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Ropes, Ribbons, Strings & Reels in Magic & Conjuring

Today rubber bands are very popular and allow strong and effective illusions. David Copperfield popularized the "Crazy Man Handcuffs". I have consistently and repeatedly fooled friends with this little gem. The classic cut and restored string continues to be popular. A rope is a very common object. If you can do something magical with it, you have won your audience over.

You will also find here routines with invisible threads and loops.

related categories: Rings

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George Marchese
The Traveling Rope by George Marchese

Amaze your audience with this seamless and stunning illusion, perfect for any magical show and easy to perform. A spectator ties your wrists with a rope, marking the knots with his own ring or a key, only for the rope to vanish and reappear, perfectly tied with the same knots, around your partner's wrists. This happens instantly, and the rope still has his ring or key - it's the same rope! Packs flat but play's big.

A great illusion for any magician, from beginners to seasoned professionals.

1st edition 2024, PDF 8 pages.

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D. Angelo Ferri
Slydini Rope Routine by D. Angelo Ferri

D. Angelo Ferri, a student of Tony Slydini, teaches Slydini's cut and restored rope routine. Every nuance, move, and misdirection is taught in more than 30 minutes of video explanation. Learn a practical, effective, and legendary rope routine.

1st edition 2024, video 32:10.

★★★★ $19.50
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MP4 (video)

Ray Grismer
Loopy by Ray Grismer

Finger ring and rope

A borrowed ring is magically removed from one of several loops of rope and replaced on a different loop.

1st edition 1978, 6 pages.

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George Sands
Sandsational Rope by George Sands

An entire act performed with any piece of rope.

A rope routine that is out of this world. Completely explained in these illustrated directions. Broken down into ten, easy-to-master steps to make learning a breeze. Includes patter, so you can keep your audience in stitches throughout.

As used by many professionals. A natural for the entertainer who travels light, as all you need is rope and a pair of scissors. No magnets, rubber cement, snaps, tape, wires, black art, or other gimmicks to worry about. Use any rope.

"I recommend it without hesitation." - Bill Larsen

"Sandsational Rope is the single...

★★★★ $8
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Richard Southall
Fast and Noose by Richard Southall

For those who are familiar with the effect called Fast and Loose or the Endless Chain I don't have to tell you what a brilliant effect this is or the impact it has on an audience. It is because of this that Fast and Loose has been performed for at least 400 years. There are other reasons magicians love this effect, it is not only easy to perform but it is also a joy to perform and it can become a part of your EDC. In fact, if you can get your hands on a piece of string or twine you can perform Fast and Loose.

So what makes this ebook different to the many other books on Fast and Loose?...

★★★★★ $10
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Larry Brodahl
Scripted #39: The Chain Game by Larry Brodahl

A quick routine for the Chain Game, Endless Chain, Loopy Loops, etc. that entertains your audience, and gives them a feel for the con game without taking too long. They are even given a consolation prize, which is immediately taken back, and they are left with "something to think on".

This ebook gives you every line, joke, piece of timing, setup and nuance of the routine. The ebook also takes you through an overview of some of the steps of script writing and routine design used to create the script.

NOTE: Part of this routine relies on wordplay that may not work outside of the English...

★★★★★ $10
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Mark Leveridge
Safety Catch by Mark Leveridge

This is ideal for walkabout performance or a set close-up or parlour show. A length of rope is handed out for examination and the ends are then tied to form a rope loop. A spectator's watch is borrowed and the strap done up so that the watch is also in a loop. The watch is then threaded onto the double strands of the rope loop which is held between the two hands. By moving his hands up and down, the performer shows how the watch can slide up and down the rope, but provided he does not let go with either of his hands, the watch is safe on the rope.

Then the magician says he will demonstrate...

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Hal Saxon
21st Century Threads by Hal Saxon

The 21st Century Threads is an amazing effect that utilizes imaginary super elastic, incredibly strong, invisible threads to pull a silk from one hand, instantly around the performer's back and into the opposite hand. Swoooosh! It’s lightning fast. Most people see nothing, some people may see a blur of the silk as it flies.

This tutorial will show you my amazing Trademark Vanish that I know will become your everyday favorite vanish.

Imagine a king-size Vernet hard tip that can be vanished instantly. Bare hands, no rings, short sleeves and no watch. Absolutely angle-proof and lightning-fast....

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MP4 (video)

Rink & Hugh Miller
Rink's Original Rope Mysteries by Rink & Hugh Miller

Rink, by real name Johan H. van Rinkhuyzen, was a successful Dutch professional close-up magician who won 2nd prize for micro-magic at the 1955 FISM.

