The Book of Magic Smells

The Book of Magic Smells

Posted by on Jun 6, 2021 in Posts | 0 comments

I always wanted to do a stage size “switch box” a similar concept of the ones that comes in the children sets . I personally use them to hold screws and nuts

As I searched in thrift stores I was looking for an expensive chess set that I can convert to the magic switch prop. Then I came across this wooden book like case. It doesn’t have equal size on each half side. But I remembered another prop build during my Magic with Magnets Udemy presentation. I came across an old article from a magic magazine that mention the use of a book the say ” the book of magic Smells ” with children reacting to it the magician attempts to correct it, it reads “the book of magic Swells”. Now the children going wild,  the magician finally correct it to “the book of magic Spells” .

Now we can combine the smells gag before introducing the switch box. The idea of Trick within a Trick was inspired by Tommy James Halloween show where he introduced the switch bag, and pulled out multipling bottles from it for a gag. The trick wasn’t the bottles,  it’s just a bonus as he introduced the change bag.

The wooden book was from Savers, another thrift treasure place of ideas. Book was 6.99. Magnet sheets were a dollar each

Few notes on the case design, it doesn’t have hinges, it uses the cover as a canvas and the fabric used to hinge the door open. Also there is no lock which can became a challenge to keep the volunteer child holding the box from opening the case prematurely.

I added the velvet paper to the magnet sheet at first. Use the paper cutter to cut magnet sheet and velvet together for the smoothest cut

The velvet has the best professional look but the magnet sheet lost its grip to the other sheet
Adding the magnetic sheet as is looks ok, little suspicious and the 2 sheets grip to each other pretty well. So I started debating which option to go with
The wooden board was the worst option. I Made a clean cut with the band saw, somehow it didn’t work

At this point I decided to use raw magnet sheet without velvet, the 2 smooth side attract to each other making the Trick very reliable. The only issue was that I needed to add the magnet sheet to both sides to camouflage the bottom and top of box, and now the hidden item will be locked in between the 2 magnet sheets. Meaning the flap will not be released and Trick won’t work.

Then I started noticing the sheets a very faint grip on one side, the longer I keep the sheets , the stronger the magnets grip. So I decided to add velvet to the flap gimmick, and the bottom of the box, the top will be velvet paper only and no magnet. This way the flap will be released and the Trick will work
Gluing is not necessary if you bought the adhesive magnet sheets. I added glue because Iam recycling these sheets
The wooden board came in handy after all
Someone decided to help out

So I used one magnetic sheet with velvet for bottom of box, one self adhesive velvet only sheet on top. And used 2 magnetic sheets back to back rolled with velvet self adhesive paper making it heavier,  and attracts the bottom either side. I carefully cut the double sheet to size and I believe the inside part is complete. 

Now I have to work on the smells gag on the outside of the box.. !!! The letter w needs to be magnetically added and removed on top of the letter P  of the word Spells .. how do I do this without ruining the art of the original book design?

Here is a quick demo how the box starts,  then open to show empty,  the child holds it and the magic happens in his hand, box open and the forced card appears. The case is light enough for a 7 year old to hold for a min, but not light enough to open it prematurely. So I think locks are unnecessary,  and if they are I would just wrap a band around the box
As for the words , my choice depends on the material I got. I decided to use the iron on velvet letters on top of black adhesive velvet paper. This can also help hiding the metal core gimmick, and helps strengthen the fabric cover that is used as the hinge. If I had a plain wood surface, I would use oil paints and stains … for now joann fabric I got this set of letters because it’s the only one with 3 o letters without sacrificing the Q.
For metal core, I use the razor blades which are important when we build metal core playing cards, low profile and reliable.. however dangerous as you can’t feel when cutting yourself. Anyways I added Elmer’s wax glue to hold 2 piece, one where I think the letter P will be , and another where the letter M. The reason for the m, is to use 4 different words instead of 3. We can do Spells, smells, swells and one more maybe snells or something similar

Velvet cover it is. Adhesive went over the blades, I did make the mistake by having the blades on top of the book instead the bottom, this means I have to use the back side for the letters. This is what bob ross calls happy accident as it can work for our favor for misdirection. Overall the adhesive velvet was the correct choice in my opinion.
Prospective of where the magnets attach, next step is to iron the velvet letters on top of the velvet.
Ofcourse I had to test a sample to make sure it works, and surprise surprise the velvet is immediatly deformed with the heat. So instead of ironing the whole area, I use a technique of the tip of the iron to only apply to letters area
With a bit patience. The result was ok, few iron markings, but not bad
This was the final gimmick setup. Place the w and h far so I can control the position easier. I added the thickest magnet I had to ensure reliability… i only have one of each letters and did not want to take chance ruining it. Finally use slicer for straight cut and kazaam.
Hope you enjoyed this build, thank you for watching. As always I will add a promo video with the children to test product. My youngest son enjoyed it for some reason.

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