Magic Props: How To Use Flash Paper

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Magicians work with hand techniques and illusions, but that’s not to say that they don’t get a little help from nifty and crafty things. Talking about magic supplies, here is everything you need to know about flash paper and how it is used in magic tricks.

Flash Paper

Flash paper is a very common thing used in a lot of magic tricks. It looks like a normal piece of paper, but it is made up of a certain type of chemical that can catch fire. It is primarily made of nitrocellulose and it is a highly flammable material that can be lit on fire. Nitrocellulose is found mostly in dynamites and other explosive materials.

It is odorless in a normal environment, but it needs to be kept dry at all times, in order to increase the chance of flammability. It comes in the form of a sheet and it can be further cut into small pieces according to what type of magic trick you are doing.

How To Use It?

Flash paper works on the simple mechanism of chemistry. You might have seen a lot of magicians use this paper and when they light the paper on fire, it leaves nothing behind. No smoke, no ash and it look very cool.

The basis of a flash paper is when you light a small piece of it on fire, it ignites and gets engulfed in flames pretty quickly. The reaction of nitrocellulose leaves behind no by-product, aka, ash or smoke and there is visibly no trace of paper left, which gives it an optical illusion. Here are some things you need to remember when using flash paper:

  • Use it sparingly. You don’t want to use a large amount of it. If you have a large sheet, then cut it into smaller and more manageable pieces, so that they are easy to exhibit and work with.
  • Always practice first. You don’t want to make a fool out of yourself in front of an audience. Try to master your hand movements and techniques before you perform in front of a bunch of people. Remember, practice makes perfect!
  • Playing with fire can have consequences. Always do these tricks under adult supervision, if you are scared or not capable of handling flames and fire. Also, keep gloves handy, especially heat-safe gloves, so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Try not to bring the paper too close to your face or eyes. Nitrocellulose can be triggering to a lot of people and it can cause severe reactions on the skin if you are allergic to it and are unaware.

Magic Tricks Flash Paper Is Used In

Here are some pretty easy magic tricks with flash paper:

  • You can use it as camouflage. The flame lit by a flash paper is very bright and it gives you enough time to switch things around, like changing a card, flipping a coin, or even hiding something under your magic station.
  • You can use flash paper as an introductory surprise for your audience. The flame lights up pretty quickly, so it’s a perfect way to suddenly surprise your audience when performing in a live show or in a wedding party.
  • Add some thrill with fire. You can light a card with flash paper stuck to it on fire and then using your hand movements and techniques, you can introduce another card as a way to show the audience the sudden appearance of the card. This is going to keep the audience interested.
  • The flash paper can be folded into different things. You can do origami with it and make flowers and then incorporate those flowers into your magic tricks. The most common trick is one where you can fold the paper into a rose and then light it on fire, or you can use a flash string and make it float and for added drama, you can even light it on fire to end a trick and end the show with a stunned audience and expert coordination.


There you have it! Flash paper is a very interesting thing to use in magic tricks and it has plenty of room for fun and creativity. So, dust off your magician caps now, get flash paper from magic stores, and try some awesome tricks.

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