Magic Tricks to Make Your Audience Go “Wow!”
Have you ever looked at magicians and thought excitedly, “How is it even possible?” But what if I told you that you could do no worse? All incredible magic tricks have explanations, and some of them are so simple that you can easily repeat them at home to baffle your friends and family members!
A Sugar-Cube Number. For this magic trick, you’ll need a pencil, a sugar cube, a glass of water, and some audience. Ask a volunteer to pick a number from 1 to 10. Then use the pencil to write the chosen number on the sugar cube. Pick the cube up and while doing it, discreetly squeeze it against your thumb. The pencil core is made up of graphite which sticks to human skin very well. That’s why the number will get transferred to your finger.
Drop the sugar cube into the water and let it melt. Then ask the volunteer to wave their hand over the glass. After that, press your thumb against their hand. The number will “magically” transfer to their skin!
A Spoon-Bending Trick. You can easily pretend to be one of “The Matrix” characters by bending a spoon and then returning it to its original state! Grab a spoon with both of your hands and position its bowl, open side up, against the table.
Then pretend to be pressing on the spoon’s handle. The hidden part of the spoon will be sliding through your hands until it ends up near the surface of the table. But to anyone watching, it will look as if you’re bending the spoon. After that, take the spoon off the table with both of your hands and show your audience that it’s unbent.
Ice Painted from the Inside. Prepare some ice cubes and make several salt solutions mixed with different paints. Then tell your audience that you’re going to color the ice cubes from the inside. With the help of a pipette, put a few drops of the solution on each ice cube. All the spectators will see is the ice gradually changing its color from the inside. But you’ll know that at that moment, the salt is dissolving the ice, drilling tiny holes in it and creating beautiful colorful patterns.
Pepper and Water. Pour water into a glass and sprinkle it with some ground pepper so that it’s spread all over the water surface. Then ask someone from the audience to dip their finger into the water to make the pepper separate. Nothing will happen. After that, you say an incantation, put your own finger into the water, and the pepper rushes to the outer edges of the glass! Magic! Um, not really. No one knows that before dipping your finger in the water, you covered it with soap or dishwashing liquid — that’s the secret of this trick.
Dancing Worms. For this super-impressive magic trick, you’ll need some cornstarch, food coloring, water, a thin metal baking tray, and a stereo subwoofer. Mix two cups of cornstarch with one cup of water, and pour the mixture onto the tray. Then add several drops of food coloring and put the tray on the subwoofer. Make sure to press the tray against the subwoofer and switch on some loud music. You’ll see colorful little “worms” dancing.
A Needle Trick. Tell your audience that you can make a needle float on water. Everybody knows that since steel is denser than water, the needle’s supposed to drown when placed in the water. But if you cover the needle with some grease, for example, cooking oil, it won’t let the needle go down. Voilà, your friends are thoroughly impressed!
Age Guessing. All you’ll need to surprise people by guessing their age is a calculator. Pick a volunteer and ask them to punch in their age, while hiding the screen from everyone. Then ask them to multiply this number by 2 and add 1 to the result. Tell them to multiply this number by 5 and then by 10.
After that, ask the person to write the final number on a piece of paper and give it to you. Ignore the last two digits of the number you see. What’s left is the volunteer’s age.
A Levitating Matchstick. Intrigue your audience by saying that you can make a matchstick levitate. Then take an empty matchbox and poke the bottom part of a matchstick through the middle of the box so that it sticks upward right from the center. Lean another matchstick against the first one so that their tips are touching. Then use the third matchstick to light the point where the first two matchsticks are touching.
In a few moments, the leaning matchstick will start to rise upward as if it’s levitating! Even better, after you blow the flame out, it’ll still be hanging mid-air! The heat fuses the heads of the first two matches and makes the leaning one curl up. But your spectators don’t need to know that!
A Flame Without a Shadow. Get yourself a torch flashlight, several matches, and some audience. Light a match while keeping it several inches away from the wall. Switch on the torch flashlight and shine it over your hand that’s holding the match. On the wall, you’ll see only the shadows created by your hand and the matchstick. The flame won’t have a shadow. Fire doesn’t cast shadows because, unlike physical materials, it doesn’t prevent light from passing through.
