Project Hula Hoop Rug Fail

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled onto a tutorial for how to make a woven rug using a Hula Hoop and an old t shirt.  I thought that the stars had aligned and the heavens sang.  But alas my journey did not come a happy ending.

Now I do think all of this was MY problem, not the problem of the tutorial.  Though perhaps the tutorial doesn’t go enough in depth as I would like it to…but I’m kind of weird like that.  I want a discussion on how stretchy the knit should be, a guide for the gauge of the weave and other crazy things.  But I want to share this with you because I think some of you could get this to work and if I had the time I would experiment more with cotton strips vs knit.

It all starts with a t-shirt…. (and I cheated and cut up yardage of knit fabric for the weaving)

I followed the directions and cut 1.5″ strips.  And I think that is fine for the fabric you wrap around the hula hoop.  But for the fabric I wove, it ended up being way to skinny.  I think the bulk of the problem lay here because this made my weave too tight.

And next came the hula hoop….

wrap those strips you cut from your t-shirt around the hula hoop.  I thought that they would move around a lot, but they actually stayed right in place.

And then you start weaving… and weaving… and weaving… in and out, in and out.  over, under, over, under… stop when you are ready to shoot yourself. Cut the knit spokes and knot around the edge of the rug.

And if you are lucky, then you end up with a rug.  I however, due to major tension issues, ended up with a sort of baskety bowl.  But not strong enough to be an actual basket mind you.  Then I could count this as a success.

Hmm.. it’s not quite right.  Oh well.  The colors weren’t making me happy either.  I quickly decided to emotionally let go of this project and hand it over to my daughter to enjoy.

I think she is channeling her inner Jamaican.  lol

It may actually have found some use as a nest of sorts for a few precious stuffed animals.

Project Hula Hoop Rug Fail

Well, you can’t win them all.

33 thoughts on “Project Hula Hoop Rug Fail”

  1. Love it made a nest !!!! all it needs is to be named the nest tute and you have a while it didnt work with T-shirts it does make me wonder what it might well work with…some experimentation is in order methinks.

  2. Well at least your girl and her furry friends have benefited from your failed attempt. It sounds like the tutorial does need to give more detail on what you can and can't use to get this to work. But maybe the person who did the tutorial didn't even consider this?

  3. This is crazy. I'm glad you shared the truth with us about this tutorial! I'm sure it may work for some people but not as fool proof as Family Fun wants us to think it is. 🙂

  4. I love that children can find the good and useful in any failed craft attempt! My kids toy boxes are filled with messed up crocheting/knitting/sewing etc that they seem to think were designed for whatever use they've put them to! Haha

  5. You know, it is really good to share failures (or things that don't turn out how you hoped) as well as all the great things. I love how your daughter loves it too.

  6. "until you are ready to shoot yourself" <— Oh no! I have to admit I giggled at that. I am very familiar with that point in some craft projects! It is awfully cute as a snuggle nest for Piglet and his buddy though.

  7. Thank you Angela! This was just a perfect happy post before I'm going to sleep! Your daughter seems to have fun with your new creation! Too bad your big work didn't end up well. That idea sounds so great but if it's not a rag nor a basket, then it's not nice. Perhaps it should be 'woven' very lightly so it doesn't drag at all when you take the hula-hoop away. I have made a small rug by crocheting t-shirt 'yarn' and I like that.
    Happy dreams, good night! x Teje

  8. It does seem like a brilliant idea! Too bad it didn't work. There is a woven bathmat made out of old towels that I have been meaning to try, but I always wonder if it would really work. 🙂

    If you need a laugh, check out this site: for other hilarious pintrest type fails — I love it!

  9. Love your end result -I was planning on doing this with my son but was envisioning a much looser weave. I will have to let you know how mine turns out. We were planning on using it as a boot rug with our tent when we go camping so it would be easy to throw in the wash. Hmm… maybe it will end up being a boot basket instead?

  10. Bummer it didn't work, Angela! If it makes you feel better, I've never seen this done successfully in "real life" aka blogs. Seems like people have a lot of trouble with it!

  11. I wonder if using rope instead of knit for the "spindles" would work better. Or at least something that doesn't stretch. That way when you take it off it doesn't scrunch up…maybe? 🙂

  12. That was hilarious! Also, thank you for sharing a project that didn't turn out perfectly. The blogosphere sometimes gives the impression that everyone succeeds at every. single. project. and at times it can be disheartening 🙂

  13. At the Georgia Quilt Show last week my friend bought the hoop made out of a rubberized material. The sellers said they tried hoola hoops but it didn't work. She paid $28 or 30 dollars for it.

  14. Though your project didn't work out exactly as you'd hoped, it's amazing to see how different minds work! Who would EVER think of using a hula hoop to make a rug!? Really? It's amazing to discover and realize how God has gifted us in such different ways! As much as I would like to have unique ideas for myself, that's just not a gift I've been given. I am good at implementation. Show me an idea, and I will re-create it. Still, I'm grateful for the blogsphere and sewist/quilters like you who show me all the possibilities. Thank you!

  15. It does my heart good to know that everything you make is not a true success. But, in this case it looks like your daughter thought it was the perfect project.

  16. He visto este tutorial y pensé en hacerlo mas grande uniendo con masilla una manguera del jardín,pense que para que el tejido se sostenga hay que agregarle mas radios en la misma proporción que quiero que crezca.Cariños.

  17. So I have made a hula hoop rug with good results. If you want to try this again, I have some suggestions.
    1. When I made my rug, I used old t-shirts, baby blankets, old pj pants… I just tied them together as I went. Happy colours!
    2. To keep good tension, I didn’t pull after each over-under. I just fed the fabric through.
    3. To end it, I sewed the ends of my fabric into the rug so that I wouldn’t end up with tassels.
    But since your daughter enjoyed it, you did everything right.

  18. I too have been looking for answers regarding the tension of the weave.
    I was about to add one last row and tie off. Instead I decided to go back to about row 10 and basically, pull out a foot and tighten the weave and repeat and repeat. . This is a longer process which is making me very concerned about what would have happened if I had carried on and finished with what I had woven

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