Introduction: Hula Hoops UK Style - Mass Production Version

This method for making hula hoops needs a bit more specialised equipment than my other version, but it's quicker, cheaper if you're making several hoops, and the hoops are more robust.

I've found this is good for things like fairs and festivals, where you can let people make their own hoops. I feel very honoured to have given many children and adults their first taste of the joys of riveting.

In the picture my mother is modelling a couple of my hoops in her summer bunad (Norwegian national costume) on the 17th May (Norway's Constitution Day) in Edinburgh a few years ago. The advantage of big hoops is that everyone can hoop with them, even my mum!

Step 1: Materials

You will need;
  • tubing - I use MDPE tubing This blue tubing comes in 25mm and 20mm diameters. You can get it from DIY stores like B&Q Wickes or Screwfix. The last time I bought some, the cheapest place was Toolstation Unfortunately the smallest length it comes in seems to be 25 metres.
    25mm tubing is good for adult hoops. I use 20mm tubing to make lighter hoops for more experienced hoopers, for hand hooping and for children.
  • connector- For to join the 25mm tubing I use a short piece of 20mm tubing. For joining 20mm tubing I use a short piece of 15mm  HDPE tubing (this is used in central heating systems!).
  • 2 blind rivets You can buy these in packs of 1000. Because it's so long because I last needed to buy any, I'm not sure what size the ones I use are, but I think they are 3.2mm diameter and long enough to hold two thicknesses of tubing (approx 4.6mm) together.
  • duct tape for taping round the join to hide the rivets
  • tube cutter if you are going to make a lot of hoops, this makes life a lot easier. If not, you can always use a craft knife or hacksaw to cut your tubing, as described in my other hoop making instructable
  • drill
  • smaller drill bit The size of the smaller drill bit is determined by the size of the rivets - it should tell you what drill size you need on the packaging for the rivets. If the hole is too small the rivet won't fit in. If it is too large the join won't be too strong. I bought a pack of 10 small drill bits from toolstation because I'm always loosing them.
  • larger drill bit I use this so that the head of the rivet doesn't stick out. You could always not bother, or carve out a dip with a craft knife. My large drill bit is a bit blunt because otherwise I find it just drills right through the tubing.
  • riveter
  • craft knife

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting

If you are making several hoops, a pipe-cutter is a good investment. As it works on a ratchet principle (squeeze and let go, squeeze and let go), it would be quite difficult to cut your fingers off with it, which is a plus.
Measure the length of piping to make your hoop, then cut it off. I usually try to form the hoop to work out how big it will be. The sizing of my hoops is quite approximate.
Cut off about 15 cm of you thinner tubing to make your connector.

Step 3: Riveting

  • Push your connector into one end of your thicker tubing, so that about half of the connector is still visible. This is sometimes easy and sometimes not. If it isn't I find wrapping some grippy tape round the tubing to get a better grip helps.
  • Drill a hole for your rivet. Choose the right size of drill bit for your rivet, and drill a hole through both the thicker tubing and the connector.
  • I also use a thicker drill bit and drill partway into the thicker tubing, on top of the hole that I've already drilled, so that the head of the rivet won't stick out. I have a special drill bit to do this which is a bit blunt. I've found a sharper drill bit just tends to chew its way all through the tubing before I can stop it, but if this happens, I just chop off that bit of tubing and make a slightly smaller hoop.
  • Get rid of any stray bits of plastic round the hole with a craft knife.
  • Insert the rivet into the hole and use the riveter to fasten the tube and connector together.
  • Push the free end of the connector into the other end of the thicker tubing, and rivet this into place.

Step 4: Finished Hoop!

Even though the join should be very strong, I still tape over it with some duct tape. This hides any less than perfect joins and riveting.

You now have a fully functioning hoop.

For better grip, and to make your hoop beautiful, decorate with tape.