How to build a no-fuss appearing pole gimmick for $1.80

When you purchase an Appearing Pole the instructions tell you to wrap it up in an elastic and then remove the elastic during performance to produce the pole. But as you know if you’ve ever tried it yourself, it just doesn’t work. I wanted to include the appearing Candy Cane (the same as an appearing pole) into my act so I needed to come up with a different solution.


I came up with very simple solution made out home made materials. I’m sure that I’m not the first one to think of it because its so simple but I’ve never seen or read about it anywhere else so I thought I’d share it here. The finished gimmick looks like this. It can be used to produce the appearing pole, appearing candy cane, or even the appearing crayon.

crayon box

I constructed a box out of cardboard and duct tape. Then on each side I poked a hole where I stuck a pencil through.

Box with pencil - top view

Recently I tried switching out the pencil for a nut and bolt instead and that way the entire unit is now “locked” so its impossible for it to slip out. That brings the total cost of the gimmick to a whopping $1.80. 😀 The box with the bolt going through the center of the rolled up appearing pole keeps everything in place as you produce the item. It smoothly unrolls each and every time.

Bolt 3d View

I use a small gift bag to produce the pole. When the gimmicked box is inside the bag I can squeeze the sides to hold the box in place as I produce the item. After it begins to unroll its even possible to place the bag on the floor as you continue to produce the item.

Bag Squeeze

Another advantage of this setup is that you can setup the production item before the show. Once you’ve placed the appearing pole inside the gimmick, you can roll the flap to the bottom of the box. Then just before showtime, you can spin it around so the free flap is on top once again.

Box Flap

If you use an appearing pole in your show, give this gimmick a try and you’ll see that it works perfectly every single time. Let me know if it work for you too.

Update: I want to point out that this gimmick is not the same design or construction as Barry Mitchell’s “Pole Control”. His is designed out of materials that will last a lifetime and its only $25. Plus it can be used with the appearing shovel, and can be mounted into other production devices.