is the inside or outside diameter. I just know the corresponding connectors fit! :)

  11. Michelle
    September 30, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Hi. I followed Jason`s instructions on how to make my own hoop but the hoop is FLAT on the side where the connector is and I have no idea why. One thing I can say is that the connector has a bit that sticks out so the two sides of the hoop don`t connect together perfectly…could that be the problem? Or could it be that the density of the plastic isn`t right? I am in a country where nothing is in English and the shop assistants in the suburbs where the only big hardware shop is certainly don`t understand what I want! There doesn`t seem to be a hoop-making-trouble-shooting spot anywhere in sight?? !!
    Thanks for advice…

  12. Lealyn
    November 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone has used battery operated led christmas lights to make an led hoop. I am looking for a strand that has a small enough battery pack to fit inside 1 inch tubing. Thanks!

  13. Jason
    January 9, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Woe is me!
    I went to Lowes to buy supplies to make my wife a hoop – all they carry now is 100PSI.
    I then went across the street to HD and they had nothing.
    Then on to True Value, they only had 100PSI.
    I live in W. Palm Beach – anybody find 160 PSI POLYETHYLENE FLEXIBLE COIL PIPE 3/4″ X 100′ here?
    Michelle I haven’t made a hoop yet, but I have researched making them.
    You need to remove those bumps in the middle so the hoop ends touch. I would do it with my dremal tool. But you can rub it off with anything coarse, a file, even a cement curb. Cut it off with a hacksaw. A super hot knife. Just some suggestions.
    I also read a hint to cut the double male connector as short as possible with your tube cutters which will result in a smaller flat spot.
    Another hint don’t use the first foot of tubing on the roll ends as it is usually flat.
    Another hint, use the boiling water method to prepare your ends for the insertion of the double male and as soon as you get the hoop ends to touch step on the connector and pull upwards on the other side of the hoop making it rounder.
    Another hint, you can also use a hair dryer to shape the hoop.
    Hoop this helps!

  14. lori
    February 2, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Re: Hoop roundess/warped advise:
    Hi, I just made 3 hoops ……the biggest problem i am having is roundness…they are a little warped and not quite round…this is really effecting the hoop-ability…does anyone have an easy solution?
    thanks
    lori

  15. Nathan Shimoda
    April 24, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I tried making my hula hoop yesterday and I probalby should’ve done more research. I think I got polyethylene pipe instead of tubing (does this make a difference) Also it was only 1/2 an inch instead of the 3/4 or a 1 inch. The hoop was too flimsy and I couldn’t keep it up. Could this be because of the piping instead or tubing and the thickness? Thank you very much for any help.

  16. Zoe
    May 28, 2009 at 7:18 am

    For anyone wanting to make a hoop in the UK, you can buy the pipe from B&Q or wickes, and you can order the connectors from this site http://www.fancy-tapes.co.uk/ they come in 1/2″ and 3/4″. You can also get all sorts of tape from this site.

  17. Karen
    June 5, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Hi. My doctor tells me I need to exercise more for my slightly high blood sugar. I decided to take up hula hooping again after about 50 years! Anyway, I made my first hoop yesterday and gave it a try. I haven’t had so much fun since I was about 5.
    I bought 100 psi tubing at Lowe’s that says “3/4″x100′ NSF PE 100PSI COIL”. Don’t know what it is used for, but it seems to work, except I kind of wish I’d gone with the 160 psi for more weight.

  18. Marisa
    June 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

    For everyone that is having problems with keeping or getting their hoops round. When my hoops get misshapen after a car ride in the back seat, or hanging on a hook too long, I just lay them flat on the blacktop or cement in the sun. It rounds them out again. I think its the heat of the sun on the ground. But it never fails they always get their round shape! Hope that helps!

  19. Amy
    June 22, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I have been all over the site. It’s wonderful. I have instructions on how to make a hoop and everything. The only thing I can’t find is what is a good size for arm hoops? I want some smaller hoops for individual arm and leg workouts. Can you please give me an idea of what a good size is. Thanks!

  20. Suziemay
    July 15, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Hi,
    I found the 3/4 in, 160 psi tubing at my local True Value hardware store. If you call them and they don’t have it in stock ask them if they can order it. (After all, it is in their catalog.) You will have to buy 100 feet though. They also have the connectors. I don’t know if I like that particular weight though. It’s pretty heavy and hurts! I keep hitting myself in the head and face, and the diameter seems a bit big for my hand to get around. I have average size hands. But I am a beginner so maybe I just need some more practice. Also, I am having a problem with the flat spot on the hoop. I just read a post about cutting down the connector. I’ll have to try that. I’ll take any additional suggestions on that flat spot problem! Have fun hooping everyone!

