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Mundane Magic

Discussion in 'Magic' started by V, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Almost every magician I know has the same assortment of generic magic shop props. Nothing wrong with the I suppose and I use some of those same props myself from time to time.

    this thread however, isn't about your favorite magic shop prop, but rather things found at your favorite craft shop or utility drawer or supercenter, that makes a magical effect out of the ordinary.


    what are your favorite items not found in a magic show room that you have in your entertainment arsenal.

    Some of mine:

    Stickum is a wax used in candle arrangements. It only costs a couple of bucks for a decent sized tin of the stuff and can do practically anything that magician's wax can do, only cheaper. It's still my favorite card on ceiling wax to date, and prefer it to professional magicians wax by far.

    Thinking Putty is fun stuff and I recommend everyone by a tub or three of it. Makes for a great snake charm act (with a little set-up) and I'm betting you can replicate Paul Harris' Little Man effect with thinking putty as well. I'll get around to setting it up to see one day soon, but with just getting out of the operating room on Friday, I've little motivation for much else than lying around the house right now. It's only around $7-10 for a tub of thinking putty, so if you use it only for the little man effect, you save about $290 (if you were to buy the original trick).

    Retractable Keychains/ID holders are great. Two for a dollar at dollar tree and you can pull off a self tying shoe lace illusion flawlessly. the trick itself runs around $30-40, so you save quite a bit by buying the dollar tree retractable and some matching shoe laces which will total around $3.

    Bowler's grip cream makes some sleight of hand easy as pie. Goes on clear and odorless so no masking needed. Unfortunate side effect of being really sticky, so you have to plan your tricks (being super grippy when you need to fan a deck for instance, can be troublesome) but otherwise, this stuff can make life easy - especially for the newbie coin magician. + for coin sleights, - for card sleights, plan accordingly.

    Rubber Bands are a magic show in their own right. Everyone should keep some handy and learn a few band tricks.
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  2. Simply Knute

    Simply Knute Well-Known Member

    I can amaze/gross people out for under 10 bucks with a box of 4" nails from Home depot, and some crystal clear lightbulbs from walmart.. :p
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. JustLoco

    JustLoco Active Member

    Rope. It can be found everywhere in different thicknes, and colors. Remove core and it's soft and flexible. It can be dyed to suit.

    I found shower curtain rod covers in home depot for $1.99 used a little plastic spray paint and made myself a 5 foot appearing wand.
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  4. StuartPid

    StuartPid Administrator/Pickles' Lady in Waiting

    Goop.. its an awesome adhesive that is great for repairs or building new props.

    The little glass beads and rocks used for potted plants make nice "magic stones" for sleights and can be given away as a fun keepsake for the kids.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  5. Pickles

    Pickles Czarina / Administrator

    Paper clips for the ole jumping paperclip trick.

    And, dare I say it, EXPANDABLE FOAM INSULATION!!!!!
    • Groan Groan x 1
  6. Hey-you

    Hey-you New Member

    As a new Hobo magician I find myself recreating magic store items

    strat-o-sphere using a Pringles can
    a break away magic wand from a plastic coat hanger

    I'm even making a magic suit case out of cardboard.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Hall Pass

    Hall Pass New Member

    There's these little plastic rounded hooks for hanging clothing in stores that are perfect for holding appearing props in a rolled up shape- they just pop right in. And they have a little hole, to slip string and make a ring.
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  8. tomorrow_knight

    tomorrow_knight New Member

    Home Depot used to sell a "can safe". It looks like an ordinary soda can, but you can hide a memory card, cash, even a door key if you are at the beach. I use this for silk production to lead into Mis-Made Flag.
  9. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Easy, but only because I've met her and am a huge fan. That's Joni Mitchell's Sweet Bird. Most people would know her from 'Big Yellow Taxi,' but you're missing out if you don't take some time and listen to her music that has spanned decades.

    I'll admit that I don't know if it was in written form before she added it to melody. I'll google it, but didn't want to do it before I answered the question. ;)

    Edit: Lazily googling but finding nothing past Sweet Bird and too lazy today to dig deeper. I'll check back to see if I'm missing something. ;)
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  10. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Random luck when on vacation during the late 1990s. I've been a fan for a while; predating the meeting. Long story short is a friend had some backstage access to a Van Morrison/Bob Dylan/Joni Mitchell concert out west. I've never been much of a Bob Dylan guy, but Mitchell's comeback show was pretty good considering she hadn't played live for a decade or better before then; past her prime then I suppose and her voice had a different character by then but it was still a good performance. Van Morrison was 'on' that night and definitely woke the crowd up from the folk music trance of Dylan and Mitchell.
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  11. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Back on topic (package received btw - enjoying the booklet - the envelope freaked my wife out a bit)...

    I've recently started using switchable magnets in various prop builds and love them. They've been the easy answer to otherwise complicated portions of a few props. It may be a lazy reason to like them, but they've made some builds terribly easy when they otherwise would have been complicated. I recommend them for aspiring builders.

    Just because I didn't mention it before and because I just finished a production box for a client... Felt. I suppose magic has evolved (I like to think that anyway, but people are still using dove pans and such, so maybe not) so much that 'Black art' isn't mentioned much these days but it's a great utility for magic tables, production boxes, square circles, etc. Found at virtually any fabric store in the world - great for decorating your favorite prop while acting as a bit of a masking agent.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  12. Jeff the Magic Man

    Jeff the Magic Man Active Member

    One thing to always have on hand is a packet trick in your wallet/purse. I keep a three card monte in my wallet whenever someone stops me and asks to see a magic trick.
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