Recently, my son’s high school band received permission to begin in person outdoor rehearsals. They are limited to 10 students per rehearsal time, and they need to have a bell cover and wear a mask.
I decided to make bell covers for all the trumpets in his group so that they wouldn’t have to wait for an online order, which could take weeks. There are 7 trumpets in his cohort group, and each bell cover takes about 10 minutes to make.
- Stretchy material (polyester/spandex blend). I purchased some athletic apparel fabric from my local fabric store in blue, which matches one of the school’s colors.
- 3/8″ elastic
- Safety pin
- Thread to match
- Paper and pencil for template
- Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
- Trace the trumpet bell onto a piece of paper.
- Enlarge the bell shape by about 1.25 inches to create your pattern. I used a school compass for this step or you could eyeball it. I found that a 1″ enlargement was a bit too small to fit over the bell comfortably. If you use cotton fabric instead of the poly/spandex blend, you’ll likely want to cut it 1.5 inches larger.
- Cut (2) circles from the fabric.
- Place the circles right sides together (RST), pin or clip together, and stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave a small area open for turning right sides out and backstitch at the start and end of your stitching.
- Turn right sides out.
- Stitch another seam about 5/8″ from the edge of the circle to create the casing for the elastic. Stitch around the entire circle and backstitch. You do not need an opening for this second seam.
- Cut a piece of elastic about 11.25 inches long.
- Place a safety pin on one of the short edges of the elastic to help you insert the elastic into the casing. Be sure to hang onto the other end so that it doesn’t get sucked into the casing.
- Overlap both ends of the elastic about 1/2″ and sew together securely. I removed the pin before stitching.
- Sew the opening closed.
- Ease the elastic around the casing so that it is more or less evenly dispersed.
- Place the bell cover on your trumpet and play!
My quilt inspector supervised me very closely during this process. Maybe he thought I was making him a shower cap? Ha, ha!
I hope to make my son a reusable face mask with a little slot or flap for the trumpet mouth piece next. Until then, the band members have to cut a little slot into disposable face masks in order to play. They are also social distancing during practice.
It’s a strange new world in so many unexpected ways!
Take care and happy sewing!
For those wanting to know bell sizes for other instruments:
4″ Clarinet, Bassoon
5″ Trumpet, Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet
6″ Tenor Sax
8″ Trombone, Baritone Sax
10″ Mellophone, Baritone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium
12″ French Horn
17″ Convertible Contra, Concert Tuba
A friend and I are making bell covers for my son in law’s middle school band.
Can you tell me the diameter of the bell? I am trying to make one of these for my son’s trombone and the bell is 8 inches in diameter which makes it 25 inches in circumference, but I’m not sure how much elastic I need to go around.
Thank you, I need to try and do these for my daughter school, I am trying to find out what the bell size of the different instruments would be so far no luck. do you have the bell size for this trumpet?
I am also trying to figure out which is better, the poly/spandex? or cotton? for the virus?
I am trying to find out this answer too, want to make some for all my daughters inst. clarinet,trumpet, sax,and larger horn. also, would love to know which is better cotton which I have plenty of or go buy the poly/spandex which is over 10.00 a yard, but 57 inches wide.
Hi Judy, I tried a mock-up using cotton but it didn’t work as well as the poly/spandex. The poly stretched better. The cotton worked, but it didn’t have as much give.