A Levitating Cup Trick. All you need for this trick is a styrofoam cup and some practice. Make a hole in the side of the cup so that your thumb fits inside. Show the cup to your audience but avoid flashing the side with the hole. Announce that you’re going to make the cup levitate and discreetly push your thumb into the hole. Now, you just need to make magical movements with your other fingers. It’ll look as if the cup is levitating in the air between your hands.
Magic Fire Extinguisher. Mix white vinegar and baking soda in a cup and cover it until the mixture stops fizzling. After that, pretend you’re pouring the air from the cup over a burning candle. This reaction produces a gas called carbon dioxide which can put out a fire. Your audience will be amazed to see the flame going out seemingly on its own.
Moving Objects. Fill a plastic bottle with water and put inside some light object, for example, a piece of foil or a cover from McDonald’s dipping sauce. Wait until the object sinks a bit and start making magical movements with one of your hands. Meanwhile, your other hand, positioned at the bottom of the bottle, should hold it in place. Your audience will see that the object moves up and down in the water following your orders. What they don’t know is that you slightly press the bottle to make the object go up and release the pressure to make it go down.
A Skewer Through a Balloon. Take a medium-sized balloon filled with air, a wooden skewer, and a drop of vegetable oil or baby shampoo. Cover the skewer with the oil or shampoo and start to push it through the balloon. Be gentle but firm and keep pressing until the skewer breaks through the rubber. Your audience won’t believe their eyes: the balloon hasn’t burst!
A Coin Inside a Bottle. Cut a vertical slit in the side of a regular plastic bottle. The slit should be just large enough to let a quarter slip through. Opt for a bottle that has ridges: it’ll help you to conceal all the necessary modifications. Show your audience the bottle and a coin and count to three before slapping your coin-holding hand against the bottle. At this moment, you have to squeeze the coin inside the bottle as fast and discreetly as you can. With enough practice, the spectators will only notice the coin magically appear inside the bottle.
A Magnetic Hand. Take a steel spoon and claim that you can magnetize your hand and make the spoon stick to it. Put the spoon on the table and move your left hand over it a couple of times. Then tightly grasp your left wrist with your right hand and pretend to be applying great pressure. At the same time, grab the spoon with your left hand and clutch it.
Then slowly open your hand... the spoon seems to have stuck to your palm! Your spectators don’t know that you’ve stretched your right-hand index finger along your palm to support the spoon. Have some practice, and nobody will guess that the magnetized spoon is just an illusion.
A Climbing Ring. Take a key ring or a finger ring and a rubber band. After cutting or breaking the band and looping it through the ring, stretch it out between your hands. One of your hands should be higher than the other. Say an incantation, and your shocked audience will see the ring slowly climb upward.
The secret is to stretch out only a relatively small portion of the rubber band. The rest of it should be loose and tucked into the palm of your lower hand. As you’re slowly letting this hidden part out, it’ll look as if the ring’s climbing up the rubber band on its own.
A Crayon Trick. All you’ll need for this trick is a box of multicolored crayons. Stand with your back facing the audience. Ask one person to pick a crayon and put it in your hands. Pretend to be examining it with your fingers, then turn to the audience with your hands still behind you.
While distracting the audience with some bizarre incantation, scrape the crayon with your left thumbnail to transfer some wax under it. After that, while still keeping your right hand with the crayon behind your back, use your left hand to make some “magical gestures.” At the same time, you need to sneak a peek at your left thumbnail to figure out the crayon’s color. Announce it to the audience, and don’t forget to be mysterious!
An Egg in a Bottle. To perform this trick, you’ll need a boiled egg, a bottle with a neck that’s smaller than the diameter of the egg, a drop of sunflower or olive oil, a thin strip of paper, and a lighter. Before performing the trick, cover the neck of the bottle with some oil. Then tell your audience that your magic is so powerful that you can make the egg squeeze through the neck of the bottle.
Set the paper on fire and drop it to the bottom of the bottle. After that, very fast, put the egg on the neck of the bottle — and listen to some dazzled “wows” as the spectators see the egg being pulled inside. The secret is simple: the flame burns the oxygen and reduces the pressure inside the bottle. Combined with the normal pressure outside, it makes the egg squeeze into the bottle.
Turning a Drink into Cash. Cut a plastic or styrofoam cup in half and throw away the top part. Fill the bottom part with coins to the brim. Then take a bigger cup and make a hole in its bottom. It should be only big enough to let your finger squeeze through. Cover the bigger cup’s bottom with a sponge and place the coin-filled mini-cup inside.
