How to Do the Self Tying Shoelace Trick

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World-famous magician David Blaine has popularized a fun, quick magic trick known as the “Self-Tying Shoelace.” While the trick may seem to have occurred by magic, there is actually a simple mechanism behind it. Using just a few tools and some careful maneuvering, just about anyone can create this trick for a shoelace that appears to tie all on its own. Read on for the steps to get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoelace Matching Your Original Shoelaces
  • Small Pulley With Stop-Button
  • Safety Pin
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Hook together the safety pin, pulley and shoelace by sliding the safety pin over the metal clip on the back of the pulley. Then tie the end of the shoelace onto the pulley’s metal ring.

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Fasten the safety pin to the inside of your pants pocket, so that the lace is hanging down the inside of your pants leg.

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Cover the top of the shoe with your pants hem, and make sure that the actual laced shoelaces are already tied.

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Prepare to show off the trick by untying your extra set of shoelaces near the toe of the shoe to make it look like you are untying the laced shoelaces.

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Wiggle your foot around in a circular motion so that it looks as though the shoelace is gradually tying itself.

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Meanwhile, push the stop-button that is resting against your thigh to retract the shoelace and create the illusion that the shoe has tied itself.

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Pull up the leg of your pants to show that the shoelace is now tied.


  • You can purchase the small pulley needed for this trick at most hardware stores or online.

    Make sure to push the pulley’s stop-button subtly so as not to reveal the engineering of the hoax.

    Practice makes perfect, so test out the trick on your own at least a few times before displaying it to others.


  • Do not attempt this trick unless you are wearing full-length pants.