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How to Make Magic Props

How to Make Magic Props


How to Make Magic Props

by Mike Wong

Both in stage and close up magic, the magic effect of production of an object is always one of the most astonishing tricks to perform. We have seen champagne being produced in balloon, shoes inside a deck of cards and objects from the most impossible locations. A common approach to produce an object is by bringing it into the appearance position with high speed. It could be achieved with the use of thread, elastic chord or other materials.

Magicians have brilliant ideas to apply this principle in their magic. They often find inspirations in daily life. For example, a magician once saw a mousetrap. He was fascinated by the cleverness of the spring lever. A magic trick is then born with a similar device. The spring trap is replaced with a lever attached to the object to be produced. The lever is pulled back and fixed with a trigger. The object is hidden in a secret place. When the trigger is pulled, the lever shoots forward and brings the object into position with high speed.

The Card in Balloon is an illustration. Here, at rest, the arm is in a position that would bring the card within the balloon. With the card affixed to the arm, the arm is turned back against the spring tension so that the card may be concealed within its hiding place in the base of the stand. When it is released, the arm swings around instantly, carrying the card to the balloon. The balloon breaks and the card appears in its place. Other similar tricks are The Card on Candle, The Card in Flowers Vase and The Card Star.

This method is accomplished in yet another way. Here the power is applied through gravity, centrifugal force or other similar power. Usually some means of guiding the object is necessary. The coin wand generally credited to the late T. Nelson Downs illustrates this admirably. The wand is not strictly a wand. It is a piece of heavy wire or light rod. A slot is cut in the outside end and the two sides of the cut are bent outwards in a slight "V." This, with the main body of the so-called wand, forms a ' 'Y." The result is that the extreme inch or so at the outside end is somewhat larger than the diameter of the wire.

A number of coins are prepared by soldering small rings to their centers, the planes of the rings being at right angles to the planes of the coins. These rings are just large enough to slide loosely up and down the length of the wand. But they are not large enough to slide past the expanded split. Five or six of the prepared coins are threaded onto the wire wand at the narrow end. These are covered with the hand in grasping the wand. When the hand sweeps the wand in the air the coins are released one at a time.

Centrifugal force causes the individual coin to slide up the wand and jam at the "V." When the performer forces this coin over the "V", the sides of the split spring in and allow the coin to pass. This is repeated until all the coins have appeared. Of course, this principle may be applied to any long thin object such as sticks, canes, swords. And the objects to be produced are limited only by the size of the concealment space available.

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