How to do the dancing handkerchief trick

BOTTLED SPIRITS - A New Dancing Hank & Bottle

Hello Greg,I received the dove through the glass illusion today ,and I'm very pleased with the product hardwood construction and it works perfectly, I owned and performed this effect in the mid-70s,but I actually think this new version is even better than the old one. Thank you and keep up the good work.

Tim J. Goswick

Greg: Received book today (Abbotts Compendium). WOW WHAT A BOOK. That will give me something to read this winter. If not before. Thanks

Herman Carr

Hi Greg,

I just thought I’d let you know that the box arrived safe and well at it’s new UK home yesterday….I ‘killed’ with it this morning! I am so pleased with the box, it’s quality and what I can do using the unique method it uses (I just beamed from ear to ear when I saw the method!).

A delightful effect, thank you so much for getting it to me!


Martin Jones - Shrewsbury, UK

Hey Greg... Derek Kennedy here from Ft Worth Texas (Les Bartons friend).

I just wanted to thank for a couple of things. First being a Magic Shop owner myself I know how hard it is to "Host" events (while you are open for business) like you did this past May for the Magic Collectors Weekend, so thanks to you and your staff for making it a really fun time!!! Also for going out of your way to help locate the Instructions for the Spirit Paintings!!! Now it makes sense. Again I really do appreciate it. This was only the 2nd time I had been to Abbotts, the first was 30 years ago for the 1985 Get Together. And that year I was lucky enough to have been part of Abb Dickson's "Kitchen Act". 30 years is a long time, I had just opened my Shop in February of 85 and I am not sure how I could get away long enough to drive up and back from Texas!! Being a long (longer than me) time shop owner you would understand that more than most would. But wow, things have change in the last 30 year...we are in a unique business, the Magic business is not quite what it once was.

Anyway I enjoyed myself so much with being in Marshal and visiting Abbotts, (this past May) that I and my other half (Kathy) have registered for this years Get Together.....I figured that I had better not wait another 30 years before coming back!!!

Again thanks for all and looking forward to a fun time in a couple of weeks!!!

Best to you...

Derek Kennedy

Hi Greg, I am very pleased with every single item you sent! I knew I would be happy with the Mammoth Silk and am quite pleasantly surprised at how nice the dark red 12 inch silks and the 9 inch "wand" silks turned out. Please tell Karin for me that she did a wonderful job on this special order! I don't say this lightly as I am usually pretty particular about what I want. She really knows her stuff, doesn't she! You are lucky to have her. And I am lucky to now know who to ask if I ever have another silk dyeing request. (By the way, thank you for sending the extra 9 inch "wand" silks.)

Carroll Hovland

The best (Strait) Jacket is the Abbott's Jacket. That is the one we use. Email my friend Greg Bordner - He can get you the information you need

Jeff McBride

Hi Greg, received with thanks the floating light bulb. Now I understand the Abbott magic quality, I like the product very much and will surely order more from you. Regards from India,


Greg, I've done business with your company since 1975. I always prefer your craftsmanship over your competitors in that time. You were able to take a worn out homemade mini zig-zag and build a professional one in it's place. I've always have had great reception to this prop which was why it was worn out to begin with. I wish you the same as you put it on the market. I have some other ideas that might sell for you so I'll try to get down some time to see you and maybe even have another prototype to play with. Thanks again for a great job and may this year be a blessing.

Will Holden

Received the slates yesterday. Fantastic service, getting an out-of-stock item to me in record time. This is the first time I've come across and ordered from Abbott's website. However, when I got into magic some 45 years ago, Abbott's was basically the ONLY place for magic - I still remember the 1 1/2 inch thick catalog (or maybe I just remember it that way, as a youth). Anyway, I will reiterate. Fantastic service, getting an out-of-stock item to me in record time. Saved my New Years plans. Thanks so much.

Flip Nehrt

I got my Vapr yesterday and it is WAY more exciting than I anticipated. One of the best products I've ever purchased. I can't wait for my next show to plug it in and use it. I am also surprised how easy it really is to use. So many times, the promo videos make things look easier than they are but this is simple and well thought out. You have added to my list of blessings to count this Thanksgiving Day.

