DIY Hula Hoop Wedding Seating Chart with Rust-Oleum

Spring has sprung, and outdoor DIY projects are a literal breath of fresh air as we navigate daily stay-at-home routines. While some wedding dates might be postponed, the little silver lining is that this time can give busy couples a few more opportunities to personalize their special days, especially when it comes to spray-painted wedding decor! In partnership with our friends at Rust-Oleum, we have dreamed up a unique wedding seating chart by using some wood and a hula hoop. The circular hoop shape is on trend right now in weddings with alternative bouquets, family photo displays, and ceremony arches, so it's time the popular seating chart got the spotlight! With Rust-Oleum's perfectly gold spray paint and sister brand Varathane's dark brown wood stain, we have written up this tutorial to show you the ultimate gorgeous inspiration for communicating to guests where they will be sitting on the big day! (And yes, you can even reuse it after the wedding... see our fun ideas at the bottom of this tutorial!)

DIY hula hoop wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint

How to Create a Chic Wedding Seating Chart with a Hula Hoop

Difficulty Level: Easy-Medium
Color Inspiration: Dusty blue, gold, crimson red, and espresso brown

• Two (2) long wood blocks (see below notes)
• Two (2) thin wood pieces (see below notes)
• Four (4) wooden drawer knobs
Hula hoop (at least 28 inches if you have more than 40 guests)
• One (1) can of Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Metallic spray paint (in Gold Rush)
• One (1) half-pint can of Varathane Premium Fast Dry wood stain (in Kona)
• Cloth rag
Wood glue
Rubber gloves
Silk ribbon
Handmade cotton paper
• Drop cloth, plastic sheet, or cardboard

Before you start this project, you will need to have all of your measurements sorted out based on your hula hoop's size. The hula hoop needs to be able to stably stand up on its own inside of your wooden frame/cradle with the weight of any floral arrangements you use. Our hula hoop is 28" wide with a 1" girth, so our individual wood's measurements are:

• 2 long wood blocks
18" long x 4" wide x 2" thick each

• 2 thin support wood pieces
8" long x 2" wide x 1/4" thick each

• 4 wooden knobs
About 2" wide x 2" tall each

Our final project size is:
18" long x 9" wide x 4" tall
** this accounts for a 1" wide gap for the inserted hula hoop

Our wood was upcycled from a local not-for-profit wood recycling shop, and the staff was able to cut the wood to our measurements on site for us. If you are buying new wood and don't have cutting tools, any home improvement store will cut it down to size for you. If you have scrap wood at home and your own cutting tools, even better for the ultimate DIY!

Using wood blocks and Varathane wood stain to build a unique wedding seating chart
How to make a unique wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint and Varathane Kona wood stain

1. Before you begin, prepare your wood pieces for staining by smoothing with some sandpaper. This is especially important if you are using scrap wood or upcycled pieces that might have pre-existing scuffs or marks; you'll want your seating chart to be picture perfect on the wedding day!

How to prepare wood for Varathane wood stain for unique wedding DIY project

2. When all of your materials are set out and ready for building, prep your workspace by covering a table and the ground with a drop cloth or cardboard. Spray paint and wood stain will leave residue!

3. Because you will need to do several layers of spray paint for all sides, begin with the spray paint steps so you can allow the hoop to dry while you multi-task with the wood staining steps. Place your hula hoop on your cardboard/drop cloth, shake your spray paint can well, and lightly and continually coat the first layer on your hoop.

If you're new to spray painting, your DIY world is about to change! First, always read the directions on the Rust-Oleum spray paint can for optimal results. You need to spray paint in a well-ventilated area, such as the outdoors or in a garage. If you have any respiratory issues like asthma, be sure to always wear a protective mask for chemicals while spraying.

While spray painting, try not to get too close to what you're painting as this can create drippy patches. From about 10" away, long strokes of light coats of layered spray paint is a great rule to follow.

For us Virginians, humidity and temperature can play a negative part in your spray painting experience. A common best practice is to only spray paint when the humidity is between 40%-50% and the temperature is between 50°F and 90°F... which means summertime can be the pits for projects. Plan accordingly!

How to personalize wedding decor with spray paint
Spray painting techniques for using Rustoleum gold spray paint on wedding DIY projects

4. While your hula hoop is drying, start on your wood stain steps. Stir well your can of Varathane wood stain. With an old cloth rag, dip into the stain and start "painting" each wood piece in the direction of the wood grain. After you've covered various sides of your wood blocks, let dry for 2-3 minutes.

If socially responsible and available, definitely wear rubber gloves when wood staining despite what's seen in our photos! It's a sign of the times as all of our rubber gloves were resourced to medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Need to stain without gloves? No worries! Do what we did and clean your hands with olive oil and coarse sugar afterwards. This will get rid of the stain on your skin (and leave it smooth!), but you'll likely still have to say goodbye to your fingernails as they will permanently be stained. Make it work, right?!

Varathane wood stain Kona brown for unique wedding DIY seating chart project
Wood stain techniques for using Varathane Kona wood stain on wedding DIY projects

5. Once dried to your preference, take another dry old rag (without stain) and wipe the excess wet stain off. You will start to see the beautifully stained grain come through as you wipe. Wipe, rub thoroughly, and allow to completely dry for at least 1 hour. We recommend allowing the pieces to dry more than 1 hour if you want to start assembling/gluing your wood pieces.

