Tools and Materials
- Two hula hoops
- Spray paint
- 1-1.5 inch wood screws
- Two wooden boards, cut to fit the hula hoops
- Power drill
You probably wouldn't traditionally associate hula hoops with storage space, but this project will show you that it's time to start thinking of making a hula hoop shelf whenever you're short of storage space. This is a versatile item, as the hula hoop shelf can either be free standing or attached to the wall.
By reusing old hula hoops or purchasing new hoops for $1, you don't have to break the bank for this project. I used copper spray and stained wood to produce a rustic shelving unit, but you can change the colors to match the decor of your home.
First of all, I found the main components: the two hula hoops. You might have one lying around already at home, but if not then they are easily bought for around $1. Don't worry about the color, as they'll soon be covered in paint. I made sure I had plenty of space to work in – hula hoops are not the smallest craft item in the world, and you’ll want lots of room for painting and drilling to take place. I also made sure that my wooden boards were already cut to size. Most places that sell wooden boards will do this for you, which removes one of the trickier steps in building a hula hoop shelf.
I used a Rust-Oleum Hammered Copper Spray Paint, but you can experiment with all sorts of colors. I wanted a rustic feel, which is why I chose a dark copper tone. I also opted for a textured spray paint to add more depth to the finish of the hoops. Where you intend to put up your hula hoop shelf will determine the best color for you. For instance, you could opt for a mix of greys to create something sleek and modern. Before getting started, I laid down a plastic sheet on the floor to protect the surface from the inevitable mess of the spray paint. Once one side was dry, I flipped the hoop over and repeated the spraying process.
I measured two wooden boards to make sure they would fit the length of the hoop. You'll want the boards to run from one end of the hoop to other: one about a quarter down from the top of the hoop, and the other the same distance from the bottom. I sanded the wood, then coated with the wood stain. I chose a shade of wood stain that would complement the copper spray paint of the hoops. In this case, I used Varathane’s classic penetrating wood stain, but you can use whichever stain suits your shelving unit best. I put on gloves to protect my hands, then stained every side of the two wooden boards.
I made a hole in both the first hula hoop and wooden board with my power drill. I took time to ensure I was making holes in the right place, as the success of the hula hoop shelf relies on precise measurements. I attached a washer to a 1-1/2 inch wood screw, then drilled the screw to hold the hula hoop in place on top of the wooden board. I repeated the process for both hoops and boards, ensuring that the hoops ended up in the same position on their respective boards.
The stabilizing dowels on the bottom of the hula hoops are vital. Otherwise, your hula hoop shelf will just roll away! To start, I measured the distance between the two hoops to make sure my dowels would bridge the gap. I used the copper spray paint again to make the dowels match the hoops, reusing my protective plastic sheets. You could experiment with using a different color on the dowels and the hula hoops, as contrasting shades can deliver some real charm to your hula hoop shelf. I decided that copper was the best shade for my rustic shelving unit. Then, I glued the dowels onto the hoops.
The final thing left to do is to decide just what your hula hoop shelf should hold. I have found that the shelf works really well as a place to display plants, with the wood and copper paint combo creating a rustic and natural-looking storage solution. You could experiment with using the hula hoop shelf as a place to keep bathroom towels and products, or it could be the ideal location for all of your DIY tools. The color of the unit will influence your decision about where to put your hula hoop shelf – or it could be that its intended purpose inspired your color scheme. You can also use shelving brackets to attach your hula hoop shelf to the wall.
Whether you use it as a free-standing storage solution or as something to attach to your wall, there's surely a place in your home for a hula hoop shelf. Its unconventional nature means that the eye is drawn to it, while all of its components are easily and cheaply acquired. You may be able to upcycle hula hoops cluttering your garage or garden shed, but if not then two $1 hula hoops will be a great investment. Shelving can often be a completely practical item, but a hula hoop shelf really puts the "fun" in "functional". If you have success with your own hula hoop project, why not tell a friend and spread the word about this new storage solution?
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