  • Basic Moves
  • Colour-Changing Knots
  • Jumping Knots
  • Red and White Mystery
  • Sympathetic Ropes
  • Three to One
  • Linking Ropes

1st edition 1969, PDF 21 pages.

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Joseph K. Schmidt
R.C. Buff's The Best of Buff by Joseph K. Schmidt

A selection of new and novel rope magic from R.C. Buff's rare Rope Leaflets.

Excerpt from the introduction:

In 1980 Mr. R.C. Buff, "The Wizard Of Knotsville", started putting out a little Xeroxed publication called "BUFF'S LEAFLETS" which was devoted exclusively to Rope Magic. These LEAFLETS were published for over four years and contained a lot of fine material. Because they had such a limited distribution, it was deemed beneficial to the magical fraternity if some of this excellent material would be assembled into booklet form.

I think you will be amused and delighted to read some examples...

★★★★★ $15
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Joseph K. Schmidt
R.C. Buff's Knot on the Square by Joseph K. Schmidt

Knots and magic effects with them from R.C. Buff.

Rufus Claude Buff, due to his love for ropes and knots, has become affectionately known as "The Wizard of Knotsville" because he lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was a prolific contributor to books and periodicals. Buff published his own magazine called The Modern Magic as well as Buff's Leaflets. He started writing this book which Joseph K. Schmidt finished and illustrated.

  • Publisher's Note
  • Foreword
  • Square Knot To Two Single Knots—Then Back To Square Knot
  • The "Reno Knot"
  • A Real Square From Deleware!
  • The Thief Knot
  • Ashley's "What...
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Sultan Orazaly
Shadow Thread by Sultan Orazaly

A thread that penetrates stuff, your hand, your thumb, a playing card ...

The performer shows a piece of thread that hangs down from his hand. A playing card is held with the other hand behind the thread. With one smooth motion, the thread penetrates the card and is suddenly behind the playing card. It is hard to believe your eyes.

The gimmick is easy to make and there are no bad angles. This looks as good from the back as it does from the front.

1st edition 2022, video 8:51.

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MP4 (video)

Stewart James
Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks Volume 3 by Stewart James

This is the third of three parts. This final part is organized by publication or creator.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter One: The Abbott Magic Company Section
    • Krazy Kube (Roy Shrimplin)
    • Arturo's Check-R-X
    • Endless Neck Rope
    • Octagoon (Lester Lake)
    • Rope Thru Body (Karson)
    • Embarrassing Rope
    • All Fair Rope Trick
    • Abbott's Wrist Tie Supreme
    • Abbott's Rod Tie
    • Club Performer's Spook Act
  • Chapter Two: The Eddie Joseph Section
    • Divorce In Zuzuland
    • The Thumb Tie
    • The Two-Way Cut
    • "Unaccommodating Rope"
    • The Tieless Tie
    • "Secret Ingress"
    • "Space Venture"
    • "Trapped In Space"
    • "Magilocks"
  • Chapter Three:...
★★★★ $19.95
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Stewart James
Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks Volume 2 by Stewart James

This is the second of three parts. From the preface:

Several years of research and compilation by Stewart James has gone into this volume to bring the material up to date. Mr. James compiled the first volume and we are indeed indebted to him for his work in this book. The late Ted Annemann once wrote of him: "I honestly consider Stewart James as one of the best informed people in the business, bar none, and one whose tricks always have a touch of genius in their originality."

  • Publisher's Foreward
  • We Dedicate
  • The Fable Of The Hindu Rope Trick
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter One: Knots
    • One Hand And...
★★★★ $19.95
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Stewart James
Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks Volume 1 by Stewart James

This is the first of three parts. It is by far the most thorough compilation of rope tricks ever created. From the preface by Percy Abbott:

To those who have eagerly awaited its publication, we believe we are giving them a work that was worth waiting for. In producing this volume, we have striven to make it a real compendium of rope tricks - not merely a collection of rope effects, but rather a reference work as complete and informative as possible. This we feel confident has been achieved.

Many months have been spent in research and the compilation necessary to give workers in the realm of magic...

$19.95 $9.95
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Daniel Rowan
Pure Magic With Rope by Daniel Rowan

"One of my signature routines uses a length of ungimmicked rope that is neither cut nor restored ... I created it 40 years ago and have performed it probably 10000 times. So I am pretty qualified to judge Daniel Rowan's new book on rope magic. And I like it." - Jim Kleefeld (MUM December 2020)

Pure Magic with Rope is Daniel Rowan's fourth collection of new ready-to-work rope and string tricks. Most of the effects do not require an on-stage assistant. All of the tricks are impromptu, play big, but can be done close-up and surrounded. The ebook is a collection of tricks with a 5/8 inch piece of rope...

