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How to Make an Illusionist Locket

See what secrets the illusionist locket reveals.
Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

"The Illusionist," released in 2006, tells the story of a young commoner who fell in love with a girl of higher social status. Separated by force, the common boy evolves into a magician, while the girl becomes engaged to the crown prince of Austria. The illusionist's locket is a diabolical plot device that converts from an oval to a heart shape and then opens to reveal a secret compartment hidden within.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Rotary Saw Or Scrollsaw
  • Razor Knife
  • Rotary Drill
  • Axle Pegs
  • 3 Wooden Heart Wafers
  • Glue

Cut the dome off an axle pin using the saw. Sand the head until it is concave. Cut half the stem off the pin; retain the cut-off stem for making the peg.

Cut a notch off either side of the pin stem. Slice the pin in half from the head to the stem so that the notches in the stem are symmetrical.

Cut the three hearts in half from the indent at the top, to the point at the bottom. Keep the pairs together and separated from the other hearts.

Cut a notch to match the pin stem on the top pair of heart-halves at the point of the heart, but only on the inside. The notch will not go all the way through the heart-halves, leaving the front of the heart appearing to only be cut in half with no other modifications.

Carve a convex notch to fit the head of the pin into on the bottom pair of heart halves, near the point of the heart.

Carve a notch to allow the stem to fit through the bottom pair of heart-halves. Measure halfway along the cut edge to locate the center point. At this point, cut a notch on one half-heart shaped like the head of a match. In the same position on the other half-heart, drill out a square notch using the hobby rotary drill. Neither of these notches cut completely through the middle wafer.

Cut a center peg to match the notch you cut on the middle pair of heart-halves. Use the other half of the pin stem you cut in the first step to cut this center peg. One half will look like a match head, and the other half will be a square to fit into the square slot you drilled in the middle heart-halves.

Glue the stem of the pin you carved first to both halves of top pair of heart-halves.

Glue the square stem of the center peg into the hole you drilled in the middle pair of heart-halves.

Put the match head-shaped end of the center peg, attached to one side of the middle heart-half, into the notch you cut for it in the other middle heart-half. Check the rotation. Separate the two middle heart-halves after checking.

Glue the bottom two layers of hearts together on both the left and right sides. Align the edges carefully. Glue primarily near the outside edges and avoid getting glue on the notches.

To assemble the locket, turn the pieces halfway between the oval and the heart shape and wiggle the pin attached to the lid half-heart into position on each half of the locket.

Sand all the edges smooth, paint and decorate the locket.


All of the carved notches need to line up to fit the pin in place. Check by stacking the three hearts as you go.

Check the fit of the rounded match end of the center peg to make sure it rotates but is tight enough to hold the locket in position before gluing.

A secret compartment area can be drilled into the inside of the locket after it's fully assembled.

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