Magic Trick Secret: How to get Paper Clips to Attach

We love simple magic tricks – the kids love discovering the “secrets” or the science behind the experiments.  This magic trick uses a dollar bill and paper clips.  It can’t be any easier than that!

magic money

This magic paper clip trick is easy for little kids to perform.  My son learned this for a Cub Scout meeting and he taught it to all the boys in his den.  It was a big hit.

Step 1: Start with a dollar bill and fold it into three equal parts.

folded dollar bill

Step 2: Clip one end of the dollar bill to the fold closest to it.

paper clip on dollar bill

Step 3: Clip the other end of the dollar bill to the fold closest to it.

two paper clips on bill

Step 4: Each paper clip should only clip over two pieces of the dollar bill. Here’s a view from the top.


folded clipped bill

Step 5: Grab ends of the dollar bill and pull straight out.

pull apart bill

Step 6:  The paper clips will magically attach to each other and jump off the bill.

two attached paper clips

Magic tricks are fun for kids to perform.  They can also help in areas of development.  As a performer, the children grow self confidence as they speak and demonstrate the trick in front of others.  They can also learn a little bit about science as they discover the secrets of what makes the magic tricks work.

How does this work?  The friction of the dollar bill as it snaps together causes the paperclips to “connect”.  After you have used a dollar, try it again with three paper clips.  Does it still work?  Why?  Why not?

Like this magic trick?  You should check out the time that we, the Quirky Mommas, lifted an ice cube with salt and a string, or when we lifted a “magic” dollar without using our fingers.

About Kim

Kim is a homeschooling mom of two children. When she isn't on a nature hike with her kids, she can be found scrapbooking about their adventures and possibly sneaking a bite of chocolate. She writes about motherhood and family fun at Savor the Days.