Jeff Boren

Dear Greg, The Eight Foot Jet Set arrived on my doorstep this morning. It is magnificent! What a clever design - it folds down to nothing but looks HUGE. I am really amazed at the stability of the Jet Set. You do have to be careful to steady it while putting the curtain over the stand, but once it's up, it is very stable, It only takes ONE PERSON around ONE MINUTE to put up. The stand fits perfectly into my Gator speaker stand case, so it hasn't really added any volume to what I already carry. I am very pleased, Greg. Thank you once again for having the red/black curtain made up - it was well worth the slight wait - and also for your excellent and courteous service. Regards,

Allan Karasavas

Just got the Den-O-Zen and wow...what a nice job! It really looks great and if the paint scheme you did for me isn't now the standard for this should be. Again, thanks and nice job.

Pastor Roloff

Just received my Mail Bag and wanted to say GREAT JOB! The construction is top notch! Great quality and I couldn't be happier! Thanks Abbott's!!

Bill Blagg

Hi Greg: I'm loving my new Mutilated Parasol that I bought during the Get-Together! Thanks to all of you at Abbott's for the excellent quality--what a great piece of magic!

Marty Hahne


I have a library of over 4,000 books on magic and I feel qualified to state that it's simply the best Halloween resource of genuine Halloween magic secrets ever published. ..and you can quote me on that.

Scott Swayze

I got this book in the mail last night and feel like I owe Abbotts some more money. You get a LOT of magic for your money here. Individually these tricks, illusions and effects would have cost you hundreds of dollars. Abbotts is using a print on demand service so you get a REAL BOOK, not some plastic comb binding other dealers use. I can't say enough good things about Dark Secrets, I hope Abbotts does more of these projects. At $25 this book could easily have sold for three times the price and still been a bargain!

Mitchell Leary

In a world where the "good stuff" is hidden in obscure pamphlets and magazines long forgotten, Dark Matter Secrets stands out as a real treasure. This book contains literally hundreds of usable pieces of magic you aren't likely to find on your own - all in one volume. The magic imps at Abbott's combed through their vaults in search of some of the best releases from their nearly 80 years in business, re-type set most of it, and put it in this beautiful volume. From close-up bizarre magic, to major stage illusions, it's all here. It's about time someone puts a QUALITY product on ink and paper for professionals and hobbyists alike. If "Halloween" and "spooky" is your thing, you are going to LOVE this book from Abbott's!

Keith Stickley of Dr. Scream's Spook Show Revival

Greg, Thanks for a wonderful compilation of great Abbott spook magic. It truly is a must for anyone interested in the history or performance of such material, and a perfect product to come out of an old black building with skeletons on the front! Hope all is well in Colon.

Rocky Clements

Got my copy of Dark Matter Secrets on Monday (Ordered on Friday) What a trip down memory lane for me. I actually used the plans for the Burning Alive, Spider Girl and Headless Women back in the late 60's. It's a great book, thanks Greg Bordner.

Rck Allen


"This book is amazing. Its 572 pages of Spook Show information. The book was released by Abbott's Magic and is photo filled. There have not been many books written on the MIDNIGHT SPOOK SHOW but this one covers a large chunk of it. Don't let the name mislead you. Target: Midnight was what Abbotts called any trick destined for the Midnight Spookshow market. The book is full of photos from the Spookshow era and also has a section on Spookshows happening today. I highly recommend this book."

Amazon Review by Dr. Phantasm

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How to do a trick with a handkerchief and a rose

Tricks with handkerchiefs have always been a special group in the repertoire of illusionists. It is hardly possible to find another such versatile item among the "magic" props. With the help of handkerchiefs, experienced magicians make objects disappear and change their shape, handkerchiefs serve to divert attention in various manipulations and hide the actions that make up the trick itself. A handkerchief, carelessly pulled out of a pocket during a trick, is unlikely to attract attention - while it is the main condition for the success of the trick.

The popularity of tricks with handkerchiefs only increases from the fact that you can perform them, knowing the secret, in any audience and in any place. As a rule, most of these tricks do not require any props other than the fabric itself, a few clever home-made devices and the dexterous hands of an illusionist. Not surprisingly, the headscarf trick, in one form or another, can be seen at almost any performance.

Handkerchief passing through the hand

This trick is a frequent guest both on stage performances and at home performances. The magician takes an ordinary large scarf or scarf, twists it with a tourniquet and asks one of the spectators to assist him. He ties a handkerchief around the volunteer's hand, ties one knot, then the second ... After that, he pulls the fabric with force - and the scarf, passing through the body of the viewer, is tied in a knot in the hands of the illusionist.

