Holiday Hula Hoops
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 23:11
Let’s face it: in this lackluster economy, holiday shopping is not something to look forward to. If you’re like me, you want to give something to all of your friends and family – and you want your gift to be used.
Let me address another problem with the changing of the season: holidays mean we’re all gaining weight (unless you’re weird and hate comfort food). Thanksgiving brings turkey, mashed potatoes, casseroles, endless consumption of carbohydrates and doing absolutely nothing but watch football. Christmas is about the same (and if you’re like me, you’ve got Hanukkah as well as Christmas, so add fried potato pancakes to the list). This sounds like heaven, sure, but coupled with eating more because it’s absolutely freezing outside, I pose to you a holiday gift idea that takes care of your wallet and your weight.
Hula hoops. That’s right. I make hula hoops because they have a personal touch, the materials are relatively cheap (many of them are probably already around your house) and they keep you and the gift receiver in shape. If the person you give a hoop to doesn’t use it, not to worry. Unless the hoop you’ve made is repulsive to look at (which is hard to do), it will make for a great decoration, if nothing else.
Here’s what you need, and how (in)expensive it is:
¾” or 1” PVC irrigation tubing = range $9.95 - $18.95 for 100 feet (that’s a good investment, as it only takes about 12 feet to build one generously large adult-sized hoop)
¾” or 1” tubing connectors = no more than $5 (come in ten-packs, and can be found right under the tubing)
Saw (for cutting the tubing; you or your parents should have a saw around the house. If not, there are tubing cutters sold for about $13)
Electric tape = $11.95 on Amazon (for a variety pack of 10 colors. I recommend buying via Amazon, because it can cost up to $7 for just one roll of tape from a regular hardware store)
Boiling water or a hairdryer
Before I go into how you make the hoop, let me reassure you that these hoops are not the childish, plastic, overpriced toys you find at a Walmart. PVC tubing is heavy-which is what makes hula hooping an effective abdomen-intensive workout. When I went to Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in the summer of 2009, I sold each hoop for $25 and offered a simple acrobatic lesson for $5 extra. If you have ever been to a music festival, you’ve probably seen a hippie like me doing the exact same thing.
Make The Hoop
1. The first step is obtaining your materials and finding a nice open space to sprawl it all out.
2. Take your tubing and measure it from the ground up to just under your ribcage (make a mark on the tubing so you know where to cut or saw).
3. Thirdly, cut the tubing with a saw or something sharp.
4. Fourthly, get some water boiling. While you’re waiting, put a connector into one side of the tubing.
5. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and dip that side of the tubing into the water (this melts the plastic all together, like glue would). Put the other connector on once it has cooled. Some people also use a hair dryer to melt the connectors to the tubing (I normally do this).
6. Once your connectors are secured, start decorating with your colorful electric tape! You’ll run out of tape quickly if you are using minimal colors, so be wary of that.
The End Result
What is the result of all this work? Gloriously happy faces, tight tummies and a gorgeous hoop for you and at least eight of your friends. As they say, ’tis the season to be jolly.