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How to do rope magic for beginners

outspread hand underneath a lit sparkler

Are you looking to take up a new, exciting hobby? Or, maybe you want to expand your range of impressive magic tricks. Well, rope magic is an incredible type of illusion that can wow spectators anytime and anywhere. It involves manipulating a piece of rope and fooling spectators with clever sleight of hand. So, why not learn some exhilarating rope magic for your next party trick? Keep reading for advice about how to get started with rope magic.

What kind of rope is best for rope magic tricks?

When it comes to rope magic, not just any kind of rope will do. This is especially true for beginners, as a rope that’s too tough will result in messy, clumsy attempts at rope magic. Luckily, this is why magician’s rope exists – it’s incredibly soft and flexible, making it ideal for rope magicians to use during their tricks. The reason why magician’s rope is so easy to manipulate is due to its hollow core and soft cotton material, which combined make up a finely woven piece of rope that’s perfect for a variety of tricks.

How to do rope magic

Rope magic, as with any new hobby, takes lots of time and practice to perfect. It’s unlikely that you’ll magically – pardon the pun – be able to perform all sorts of rope magic tricks within an hour. Take the time to become confident with a couple of beginner-level rope magic tricks, rather than trying to tackle all sorts of tricks at once. You’ll also need lots of practice working on sleight of hand, misdirection, and the speed at which you move your hands. There are countless books and video tutorials out there to learn from, but in the meantime, we will walk you through a beginner rope magic trick.

The cut and restore rope trick

If you have your magician’s rope at the ready and are raring to try a simple rope magic trick, here is a fun trick for you to try. Don’t be put off if you don’t get it right the first time – practice makes perfect!

The cut and restore rope magic trick is famously associated with magicians Penn and Teller, and consists of cutting a rope in two and then restoring it back to its original state. You’ll need to work on misdirection and sleight of hand to pull off this magic trick. Read the steps below:

  1. Start with about four to six feet of magician’s rope.
  2. With the back of your left hand facing your audience, holding both ends of the rope between your thumb and index finger. The looped middle of the rope should be hanging down.
  3. Grab ahold of the centre of the rope loop with your right hand, and bring it up to where your left hand is holding the rope ends. With a small loop appearing above your hand, grab the looped piece of rope with your left hand, so that all of the rope is now held in your left hand.
  4. Reach for a pair of scissors with your right hand. While you do, “accidentally” drop the looped part of the rope with your left hand, so that it hangs down.
  5. This is where the magic happens. With your right hand facing palm up, take the centre of the rope and raise it up to your left hand. Your right-hand thumb should move through the loop of the rope, so that it’s draped over your right hand.
  6. Once your right hand reaches your left, grab the rightmost end of the rope using your right thumb and index finger. You should be holding the end of the rope a couple of inches below your left thumb. At the same time, tilt your right hand downwards so that the centre of the rope slides off the back of the hand.
  7. Continue moving your right hand up above your left. It will now be holding a new loop of rope that you just created, but to the audience, this will look like it’s the original centre loop of the rope. Make sure that this loop is positioned to the right of the two rope ends, and that your left thumb is holding this new loop in place out of sight of the audience.
  8. With your right hand, take your scissors and cut the new, short loop that’s held above your left hand. To the audience, it will seem as if you have just cut the rope in half. As your right hand moves to place the scissors down, grab the leftmost and rightmost ends of rope so that they hang down below your hand. It will now look as though you are holding two ropes of equal length, when in reality you have a long rope that’s looped around a short rope.
  9. Take the two ends of the short rope (the one that’s above your left hand) and tie them together with two overhand knots. 
  10. With your left hand, hold the rope between the knot and one of the ends so that the whole rope and the knot are exposed. 
  11. Take a hold of the knot with your right hand and theatrically slide it a small way down the length of the rope. Move the knot as many times as you wish, and finally slide off the knot completely. It will seem as though you have restored the original rope, and your rope magic trick is complete!

Ready to get started on a rope magic trick? After you’ve tried our step-by-step instructions, feel free to expand your repertoire and become a rope magician of many tricks! The more advanced you become at rope magic, the more confident you will be using any type of rope. So, take a look at all the different ropes, twines, and cords that we offer, and get creative with your magic routine. Contact us to learn more.

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