Collapsible Hula Hoop




Introduction: Collapsible Hula Hoop

About: Summation is a mathematician/cartographer in Seattle enjoying outfitting her friends in fuzzy and festive attire. She has hundreds of project ideas and will never have fewer than 15 going at once. Check out h…

Most collapsible hoop designs I've seen feature removable sections that snap back together with the help of elastic straps.  This Instructable features a more sexy folded infinity method, reducing the hoop to two smaller circles that can be worn across the body.  I like this design for taking my hoop on public transit to hoop get-togethers in the city.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

* polytubing (see Notes on Polytubing, below)
* connectors, 2 per hoop (3/4 inch connectors for 3/4inch tubing, 1inch connectors for 1inch tubing)
* decorative tape (electrical tape works great and is available in a variety of colors)

* utility knife
* hack saw or ratcheting pvc pipe cutter
* heat gun or hair dryer

Notes on Polytubing:
* 3/4 inch 100psi or 160psi, or 1inch 100psi can all be used to make hoops.  For beginners, 3/4 inch 160psi seems to work well.
* 1inch 160psi tubing is also available, but will make a very heavy hula hoop.
* Polytubing is commonly sold in 100ft rolls.  This is enough for approx. 8 hula hoops.
* Tubing can be hard to find in some areas. It is mainly used for lawn sprinkler systems. Call around to big-box hardware and irrigation supply stores to save time and gas.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Tube

Decide how large a hoop you want.  It should be somewhere between waist and shoulder height.  The ones I've made are about as tall as my natural waist when i stand them on end. 

Mark the spot to cut, and then use a hack saw or PVC cutter to make the cut.  PVC cutters make a nice clean cut, but I didn't have one on hand, so I used the hack saw method.

If you want a standard non-collapsible hoop, then you're done cutting and can go on to the next step. To get a collapsible hoop, cut the length of tube in half using the hack saw.

You can see in the picture that the hack saw left a mess of burrs around the inside and outside of the tube.  Use a utility blade to clean those up and smooth the cut ends before going on to the next step.

Step 3: Insert Connectors

Use the heat gun or hair dryer to heat up one of the tube ends.  Move the gun around constantly so you don't melt the tubing.  Once its good and warm, slide the connector halfway into the tubing. I've found that its easiest to get the connectors in by pressing the end onto a hard surface such as a workbench instead of trying to use just my hands.

Repeat for the other end of the hoop half. Your project should look like the second picture below.

Join the hoop halves together, inserting the other halves of the connectors into the empty tube ends.  It should look like a plain black hula hoop when you're done this step.

Step 4: Decorate Your Hoop

I used two colors of electrical tape, and wrapped them in opposite directions.

Once you're done decorating, use a utility knife to cut the tape where the connectors were inserted into the tube.

Step 5: Collapse Your Hoop for Travel

Folding the hoop takes just a few seconds.

* Position the hoop with the joins at the top and bottom of the hoop.
* Grasp the tube near the top join. Place your foot on the hoop near the bottom join
* Push down and slightly away from your body.  The hoop should begin to take a figure-eight shape. NOTE: The tubing is stiff, so don't be afraid to apply some pressure to get it to fold.
* Fold one half of the figure-eight on top of the other.  The tube will twist on the connectors at the joins.
* Sling the folded hoop across your body and go!

PS: Don't store your hoop in the folded position. It might conform to that shape and be out of round when you unfold it. It's hard to hoop with a wobbly hula hoop!

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    A hair dryer...yes! I have been using a pot of boiling water; this is so much easier and safer. Thank you. I have a plain, naked hoop I made, now I can just put in an extra connector and have this travel hoop.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Thank you! I made my infinity hoop yesterday because I am leaving for a trip soon and I wanted to have an infinity hoop plus my coil hoop. But when I bend the hoop. the connectors show and I don't know what to do to fix that, is it normal???


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If you put a marble inside the tube to make the "shoop shoop" sound, would it get hung up on the connectors?

    Robot Lover
    Robot Lover

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I would imagine that if you used a small enough marble it would work.


    12 years ago on Step 5

    This is awesome. thanks so much for sharing. i really like this option. kelli


    12 years ago on Introduction

    having use this type of collapsing hoop in the past, i wanted to warn that the hoop does not stay circular very well when your actually hooping with it, it kinda turns in to a oval. if your not worried about that then this is a great design. Its just not so great if your need a very circular look, for say isolation/manipulation Just my two cents for experience. I'm not criticizing the author or the tutorial


    13 years ago on Step 5

    I always wanted to learn! I also LOVE making things myself.  I am very excited I will have plenty to share as well!!!