Easy Magic Tricks – The Afghan Bands

Magicians have been performing The Afghan Bands Magic Trick for over a hundred years. With the right presentation, it is still a sure-fire winner in any Magician’s or Street Performer’s repertoire. 

How It Looks To The Audience

The Magician shows three large paper bands, which have been made from gluing together three strips of paper. With a pair of scissors, he cuts the first band in half lengthways and shows the expected two bands of paper. However, when he cuts the next band in half, he ends up with two, interlocked circles! Finally when he cuts the last paper band in half, he ends up with one giant circle!   

How The Trick Is Done

To do this trick, you will need three strips of paper about ten feet long and two inches wide. You can make the strips from newspaper, by gluing pieces together.

Make the first band by gluing the ends of the strip together normally. When this band is cut it will give you two separate circles.

When making the second band, give one of the ends a half turn, then glue the ends together. When this band is cut, it will give you two interlocked circles.

Finally, before gluing the ends of the last strip together, give one of the ends two half turns. When this band is cut, it will result in one large circle.


When you cut each band, you start at one point in the band and continue cutting all the way around the band until you reach the starting point again.

The reason why you use long bands of paper is that it will conceal the twists in the bands better.

Presentation Idea

For a bit of fun, you can present this trick as a competition. You take the normal band and give the other bands to two spectators, along with scissors. Show a $100 dollar bill and say you will give the bill to the first person who can cut their band into two separate rings. Demonstrate what you mean by cutting your band into two circles.

Then tell them to start cutting. When they finish they will be amazed to see that one has two interlocked circles and the other has one long circle.

As neither spectator has managed to accomplish what you asked them to do (two separate circles), you can regretfully pocket your $100 and tell them “they need more practice”.

This is a great trick for adults or children and will result in loads of laughter.