DIY Tutorial - How to Make a Black and White Retro Hula Hoop
This page will show you how to make a standard adult-sized hula hoop from materials found in most hardware stores. The tape design is a retro wavy pattern that gives the hoop a stylish appearance and a bit of grip. Feel free to change this pattern using whatever electrical tape you have, up to three colors.
With this style of hoop decorating it's not necessary to cover every inch of your hoop with tape, but feel free to keep going if you want more than three stripes. I have used different color combinations besides white/black/white, but just make sure you use only Lead-free electrical tape. Glitter, deco, gaffer's, spike, or duct tape is not going to be flexible enough for the wavy patern.
- 10 feet of 3/4” poly tubing with internal coupling, fully assembled into a hoop
- 1 roll black electrical tape
- 1 roll white electrical tape
- black grip tape or sandpaper (optional)
- paper cut-out in a half-circle shape
- patience... this design takes some skill and practice!
1. Cut your tubing to the size you want your hoop to be and connect both ends to form your hoop. Wipe the tube clean and let it dry. With a little scrubbing you can take off the white stuff that is printed on the side.
2. OPTIONAL Since this design uses only electrical tape, you may want to sand the inside of the hoop or wrap it once with gaffer tape. I like to use 1" black cotton gaff: It gives the electrical tape something to adhere to, and it does not get in the way of the wave pattern.
Also, If you have a spiral of 1” cloth tape every two inches or so, you can use that as a guide to keep your waves the same width apart.
3. We are going to make three stripes of tape for this black and white hoop: two white with one black in the middle. The direction of the curve switches to the opposite direction, like a sine wave. You might want to practice by laying the tape down on a flat surface first to see how much you need to stretch it. This is why we are using electrical tape! You'll need to actually pull on the tape to get it to turn in the direction you want it to go.
4. Begin with the top wave first, one continuous piece of white tape. For your first stripe of tape, try to remember that there's going to be two more tape layers following along the first, so keeping your wave longer and bigger makes it much easier to fit the next two tape stripes in the same pattern.
5. As you go along, you can use a piece of paper cut into a half circle to be your pattern. Hold up the paper to check how wide and tall to make the curves. You want them as uniform as possible.
It should look like this on the inside of the hoop:
6. Any time the tape bubbles or creases, stop and smooth it out with your thumb. It will take a while, but soon you'll get in the habit of stretching the tape to turn directions at the right moment. If the edges begin to curl up, smooth it down and check that you're still following your guidelines.
7. If the tape becomes too stretched out to go in the right shape, you might just need to cut it and start over by laying down a new piece right next to the first.
8. Finish your first sine wave of white and then carefully line up the black stripe just below it, on the side that is most bare. Follow exactly next to the white tape you've laid down and keep those curves smooth.
9. When you have the black stripe down, it should look pretty good, but the second white stripe is really going to make the waves stand out. Going underneath the black tape the entire time, lay the last strip of white adjacent to the black.
10. When you're finished you will have a super-cool hypnotic black and white hoop! Hoop on soft or smooth surfaces to keep the tape in good condition. Happy hooping!