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How to Do the Self-Tying Shoelace Trick

Show off with a simple, amazing trick that will leave your friends in awe.


  • Step 1: Turn a baggy pair of pants inside out Turn a long, baggy pair of pants inside out. You'll need long pants to cover part of your shoe, and room in the pant leg for the clip and wire.
  • Step 2: Attach the clip to the pocket Attach the clip with the retractable wire to one of the bottom of one of the front pockets in the pants. Then use one or two safety pins to attach the stopper next to the clip.
  • TIP: The belt clip is often used with cell phones or ID badges and can be found inexpensively online. The drawstring stopper is often found on outdoor clothing.
  • Step 3: Attach the shoelaces Tie a pair of shoelaces to the end of the retractable wire. The shoelaces must be identical to the ones on the shoes you will wear during the trick.
  • TIP: The laces on the wire will be sticking out from the bottom of your pant leg, so make sure they look like untied laces.
  • Step 4: Pull the wire down Pull the wire with the laces attached down to the bottom of the pant leg, so the laces extend further than the pant leg, but not so far that the wire is exposed when the pants are on.
  • TIP: Part of the untied laces should be hidden inside the pant leg.
  • Step 5: Fold the wire Make a small fold in the top of the wire, near the clip. Take the folded piece of wire and slide it through the stopper, and then release the stopper button so that the stopper is clamping down on the folded wire. This will keep the wire extended down to the bottom of the pant leg.
  • Step 6: Put the pants on Put the pants on and set up the bottom of your pant leg so it covers the laces that are already tied on your shoe. Let the untied laces attached to the wire hang down over your shoes.
  • Step 7: Perform the trick Shake your foot as if you're trying to tie your shoe with no hands. Squeeze the stopper from the outside of your pants to release the wire and, when the wire retracts, show the already tied laces to your audience.
  • FACT: Numerical simulations have shown that the trefoil knot has the shortest possible rope length.

You Will Need

  • Baggy pants
  • Belt clip with retractable wire
  • Plastic drawstring stopper
  • 2 safety pins
  • 2 identical pairs of shoelaces
  • Pair of laceable shoes

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