★★★★★ $20
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Ken Muller
Cross Lock Penetration: Magic More Series by Ken Muller

A novel and powerful ring on rope effect. The cord is woven about your spread fingers to form an impassible gate with a loop beneath. The ends are far from the metal ring, yet it visually jumps onto the loop.

No gimmick or unnatural moves. Opportunities for audience participation and you can be completely surrounded.

Idea for when a ring & rope effect is added to a linking rings routine, cut and restored rope or stand-alone for walk-around or table hopping as a prelude to a later routine.

However, this effect is so impossible in comparison with many simpler ring on rope effects to...

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Aldo Colombini
The Band by Aldo Colombini

Several excellent effects using a deck of cards and rubber bands. From the introduction:

In this booklet, you will find several effects with rubber bands and cards, mainly card revelations, which should give you enough input to work with, hoping that you will be able to create some new routines of your own.

  • Introduction
  • Wrap-It
  • Flying-It
  • Rubber Penetration
  • Up-Again
  • Transpo-Wrap
  • Star Wrap
  • Wrap Again
  • A Trio Band
  • Mini-Wrap
  • Stranger In The Wrap
  • Pyramid
  • Snap Twice
  • Super Link

1st edition 1993, 20 pages; PDF 26 pages.

★★★★★ $10
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Ken Muller
Snap Rope by Ken Muller

A unique cut and restored rope effect.

  • no weird loop in the hand - just cut the rope in the center as a layperson would
  • both cut ends are shown separately and apart
  • no knots or fumbling
  • the rope is snapped like a whip and is fully restored (other endings possible)
  • it can be used in another effect or passed out
These techniques were developed during communications with MagicIan (Ian Garrison) just before his untimely passing. He was going to add it to his lecture tour material with a different ending. The Method is old. The ability to show the cut ends separately and apart is new....
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Joseph Leeming
Fun with String by Joseph Leeming

A collection of string games, useful braiding weaving, knot work and magic with string and rope.

From the introduction:

Each and every one of us sees or uses pieces of string nearly every day. There are very few, however, who have been initiated into the wonderland of fascinating things that can be done and made with this commonplace article of daily use. Once one does discover the different things that can be made and the games that can be played with string, a new world is opened up. Anyone who once contracts a genuine case of "string fever" will have little difficulty in amusing himself...

★★★★ $8
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Larry Brodahl
Scripted #34: Thumb Thing Fun by Larry Brodahl

An age old penetration of your own thumb using a string or chain has been revisited and reworked into a clever and deceptive trick. Simple. Easy to perform. Surrounded. No gimmicks, no gaffs.

A classic of magic we all learned early on and never do, as it's not a very good trick. Until now. The trick has been transformed into a very cute and clever brain teaser with nothing more than a little modified handling and some clever scripting.

1st edition 2021, PDF 24 pages, video 1 min 48 s.

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Stretching A Rope Plus by Supreme-Magic-Company

An approximately 3 ft. length of rope is shown and pulled between the hands, it's a solid length of rope, - it is not made of elastic, it doesn't stretch and yet suddenly it begins to get longer and longer ... 5ft., 8ft., 10 ft., - yes, it stretches and stretches until it is 30 feet or longer.

A wonderful eye-popping effect that forms a perfect preface to other rope mysteries. In Milbourne Christopher's original effect no special gimmicks are used, just a rope and the special method of preparation and handling.

THE PLUS: In addition to all this, an alternative handling is given which allows the effect...

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Ulysses Frederick Grant & T. A. Whitney
Best Tricks with Invisible Thread by Ulysses Frederick Grant & T. A. Whitney

Originally this book was titled Tricks with Hair. Twenty-Six outstanding tricks, tips, and secrets that enable you to perform some of the most baffling effects in all of magic!

What is invisible thread? New chapters only in this edition reveal the secrets of invisible thread and even how to make your own. These secrets have been jealously guarded by top close-up and stage performers, as well as magic dealers ... until now.

Today, U. F. Grant is recognized as one of the most phenomenal creators of baffling mysteries. His original manuscript has been updated and packed with new information...

★★★ $4
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Keith Clark
Rope Royale by Keith Clark

Keith Clark's Rope Royale is a beautiful bit of magic performed with the simplest of properties - a piece of soft rope and a pair of scissors. These props can be carried in the pocket, yet when the feat is performed by a true magician, it ranks in entertainment value with a stage illusion.

Paul Fleming wrote:

This is one of three pamphlets which explain, with painstaking care, the silk handkerchief, cigarette, and rope "routines" for which Keith Clark is so well and favorably known in the vaudeville and night-club fields. We have already reviewed with enthusiasm (in Reviews Nos.9 and 31, respectively)...

