Here you can download free Paul Osborne Illusion plans from his four Paul Osborne’s Illusion Systems PDF books, his Easy Build Illusions, Haunted Illusions, together with his two (2) illusion plans from The Black Book.
In addition, I have included more free books on stage illusion ideas and design plans from Andrew Mayne, Tom Palmer, Tom Seller, Tim Clothier, Eric Van Duzer, U. F. Grant, Will Goldston and Robert Harbin and others.
Even if you are not a builder, maybe you are just a magic enthusiast or an inspiring illusionist, you would definitely love this big collection of free books.
Those of you who are from the magic community, and magazine readers of Genii, The Conjurors’ Magazine, MAGIC, Tannen’s Magic Manuscript and M-U-M (Magic-Unity-Might) would definitely recognize Paul Ferris Osborne, or Paul Osborne’s detailed illustrations.
Many of the published illusion prop plans in Genii magazine are included in his Paul Osborne Illusion Systems books.
“The Hatbox Illusion” is his first illusion plan published in the Genii magazine Vol. 44, No. 5, May 1980.
Note: You can download the free copy of this Genii Vol. 44 1980 issue over here.
It can be found in the Illusion Systems Vol. 4 issue.
According to Osborne, the Hatbox Illusion is based on the Mignon Illusion.
Mignon Illusion is where two boxes with hinged sides are opened out flat, then reassembled and nested. Then a girl magically appears.
Cecil Lyle better know as “The Magical Milliner” performed this illusion in his 1935 show in London, as mentioned in the book Programmes Of Famous Magicians by Max Holden
It describes the routines and effects of the programmes of famous magicians, who include Dai Vernon, Al Baker, Annemann, Dunninger, Blackstone,
Harry Houdini, Howard Thurston, Jean Hugard, and many more
By the way, you can also view Paul Osborne’s distinctive blueprint illustrations in his 2008 book “The Mystery of Sausage: And Other Ridiculous Blueprints“.
The fun-filled book doesn’t reveal magic tricks like his series of Paul Osborne Illusion Systems PDF books.
It just provides fun and silly explanations to the magical illusions.
Paul Osborne Magical Career
Besides being a magician, Osborne is more known for designing magic illusions for corporate functions, theme parks and pop & rock concerts.
It all started way back in 1956, when his parents hired magician Mark Wilson to perform at his eighth birthday party.
At the end of his performance, Wilson gave Osborne “Mark Wilson’s TV Magic Kit”, as shown below.
It is this Mark Wilson magic kit which swept the then young Paul Osborne to the wondrous world of conjuring magical tricks and the art of illusion designing.
RELATED FREE BOOK: Here is a 503-page free classic magic book by Mark Wilson which a must-have for every magician-to-be.
NOTE: For Link 5, it is for borrowing only.
If you want to download and save a copy for yourself, read this: “How To Save Internet Archive Borrow Books: 1 Hour And 14 Days“.
By 9 years old, Osborne began performing magic shows for other kids’ birthdays.
He continued doing his magic gigs in his college days, private parties and events.
Then Osborne got a job as ringmaster for Larry Harmon, who is better known as Bozo the Clown.
Paul went on to become the foremost producer of all types of theme park entertainment.
He brought magic and illusion show, marionette show and a song-and-dance show to theme parks.
At the same time, Osborne was working on illusion plans, and sold them to amateur magicians across the country.
When Paul was just starting out designing illusions, magician, sorcerer and bizarrist Tom Palmer was his mentor.
Paul Osborne called Tom Palmer “Magic Dad“.
When Tom Palmer pursued bizarre magic, he used the stage name Tony Andruzzi, aka Maskelyn ye Mage, aka Daemon Ecks.
Paul dedicated his “Easy To Build Illusions” book to Tom Palmer.
You can get your free 1964 “Modern Illusions” book by Tom Palmer below.
For beginners, you might like to read up this free 23-page booklet by English artist, magician and writer Tony Shiels.
One of his very first books on illusion was “Victory Carton Illusions” by U. F. Grant (Ulysses Frederick Grant).
Yes, I am including this amazing book and some other U. F. Grant’s rare publications in the list below.
Not forgetting Paul was also designing and art directing for Broadway’s “Peter Pan” production, and network television specials.
Paul Osborne was also the producer and illusion consultant for many renowned illusionists, including Siegfried & Roy, Chris Angel, Doug Henning, David Blaine and David Copperfield.
