How to Decorate a Sousaphone Bell

If you've ever seen a parade, you've probably seen a sousaphone. It's a member of the tuba family of big, brass instruments (although it can be made of fibreglass), and is designed to be worn over a shoulder. Composer John Philip Sousa, best-known for his marching tunes, invented the instrument, hence its name. In a concert setting, the big bell points upward; in a marching band, it projects forward to provide a stirring oompah. If you choose the correct materials, it's easy and fun to decorate the bell for a performance or a parade.

Wrap the ribbon around the foam wreath. Start at the back of the wreath. Go in and out of the circle, overlapping each turn slightly to cover the wreath.

Secure the ribbon in place at each end and at a few areas around the wreath with hot glue. When you finish the wrapping, cut the ribbon at the back of the wreath and glue it into place.

Cut the silk or plastic flowers at the base behind the flower head with wire cutters. Choose flowers or other embellishments that fit the theme, such as poinsettias, holly and pine cones if decorating the bell for a Christmas parade. Plastic Easter eggs and spring flowers are perfect for an Easter celebration.

Place the larger flowers every few inches around the wreath. Set smaller, filler flowers or greenery, such as baby's breath, statice or ivy in between the larger blossoms. This allows you to decide on the best placement.

Pick up the flowers and other decor on the wreath one at a time and glue them in place with the hot glue. Repeat until all the decorations are glued around the entire wreath.

Attach self-adhesive hook-and-loop closures to the back of the wreath. Use a tape measure to determine how far apart the hook-and-loop closures are on the wreath and then space them the same distance apart near the edge of the bell.

Place the back section of the wreath on the bell and press it firmly to join the hook-and-loop closures.


Form a large bow out of coordinating ribbon and attach it to the top or bottom of the wreath. Glue it to the bell if you want. Remove the wreath once the decor is no longer necessary. Wipe off any adhesive left from the hook-and-loop closure with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam wreath (size depends on bell)
  • 1 1/2-inch wide ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Plastic or silk flowers
  • Wire cutters
  • Greenery
  • Hook-and-loop closures
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Cotton balls (optional)
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About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.