★★★★★ $7
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Daniel Rowan
Magic on a Shoelace by Daniel Rowan

Magic on a Shoelace is an exploration of the use of the common bow knot for creating new rope and string effects.

"There’s some fun stuff in there!" - Dan Harlan
Learn how to:
  • Untie a shoe instantly
  • Put a finger ring on a shoelace without sleight of hand
  • Take a ring off a shoelace without sleight of hand
  • Pull a ribbon or streamer through a magic wand
  • Put a large ring on a rope without using the ends
  • Turn the standard “Magic Shoelaces” into a four phase presentation piece
  • Learn how to pull tied shoelaces apart effortlessly
  • Plus additional tips and secrets!
Magic on a Shoelace...
★★★★★ $10
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Larry Brodahl
Scripted #33: Ring and Rope by Larry Brodahl

A multi-phase ring and rope routine using only a regular rope and ring.

Most ring and rope routines don't really look like magic. They look like the rope is looped and threaded and re-threaded, and otherwise fiddled with to account for the "magic". Not this routine. Simple. Easy to perform. Almost surrounded. No gimmicks, no gaffs. Everything's examinable, and nothing is added or taken away. A rope - and a ring. And a killer script.

The author of How To Write A Script reveals his 'Ring and Rope' routine, which he has used to close his act, and is nothing but visual, clean magic. This ebook gives you every...

★★★ $10
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Cliff Osman
The Osman Thumb Tie by Cliff Osman

This practical method of Cliff Osman can be performed anywhere and is easy to do. The magician's right thumb is tied with a long piece of thick string; two or more knots being used. The left thumb is then bound tightly to the right thumb and the ends of string tied. The string is drawn skin tight around each thumb and all knots are genuine. Now, with his thumbs thus tightly bound together, the performer is able to perform a series of amazing tests. Instantly link your arms with those of the spectators, catch solid hoops or rings on your tied arms, pass your hands "through" table legs, etc.,...

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Ralph W. Hull
15 Minutes with a Piece of Rope by Ralph W. Hull

A complete routine that will captivate your audience from start to finish. If you never buy another rope effect, experts agree, this is the one to use. To make it easier to learn this beautiful routine, Nelson Hahne, one of the best magic illustrators in the business, was commissioned to provide the 53 pen-and-ink drawings that accompany the text.

Here's a partial listing of what's included:

  • Hull's Famous Vanishing Knot
  • The Disappearing Square Knot
  • The Hindu Knot
  • The Magic Shoelaces
  • The Cut and Restored Rope
  • The Stretching Rope--And A Surprise Ending
  • Hull's Rope Through Neck
  • Three...
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Brick Tilley
Quick Rope Opener by Brick Tilley

Two equal lengths of rope magically join up to form one solid piece of rope in full view with no cover or excess movements. Simple to construct and a delight to perform. Within the skill range of anyone. It was a favorite of Billy McComb.

1st edition 2020, PDF 3 pages, video 54s.

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Larry Brodahl
Scripted #32: Teddy by Larry Brodahl

A parlor/small stage version of the Gypsy Thread that does not rely on florescent thread, but instead uses yarn. It comes complete with a offbeat and funny script.

  • Preface
  • Effect
  • Methodology
    • Materials
    • Preparation
    • Moves
  • Scripts
  • Analysis of the trick
  • Script Insights
    • Fixing flaws
  • Performance Notes
  • Errata
  • Credits
  • An Additional Service
  • Final thoughts

1st edition 2020, PDF 21 pages.

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Panama Plus by Supreme-Magic-Company

Many years ago, Ted Collins devised the Panama Rope Trick. With this trick he won the cup for the best rope trick of the I.B.M. Convention at Fort Worth. A length of rope, that can be borrowed, is cut not one but three times and the four pieces tied together. Rope is now handed to a spectator and is completely restored. The routine is fully explained with a novel presentation by Ken de Courcy.

Now for two wonderful little-known variations. 'The Legs Of Man' by Vivian St. John. The idea is that a piece of rope is shown and tied so that it forms two circles. It is then cut in two places, then pulled through...

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Paul Bruton
Amusing Yourself with Paper and String by Paul Bruton

This is an ebook that will not only amuse you, but it will show you how you can amuse your friends. In dozens of ways, it describes how paper and string can be put to interesting and sometimes astonishing use. If you start at page 1 and work your way to the end of the ebook, you will be rewarded by many hours of enjoyable recreation: but you will not be entirely satisfied until you have tried some of the tricks and puzzles on your friends.

  • a Penny Puzzle
  • The Paper Ladder
  • The Palm Tree
  • A Point About A Circle
  • The New Square
  • The Five Squares Again
  • Quartering Three-Quarters
  • Splitting Up...
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