The late Paul Osborne (passed away in 2016) collaborated with David Copperfield to create the famous Death Saw illusion.
RELATED FREE BOOK: Get your free latest book by David Copperfield.
Osborne also worked with pop stars like Britney Spears (Circus Tour) , Gloria Estefan, Black Eyed Peas and David Bowie.
He did the updated Alice Cooper’s guillotine stage prop for the “Welcome To My Nightmare” tour.
Rock star Alice Cooper’s first guillotine for the “Billion Dollar Babies” tour was designed by magician James “Amazing” Randi.
Anyway, you can find “Guillotine” illusion blueprint in 1986 “Illusion Systems Book Four” on pages 97 to 105.
Free Paul Osborne Illusion Plans
For those of you who would like to build your own stage magic and illusion props, then check out all these free books I have curated below.
Paul Osborne Illusion Systems PDF books are written and illustrated by Paul Osborne himself.
Besides the countless magic secrets, these books are packed with valuable building tips to help you when designing and building your first stage illusion apparatus.
These are the free four Paul Osborne Illusion Systems PDF books, plus his books Easy Build Illusions and Haunted Illusions, two other individual illusion plans from his The Black Book.
Paul Osborne Illusion Systems Plans
In this first Illusion Systems Book One: Begin To Build Your Own Illusions by Paul Osborne, you get to learn all the basics of magic props building and his many advice and tips.
In this free Paul Osborne illusion plans, he included some basic hiding positions for stage assistant, to help you understand how to design deceptive base.
The seven illusions plans illustrations with full measurements are: The Flash Appearance, New Palanquin, Cutting In Sixths, Chest of Enchantment, Modern Cabinet, Head Chest and Costume Trunk.
This second in the Illusion Systems book included building tips from illusion designer and builders Bob Kline, Owen Magic, George Kimery, David Mendoza, Owen Redwine and others.
Some of these free Paul Osborne illusion plans found in this 90-over pages book are: The Lion & Cobra, Tony Spina’s Silkspension, Thin Model Sawing Improvement, The Cabana Illusion, The Stretcher Illusion, The
DeKolta Chair, The Mismade Girl, The Bullet Proof Girl and many more.
This third volume of Paul Osborne Illusion Systems books, again is filled with lots of illustrations and photos, interesting information for the magic historian, the collector, the builder and the performer.
One great chapter called “Quickies” – illusions that you can easily and quickly construct out of scrap wood or cardboard.
With just cardboard boxes, Osborne created a production effect called “Toy Boy Miracle“.
Another informative chapter is about the famous the “Light Bulb Girl” illusion.
Check out the 21 illusion ideas from David Ginn, Stan Allen, Rand Woodbury, Tom Palmer, and others in this third book.
Among the free Osborne illusion plans are: Noel Coward’s Comedy Sawing In Half, The Sacrifice by Masklyn ye Marge, Randy Woodbury’s Vertical Shadow Box, The Emperor’s Tea Chest, The Diamond Blade Of Bagdad by Tom Palmer, etc.
David Copperfield wrote the foreword for this fourth book from Paul Osborne Illusion Systems PDF, which has over 130 pages of tips, plans and illusion ideas.
Among the pages, there are seven out-of-print, rare Abbott’s plans and eight of Paul Osborne’s plans published in the Genii: The Conjurors’ Magazine.
Not forgetting valuable tips from illusion builder Gerald Frenette, Karrell Fox, Tom Mullica, Hal Diamond, Dennis Fahrig, David Seebach and many more.
Yes, you also find detailed drawings on how to do the Two Hoops routine for the levitation act.
In this 6-page book, these are some of the stage illusions with detailed blueprint: The Pharaoh Returns, The Cannon Illusion, Phantasmo, The Hatbox Illusion, etc.
NOTE: In the Introduction of this Illusion Systems Book Four, Paul Osborne recommended those up-and-coming or struggling magicians to read 1986 Joan Rivers’ book “Enter Talking“.
This blunt, tart-tongued celebrity and talk show host wrote about her bitter days struggling to rise to stardom.
It is a great book for aspiring performing artists of all kinds.
Enter Talking By Joan Rivers With Richard Meryman
Click on this: Link
Free Paul Osborne Illusion Designs Books
Easy Build Illusions: Ideal For The Illusionist Who Needs Quick Fast And Easy To Build Props! written and illustrated by Paul Osborne is for the illusionist who are short of time to create a new magical illusion.