6. During your wood stain drying process, this is a good time to go back and forth to your hula hoop to add more paint coverage to all of its sides. Allow at least 30-60 minutes in between each coat of spray paint. Your spray paint will be completely dry in 2-4 hours, but avoid assembling your seating chart until after 24 hours to allow the paint to cure. If you start to handle before then, your paint will not have fully hardened and can scratch once you try to put on your ribbons or floral arrangements.

How to build unique wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint and hula hoop

7. When your wood and hula hoop are completely dried, it's time to start the official build by gluing the wood pieces (aka the cradle) together. To ensure you have a snug fit, use your hula hoop to make the 1" gap. This will help guide you to where you need to glue your thin support pieces underneath the two long wood blocks.

Your measurements may vary depending on your final project size, but we glued our thin wood support pieces about 2-3" from the edge underneath the blocks. This created a stable "cradle" for the hula hoop to sit in.

8. With your wood glue, draw a long strip of on each edge of the thin support wood pieces. Press down firmly and place something heavy on top of the pieces. After gluing the support pieces, take your wooden knobs and glue them on top of your support pieces' ends. Allow to dry and cure for at least 24 hours before moving or placing the hula hoop inside of your newly built cradle.

9. Once everything is hardened, you're ready to go with tying your ribbons and guest cards onto the hoop! Of course, you'll want to wait until the actual wedding day for your floral arrangement with your florist, but you can prep everything else in the meantime!

Instructions on how to make a wedding seating chart
Tips on how to create a wedding seating chart with a hula hoop
How to use spray paint for wedding DIY projects

Tips for Personalizing Your Wedding Seating Chart

There are many ways to personalize your seating chart's guest cards. Whether you handwrite everything, hire a calligrapher to match your wedding style, or use a computer to aggregate your guest names together, be sure to measure out the card sizes first. This would be different depending on your guest count, of course, but consider keeping your ribbons evenly spaced and not too cluttered.

Take your seating chart to the next level by incorporating special wedding details like:
Silk ribbon
• Handmade cotton paper
Wax seals
• Professional calligraphy
• Uniquely shaped cards
• Dark paper, white ink
• Asymmetrical floral arrangement
• Table linens
• Family and/or friend photos
• ... and of course, any other Rust-Oleum spray painted decor items!

Elegant DIY wedding seating chart with silk ribbons and flowers made with a hula hoop and Rustoleum spray paint
Unique handmade wedding seating chart with calligraphy and handmade cotton paper
Gold hula hoop wedding seating chart made with Rustoleum spray paint and Varathane wood stain for DIY wedding decor idea
How to use Rustoleum spray paint for wedding DIY projects
DIY hula hoop wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint
Wood stain techniques for using Varathane Kona wood stain on wedding DIY projects

Why We Love Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

With any DIY spray paint or wood stain project, Rust-Oleum has pretty much always been our number one choice! Remember when we transformed basic door knobs, painted craft rings for bridal statement earring displays, or built a different kind of hanging wedding seating chart with copper spray paint? Yep, we loved Rust-Oleum even before we got to officially partner with them on this project! What about Varathane, Rust-Oleum's sister brand? Double yep when we created our DIY mixed media wedding cake stand.

With so many colors and finishes available, Rust-Oleum's quality is consistent across many different types of DIY wedding and home projects. When you have a budget or not a lot of time, you have to go with what is tried and true. Over the 10+ years of crafting, we found Rust-Oleum affordable, high quality, and easy to use. And now we doubly love them because they proudly support small content creator businesses like Tidewater and Tulle, and we are ever so grateful for that! So heck yeah to tooting the horn of this favorite DIY brand! We hope you fall in love with their spray paint through this DIY wedding tutorial like we have.

How to use spray paint for wedding DIY projects
DIY hula hoop wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint
Elegant DIY wedding seating chart with silk ribbons and flowers made with a hula hoop and Rustoleum spray paint
How to make a unique wedding seating chart with Rustoleum spray paint and Varathane Kona wood stain

Ways to Reuse Your Seating Chart after the Wedding

If you've been part of the Tidewater and Tulle community long enough, you'll know how passionate we are about upcycling, eco-friendly projects, and giving back. This project is no exception! Clearly a seating chart is a one-day kind of thing, but the way we built it allows you the freedom to use it beyond the wedding day.

Here are some of our fun ideas on how you can reuse or upcycle your project after you say I Do:
• Use the wooden cradle for a photo frame holder in your house.
• Completely upcycle the seating chart and turn it into a cat scratching post (That's what we did as seen on Instagram! Pickles Barrington has thoroughly enjoyed it!).
• In your garden, use the hula hoop to train/support your plants to grow upwards.
• If you have a fireplace or fire pit, burn the wood to keep warm.
• Reuse the whole seating chart (ribbons and all) as a photo display and gift it to loved ones.
• Paint the hula hoop in a new colorful hue and let your favorite kiddo play.

Gold hula hoop wedding seating chart made with Rustoleum spray paint and Varathane wood stain for DIY wedding decor idea
Instructions on how to make a wedding seating chart

Photography, Styling, & Tutorial: Chelsea LaVere for Tidewater and Tulle | Spray Paint & Wood Stain: Rust-Oleum

Many thanks to Rust-Oleum for partnering with Tidewater and Tulle for this DIY tutorial feature! And while the disclaimer is that we were compensated to write and design this, the words and our loyal love for the DecoArt brand are all our own. Some of the above product links are affiliate-linked and purchasing through these links helps support our wonderful sponsors and Tidewater and Tulle! You can find our full affiliate disclosure policy here on Tidewater and Tulle.