How to Wrap a Drum Shell Part 1

In Drum Building 101, Drum Building Tutorials, Drums, General Updates by Philip4 Comments

How to Wrap a Drum Shell

Using a wrap to finish your drum is a great way to get an outstanding finish in very little time. If you are wrapping multiple drums you should find out if your wrap supplier has specific configurations already cut to size for your drums, if not you’ll need to calculate how much wrap you will actually need to buy to be able to cover all your drums. If you are unsure of how to do this, just ask your supplier to help you figure it out. First, you will need to cut your wrap to size. An easy way to do this is to wrap it around your drum shell and mark the edge of the shell all the way around. This shows how to wrap a bass drum. If your wrapping a smaller shell follow the directions below as follows, but you’ll just end up with one seam.

Step by Step Instructions for Wrapping a Drum

How to wrap a drum shell
(Some wrap manufacturers don’t make wrap to go all the way around large drums, so you’ll end up having to use 2 pieces for larger drums – mark your cut line around the top of the shell)

2nd peice of wrap for the bass drum

(What your 2nd piece of wrap for larger drums will look like, this will go on the bottom of a 22” kick)

Cutting the wrap down to size

Cutting Your Drum Wrap to Size

You may use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the wrap. Sparkles are a little easier to cut than glass glitter wraps. Plan on sharpening your scissors frequently if you need to cut a lot of wrap. After you cut your wrap to the length of your shell, you’ll need to cut it down to the diameter of your shell. An easy way to do this is to use a flexible measuring tape (for sewing) to measure all the way around the shell and add an extra inch for overlap. Now lay the wrap down flat and measure out that distance and use a straight edge to mark your next cut.

Preparing wrap

Now lay your wrap down flat on the ground and mark the center of the wrap on a piece of tape.
Mark the center of the wraplay drum wrap flat and find the center

Where does the wrap overlap go?

Now you need to do a test fit with your wrap. The age-old question has always been “Where should the seam go?” Most drum companies do this: Toms; under a lug, kick; on the bottom where it can’t be seen, Snare; under the strainer to hide it. You will want no less than 1” of overlap for your seam. To make sure you line up your seam when gluing you’ll need to get your test fit wrapped around the drum as tight as possible, with your seam lined up in your designated area, and then transfer the center mark on your wrap to the edge of the shell. Also, mark each end of your wrap where the overlap is on the shell. To achieve maximum adhesion you’ll need to scuff/rough up the shell and the back side of the wrap. The best way to do this is to use 80 grit sandpaper and sand the entire surface of the drum and the back of the wrap (don’t sand through your wrap). You’ll also need to peel back the protective plastic on the front of the wrap where your seam will be, measure your 1-inch seam and tape off the area you don’t want to scuff up or get glue on, and sand this down as well.
You can even lightly score the seam with a razor bladeLightly sand the back of the wrap with 80 grit sand paper

(You can even lightly score the seam with a razor blade)

This tutorial is taken straight from the pages of “How to Make Custom Drums” Sign up on the email list to get free drum building tutorials just like this one. To get started on learning how to build your very own customized drum set sign up for the FREE drum building tutorials sent to your email! Sign up HERE!

Continue to How to Wrap a Drum Shell Part 2


  1. I have been having problems lining up stripes when I am making a striped drumset with two different sets of wrap. When I pull my wrap around the shell, when the seams come back together the stripes rarely seem to lineup and its killing me. I can’t seem to get my stripes inline and look clean. Any tips?


  2. Author

    I feel for you man! I had huge issues with that right at first, and even now from time to time the stripes are just slightly off. One way to fix this is to use a square and mark a straight line down the shell where the bottom of the overlap will go. Put saran wrap about a half inch below that line and go around the shell back to the seam. Then stick the seam down as perfectly straight on that line as you can, and do a “dry fit” around the shell to see if it will line up. If it doesn’t just adjust the seam to angle to which ever way needs trued up. (I hope this makes sense!)

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