"I Did It Myself" Photo Gallery

This is a collection of photos sent in by customers who built their props from Magic Nook plans. To have your project included, take a photo of it and e-mail it to me at magicnook@yahoo.com If you prefer not to have your name listed with the photo, let me know. We can also post customers' YouTube video performances if they don't give away secrets.

April 2013

Customer Neil Tobin worked as a magic consultant for the Chicago show Barnum and used our "Flowers That Bloom With A Spring" in The Wizards' Journal # 21 to develop some oversized realistic bouquets for the show. He has written about his experiences in the May 2013 Genii Magizine, which is now available for purchase. Be sure to real Neil's full article.

April 2012

Customer Doug Ries, of Flip Disc Productions ( www.FlipDisc.com ) discovered an error in the Swinging Spirit Bell e-Book by Jolyon Jenkins, and in corresponding with Jolyon about it, he sent in some photos of the unique version he is in the process of constructing.

Doug wrote: I found the bell on ebay.  Ghost-Rider-Spirit-Motorcycle-Guardian-Bell-Pewter

I like the look of these (Guardian) bells and can tie in the story of the bell. They are used by motorcycle riders and are hung on the bottom of the bike to keep evil spirits away. I’m going to use this in my script.

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November 2011

Ron Sylvester sent us this photo and description of his outdoor Halloween Magic Stage Show project for his front lawn:

I used the PVC Pipe Illusion stage plans, with a few modifications. Here, it's shown with my Witch's Cauldron (Paul Osborne plans) for our Halloween exhibit and magic show (check out the Spooky and Bizarre section of the Magic Cafe Forum, where I posted a "Still High From Halloween" description. We get 4,000 trick-or-treaters on our street each year. Because of this, we have neighbors who are experts in using PVC pipe and duct tape and other inexpensive materials.

A couple of notes. The plans as I received them only called for PVC pipes and dollar store table cloths, which I bought. No problem. Although the plans talk about using them outside, they obviously weren't meant for Kansas, or anywhere wind is a possibility. In this state, a 25 mph wind is considered mild.I cut and built the backstage area, but attaching the cloths was impossible. It was just like a sail.

For those who might run into similar problems with the wind outdoors, here's what I did:

After putting together the frame of PVC, I braced it using 1X2X10s, making an "X" on each side and back. If you have 10-foot PVC's anyway, per the plans, this shouldn't add much to your packing. I attached them using 1 5/8-inch drywall screws (drill pilot holes first). I then used 1/4-inch polystyrene sheathing (50 feet) from Lowe's for $35. It's lightweight and fan folds flat -- again, not taking up much storage space. We used duct tape to attach it and give it some strength. We then attached the tablecloths to the "walls" with more duct tape. This held up, even though we had some pretty strong winds, without adding much to the cost. I think you can get 1X2s for under $2 most places.

But I will tell you, if you're outside and have any wind, the plans as they are will not work. You have to add some strength to it.

You will notice the support on the front curtains sag.  This would have been prevented had I used higher pressure pipe or 3/4-inch pipe. A neighbor, who built a really cool looking spider that withstood the wind and just about everything, told me 3/4-inch pipe works better. The plans mention nothing about the pressure of the pipe. Of course, we're building magic, not running water through them, but my friend pointed out that that higher pressure they are, the thicker they will be.  Just a suggestion you may want to add to the plans.

Next year, I'm just going to spray paint the sheathing black and forget the cloth.

In the pic, you'll see I had a raised stage. I made this out of packing pallets, which you can get free just about anywhere. I found some subflooring on sale for $5 a sheet for the floor of the stage. I screwed the PVC pipe into the stage with conductor brackets from the electrical section at Lowe's for about 60 cents.

By the way, the platform for the witch's cauldron was also made from a packing pallet, sub-flooring and scrap lumber in my basement. Magic has some great upcycling opportunities.

