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Butterfly Dollar Bill

Posted on January 27, 2009 by chris ballinger There have been 47 comment(s)

Last weekend I brought my family to the Ellwood Butterfly Preserve just outside the city of Santa Barbara. It's a little place where Monarch butterflies gather this time, every year. They always come back to the exact same spot and it is a magnificent experience. While I was there, I was inspired to create an effect where you change a borrowed dollar bill into a "living" paper butterfly.

I went back to Ellwood with Aidan, a camera, and a dollar bill and made a video tutorial on how to make the butterfly:

If you try this and apply it to a levitation or animation effect, please send us a performance video. We'd love to see it!

Here are a few gimmicks that can be used to make the butterfly move and fly:

The Floating Dollar Bill The Hummingbird Card Thread Genie Loops

This post was posted in Uncategorized

47 Responses to Butterfly Dollar Bill

  • Ty
    Ty says:

    thanks!! That was Awesome!!

    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 5:30 am

  • Justin
    Justin says:

    Hi Chris how are you doing? I was wondering if you could recommend any good devil sticks for a average guy? Thank you for your time!!!

    Posted on January 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

  • Casey
    Casey says:

    Thanks Chris! That was an awesome tutorial! I made one while I was watching it, and it looks great! Couldn't thank you enough.

    Posted on January 31, 2009 at 12:25 am

  • Aidan
    Aidan says:

    Hey Justin, its Aidan here, i'm the Devil Stick guy at magicgeek.com, i would really recommend the Ninja Sticks http://www.magicgeek.com/ninja-sticks-675.html

    I've been using them for about three months now and love them .

    Posted on February 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

  • Justin
    Justin says:

    Thank you so much!!!

    Posted on February 3, 2009 at 6:08 am

  • Liam
    Liam says:

    Hey Criss! I really wanted to improve some of my stage illusions. I don't really have anything big! I love Magic Geek and buy from you guys all the time! What is the best big stage illusion at the best price!

    thanks in advance
    --Liam

    Posted on February 3, 2009 at 8:49 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hi Liam, There are a few smaller things that work great on stage. I've done 'Fraid Knot for a crowd of 2000 and it went over really well. Try to find something that you can build a routine around so you don't just do the trick in three seconds and that's it.

    Mental Epic is a great routine to do on stage, as is the Torn and Restored Newspaper.

    This is a good question to ask on the Forum because you'll get input from lots of other magician's that way.

    Posted on February 4, 2009 at 12:35 am

  • Pete Pridanonda

    Hey Chris, can you take a look at my question about school magic? It's in a blog called Geek Appreciation. I've post the question for a while and I still don't have the answer. Please take a look at my question because I really want to know the answer.

    Posted on February 5, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  • timothy2315555
    timothy2315555 says:

    THIS IS SOOOOOO CCCOOOOLLLL WHEN I USED IT THE ADUDENTS WAS BLOWN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KEPY ON ROCKYING MAGIC GEEK!!!!

    Posted on February 16, 2009 at 12:32 am

  • Brian
    Brian says:

    Hi chris i am sort of new to magic geek i have ordered a couple of things and i love them what trick works better with this tutorial the hummingbird card or the floating dollar bill.

    Posted on March 17, 2009 at 4:32 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hmm... I would have to say that the Hummingbird Card is going to give you more flexibility, so that's what I would recommend.

    Posted on March 17, 2009 at 7:31 am

  • Brian
    Brian says:

    Thanks chris it helps me a lot u guys at magic geek are the best

    Posted on March 21, 2009 at 4:08 am

  • austin dortch
    austin dortch says:

    to make the butter fly float does it matter what product i get or should i get a specific one

    Posted on April 6, 2009 at 7:23 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Typically the reels or the Hummingbird Card works best. I've actually been using the Tarantula lately, and it does the trick beautifully.

    Posted on April 6, 2009 at 8:25 am

  • Joshua
    Joshua says:

    hi Chris I just ordered the enchanted cube. Where do you think i should perform it?,And what do i say?

    Posted on April 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hello Joshua, this is a wonderful question for the forum as you are likely to get a wider variety of magicians giving you ideas. You can perform the Enchanted Cube pretty much anywhere. I usually talk about how many millions of combinations are possible with a Rubik's Cube. I then say something like "You could spend hours trying to solve it or just use magic, like this." Then I throw it and show it to be solved.

    Posted on April 17, 2009 at 12:33 am

  • Landon Sabo
    Landon Sabo says:

    Im trying to look for ring scape but I cant find it any tips?

