Introduction: Professional Close-Up Mat

Magicians use close-up mats as a performing surface for a number of reasons, including displaying work elegantly, dampening noise, and providing a consistent gliding surface for coins, cards and other props.

Most commercially-available close-up mats look cheap and generic. I wanted to make one that was of higher quality than the usual store-bought models.

Step 1: Collect and Cut the Materials

In order to build this mat, I used the following materials:

  • Dollar-store foam shelf liner
  • Velour
  • Leather
  • A place mat
  • Spray adhesive
  • A pencil
  • Box cutter
  • A ruler

First, I cut the fabric and shelf liners to manageable sizes. Each of these should be larger than the place mat, since this will serve as your cutting stencil later on.

Step 2: Glue the Layers Together

I made a sandwich by gluing the 3 layers together using spray adhesive. The leather goes on the bottom, the velour goes on top, and the shelf liner goes in the middle.

Step 3: Trim to Size

Once the glue has had a chance to set, place the pad leather-side up, and trace the contour of the place mat using a pencil. Use the box cutter to carefully cut along the lines. You can also use a ruler to help ensure straight cuts.

Step 4: Enjoy

That's all there is to it. Now, you have a gorgeous close-up pad that is much nicer than those available from most magic shops.