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
- 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.