The stage props in magic shows are some of the main secrets as to how magicians do their tricks successfully on stage. While you can buy these props from magic supplies stores, you can also handcraft them yourself to practice with or to just have with you at all times.
False Bottom Hat
A false bottom can be made for a large, black top hat, allowing you to store props and various other items that you can "pull" out of the hat. By placing a black piece of fabric or cardboard, which is the same shade as the hat and which has thin slits in it, you can reach through the slits to objects you hid in the hat, such as handkerchiefs and even rabbits. You can attach this piece of fabric or cardboard along the interior sides of the hat with a strong glue that adheres to the hat's fabric. Using a dark marker over the dried glue ensures that it does not reflect light and give away the fact that the top hat has a false bottom. Because magic is sleight of hand anyway, no one will be able to see the false bottom on stage.
A closet, coffin or trunk is used to make people disappear entirely in some magic acts. This trick requires a stage with a trap door. The closet, coffin or trunk needs a sliding panel in the back or bottom, where your subject stands or lays. Once you close the front of the compartment, the subject--out of the audience's view--goes through the trap door, "disappearing." The sliding panel must be able to be opened and closed quickly, smoothly and quietly so that the gimmick isn't given away to the audience.
A box with panels you can open on all sides allows the audience to see through it. Seeing through it, however, is the initial trick. In truth, only the box's top opening has any real depth. All of the other openings, or at least the ones you show the audience, have mirrors set up at the right angle to allow the audience members to see to the other side of the box, making it appear as if they can look right through the box. You can put lots of scarves and other items in the box's top compartment and magically pull them out.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.