Miniature Wire Trumpet




Make a miniature wire trumpet with no more than a piece of wire, some pliers, and your hands!

I'm entering this in the Epilog Challenge. With an Epilog Zing laser I could make my miniatures much more detailed and outstanding.

Step 1: Supplies


A piece of wire about 2 feet long or so, malleable enough to be able to be bent with your fingers, but not too easily.
Pliers, with a small tip.
A reference image. I used 

Copy your reference image into Word, Paint,  or some other program and shrink it until it is about 2 and a half inches long on your screen. You can print it out if you like, I prefer to save paper.
You will hold your work up to your screen along the way to make sure your scale is right.

Step 2: The Mouthpiece

NOTICE: It will probably be a lot easier to follow along with the pictures, so look at them! :)

Take your pliers and grab as little wire on one end as possible. Twist the pliers around making a hook shape. Squeeze the hook with your pliers to make it as small as possible, trying to keep the sharp end tucked in. Bend the wire so it is perpendicular to the curl you just produced and now you have a mouthpiece!

Step 3: Tuning Slide

Hold your wire up to the reference pic on your computer. Line up the mouthpieces and just using your fingers curve the wire so that it matches the picture. Now you can use your pliers to straighten and fine-tune it to make the curve look exactly like the one in the picture.

Step 4: First Valve

Okay, it's technically the third valve, I think (I don't play trumpet), but it's the first valve that we are making so that's what I'm calling it.

Hold your wire up to your reference picture, where the first valve should be, make a bend downwards (picture #1). Then, once again comparing to your reference, make a sharp bend upwards (2). Then another sharp bend downwards where the top of the valve is (3). Then bend the wire backwards where the valve cap would be (4).  To make the top of the valve, bend the tip of the curve you just made so it is flat (5). Then start winding (6, 7), if the coils are too loose tighten them with your pliers. Keep winding until you get to where the valve slide is. Just bend the wire outwards and back and continue your coil (8, 9, 10). Now stop and straighten out anything that has gotten out of whack during this process.

Step 5: Second and Third Valves

Now for the second and third valves.

Same as with the first, end your wire upwards, downwards, bend the tip forwards, wind, and straighten. This time the valve slide is considerably shorter and points towards you. Refer back to the last step for anything specific. Repeat for the third valve.

Make sure you are comparing to your reference picture often.

Step 6: Bell

Now, same as you did with the other side of the valves, bend the wire up, parallel to the third valve you made. Then bend towards the mouthpiece and curve up and back the other way, this time running behind the valves.
Where the wire passes the last valve, make a bend. You will be doing the same thing you did with the mouthpiece except with more wire. Make a tight coil like how you did when you made the valves, except this time you don't have a wire running down the middle. Continue this coil referring back to your reference picture about how long it should be. Mine's a little short because I ran out of wire but hopefully you won't have that problem. When you get it to the shape you want it to be cut off the end with some wire cutters and bend over the sharp edge so it's not sticking out.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Take a step back and look over your work, tweak it a little to make it perfect.

If you were using old wire, like me >.<, and it broke, then just glue it together with a little super glue, it won't hurt.

Now you can attach a chain or put it in a nice case or on a nice stand and show it off! :)



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30 Discussions


3 years ago

Hmmmmmmmm no words for this amazing handmade


4 years ago

Could you please make an instructable for f horn

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Sadly, I made these a while ago, and don't plan on picking back up wire working anytime soon. I remember for the french horn I simplified the pipes a lot more, since you could clearly get the idea of the horn without including all the valves. If you do decide to try and make one, just start at the mouthpiece and follow the pipes along the instrument, copying the shape with the wire. Good luck, and be sure to post a picture if you do make one!


7 years ago on Introduction

cool, as a trombonist i must say the trombone is my favorite.
do you know about nylon-jawed pliers? they provide similar grip and leverage as normal pliers, but don't mangle the metal nearly as much.

5 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I have not heard of those, but they would definitely be a huge help. I'll check it out. Thanks.

As a trombonist you might want to check out this:


7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you soooo much for posting this! I have been looking for a gift for my sister and she plays trumpet and this is just perfect! :D

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you! I'm glad you find it useful! Be sure to post a picture when you finish :)