How to Do the Invisible Thread on a Napkin Trick

Learn how to do the invisible thread on a napkin trick in this dinner table magic tricks video from Howcast.

S1: That’s so great.

S2: There it is. It’s neat, right?

S1: It is, it’s fun. How do you do it?

S2: All right, I’ll teach it to you. It’s really cool. This is one of these things you can do anytime, anywhere, all you need is a napkin.

S1: Great conversation piece.

S2: And invisible thread. So all it is all of the thread part is mime and it’s fun and you play along and you’re "Here, hold this." And you pull up the napkin and you want to pull up about halfway. And what happens is is when you’re using your fingers to pretend to pull, that’s the misdirection, because everybody’s looking at your fingers, the napkin, and the invisible line that you’ve drawn between them. But the dirty work’s actually happening right over here with the thumb.

S1: Okay.

S2: So when I pull this way, my thumb right here, just the teeniest movement bends the napkin.

S1: Okay, neat.

S2: So it’s the timing of going up and down at the same time.

S1: You’ve practiced this before.

S2: Yeah, a little bit. Here, you can go the other way and that’s how you move a napkin with an invisible thread. You want to try?

S1: Okay.

S3: Maybe help her, walk her through.

S2: So the first thing is you hold it and just pull about half the napkin straight up. So try that part.

S1: About that much?

S2: Good, and maybe even a little bit more and you hold it nice and tight with the thumb. Now first just try this part. Try pushing your thumb down. There you go, and bringing it back up, and try not to move this finger so much, so it’s just a little bit pushing forward and back up. Now try to make it go back the other way. And to make it go the other way, you just push down this way, which is going to pull it. So try that. There you go.

S1: Maybe a little smoother next time.

S2: And the more you practice it, not only that, but the more you practice it, the lesser and lesser this movement becomes and it’s just the teeniest, almost like you’re just pushing a little harder right between these two fingers here. It’s cool, right?

S1: Yeah, it’s great.

S2: And that’s how you move a napkin with an invisible thread.