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Magic Money Bill Fold Magic Trick

This is a fantastic piece of impromptu magic that can be performed anywhere at a moments notice.

How To Do The Trick :

The magician takes a dollar bill (or any bill he chooses) out of his pocket and presents it to the audience. While displaying in his hand open palm up with the bill unfolded and flat in the magician's palm, it suddenly begins to move. But its not just moving, its folds itself up. First in half, then sideways until its completely folded neatly in the magician's palm

You Will Need :

  1. A Dollar Bill (or any money bill you choose to use).
  2. Magicians thread - . A good alternative is black nylon line, but make sure its extremely thin!
  3. Clear Scotch tape.

Note: Using invisible thread
One thing to keep in mind when using invisible thread is that you should be wearing light colored clothing to act as the backdrop to the thread not dark shaded ones. Darker shaded clothes cause the light to reflect in a way that reveals the magicians thread. So wear non reflective light colored clothing.

This way it is more "invisible" to the spectators. Also, pay attention to the lighting in the area that you are performing and attempt to have the light source pointing directly at you if you can. You do NOT want the light source to come from behind you as it will will reflect off the thread and reveal the thread to your audience.


Setting up the Self Folding Gimmick

The beauty of this money magic trick gimmick is that it's extremely simple to construct. No complex mechanism to this gimmick, just string and tape!

First thing you should do is fold the bill in half 3 times. Take a look at the photo to get a good idea of how to fold.

folding bill photo

The next thing to do is to take the invisible thread and using a sewing needle (get the thinnest gauge you can find so it doesn't leave a sizable hole), pass the thread through half of the bill. Take a look at the illustration to get a good idea on where to do this.


close up magic money trick.

I recommend finding a point in the bill where you are passing through just the green part of the bill and not the white. Also the part you are passing through is going to be the bottom of the gimmick and into the middle fold [See photo 4]. The area you are passing the invisible thread through should 4 layers of the bill. I usually place the bill flat on a piece of wood and push the needle down through the bill so that I don't poke myself or widen the hole the needle will make.Carefully pull the thread through the folds.

Once you have the thread through, you need to attach it to the area adjacent to the hole on the other side of the fold (should be the center area). Use the clear tape to do so. Your bill should look like photo 5. Photo 6 shows a different angle where [A] is where the thread passes through and [B] is where the thread is attached. Use a exacto knife to precut the clear tape smaller, or alternatively, use rubber cement or professional modeling glue (not the type that is for plastic parts) to attach the thread. If you do that, make sure it dries completely before you use it, otherwise it will be tacky and eventually break the bond.

money note photo

Now cut the thread on the opposite side from where you have attached it. Your cut should be about 12-15 inches [or more, you will see how long] away from the bill and attach that end to something you carry in your pocket. I recommend you read through the entire article first before cutting so that you can get a better idea of how long the thread should be. Attach it to something like a wallet or deck of cards or whatever you might carry in your front pocket. It really doesn't matter what it is, because it's just acting as an anchor and will not be seen in the trick. Therefore, make sure its has some weight to it.

Performing the magic trick!

Preparation for this magic trick is pretty simple after you have constructed the gimmick. Just carefully unfold the bill so that its open [photo 7 & 8]. Give the thread enough slack to allow you to adjust the bill. I also would make the line a little slack just so when it starts to pull tight, it will cause a small movement in the bill to make it more dramatic.

money trick

Now, to make it clear, when you pull the bill out in front of the audience, it should be folded. Try to be as casual as possible when unfolding. Once unfolded your bill should be laying in your palm like in photo 9. The thread that is coming out the bottom should follow between your fingers next to your palm area like in photo 10. The thread will run from under your hand down into your pocket and attached to the anchor.

Find a comfortable length to hold your arm in front of you and make sure you uphold a natural position. This will dictate how long you should cut the thread also. So make sure you have your hand at a natural position with the palm up displaying the unfolded bill.

Self folding bill image.

It's time for the magic! To make the bill fold itself, gently move your hand away from your body. As your hand moves slowly (and hopefully unnoticed), the bill will start to fold itself! First it will fold itself in half! Then it will fold over in a different direction, and finally it will fold itself one final time! Practice in front of a mirror to determine the best speed and motion to do this with. Once the bill is folded all the way grip it with your thumb and fingers and put it back in your pocket!

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