Flash Paper Magic Tricks

Updated April 17, 2017

The ability to conjure fire has long been considered a staple of wizardry and magic, and has been a standard trick for stage magicians as well as street conjurors for hundreds of years. In modern times, a simple and cheap invention called "flash paper" allows anyone to produce a ball of flame in their hand and make their sleight of hand all that much more startling.

Small Item Appear/Disappear

Since flash paper requires something to ignite the paper itself, these tricks are best performed near a candle or other open heating element. If you can, borrow someone's lighter, matches, or lit cigarette as a prop; try to plan your tricks ahead of time so that this makes sense. Keep in mind that the presence of fire of some kind will add to and enhance the mystery of your performance, so a candlelit setting is usually a good idea.

Hold the coin or other small item between your index finger and thumb as if you were examining a diamond, while at the same time crush a sheet of flash paper into a loose ball with the other hand and loosely palm it. Bring the coin close to the heat source as if to examine it further, casually bringing the other hand up as well. Use the fingers of the hand holding the flash paper to twirl the coin several times between the fingers it's being held with.

During one twirl, pretend to grasp the coin with the fingers of the flash-paper-concealing hand and make a fist, while actually dropping it into the palm of your other hand, which you then drop to your side as if it's empty. With all eyes on the hand containing the flash paper, bring it close to the flame source, moving the flash paper to the very surface of your fist without exposing it. In one fluid movement, open your fist and touch the flash paper to the heat source, causing a ball of flame to apparently swallow the coin whole.

Card Reveal

Revealing someone's secretly chosen card is a classic magic trick that, like all things in this sphere, can be made more effective with the addition of fire.

With a heat source nearby and a flattened sheet of flash paper at the ready cupped in your hand, perform your favourite card-reveal. Before the crucial sage where you ask, "Is this your card?" slip the flash paper against the face-side of the card, away from your audience.

Pretend to scrutinise the card, then mutter something about needing more light. Move the card to the opposite side of the heat source and ignite the flash paper all in one smooth motion. While the flash startles your audience, you can claim that now you have enough light to see by, and it is indeed their card. Voila.

Business Card Appearance

To add a little flash (pun definitely intended) to your next business meeting, try giving away your business card in a manner that will leave quite the impression.

Palm a business card in your dominant hand, and a sheet of flash paper in the other. Make sure you have an open heating source available within arm's reach.

Slip the business card to the back side of your dominant hand by bending two corners, one between your index and middle fingers, and one between your ring and pinky fingers. By holding your hand with the palm facing your audience, your hand will appear empty.

Make a show of your empty hand, and tell them to watch it closely. This will give you the opportunity to lean toward the heating element while bringing the hand with the flash paper up close. In one rapid movement, ignite the flash paper as close to your business-card hand as possible while simultaneously snapping your business card around to the front of your palm.

The flash will disorient your audience and make it appear as if the card simply flamed into existence in an empty hand.

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About the Author

Jordan Gaither is a degree-holding communications major with a successful freelance career. He's been writing professionally for over a year, and has just recently made the jump to full-time freelancer. Among others, he's been published by Internet Brands, Apartment Ratings, eHow, CV Tips and the Examiner.