Despite being spectacular, this handkerchief trick is very simple. The only secret lies in the sleight of hand of the magician himself, tying the fabric in a certain way. Spectators see that the speaker is tying 2 knots around the arm; in fact, one of the nodes is fake and only looks like it.

In order to repeat this trick on your own, you will need a regular thin handkerchief, preferably large enough, and a few workouts. Twist the fabric into a rope and drape it over your helper's arm. Hold one end in your left hand, passing it between the index and ring fingers so that the long part of the handkerchief lies in the palm of your hand. The second end must be brought to the hand from below, passing it between the middle and ring fingers.

Now you will need to discreetly press the right end of the handkerchief with your middle finger and, putting your hand through the loop formed, tightly tighten the left end.

In this way, the handkerchief will be tightened around the viewer's hand, but instead of a knot, it will be held by a tight loop, which, later, you can straighten with one jerk. After that, you just have to tie another knot and defiantly pull the fabric.

This is important! Don't forget to wrap the handkerchief around your hand again before tying the second knot. Be careful: the ends of the scarf should not cover the hand on both sides, otherwise, when tightening, you will straighten the loop, but tie another knot on your hand.

Watch this video for a detailed tutorial on the trick:

Disappearing Red Handkerchief Trick

For a house party or a show in a small company, the disappearing handkerchief trick is perfect. The magician shows everyone a thin red handkerchief, kneads his fingers, and then begins to push the fabric into a clenched fist. When the handkerchief is completely hidden, he opens his palm - and the audience understands that the handkerchief has disappeared without a trace. However, the performance is not over yet: the magician clamps the thumb of the second hand into his fist and begins to slowly pull it out. And along with the finger stretches again miraculously appeared “loss”.

The trick with the red handkerchief disappearing and reappearing is very simple and can be done even by a beginner illusionist. The whole secret of it lies in a special prop: a dense opaque cap that is put on the thumb and completely repeats its shape.

During the trick, you need to squeeze your hand and, pretending to push the handkerchief with your thumb into a fist, remove this "fingertip". It is very important to do this naturally and naturally so that the audience does not suspect anything. After that, you just have to put the fabric in the cap and put it on your finger. After showing your hands and demonstrating that there is nothing in them, repeat the trick in reverse order: hide your thumb in the fist of the second hand and, removing the fingertip, carefully pull out the red handkerchief.

You can see a detailed explanation of how to do it correctly in this video:

This is important! During the trick, try to constantly move your hands quickly so that the audience does not have the opportunity to look at them and notice the fake finger.

The disappearance of the handkerchief

For stage performances, a trick is much better suited in which the disappearance of the handkerchief occurs as if without the participation of the magician himself. A few simple movements - and the handkerchief evaporates without a trace, after which the magician, to the amazement of the audience, takes out the “loss” already from his pocket or from behind his back.

It would seem that nothing can explain such a sudden disappearance of the handkerchief. The secret of this trick, however, is quite simple. It consists in a special device, "traction", which often comes to the aid of illusionists in tricks with unexpected disappearances.

The pull is a small ball or cylinder shaped box connected to a long tight elastic band. It is in it that the magician hides the handkerchief. Such a device can be bought in specialized stores, or you can make it yourself. For this you will need:

  • Small cylindrical ball or jar;
  • scissors;
  • good stretch but tight elastic band;
  • pin.

This is important! Pay special attention to the size of the box. It should be large enough to fit a handkerchief, but at the same time, completely hidden in your hand. Otherwise, your secret will be instantly unraveled by attentive viewers.

Carefully cut a hole in the balloon a little over 2 cm in diameter. On the opposite side of it, make another hole, and pass the end of the elastic band through it, securing it with a large knot. The other end will need to be secured with a pin in the place where the disappeared object will hide during the trick. It is most convenient to use belt loops on trousers for this purpose, especially if you have a long jacket. Pass the elastic through several adjacent loops so that the free end with the ball hangs down to the side, not far from the buckle. In this case, during the focus, you can easily take the pull in your hand without drawing attention to this movement. However, you can fasten the elastic anywhere, the main thing is to measure the length correctly and make sure that the ball attracted to the elastic is not visible from the side of the hall, and you can reach it at any time.

If you did everything right, then during the trick you will only have to hold the rod in your hand and push the handkerchief into the hole, pretending that you are just hiding it in your fist. Now, as soon as you open your fist, the rubber band will pull the ball out of your hand and hide it securely under your clothes.

