Before you buy any of
these Dollar Store instructions, go to your local Dollar Store
(Quid Store in the U.K.) and make sure you can get the
ingredients. Not all Dollar Stores are alike and you may have to
hunt through several to find just what you need to make these
magic props. To find out what you need to buy for each effect,
click on the "Info" button or the photo beside each
This article contains a dozen mental effects
that can be easily made from Dollar Store materials (or you may
already have the materials around the house). Many of the effects
are taken from old public domain books on mentalism as a way of
encouraging young budding mentalists to learn from the masters. I
have tried to being them up-to-date to take advantage of modern
technologies and products now readily available from a Dollar
Store. I have also tried to make them as different as possible so
that you might perform all twelve in a single performance, if
1. Crystal Ball : Thoughts in Focus.
Requires crystal ball or a water-ball substitute, plus some
sticky note pads and a pen or pencil.
2. Gathering Secret Information. Requires a
regular hardboard clipboard, some carbon paper and some wood
grain contact paper. Alternate method is done with a plastic
clipboard and a bar of soap or paraffin.
3. The Dream of a Hermit by Dr. Jaks. Requires three
decks of cards, one red, one blue and a third with any kind of
4. Sight Unseen: From L.E. Duncanson's With
Sight Unseen. Requires a make-up compact mirror and
materials for the act.
5. Sightless Vision: Requires two black laundry bags. Bonus:
Half-Body Bag using the latest technology.
6. Living and Dead: Requires a piece of construction paper and a
pen or pencil.
7. Spirit Slate Writing: From Norman Ashworths Before
Your Eyes: Requires a slate, a piece of chalk, some white
acrylic paint or correction fluid, a deck of cards.
8. Locks and Key: From Hen Fetschs Lock and Key.
Two Locks which open by two different keys, plus several other
keys that do not open either lock. An envelope for each key.
9. Drawing Duplicates: Requires two holographic drawing
boards, the kind that have shiny laser hologram
patterns and which can be used with a water washable pen.
10. Whim of Tituba by Theodore Annemann: Requires three
old magazines and three sizes of envelopes.
11. A Billet Act: from One Man Mindreading Secrets by
Ralph W. Read. Requires some sticky note pads, pencils, and a
plastic tray (opaque).
12. Sticky Note Pad Add-A-No. Requires two sticky note pads and a
piece of cardboard cut to the same size.