  21. July 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I just made my first hoop and it came out great! And I discovered a very easy way to soften the pipe before connecting: just leave it out in the sun for awhile! No need to use water or fire or blowdryer. Cheers, Chezz

  22. shoop
    July 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    can anyone in the uk please help? i visited wickes and b&q for tubing but ended up confused. there is blue, grey or white pipe there – didn’t see any black – and no connectors. any suggestions?

  23. Sue
    September 1, 2009 at 4:40 am

    The problem every seems to make when buying the tubing is looking in the wrong place. You need to go to an irrigation company or a plumbing company that sell it by 100 feet. They all have it. 3/4″ x 100′ psi 160. This is the best tube for a hula hoop. The connectors, I actually bought at Home Depot. The 3/4″ wa too big to fit properly into the tube o I bought 1/2″. It is a little small, but after wraping one layer of electrical tape around it, it fit quite snuggly.
    My biggest problem is finding tape. Where in Canada can someone buy decorative tapes without ordering online?

  24. Tansey
    September 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I just bought some 3/4″ 100psi 180 (not sure what the 180 means), white PVC tubing today at Rona. Comes in 10′, 20′, 50′ or 100′ lengths. Also bought various colours of electrical tape … black, yellow, white, red, blue, green, orange and yellow.
    Now I’m trying to find out online the proper length to make the hula hoop. 10’?
    Edmonton, Alberta

  25. September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Looks like someone asked this question before but I don’t think anyone answered it! I’ll try again: What kind of store does one go to to shop for gaffer tape in various colors? I know you can order it online, but I’d rather go to a store in town, if I knew where to look! Thanks, chezztone

    • November 22, 2011 at 12:05 am

      Simple electrical tape is available at any hardware store. Gaffer tape is a specialty tape that is typically used by film makers. Remember the term “Gaffer” in your movie credits? So if you have a store that caters to film making, I’d give them a call. Concert venues also use it to mark cords and stuff so maybe a theater supply place? You can also try visiting your local art supply store – they might have a tape section too. Or you can just order it online.

  26. Lia
    September 24, 2009 at 2:57 am

    hey! I’m looking to make an led hoop in the UK and have the leds but not the tubing… could anyone suggst where to find it? I’ve tried in b&q and other places…. i need HDPE so I’m told, needs to be clear and 3/4″… hard times! Cheers lovelies!

  27. Marianne T.
    October 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Hey, I just made my first hoop! Lowe’s had 1″ poly tubing…tried using the hairdryer, but ended up just standing over a simmering pan of water with the tubing dipped inside for two minutes – it worked!

  28. Wendy
    October 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Local supply for gaffers tape? Go to an electronics store or music store (like for bands/musicians). They use gaffers tape to secure cords on stage and also make removable stage markings. But be prepared!!! In San Antonio there is only one store that I could find (Altex) and they charge $22.00 per roll and it only comes in black or white. Trust me. Buy online.

  29. Helen
    November 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I found the tubing and connectors online for 3/4″ 160psi 100 ft coil. Search for Coil Polyethylene Pipe. I paid about $27 for the tubing and the coupling @$0.38.

  30. Karli
    November 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I went to Home Depot, but the polyethelene tubing that they had was very soft and flexible. I didn’t have any sort of stiffness. Was I looking at the right stuff?

  31. Sonia
    November 9, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hi there.
    is ice hockey tape the same as gaffer tape?

  32. bre
    November 13, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I made my hoop out of 3/4″ 100 psi tubing. it was too light for me so I added water. Now my hoop is droopy. I haven’t taped it yet. What can I do to get the weight, but not a flimsy hoop with the tubing I have? I’m not prepared to go get the 3/4″ 160 psi tubing just yet.

  33. KeyGal
    November 22, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Could blue painter’s tape be used for decorating a hoop if it was put down first so that the electrical tape would cover the edges of it? I love that color blue of the painter’s tape.

  34. amber
    January 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    i have a project on hula hoops how can i make the hula hoop more cool and lighted up. :)

  35. Sherri
    February 2, 2010 at 9:12 am

    After being so confused on what tubing we actually needed, my husband ended buying a 10 foot pipe of PEX 160 PSI with the 5/8 x 5/8 barb splicers. It worked for us. The 10 foot pipe makes a hoop 38 inches in diameter. So if you wanted it bigger you’d have to buy 2. The 10 foot pipes were only 5 dollars a piece. You can buy the PEX in larger coils, but it’s rather pricey that way. I’m excited to get started hooping.

