Article on Thimble Magic

Compiled by Doug Atkinson,

Last Update: 3 Sep 2015 (minor changes)

Although you don't seem to see a lot of thimble magic today, thimble magic makes sense for a variety of reasons: 

1. Recognizable Object: most people recognize thimbles, though I do wonder how familiar upcoming generations will be...

2. Availability: thimbles are easily available at your local fabric store. There are specialized magic thimble sets as well, as listed on the Thimble Magic Reference Page; some sets are pictured below. 

3. Low cost. You can purchase a variety of plastic or metal thimbles for a few dollars. Even magic thimble sets are available for around $10-20.

4. Natural and Visual. Thimbles are made to fit on your fingers. The vanishing and appearance of thimbles, color changes, and so forth represent a very "comfortable" manipulation effect.

5. They are small and portable, yet can be seen from a pretty good distance.

Thimble magic usually consists of appearances, vanishes, color changes, and multiplication of the thimbles.



As a low cost start, Lloyd Enoch's Master Manipulation of Thimbles provides good basics. While a bit expensive, Joe Mogar's Digital Effects (authored by Steve Beam) is an excellent, highly recommended resource. There is a video by Joe Mogar available as well.


Early thimbles were likely stolen by magician's from their wives' sewing baskets. Sewing thimbles come in various sizes and are made from either metal or plastic. 

Special thimbles are not necessarily needed for thimble magic. Joe Mogar's thimbles, in fact, are pretty much "standard" sewing thimbles in plastic and a variety of colors. They fit well, can stack on top of each other (not nest, see below), and are relatively inexpensive.

A "magic touch" added to thimbles is the concept of nesting thimbles. Two nested thimbles appear as one thimble, and can enhance the ability to "multiply" thimbles in the finges. Royal Magic's Werry's Nimble Thimbles and Vernet Thimbles provide sets of this type. Both of these sets come with a nice set of instructions as well, much more than a simple sheet like "here's a thimble, now it vanishes...see you favorite magic book for more" type instuctions that come with some tricks.


Mogar Thimble Joe Mogar Thimbles.
              Thimbles  Royal Magic Nimble Thimbles (Werry)
              Thimbles  Vernet Thimbles
werry vs
              vernet  Werry Thimbles vs. Vernet Thimbles


The Sam Berland Thimble Set comes with a variety of wooden thimbles, including a large thimble, a holder, and a shot glass with gimmick so it can be filled with liquid.


A Side-By-Side Comparison
              metal This is an old Thimble Kit I got used (sight unseen). It includes several thimble sizes that can next in each other, a unique "shell" (left-middle); and two home-made holders using bobby pins to hold the thimbles!

One note about the "nesting" thimbles is that I have found the outer shells of these sets to be too large for my small fingers, meaning I have to be real careful to ensure the thimbles don't come flying off my fingers! The Joe Mogar thimbles are smaller, and the plastic is knurled for a better grip. You can stack the Mogar thimbles, but they don't "nest" so two stacked thimble look like two thimbles, not one!

Fakini thimbles are made of the same silicon as their multiplying balls and offer a good grip. The Scanlan wooden thimbles are unpainted on the inside to maintain a roughness for good grip.

You may also want to search out some larger thimbles to add size changes in addition to color changes that are a normal part of most Thimble routines.

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