Surprise for real!!! Cards and props for every taste in the largest store of magic tricks and cards.

Before doing the handkerchief trick, it is worth practicing and practicing the trick so that all your movements look effortless. Remember that a large part of the success of the trick depends on your artistry. You can tell something to the audience, diverting their attention from your hands, or do everything silently, focusing on every movement. The main condition in this case is to hide those movements on which, in fact, the disappearance of the handkerchief depends.

Turning a handkerchief into a rose

Especially popular, especially among the female audience, is the trick with the appearance of a rose from a handkerchief. The magician shows the audience a thin red handkerchief. The sleeves of the speaker are rolled up high and, apart from a piece of cloth, he has nothing in his hands. He waves his handkerchief, and a scarlet rose appears in his hand.

It is very easy to repeat this trick at home. To do this, you only need a thin but opaque scarf and an artificial flower of a special design. The stem of such a flower consists of several segments, fastened from the inside with an elastic band. The rose easily folds into a compact "accordion", which can be easily hidden in your hand. While waving the handkerchief, you need to simultaneously open your fist and, holding the flower by the end of the stem, shake it slightly. A tight elastic band will instantly make the stem straighten, and you just have to show everyone the rose that has appeared, indistinguishable from the real one.

A detailed tutorial on this beautiful trick can be seen in this video:

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Teaching tricks with a handkerchief - Animator Glasha

  • Magic tricks for children →
  • Handkerchief tricks

  • Tricky toy

    Cover the small matryoshka doll on the table in front of you with a large opaque handkerchief.

    — What do you think — ask the audience — is the doll still on the table or has it already disappeared?

    Spectators who clearly distinguish the contours of a matryoshka standing on the table under the scarf will say that it is on the table.

    In confirmation of this, put your hand under the handkerchief, remove the doll and show it to the audience.

    — She's here, as you can see — and add in a mysterious tone: — Here for now.

    Put the toy under the scarf again, and again the outlines of the matryoshka are visible to the audience. Then, holding the corners of the handkerchief that are closer to you, lift the handkerchief. Matryoshka will not be on the table - it has disappeared. Turn the scarf on both sides - and there are no marks on it.

    The secret of focus. On the reverse side of the scarf - from the one that covers the matryoshka - a pocket is sewn on. It has the color of a handkerchief, which is why it is invisible against its background. During the demonstration of the trick, the pocket faces you with its entrance hole. At the moment when you, having demonstrated to the audience the presence of a nesting doll under the scarf, again place the doll under the scarf, put the nesting doll in his pocket.

    Where did scarves come from

    Show the audience the most ordinary scarf: turn it, shake it, and so on. They need to make sure there's nothing out of the ordinary about it. Then show them the palm of your right hand - there is nothing in it.

    Throw a handkerchief over this palm, and then slowly remove it, taking it with your fingers approximately in the middle. The scarf hangs down freely. Put your hand under it and pull out several multi-colored handkerchiefs one by one.

    Secret of the trick: The handkerchiefs were previously hidden in the sleeve. To do this, you need to use a piece of wire, one end of which is bent with a hook and hooked on the cuffs of the sleeve, and at the other end a loop is made into which handkerchiefs are threaded.

    When you remove the handkerchief from your hand, grab the wire hook at the same time. Together with the hook, the handkerchiefs hidden in the sleeve are pulled out. For focus, you need to use very thin, preferably silk, scarves.

    Newspaper handkerchiefs

    Show the audience both hands - there is nothing in them. Lift a sheet of newspaper with one hand and show it from both sides - the sheet is like a sheet. Then punch the sheet with the other hand and pull the colored handkerchief halfway out of the hole.

    Turn the newspaper over to the other side and pull out the other half of the same colored handkerchief from the same hole. Then, in the same way, punch the sheet in other places and pull out other colored scarves in the same way from the holes formed. The audience is, of course, surprised. Well, the truth is - where did the scarves come from?

    Secret of the trick: First of all, you need to have two identical sheets of newspaper. Thin scarves are folded in half and superimposed in different parts of the sheet. They are outlined around the edges with a pencil. The scarves are then removed, and in places corresponding to the place where the ends of the scarf were, cross-shaped incisions are made with a sharp razor.

    The handkerchiefs are then placed in place and a second sheet of newspaper is glued on top with the same notches in the appropriate places. The newspaper is glued along its edges and along the edges of scarves. Now such a newspaper sheet can be shown from two sides, and, pretending to punch it, alternately pull out the ends of the scarves from the cuts. So all the scarves appear before the audience.