  36. bodzin
    February 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Hi, I am in Venezuela, where we don’t have the connectors — or “empates” as they say in Spanish. I ended up using 3/4″ polyethylene irrigation tubing for the hoop and 6 cm of 1/2″ PVC plumbing tubing for the connector. I sanded the PVC tubing lightly to give it more friction and it is holding wonderfully, so far on 15 hoops. Now, the trick is finding nice tape…

  37. Michele
    May 5, 2010 at 5:13 am

    For Canadians wanting to make their own hoops, I`ve been very happy with the white SuperPex 100psi tubing at Home Depot. Fairly heavy, and VERY rigid. They also sell the connectors. And electrical tape in various colors. Hoops cost about $6 this way.

  38. Rebecca
    May 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Lindsay,
    I work for an irrigation supplier and we get calls frequently from people looking for the tubing to make the hoops. The tubing is 100% safe to handle. The primary use for the tubing is low volume drip irrigation. Although, most sites will tell you to use 160 psi tubing, that isn’t the easiest to find since the tubing isn’t designed for higher pressure. So as far as any concerns with the safety of the tubing, there shouldn’t be…hope this eases any worries. Happy Hooping!!

  39. mandy
    May 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    for those in central florida or us .. try john deer.. they supply irrigation materials .. hope it helps

  40. July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve made a few hoops from black polyethylene irrigation tubing, 3/4″ 160 psi. Some of them are definitely not very circular. I thinks this makes them harder to use, especially if I’m trying to learn new tricks. Does anyone know how get a hoop to be closer to a true circle? It seems that the tubing at the ends of the 100′ roll I bought were straighter than the rest of the roll. Hoops made from the ends are worse than the others. It would be nice if I could use all the tubing and not discard the ends. Has this been a problem for anyone else?
    Thanks

  41. July 27, 2010 at 6:12 am

    The ends are always straighter when buying tubing so you might want to avoid using the end pieces. Sometimes hoops don’t turn out so round too because we flatten them while forcing the connectors in. Polyethylene expands when heated and contracts when it cools. If the pipe is still warm and you’re holding it in a flat line while inserting the connector as it is cooling, your hoop will end up with a flatter spot.

    If you really want to know more about hoop making be sure to check out the Hoopmaking category (http://www.hooping.org/category/hoop-making/) for more info and you can throw out more specific questions in the Hoopmaking group forum too: http://www.hooping.org/groups/hoop-making/

  42. Dee
    August 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve made many hoops and only now, trying to learn new tricks. I’m having a problem this time around. The tubing I was able to find is very light, and I think its making it harder to keep the hoop up. Is there a way to fill the tube to weigh it down?

  43. Allesscat
    September 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Anyone know how to make your own LED hoop?

  44. tiffany
    January 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

    i made a hoop using the 100 psi 1″ tubing. i found after i put the connectors in it wasn’t circular and i also found that its too heavy for my small frame. the size is great but what can i do about the weight?

    • January 2, 2011 at 11:41 am

      It might just be a case of getting used to the weight if the size is right. Adult-sized hoops are naturally heavier than what you’re going to find in a toy store. That being said, you might want to try 100 psi 3/4″ tubing. Even regardless of the psi women tend to prefer it over the 1″ pipe while guys tend to light a little more girth and weight. As for the circular issue, some seem to have a tendency to “flatten” the pipe while inserting the connector and when it cools it maintains that. Even if you “flatten” it while inserting the connector, bend it into a circular shape and hold it like that while it cools.

      For more hoop making tips check out the Hoop Making Archives.

  45. ScoobyDee78
    January 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I think there must be a typo in Jasons instructions for making the hoop. If the diameter of your hoop is up to 13′ , that would be gigantic!! Maybe he means the length of the tubing is 13’? That would mean the diameter would be about 3 feet.

  46. Berries
    February 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Jasons instructions say circumference, which is the distance around the outside of the hoop, not diameter.

    • February 8, 2011 at 2:03 am

      Exactly. That’s because he’s talking about the circumference, not the diameter.

  47. Msree
    February 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Standing the hoop on the ground, it should be above your waist! About 42-43″ diameter. I like the 160 psi 3/4″ tubing! These hoops weigh about 1 pound 7 ounces and are circular even to the end of the tubing! My husband does a great job of making them! No complaints!