July 2011

Ron Sylvester recently bought "Flowers That Bloom With A Spring" from The Wizards' Journal #21. He had the production boxes and bag already, but the boxes that he bought came with no spring flowers at all. Instead they had cut tissue inside, attached to the sides of the boxes so it would expand when the boxes expanded. He wanted more realistic Spring Flowers, but he decided to stick to flowers that are commonly used for corsages that you might really buy from a florist store in a fancy plastic box like this.

Taking a clue from the tissue paper that had been attached to the sides of the production boxes to make them expand, Ron used that same idea to make his roses (shown above on the right) expand to fill the box without springs. I noticed that the green leaves on the bottom of the rose box might work to add more color on the bottom of the Lily box (on the left), and could actually replace the need for a Mylar mirror backing on the bottom of all boxes without affecting how flat the boxes can pack.

Ron's next project is to come up with more uses for realistic spring flowers in tricks other than the production boxes.


June 2011

Manuel Magie, magician from Normandy, France, enjoys making his own magic props. He sent me these photos of props he made from two Magic Nook e-Books: The Three Little Pigs from The Wizards' Journal #16 ( Items 1 & 2) and Portrait of Grandma from The Wizards' Journal #9 ( Item 3). Item 4 is a small easel that can be used with either prop.


As you can see, the Portrait of Grandma will fit right into Manuel's act. He's the one with the clown nose in the photo. Learn more about him from his Web site, in French or English: http://www.manumagie.com/

Changes he made for the props included laminating the cards, but with the Portrait of Grandma, those in the know can see his lamination eliminated the need for a border of black tape and makes a much cleaner look for the edges of the card.

His improvement on The Three Little Pigs was to eliminate the need for Black Art on the house and use instead Kraft Paper Art. He also used his own artwork for the houses (see below), something we always encourage and applaud.

Manuel has decided to become an Independent Author affiliated with The Magic Nook. He will be submitting his original close-up magic and kid magic ideas in both French and English, which should please that part of the world that reads French, as well as those who either read English or who know how to use their computer to make language irrelevant. Look for Manuel's first offering called "Snow Globe" coming soon!

 


May 2011

Professionally known as Kinetic Gal, from Singapore, Adeline Ng (known as Ade on the Magic Café Forum) sent us these photos of realistic spring flowers that she made to fill up her commerical production boxes. The Realistic Spring Flowers are described in Flower Power, in The Wizards' Journal #14. A new e-Book showing even more varieties of Realistic Spring Flowers, plus vegetables and foliage, includes how to make your own production boxes among other things. It is called "Flowers That Bloom With a Spring" in The Wizards' Journal #21.

March 2011

Professor Spellbinder,

I saw a post you made some time back asking for pictures of items that have been made using your instructions from magicnook. Attached are some pics of a dog house I made that is based on Qua-Fiki's Puppy Fiki plans. I am using David Ginn’s Woof Woof dog puppet (Magical Dog Arm Puppet - listed under General Tricks on David Ginn's site), therefore I need a much bigger box. I also wanted this to disassemble and reassemble quickly and flat. Using your plans as the base I threw in some of my ideas and this is what I came up with. The sides, front, back and roof is foam board with wallpaper that I painted. The base and trim is wood. The base has a slot cut in it so the foam board can slide in to help hold it in place. Each trim piece has two slots cut in them. one for the side panel and one for the front/back panel. The sides are glued into the base. The trim pieces are glued to the front and back panels. At the top of each trim piece I have an eye hook. On the rear eye hooks I tied a piece of black elastic and at the end of the elastic is an "S" hook. This "S" hook is attached to the other side. This is to help hold the front and back panels in place. I have done the same with the front and back bases. To hold the gimmick, I embedded magnets into two pieces of dowel rod and two pieces of decorative wood from Hobby Lobby. To release the gimmick, I pretend I am adjusting the dog house, put my hands on the magnets and slid them forward. The magnets are placed so that I only need to move them about ¼” to release the gimmick.

Its not perfect but it will do what I need it to. Thank you for your magicnook Web site and the great effects you put out and deliver to the magic community.

Gino Garcia

Mick Hanzlik made this Elevator Box from The Wizards' Journal #11-09
and did such a good job that we asked him to allow us to include his
photos with our plans!

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