    It's simple!

    Place a small ball on the table, place a wire holder and insert a bag of newspaper into it. Place a lit candle nearby. Taking the ball with your right hand, quickly put it into the bag. Then take out a small silk handkerchief with your left hand and begin to "rub" it into the palm of your right hand - the handkerchief is gone.

    Bring a candle to a bag, and it will burn in a moment - the ball will also be gone. Approach one of the spectators, get the ball out of his pocket. Then, smiling, reach for your collar and pull out a handkerchief.

    Secret of the trick: A hole 1.5-2 cm in diameter is cut into a hollow ball. A short loop of horsehair is attached to it, through which you can put your thumb.

    Starting the trick, put this loop on the thumb of your right hand. So when you "put" the ball into the bag, it stays in your hand. You need to stand so that the audience sees only the back of the hand. Then "rub" the handkerchief, but not into the palm of your right hand, but into the hole of the ball.

    Then everything is simple. You are actually burning the bag, because there is nothing in it. After quickly throwing off the loop, hold the ball with your middle finger and "get" it from anywhere. And then take another ball, exactly like the first one, from a pre-made cache in your clothes. Such caches can be made on sleeves, trousers and so on. These are light, invisible cuts.

    The scarf is hidden under the incision, and a piece of the mother is sewn to its tip - the same color as the suit. For this piece it is convenient to suddenly pull out a handkerchief.

    How to Learn Tricks with a Handkerchief

    Dyeing Handkerchief

    Show the audience a red handkerchief and then run your hand over it - the red handkerchief will instantly turn blue. Run your hand over it again - the handkerchief will turn red again.

    The secret of the trick lies in the special preparation of scarves. You will also need a small metal ring. Put the handkerchiefs on top of each other - blue on red. Sew them together in the center with a small seam. Sew a small metal ring into the top corner. Its size depends on the size of the scarves. Scarves should pass freely through the ring.


    Take the bottom end of the blue handkerchief and thread it into the ring. The corner of the handkerchief should not be too loose in the ring, otherwise it may fall inside. Fold the red handkerchief in half and sew another seam from top to bottom so that the blue handkerchief is not visible. Turn the scarf inside out to the blue side by pulling the end of the blue scarf out of the ring.

    Stitch in the same way as on the red scarf. Turn the scarf back to its original position, that is, to the red side. Show the red handkerchief to the audience. Grab the ring with his right hand, and with your left hand, the tip of the blue handkerchief. Pull your left hand up and your right hand down, turning the handkerchief to the blue side. The red corner will remain in the right hand.

    Wave the blue handkerchief to the audience and repeat the trick from blue to red. Make sure that the audience does not see the protruding ends of both one and the other handkerchiefs and rings.

    Handkerchief in the air

    Throw an ordinary silk handkerchief up several times. Then, with your left hand, grasp its upper corner, and with your right hand, grasp its lower corner. Now take your left hand away. The audience is surprised: the handkerchief is on your right hand. After a few seconds, remove your right hand as well. The scarf will hang in the air!

    Run your hand through the air several times at the top and bottom of the handkerchief. The audience sees that the scarf is hanging - there are no secrets. Make a few more quick movements around the handkerchief with your right hand - and you already have it in your right hand.

    The secret of the trick: Before demonstrating this trick, you need to hang a nylon thread or fishing line at the top of the stage about one meter from the backdrop. At the end of the thread you need to attach a small hook on which you will hang the scarf. The thread should match the color of the backdrop of the scene. Light also plays a significant role in the success of this trick. The scarf should be light and bright.

    Without tearing through the fabric

    For this trick you will need an ordinary handkerchief and a medium size pin. Take the handkerchief around the corner in your left hand and attach a pin to it. Ask someone in the audience to take the handkerchief around the adjacent corner and pull the fabric. Now take the pin with your right hand and freely pass it to the opposite corner of the handkerchief that the viewer is holding on to. The dress didn't break!

    Secret of the trick: It is impossible to stab a pin and pass it in the closed position from one corner to another without breaking through the tissue. The whole secret is how to fasten it.

    The pin is fastened so that the blind side of the lock is on top, and the slot of the lock, into which the tip of the pin enters, faces down. At the moment of the beginning of the movement with the index finger of the right hand, press the movable end of the pin, remove it from the slot of the lock and, moving the pin, trace the fabric with the tip.

    Learn more