One of the most amazing free magic tricks has got to be the self folding note. It's is a great little trick to perform. Spectators can't believe their eyes. Once you learn it you will always carry this little gem around, I do!
THE EFFECT: The magician takes an ordinary bank note out of their pocket and shows it to the audience. The magician displays the note on their hand open palm up. It is unfolded and flat in the magician's palm.
At the magicians command it begins to move. But wait it's not just moving, it's folding itself up! First in half, then sideways, then once more until its completely folded neatly in the magician's palm. The note is immediately handed out for examination.
Free magic tricks are awesome and this is one of the coolest free magic tricks I'm sure you'll agree!
THE SECRET: What's the secret to one of the most baffling free magic tricks? I hear you cry! - Well the note is prepared (gimmicked) ahead of time. It is a simple gimmick to construct but performs a mini miracle. All it consists of is string and tape.
YOU WILL NEED:
• Any bank note of your choice
• Sewing needle (thinnest you can find)
• Black nylon thread. (It needs to be extremely thin, or magicians thread)
• Clear sticky tape
CONSTRUCTION: You first need to fold the note three ways in half. First short side to short side (pic1). Then long side to long side (pic2). Then finally short side to shot side again (pic3). You should end up with a small square packet.
The next step is to thread the needle (do not break the thread off the reel just yet). Take the threaded needle and push it through half of the note as shown in (pic4). You should be passing it through four layers of the note. The easiest way to do this is place a ball of blu tack below the note and push the needle through the note into the tac.
TIP: Try and get hold of the smallest needle you can so it does not leave a large hole in the note. Also pass the needle through a dark part of the note so the hole is less noticeable, avoid the lighter parts of the note.
Pull the thread through the folds. Once the thread is through you need to attach it to the part of the note directly opposite the hole with a small piece of clear tape (pic5). Or you can use a small amount of rubber cement which works equally as well, make sure it is dry first. See (pic6) for a different angle (The tape is red only so you can see it).
That's pretty much the gimmick made all you need to do now it cut the other end of the thread. The exact amount will depend on the individual but about 15 inches will do. Read the rest of the tutorial first to get a better idea of length before cutting.
TIP: The thread I have used in the pictures is far too thick and simply so you can see where it needs to go.
The cut end needs to be attached (with tape or tied) to something in your front pocket like a wallet, deck of cards, car keys etc. It does not matter what it is, it just needs to have some weight to it to act as an anchor. It will never be seen by the spectators.
You now need to carefully open up the note letting the thread have some slack as it unfolds flat (pic7) and (pic8).
TIP: Give the line slightly more slack, so that when you perform the trick it causes the note to jerk making it seem more dramatic in performance.
THE METHOD: When you show the note to your spectators it should be folded. You then need to casually unfold the note and place it on your palm. The thread should run from the bottom of the note through your middle fingers and down into your pocket (pic9) and (pic10). Find a comfortable position to hold your arm out and make sure it looks natural. (This will dictate how long the thread needs to be).
To make the note fold up simply move your hand slowly and hopefully unnoticed away from your body. As you do the note will start to fold up. First in half then in half the other way then finally one last time! Practice this in front of a mirror to see what speed and motion to use.
Once the note has folded it's self up place it back into your pocket.
TIP: You may want to do a slight of hand switch with your note to another ungimmicked note this way the audience can examine it and will find nothing.
If you are inexperienced with slight of hand the easiest way is to have a duplicate note in the same pocket as you place the gimmicked one at the end of the trick. That way if someone says "lets have a look at the note" you can reach back into your pocket again and take out the ungimmicked note for
TIP: You may need to experiment with wearing different coloured clothing to see if the thread shows up more or less. Also be careful with lighting try and perform in a dark ish place, not in direct sunlight or the thread will reflect the light and show up!
This is one of my favourite free magic tricks, I'm sure with a bit of practice it will be yours too! Learn some more free magic tricks by clicking below.