Magic tricks are an excellent way to entertain dinner guests – and what item is more common at a typical dinner party than a tablecloth? Because they are so close at hand, they make a useful prop for all sorts of tricks.
Here are 3 simple magic tricks you can have fun with:
1 – Remove a Tablecloth without Breaking Anything
Once you’ve got the hang of this very simple trick, you can start doing it in complex scenarios – it’s all about practice and getting a feel for it.
If you follow these tips you can get started straight away, no dexterity or co-ordination required!
A. Pull down, not out.
This is the key to the trick.
Pull out and everything will move with the cloth.
Pull down and the cloth should always slide out from underneath the items, especially if you follow the rest of these instructions.
B. Use a square or rectangular table.
Square and rectangular tables are simply the easiest to manage, and help to ensure that you’ve got the rest of the requirements for this trick down.
C. Make sure the cloth is level with the table edge.
The tablecloth should be level with the table’s edge on the side opposite you. So, if you’re pulling from the east, make sure that the easterly side of the table has got lots of lovely fabric spilling over the side of it, and that the western side of the table has no fabric overhang at all.
This is to prevent the fabric catching or moving in an unpredictable way!
D. Use heavy objects.
This trick is much easier to pull off with heavy objects on top of the tablecloth.
E. Gather as much tablecloth in your hands as possible before pulling.
This is the reason we leave so much fabric overhanging on your end!
Once you get used to the ‘feel’ of this trick, you can start to do it in more difficult situations, requiring less preparation.
Be sensible though, don’t use items that you’re not prepared to lose, and take appropriate precautions to avoid being stabbed in the foot with a steak knife…for instance!
2 – Make Something Disappear
A tablecloth works well as a cover for large items.
Making a person disappear is easy – by having another intelligent person in the act, rather than an inanimate object, you’ve squared the potential for trickery!
Therefore, the only advice I can give you for making a person disappear is to: Cover them with a blanket or tablecloth, wait for them to hide, remove the blanket.
In practice, of course, you may need to provide tools that make the hiding easier – or you could just tell them it’s their problem now!
You can also make use of the tablecloth’s overhang at tables to conceal tricks like the cat in the box trick, or you can drape a smaller tablecloth over your hand prior to slipping smaller items such as wands, pens and watches up your sleeves…
3 – The Vanishing Coin
This trick is very easy to pull off.
Simply attach a circular piece of paper that is the same color as your tablecloth to the mouth of a clear glass, then, put the glass top down on the table.
Next, place an item that you can completely cover with the glass next to the glass – (traditionally, this is a coin) but it works equally well with an unlucky guest’s watch!
Now, drape a handkerchief over the glass as casually as you can and move it over the item before removing the handkerchief so it looks as though the coin has disappeared!
It is very important when doing this trick to make sure that the color of the piece of paper matches the tablecloth exactly, and that the glass is colorless.
Getting Started With Magic!
So there you have it, 3 easy magic tricks you can perform with nothing more than ordinary tablecloths, whether they’re linen tablecloths or PVC tablecloths.
All of these tricks are very basic, but as with anything worth learning, with magic you have to start with the simple stuff.
Learning these tricks will give you a decent introduction to sleight of hand, using quirks of physics to your advantage, deception, and of course, tablecloths!
About the author: Louise Blake writes posts for Wipe Easy Tablecloths, who sell tablecloths in pvc tablecloth fabric for an easily wipeable surface.
Photo credit: Gemma Bardsley