    Posted on April 29, 2009 at 9:54 am

  • juanmiguel

    tahnks for teaching that

    Posted on May 6, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  • Joshua
    Joshua says:

    Hi chris i have the bite out coin,i was just asking on how to switch the coin without them noticing and when they ask me if they could take a look a my hands please help

    Posted on June 15, 2009 at 1:04 am

  • Joshua
    Joshua says:

    Hi chris i have the bite out coin,i was just asking on how to switch the coin without the spectors noticing and when they ask me if they could take a look a my hands please help

    Posted on June 15, 2009 at 1:05 am

  • Joshua
    Joshua says:

    hi chris its me again i watched the video of how to make the dollar butterfly.What did you use to make the butterfly levitate and flap its wings?

    Posted on June 15, 2009 at 1:11 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hey Joshua, I answered your coin question on the Permanent post. I used the gimmick from the Floating Dollar Bill. I made it flap with a special rig which I am still developing. I'm hopping it will be fully developed by the end of the year.

    Posted on June 16, 2009 at 12:43 am

  • Logan Clark
    Logan Clark says:

    hey chris a talent show is getting ready to go on in my city. so i was wondering. when are you going to get more 8 foot long wands.

    Posted on June 20, 2009 at 8:57 am

  • Logan Clark
    Logan Clark says:

    hey chris can you please hurry. i just figured out that the talent show is in two weeks.

    Posted on June 21, 2009 at 3:17 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hi Logan, Unfortunately the manufacturer of the 8 Foot Pole is back-ordered on that item. We have been trying to get them in the store for a while now, but until they make more, we will not have them.

    Posted on June 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

  • Logan Clark
    Logan Clark says:

    thats okay ill just go with the dancing cane

    Posted on June 22, 2009 at 8:23 am

  • Spencer
    Spencer says:

    how do you get the butterfly's wings to move like that?

    Posted on June 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm

  • max
    max says:

    i'm only 12 can i do the gekko then

    Posted on July 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  • Hugo
    Hugo says:

    Hey Cris, Im Thinking About Getting the tarantula, how would you make the wings flap so it looks real (like in the video)

    Posted on August 19, 2009 at 4:12 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hey Hugo, you might want to look into Kevin James' Floating Rose for a way to animate the butterfly.

    Posted on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 am

  • Hugo
    Hugo says:

    Are you able to do this with the tarantula (and animate the wings)

    Posted on August 23, 2009 at 5:06 am

  • mitko
    mitko says:

    Thanks Criss, can I just cnow your email so I can email you my performance.

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 4:46 am

  • jesse
    jesse says:

    when are you going to get the pk ring vortex back i want this but you dont have it

    Posted on November 24, 2009 at 8:43 am

  • Andrew
    Andrew says:

    HI criss!! great trick.

    Posted on December 11, 2009 at 10:40 am

  • justin mark
    justin mark says:

    how to fly a dollar butterfly?, can you teach me how please!!!

    Posted on December 21, 2009 at 10:06 am

  • Alex M
    Alex M says:

    hey chriss how do you actually fly the butterfly ????

    Posted on December 28, 2009 at 6:35 am

  • Alex M
    Alex M says:

    how do you actually fly the butterfly with the thread genie

    Posted on December 28, 2009 at 9:14 am

  • Brad Guyton
    Brad Guyton says:

    Hey Chris, is the rig that you were developing ready yet?

    Posted on January 23, 2010 at 4:44 am

  • Andrew
    Andrew says:

    hey chris, do you recomend any stage illusions. in a couple years i am thinking about doing kids birthday parties

    Posted on April 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

  • ALEC
    ALEC says:

    i like how he made it fly to that was amazing

    Posted on April 12, 2010 at 7:51 am

  • zach
    zach says:

    could it be used with the spider pen?

    Posted on May 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

  • dan jones
    dan jones says:

    Chris, could you recomend some really good coin illusions for me? i want to really amaze my friends (and my girlfriend too!)

    Posted on August 19, 2010 at 2:42 am

  • Chris Ballinger

    Hi Zach: it sure could.

    Hi Dan Jones: The Coin Bite, Coin Flux, Lethal Tender, and Silver/Copper/Brass are some of my favorites.

    Posted on August 31, 2010 at 7:26 am

  • dan jones
    dan jones says:

    criss, thanks for the info! (p.s. my girlfriend thinks ur hot!)

    Posted on September 10, 2010 at 10:15 am

  • cam
    cam says:

    thanks cris you're the best i used the butterfly with the humming card trick

    Posted on November 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm

  • abhishek
    abhishek says:

    i really love this magic

    Posted on November 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  • The Curly Headed One
    The Curly Headed One says:

    Hi chris Ive been doing magic for awhile now and i would like to improve my magic. What tips do you have. I would love to here your opionion on it. Also do you have any tips for sparks' airborne. Thank you so much for your time!!!

    Posted on February 25, 2011 at 2:23 am

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