  48. April 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I want to make my own hoop, i’m a beginner so can anyone tell me what size pipe i should get that would be easiest to start with. thanks :)

  49. Jen
    November 30, 2011 at 9:59 am

    How would I go about weighting to Hula Hoop and keep the weight in place so it does not move around?

    • November 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

      You could make your hoop in 2-4 sections, just make them even, and get 2-4 connectors. Put stationary weights in each of the connectors, even down into the tubing if you want. That should make sure its evenly weighted, and not moving around like water or sand. There is also always the option of the 1 inch 160 PSI tubing tripple taped, thats pretty dang heavy lol. Good Luck!

    • November 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Many people looking for a weighted hoop or want to make one don’t really understand that thee adult sized hoops described here are already heavier than anything you can buy in a toy store. If you follow the directions on how to make a hoop your hoop will generally weigh between and 1 and 2 pounds. I suggest trying it and if you find you would like something heavier add another layer of tape – it really does make a difference and you can keep your hoop very evenly balanced.

  50. Bec
    December 16, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Im in Australia and I have been searching for months for “hoop connectors” instead of using pop rivets and I have had no luck Ive been to the local hardware store bunnings with a picture of a connector and they have no clue it seems the only way I can get them is online and they are not cheap at all! I’m starting to think I will just have to try pop rivets like I was recommended to by another hooper… Unless someone can suggest an alternative….

  51. January 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Can anyone tell me how to make my own polypro? like what exactly will i need and how to do it. are there any videos?

  52. March 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Since I normally make one hoop at a time, I boil my water in the microwave in a large coffee cup, it takes 5 minutes, so easy.

  53. lttlcndn
    April 2, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I’m just getting into this hooping bug :-) And am researching how to make my own hoops due to cost efficiency. I’m hearing that 100 psi is best for kids and 160-180 psi is best for adults. All 3/4″ inner diameter.
    Tractor Supply Co. seems to have what I’m looking for (for those of you in the New England area – So far, I’ve been able to find 100 psi tubing for kids here:

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/pvc-pipe/100-psi-polyethylene-flexible-coil-pipe-3-4-in-x-100-ft-3151591?zoneMarketInfo=2-16&reqUrl=%2Fpvc-pipe%2F100-psi-polyethylene-flexible-coil-pipe-3-4-in-x-100-ft-3151591&langId=-1&storeId=10551&storeCity=city%2C+state&catalogId=10001&storeZip=03060&ddkey=http:LocationBasedPricingCmd

    And have been able to find adult piping here:

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/160-psi-polyethylene-flexible-coil-pipe-3-4-in-x-100-ft-3182071

    Hope this helps anyone still looking!

  54. Cityzoo
    July 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Why do you not use ball bearings to balance the hoop?

  55. cidneygee
    August 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Anyone that needs help finding the tubing in Michigan

    http://plumbing.gillroys.com/PVC_&_Plastic_Pipe/PVC_pipe/3/4_INx100_FT_160psi_Pipe-s424419.html

    You can also order it right from that website if you don’t have a gilroy’s around you. They have the couplings as well

  56. Alcyoneee
    September 15, 2012 at 12:13 am

    hi everyone im from México and i come 2 chicago just 4 summer vacations and i want star my own sell hula hoops led, i come 2 u because in México i dont know any person will make hula hoops led and many times i´ll try make my own hula hoop led but i dont know why always i scrub up and the material its so expensive and i wanna know tips 4 buy material here and make the hula hoop, can u help me with this ? do u know how or who make hula hoops led i will go back 2 México next tuesday so appreciate all tips i can get, have fun and nice week smile :)

  57. Lyn
    January 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    So I bought the tubing and the connectors, and even though they are the right size connectors for the tubing I got, the connectors won’t fit inside the tubing. What should I do?

  58. November 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

    im from the uk and want to make hoops using a pipe connector, i bought spring clips from fancy tapes, but the button is too flat once it is inside the pipe, has anyone else had this problem? its so frustrating, i have everything else but im struggling with this! ive used 20mm and 25mm mdpe tubing and no snap button seems to work

  59. June 23, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Argh — Jason’s site seems to be suspended and there are several Google links to Jason, but his site is suspended. Can someone post information here?
    Thanks — I’m new, and when I was a kid I never figured this hoop thing out. At 58, I need a low impact challenging workout. Hopeful this will be as much fun as it looks to be effective.
    Nancy

Leave a Reply