The Disappearing Handkerchief Tutorial

Updated November 21, 2016

Magic tricks are fun to watch at any age, but it is more fun using them to amaze family members and friends. While a magician uses many tools to perform magic tricks, such as hats, rabbits, flowers and coins, the handkerchief has been one of the most popular tools for several tricks. The vanishing handkerchief trick, involving a silk handkerchief, will dazzle viewers, when a magician performs it correctly.

Make the "pull." In order for this trick to work, you will need a "pull" that is hidden in a belt loop. Run the string through the tube and attach the elastic cord to one end. Tie or pin the free end of the elastic to a belt loop making sure it will stay in place. Next, run the pull through the next belt loop on the left side. Take the pull and place it the top of your trousers or in the left pocket. You may need to wear a coat in order to better conceal the pull. Adjust the elastic so that when you take it out of your left pocket, the elastic is taut.

Get the audience's attention by waving around the silk handkerchief a few times with your right hand.

Turn slightly to the left side in a way that looks fairly natural so as not to draw attention to yourself. Take the pull from your pocket quickly and hide it in your hand.

Swiftly turn to the front and place your hands together, as if praying. Move your hands up and down, almost as if you are trying to warm your hands up, and stuff the silk slowly into the pull tubing. Swift-handed magicians can use a wand to help stuff the handkerchief in the tube.

Turn so your left side is once again slightly away from the audience. Continue the hand motions but let go of the pull and move in such a way that the pull flies out of the hand and quickly under the coat.

Turn back to the audience quickly, never stopping the hand motions and then open your hands so they can see the handkerchief is gone. Let them peak into your sleeves to see it hasn't been stuffed there.

Fold over long sleeves to form a pocket before the trick. Hold a small piece of silk of the same material as the big one between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. The smaller piece of silk should be no more than a 2- or 3-inch square.

Roll the big handkerchief into a ball for the audience to see and pretend to put the handkerchief into the left hand.

Take the little handkerchief and bring it up above the thumb and forefinger so it looks as if the big handkerchief is in the hand. Pretend to adjust the left sleeve and slip the balled handkerchief into the pocket of the folded sleeve.

Bring the hands together and begin to rub them as if you are trying to warm your hands up. This is a distraction for you to replace the small handkerchief back into its hiding place.

Open your hands for the audience to see that there is no handkerchief between them anymore.


Practice is key for this trick. It requires quick, smooth movements and a lot of distracting the audience. Test this trick several times in front of a mirror before performing in front of an audience.

Things You'll Need

  • 12"x12" silk handkerchief
  • Glass tube 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches long
  • String
  • 1-foot-long elastic cord
  • Wand (optional)
  • Longer coat
  • Long-sleeved shirt
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