RF Haunt: Raymond's Halloween Website


Magic Production Box Magic Production Box

The Effect:

Several trick-or-treaters walk up to the door, where you have an open, empty box on the table. With an exaggerated motion, you pick up the box, close it, and proceed to pull candy out of it. Once all the kids have their candy, the box is opened again (still empty) and set back on the table.

How It Works:

The box has a coffee can secured to the back of one door. When the box is open, that door conceals the can. When you close the box, you hold the position of that door the same and swing the rest of the box around until it closes, conceiling the can inside.

Box Succession


  • Lightweight wood (250 square in.)
  • 1 12-13 Oz. empty coffee can
  • 4 long hinges
  • Wood stain (Or paint)
  • Glue, nails, hammer, saw

Approximate Cost: $15.00 - $20.00


  1. Cut the wood into 7 pieces. Two of them (The box doors) will be 8 inches long by 7 1/4 inches tall. Three (The box sides and bottom) will be 5 1/2 inches long by 7 1/4 inches tall. The last two peices (The crossbars on the box) will be 7 1/4 inches long by about 3/4 inches tall.

    Peices and Dimensions

  2. Glue and nail the pieces together. To do this, first start nails into the flat sides of the unassembled boards where you are going to want them. Use a good white glue or wood glue (I used Tacky glue) to glue the peices together. The pieces can be held in place with a rubber band while the glue is drying. After the glue has dried, you are ready to nail the peices together for extra strength. Starting with the nails in the holes that you made earlier, continue to hammer the nails through, into the thin edges of the wood. Use 3 nails to hold each side to the bottom, and 1 for each side of each crossbar. Do not worry about the box doors at this point.

    Glue the pieces together Glue the pieces together

  3. Stain or paint the wood. If you are using a wood stain, make sure you use something to seal it, like polyurithane, so the stain will last. Stain or paint the box doors, as well, although keep them separate from the box.

  4. Attach the box doors using your long hinges. Note that both doors need to be able to swing a full 180 degrees.

    Top view showing door movement
    To attach the hinges, first place the door flat against the box covering the opening (In its "closed" position). Note that you will not be able to use all of the hinge's holes when attaching it to the main box. Mark a spot on the hinge where it still covers the main box and punch a new hole here. Now, again place the door flat against the box in its "closed" position, and attach the hinges. Do this again for the second door. When the hinges are in place, there should be a slight gap between the door and the box when it is open, and the door should fit tightly against the box when it is closed. Both doors should have 180 degrees of movement.

    Closed (Attach hinges in this position):
    Hinges Hinge
    Open (Note the gap):
    Hinges Hinge

  5. Prepare the coffee can for attachment by cutting the top off so that the can is only about 4 inches tall. This is so the door will be able to hide it. It may be a good idea to wrap some electrical tape around the top of the can so you do not cut yourself when reaching in. I would also recommend painting the can black. Although nobody is supposed to see the can, this makes it less noticeable and prevents mistakes in the presentation.

  6. Now you're going to need to attach the coffee can to the back of the door. There are several possibilities, depending on how much more work you want to do and how much stress your magic box will be under.

    • Hot glue will work for a temporary attachment, but will not hold up to much stress.
    • Double sided tape is even less reliable than hot glue, but it will work in a crunch.
    • For another easy attachment possibility, you can slit a small hole in the bottom of the can near the edge. Run some duct tape through this hole and up through the can. Now, secure that strip of tape at both the top an bottom of the can with additional tape. Make sure that this is not too close to the edge of the door to be visable to your guests.
    • If you really want something that will last, cut a slit in the bottom of the can. Now, take a thin metal strip and run it through the can so that it sticks out a little from the top and the slit in the bottom. Using very small screws, attach this metal strip to the door. (You will have had to pierce holes in the strip beforehand.)
Preparation and Performance

Load the coffee can up with small candy before your guests arrive. You will most likely need to refill it several times throughout the night. Do this when no one is watching. Have the box on the table when guests walk in. It should be open so that both door are open a full 180 degrees. Pick up the box by holding the edges of the doors in your hands. Your right hand should hold the door concealing the coffee can. Keeping the door with the coffee can facing your guests, bring your hands together. The box will swing around 180 degrees while the doors do not move much at all. This will close the box with the coffee can inside. Hand out some candy, reopen the box in the same manner in which you closed it, and set it open on the table. You are now ready for the next group of trick-or-treaters.

The Completed Box:

Magic box Magic box

Animated GIF of Magic Candy Production Box
(4.4 Mb File will take approximately 14 minutes to download on a 56K modem)



Completed Effects:
- Magic Box
- Projector Ghosts
- Pepper's Ghost
- Rickety Floor
- Cobwebs
- Tree Projection
- Curtain Spirit

Incomplete Effects:
- Living Head

All original content copyright 2004 Raymond Fero

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