You may remember some of our previous hula hoop craft projects including a holiday wreath with tree branches and a holiday wreath of faux wrapped gifts. This year, we have an even shinier holiday wreath for you, courtesy of Stephanie at cre8ive designs: a holiday wreath made of Christmas ornaments. The concept is similar to the other holiday wreaths we have featured here at hooping.org – use your hula hoop as a base and then attach your bauble of choice. All you need are hoops, craft wire, hoop tape (electrical tape or glitter tape for some extra pizazz), and lots of ornaments. Stephanie used a 29″ hoop and ended up with 164 ornaments on her wreath. Use non-glass ornaments to prevent breakage! Thanks to good old fashioned trial and error there are lots of tips provided that will save you valuable time and resources, so what are you waiting for? Grab an old hoop or two and deck the halls with a shiny holiday hula hoop wreath!
[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn helps us keep our hoops out of landfills.]
“There is an end to everything,” wrote Chaucer, “to good things as well.” Alas, even our beloved hoops won’t last forever. It can be hard to accept when our favorite circular companion has reached the end of its usefulness. A hoop that is tattered and beat to hell can only be slathered down with adhesive remover and re-taped so many times. And then there are the unfortunate victims of car tires (it happens more than you think!) and LED hoops inadvertently left out in the elements. And with every hoop-maker inevitably collecting a growing pile of tubing remnants, what’s a green-conscious hooper to do with our notoriously difficult-to-recycle hoop materials?
If you’re up for an art project there are some great ways to reuse and repurpose that old hoop. Consider turning that hoop into a holiday wreath, creating your very own twinkle light chandelier or weaving yourself a hula hoop rug. There are so many possibilities – but even if you are feeling crafty, chances are if you’ve got tubing remnants headed for that great big hoop heaven in the sky, you’ll be glad to know that these days there are increasingly more ways to give them a second life. Here’s the down low on how to recycle (almost) all types of hoop plastics.
A Ferguson Distribution Center in Front Royal, Virginia, recently turned a bad situation good by recycling excess materials and turning them into more than 400 handmade hula hoops, which were then donated to Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School. Excitement was apparent when the hoops were delivered. Students quickly flooded the school’s front yard and the red, white and blue hoops were the product of extra Zurn tubing that came back to the company and couldn’t be sold. Operations Manager Paul Dejong told the Northern Virginia Daily, “Eventually, the notion came up to make them into hula hoops.” A few months back, 30 hoops were donated to the elementary school. Since then, associates at the center perfected their hoop making and were able to deliver about 380 more. “Making them took a reasonable amount of time … even my two hands were a part of putting them together,” he added. “There was definitely personal love put into them.” Each of Barbour’s 88 fifth graders were able to take a hoop home, with the remaining hoops staying at the school. Ferguson, the country’s largest supplier of plumbing supplies, is actively trying to be more environmentally friendly as a company and a facility.
Feeling crafty? Here at Hooping.org we’re always looking for new ways to recycle, repurpose and reuse those old hoops in new ways. Pattie Wilkinson at Pattie Wack Designs teaches us how to make tie-dye wall art using one, though we imagine you could replace the tie-dye with any type of fabric you’d like to have on display in your home.
Over at TreeHugger.com they’re looking at ways to green your exercise routine and one of their ideas is hooping. “All you need is a little space, yourself, and a hoop. Hooping is considered a ‘total body workout’ and burns around 210 calories in one half-hour of sport. Hooping is a combination of your old hula-hoop moves, where you swing your hips in a circular motion to keep a ring of plastic in motion and flight, with dancing steps added to vary the routine, keep your heart rate going and keep the flub melting off. But how green is hooping? Well, it’s got to be better than a plugged-in treadmill, which uses electricity (except in these sweat-equity gyms) to keep the rubber running as well as the digital display. Original hoops were made from a plastic called Marlex, basically high density polyethylene. At Hooping.org they advise making an old hula-hoop into a rug or a holiday wreath. These days hoops come in a lot of different variations, from LED-lit hoops, to DIY hoops. But a simple HDPE hula-hoop should be recyclable, though not necessarily in the curbside bin. If you make your own hula-hoop, and you happen to re-use HDPE tubing, and you do all your hooping at home, outside, not following a video on a screen, or you attend yet don’t drive to hooping gatherings, well, if you do all that, you might be able to say your exercise routine is green.”
One option is to turn that neglected hoop into a holiday wreath to share some holiday cheer. If you’re someone who prefers a more traditional green wreath, you can easily attach branches and trimmings and transform that old hoop. Fresh cuttings from the woods are amazing if you live somewhere that you can go gathering them in the woods. Or perhaps you have some artificial tree branches that have been gathering dust waiting to be recycled as well. Whichever you choose, work your way around the hoop attaching the branches with electrical tape in a way that pleases your eye. Be careful to tape the branches to the hoop in a way that the tape can not be seen, using dark green or black electrical tape to help it blend into your holiday wreath. Once you have your branches arranged and attached, add a bow using the ribbon of your choice. We think a nice red bow looks great with the greenery, but feel free to be creative and hang your new wreath somewhere you’re sure to enjoy it. Still feeling crafty? Another hula hoop holiday decoration option is the icicle light chandeleir.
Got an extra hoop laying around that has a kink in it? Decide to make a hoop and cut one too small? Chances are you probably have an extra hoop around you’re never going to use and rather than throw that in a landfill, you can turn it into a holiday wreath. Jennifer Perkins writes, “My fireplace was just begging for a holiday makeover and who was I to say no? A ready made wreath large enough to not look dwarfed on my stone wall was either too expensive or just not my style, and that’s when I remembered Tallulah’s abandoned Hula Hoop and the fun began.” All you need to make it happen is some vintage wrapping paper, liquid fusion glue, a hot glue gun, clothes pins, a cardboard box, books, Aleene’s Tacky Transparent Tape for Crafters, scissors, ribbons and bows, a pen, and of course a hula hoop. While Jennifer makes a wreath of holiday presents, you can of course turn just about anything into a wreath with a smidge of craftiness and a little imagination. Her instructions: The Hive
Do annoying cats or birds attack your garden? Or, do you need a new headboard for your bed Eleven-year-old Holly Penpred thinks she has the perfect solution for you, so she is selling Horrific Hula Hoops. What are they? “Horrific Hula Hoops are made from a traditional hula hoop, broken into two half-circle shaped pieces. The two half-circles can be used to improve your quality of life,” Holly said. And she has a point as evidenced by the photo. You can cut a no-longer useable hula hoop in half and use it to border your garden or all sorts of things. We can repurpose or reuse a lot of things. Penpred is a student at Greenpark School in Tauranga, New Zealand, where they have been learning to write persuasively and fundraise for their end of year class trip, said teacher Andrew Sinton-White. Mr Sinton-White said the students had been “very creative” and had learnt a lot through the exercise.