Then fill the cups with coffee or strong tea so that the liquid hides the coins. Now, all you need to do is to use your finger to push the smaller cup upward. The sponge will absorb the drink in the cup, and your audience will be surprised when they see coins appear out of nowhere.
A Mind Reader. Choose a person from the audience and ask them to mentally pick some item in the room. After that, you leave the room, and the volunteer has to tell everyone else which item they’ve chosen. You return to the room and pick another, seemingly random person to help you.
In truth, this person is far from random — it’s your assistant, even though the audience knows nothing about this fact. Your “mole” goes from one object to another, touching each of them one by one. At one point, they touch something black, and you know that the next item will be the one you need. For your spectators, it looks like magic, but for you, it’s just efficient teamwork.
Turning Water into Ice. Take a bottle of water and put it into a freezer for about 2 to 3 hours. After you make sure the water is cold enough, take it out of the freezer, open the lid, and start pouring the water on something cold, for example, ice cubes in a bowl or an ice pack. Your friends will be shocked to see that you instantly turn water into ice! To make the process even more impressive, you can add some food coloring to the water or use fruit juice or coke.
Soda That Changes Its Color. Take a paper cup filled with ice cubes and a bottle of clear soda and tell your audience that you can make the drink change its color. Indeed, you pour the soda into the cup, and in a couple of seconds, it changes its color! Just make sure that before performing this trick, you hide some food coloring under the ice cubes. When the soda mixes with the paint, it “magically” turns blue. Or green. Or any other color you’ve picked.
A Pre-Sliced Banana. In front of your intrigued audience, you take a banana and peel it... only to reveal that it’s already sliced! How come? Before performing this magic trick, carefully stick a pin into an unpeeled banana and wiggle it back and forth, cutting several pieces.
A Levitation Trick. With enough practice, you can make your friends believe that you can float in the air! The most important thing about this trick is the correct positioning of your body. Your audience should be standing behind you so that they see only the side of one of your feet and both heels. If your position is correct, after you stand on the tiptoes of your hidden foot, everyone watching you will believe that you’re floating above the ground.
A Snow Queen Illusion. Take a plastic or styrofoam cup and cover its bottom with a sponge. Then, place several ice cubes on top of the sponge. Now, you can invite your audience. In front of your friends, pour a bit of water into the cup, blow on it, make several magical movements with your hands, and remember to say “abracadabra.” Then turn the cup and let the ice cubes fall out. By that time, the sponge will have already absorbed all the water.
A Levitating Card Trick. To begin with, place several fanned out playing cards under your palm one by one. Then lift your hand, and your audience will let out a collective “ah” when they see the cards float up along with your hand! To perform this trick, you’ll need to put on a ring on your middle finger. After that, carefully place a matchstick under the ring so that it’s positioned along your finger.
Every time you slide a card under your palm, make sure that its bottom side gets between the matchstick and your finger. Remember to press your fingers down against the cards as well. This way, they’ll stay in position more firmly.
Piercing Your Jaw with Finger. At first sight, this trick looks terrifying. But it’s only until you find out how to perform it. Put some flour and a bit of gelatin in two different bowls. Add some water to the gelatin and wait until it dissolves (you can help the process by stirring the mixture with a spoon). Start to add flour to the mixture, one spoonful after another. In the end, you’ll get a pretty thick homogenous mixture.
Take some modeling clay and wrap it around your finger to make a mold. Make sure to seal all the holes and gaps. When the mold is ready, fill it with the mixture you’ve prepared in advance. Place the filled mold in the freezer and leave it there for several hours, then carefully remove all the modeling clay. Give the artificial finger a natural look with the help of some makeup and use a fake nail to make it seem real. Now, to shock your friends, secretly put the artificial finger vertically in your open mouth — and the trick is ready! They’re bound to believe that you’ve just pierced your jaw with your finger!
A Card Trick. This trick looks nothing but impressive: you have a plastic bag in your hand with a playing card inside. You shake the bag, and voilà! The card changes its suit! To prepare for this trick, take two playing cards of different suits and colors but of the same value and glue them back to back. Then put them in a plastic zip-bag and start shaking. The main thing here is not to let your audience see the other side of the plastic bag.