I am not a professional hoop maker. Just someone who had specific needs with her hoops and learned in order to save money! What you’ll need to start making a hoop.
- Polypro tubing of your choice. I bought 10”
- Connectors for the number of pieces you’re doing. I’m using polycarb, but you can use polypro.
- Push buttons appropriate to the size tubing you’re using
- 1/8-Inch Rivets (Grip range for up to 1/4-inch)
- Drill bits (1/8 and the size to match your push button. For me, that was 1/4)
- Ratcheting PVC Cutter
- Exacto Knife or box cutter
- Cloth/plastic tape measure
- (optional) painter’s tape/masking tape
- (optional) sand paper
As far as where I got the supplies, I had the drill, pliers, tape measure, box cutter, and drill bits on hand. The PVC pipe cutter, riveter and rivets I found cheaper on Amazon. If you’re only doing one hoop, it’ll be cheaper for you to buy the rivets on a hoop supply website like hoopsupplies.com or hoopologie.com.
I was placing a large order so hoopologie just happened to be cheaper when ordering the bulk of my supplies. If you’re only doing one hoop, hoopsupplies might be cheaper.
I cut my hoop down to the size I wanted. Here I’m making a 33” outer diameter hoop. Find an online calculator to get the circumference http://www.onlineconversion.com/circlesolve.htm
Remember to measure at least twice! I usually measure 3 or 4 times before cutting. Here I’ve cut the size I needed then measured out 4 even sections.
In order to mark where I needed to cut, I used painter’s tape. Since I was planning to make a bare hoop I didn’t want to use a sharpie. I just drew a little arrow so I’d remember what side was the side to cut.
Make quick cuts. You might have to twist with the pvc cutters as you cut. Practice on scrap tubing before cutting. You want to make a straight clean cut.
Here are the 4 pieces laid out. I numbered them to keep them in order.
Measure the size of your connector to find the center.
I lined up all my connectors so I could find the center of all of them at once.
I then cut the tape in the middle of the connectors so they’d all be even.
I pushed the connector in up to the edge of the tape. You should have half the connector in the tube and half outside.
Make dots on the side. This is where you’re going to drill holes for the rivets. It is less important that they are even on each one, but it looks nicer if they are. Use the box cutter/exacto knife to start the hole for the drill by making dents in the tubing.
Drill your hole with an 1/8 drill bit. Careful not to push too hard as you don’t want to go through the other side of the hoop.
The top of the rivet should fit in the hole.
Drill holes in all the sections.
Put the rivet in the riveter. If you’ve never used a riveter, here’s a video showing how it works for this exact one you can find on amazon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwNsQMnx88
Once they’re all in, you can throw away the left over bits.
You’ll want to reassemble the hoop on a flat surface with the rivet side facing up. Your goal is to make the hoop lay flat when assembled. You don’t want to accidentally assemble it, drill your holes then realize it’s all wonky!
Now it’s more important that the push button is in the right place. I put my push button on the top/outside of the hoop. Measure however you want. I just used a piece of paper as a stencil with a dot that I’d put a hole in to mark the tubing underneath. Make a starting hole again with the knife.
Drill with the 1/8 drill bit. This will be the starting hole for the larger bit and help you check that all the holes look to be in the same spot. In order to drill on the top of the hoop, you’ll need a raised surface to work on. I stacked my ikea end table on top of the ikea coffee table.
What size drill bit you’ll need will depend on the size of your push button. Hoopologie and hoopsupplies for 3/4” tubing push buttons worked well with the 1/4” drill bit. You can test if the push button fits like this. Start small and work your way up in drill bit sizes when in doubt!
Finished hole will look like this. You can clean it up a bit with a knife.
Pop the push button in. I have my push buttons facing out. The reason for this is the rivet blocks the push button from being placed in the other way. If you’re using a longer piece of polypro tubing instead of a polycarb connector, you may be able to tuck it in the other direction. It doesn’t really matter as it’s all going inside the hoop.
Closed it will look like this. Polycarb connectors though can be extremely tight and annoying to work with. I use a hair dryer on the tubing to make it easier to slip in. The more you work the connector open and closed the easier it’ll become to assemble and disassemble the hoop!
And there you have it! You now have a finished hoop ready for sanding or decorating. For the finishing touches, I like to use a bit of sand paper on the ends and connectors to make sure none of them are sharp from being cut.