This illusion book is never short of great new ideas, tips and techniques for any one who wants to build their illusion apparatus.
This 68-page easy to build illusion plans written and illustrated by Paul Osborne.
It covers production, vanishes and mutilations effects all in this one single book.
The illusion designs include: Fall Apart Box, The Fast Make Sub Trunk, The King Of Clubs, The Mummy Returns, etc.
If fright is both fun and magical for you, then this 1996 “Haunted Illusions” book by Paul Osborne is a must-grab item.
This 171-page book has twenty-seven illusions for theme parks, haunted houses, walk-throughs, Halloween festivals and stage shows.
The many free Paul Osborne illusion plans include here are: Spidora, The Buzz Saw, Burned Alive, Head On Sword, Table Of Death, Dracula Escapes, Torture Chest, Arm Amputation and lots more.
2 Free Paul Osborne Illusion Plans From The Black Book
The Black Book contains the first 119 illusion plans from Genii magazine, which include these illusions: Hinduspension, The Princess Of Baktar, Sawing A Woman in Half, Egyptian Table Of Death, etc.
This illusion plan “Where Is She?” was published in “Genii: The Conjurors’ Magazine May 1989” and also included in Illusion System The First Collection and The Black Book.
This “Dream Dinner” illusion plan by the late Paul Osborne was published in Genii: The Conjurors’ Magazine January 1989 and also included in Illusion System The First Collection and The Black Book.
Dream Dinner By Paul Osborne
Click on this: Link
The Card Guillotine/Jumbo Card Guillotine
Here is a blueprint illustration drawn by Paul Osborne of this little known card trick with apparatus called “The Card Guillotine” or “Jumbo Card Guillotine“.
This “Card Guillotine” or “Jumbo Card Guillotine” was an invention of British-born illusion builder Eric C. Lewis in the 1930s.
You can find this trick in Lewis’ 1980 book, “A Continuation Of Miracles“.
The effect of this trick is a card is freely selected from a jumbo deck, marked, and then returned to the deck.
The deck is then put in a card holder or houlette.
The card holder is then put beneath the mini guillotine.
The blade is dropped and the selected card is revealed at the exact cut of the guillotine blade.
The detailed illustration by Paul Osborne was published in the MUM: The Society Of American Magicians magazine, June 2010 on page 44.
Click here to view “The Card Guillotine” detailed blueprint illustration together with the article.
Anyway, this Eric C. Lewis’ ‘”Card Guillotine” or “Jumbo Card Guillotine” is different from “Card Guillotine” by Mario Tarasini.
This is a penetration trick using three play cards with holes.
Here is the video which revealed the secret of Mario Tarasini’s “Card Guillotine“.
The Salad Bowl Prediction By Paul Osborne
By the way, this is another Paul Osborne’s illusion plan also published in the MUM: The Society Of American Magicians magazine.
But it is a fun prediction trick you can use when you are invited to a dinner party.
It is a prediction mystery trick using a special-prepared double paper bag, twelve slips of paper, small mini golf pencils and a salad bag.
It was published in MUM: The Society Of American Magicians magazine, August 2012 on page 66.
Click here to find more about the effect and the method, together with his illustrations.
RELATED FREE BOOKS: Two free books by Eric C. Lewis.
NOTE: To download Link 1, paste the URL on this site.
More Free Illusion Books
Other than the free Paul Osborne illusion plans from the popular Paul Osborne Illusion Systems PDF books, here are more free books on designing stage magical illusions.
To complete this collection of free books on stage magic illusion designs, I have also included links to those books which I have published in the past.
Modern Illusions By Tom Palmer
Click on this: Link
4E Illusion Design By Mark Parker
Click on this: Link
La Magie De Yogano (In French Only)
Click on this: Link
Gary Darwin – Grandes Illusions Impromptues (English title is Darwin’s Inexpensive Illusions)
Click on this: Link
Abbotts: Nite Club Illusions and Illusionettes
Click on this: Link
These are links to my past published posts with free illusion prop designs books:
Various Books By Andrew Mayne (Touching Sky, Pocket-Sawing-In-Half, Solo-X, Bisection, etc)
DISCALAIMER: I do not publish or host any of the books here. They are copyrighted to their respective owners. All content cited is derived from their respective sources.
* Check out these free magical experiments books by Arthur Good and Gaston Tissandier in English and French.