Rubber Cement is a great substance for magic tricks. It is so very versatile and can be used for many, many powerful illusions. Including this one, check it out...


THE EFFECT: You let all your spectators examine your arm and they find nothing out of the ordinary. You then treat your arm with some disinfectant. You take an ordinary pen and mark an 'X' where your entry point will be, you then remove the inside ink-tube and proceed to push it right through your forearm.

The spectators can clearly see it going straight through your flesh and out the other side. You move the pen freely in and out of the 'wound' a few times, then finally you remove the pen, give your arm a quick 'magic' wipe and there is no wound to be found!

This effect can be played out in a couple of ways:

1. Less gory way: You explain to your spectators you have discovered the ability to block pain and stop blood flow
2. More gory way: Pretend to be in extreme pain and discomfort and really draw it out! (this is the way I prefer ;-)

Any pen can be used and examined
Your arm can be examined before and after - no fake skin!
Instant reset. Once you have finished the trick you are ready to go again!

WARNING: If you find you are allergic to Rubber Cement, eg. you get a rash, stop doing the effect and seek medical advice. It is advisable to only perform this trick once or twice a day again due to skin irritation. THIS IS AN ADULT ILLUSION - YOU PERFORM THIS EFFECT ENTIRELY AT YOU OWN RISK! Rant over, lets begin...

THE SECRET: The secret to this effect is of course Rubber Cement, it is this solution which enables the trick and is the same solution you pretend is disinfectant at the beginning of the effect.

This is the ingenious part because people expect that if your are going to push a pen through your flesh it would need to be sterile and so the application of disinfectant (the Cement) does not seem out of the ordinary! The pen does not actually penetrate your arm, but actually lays beneath a pleat of skin.

The arm is prepared with the Cement which causes the skin to stick together over the pen - forming a pleat of skin. When you have some Rubber Cement you can apply your own ‘disinfectant’ label to the bottle to increase the realism, if you wish. Alternatively just put some on a piece of cloth or cotton wool before the trick and this works just as well.

Any normal pen can be used but the best ones to use are the pens that can be unscrewed and the inside ink-tube easily removed. Some pens can be hard to remove the inside ink-tubes so watch out.

pen in arm

At the beginning of the trick when you apply the ‘disinfectant’ to your forearm (which is in fact the Cement) you need to apply two 1 inch long, 2 inch wide strips, with 1 cm separating them (see pic 1) these measurements are a rough guide and you will need to experiment to find what works best for you.

The Cement will need a minute or so to dry but this time can be easily filled by explaining to the spectators what you are about to do and how you have trained for many years to be able to perform this etc. You can also start to prod at your arm - obviously not too hard to actually pierce your skin though!

pen in arm

After a minute or so place the pen ink-tube in the 1 cm gutter and gently push the pen with your forefinger, while using your thumb and middle finger to fold your skin around the ink-tube. The Rubber Cement will temporarily stick the two pieces of skin together creating a tunnel (or skin pleat) for the pen to freely pass through (see pic 2).

pen in arm

As you do this you will need to temporarily bend your arm away from the audience to prevent them from seeing the secret move (see pic 3). This is not a problem as it creates a build-up of tension as they are not quite sure if you are actually going to do it or not. You can pretend to look very nervous to heighten the tension.

Once the secret move is complete lower your arm and let everyone see the pen clearly stuck through your flesh. At this point many people will not want to look! You can move the pen back and forth to increase the effect.

When everybody is feeling quite ill - remove the pen and give your arm a ‘magic wipe’ this to the spectator looks as though you are healing yourself, when in fact you are actually unsticking your skin and removing the excess Rubber Cement. If you find that after this wipe you can still see the Rubber Cement, try wiping your arm with a cloth that has a small amount of white spirit or lighter fluid on, as this removes it extremely well.

This can be disguised by having the Rubber Cement on one side of a cloth and white spirit on the other, so at the beginning of the trick use the Rubber Cement side to ‘disinfect’ your arm and then at the end use the other side of the cloth to ‘disinfect’ your arm again, but in fact you are cleaning any evidence away!

Applying an X ‘marks the spot’ on your arm where you are going to ‘pierce the skin’ this purpose to using a pen.

Let the spectators examine your arm and pen thoroughly, after all there is nothing to find, so remind them!

Try using a pen with red ink - that way the X will be red and the spectators will swear they saw blood (if the ink runs even better!) Try it, it works! Alternatively try adding fake blood into the routine, have fun with it.

To aid with the pen going through the skin pleat freely try licking your fingers and rubbing the pen tube (this does not look out of the ordinary if you say something like ”this usually helps to pierce through the skin more easily”.

If your forearm is quite hairy you may find it less painful if you shave it first. Do not apply the Rubber Cement too thickly, I find less is more, instead apply it slightly wider if necessary.

Check out Amazon to get your supplies of Rubber Cement:

For another great illusion using Rubber Cement see the amazing Cut & Restored Currency trick.


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