How To Make A Trick Hat

If you're thinking of doing a magic show to amaze your friends don't forget your trick hat. Make it yourself. Here's how:

You've got your cards, the tricks up your sleeve and now all you need is a magic hat. You'll have to buy a real hat but it can be a plain top hat - new or old. A top hat is the best hat for magic because it has plenty of room for hiding things. Besides the hat you'll need a piece of cardboard, black satin or velvet, and some magic markers or paint. You'll also need a small piece of black ribbon.

If you have something in particular that you want to hide in the hat, such as a small rabbit, it's important to measure how much space you'll need. Place the rabbit or another object in the hat and make a chalk mark to decide how much room you'll need. If you'll be hiding various items at different times allow for the largest item.

Use a dinner plate to cut a circle out of cardboard. Now adjust the circle to the size you will need for the hat. The cardboard should fit snugly into the hat without bending or falling. You should have to slide the cardboard in but it should go in easily. It's extremely important to have the cardboard just the right size.

Use black markers or paint to paint the sides of the cardboard, which should only be about a quarter inch thick. Cover well. Cut two pieces of black satin or black velvet the size of the cardboard. Glue the cloth pieces onto each side of the cardboard circle. It might be necessary to use a fray-stop product which is brushed onto the edges to keep fabric from unraveling. Put it on evenly around the edges of each side and let it dry well. Poke holes in the cardboard from one side, through to the other. Small holes will do fine but make sure they go all the way through.

Measure the width of the circle and add four inches to that measurement. Cut a piece of half-inch wide black satin ribbon to that length. Where the chalk mark is on the inside of the hat glue the piece of ribbon. Make sure the glue goes on smoothly and there's no lump of adhesive in place. Glue or sew a piece of velcro on the end of the ribbon, about three inches long. Stretch the ribbon across the diameter of the hat and mark where it meets the opposite side of the hat. At this area place another three inch strip of velcro to hold the ribbon. Now lay the cardboard circle inside the hat. Where the circle meets the ribbon, across the diameter, place a line of glue. This will hold the cardboard piece to the ribbon.

When you're ready to use the hat place the hidden object in the bottom and fold the cardboard circle over it and attach the velcro of the ribbon to the velcro on the side of the hat. When ready to open the secret compartment simply pull the ribbon end away from the velcro and it will open. Now, let's talk capes.

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