Illusion Plans PDF #20 – Modern Deceptive Steps with Mechanical Self-Opening Escape Box


Complete detailed building plans for the Modern Deceptive Steps illusion utility prop as well as J C Sum’s original design for a Mechanical Self-Opening Escape Box.


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J C Sum’s illusion plans are known for being the most detailed and easy-to-understand instructional building plans on the market for modern illusions. This product comprises of Deceptive Steps illusion plans for stage illusionists and magicians.

When used in conjunction with a container or box mounted on a table, a set of deceptive steps will allow you to perform a variety of illusion effects such as making a person vanish or transform into another person and reappearing at the back of the audience.

The building plans guide you step by step on how to construct this power illusion utility to be strong but also as lightweight as possible. This set of steps is designed to be set at the side of a prop so that the audience sees the profile view of the steps at all times.

In addition, J C provides full design plans for an escape trunk and table to perform a full illusion routine, including J C’s original solution for a Mechanical Self-Opening Escape Box.

This is a low-cost mechanical and 100% reliable system that allows the sides of the box to fall open upon command with no visible wires or attachments. It is a dramatic and magical feature that really emphasizes the magic moment!


  • The illusion plans include material list, construction method and building drawings with dimensions.
  • The dimensions given will fit a person 6ft tall, 176 lbs. (80kg). Dimensions can be increased to accommodate a larger person, although, this illusion utility is not designed to conceal a large overweight person.
  • While you do not need to be an experienced illusion builder to build this illusion, you will need to be experienced in working with wood and metal.
  • This is a previously unpublished illusion plan and is not available in any other book.
  • 25-pages of detailed drawings, plans and instruction.


There are many different presentations of effects possible with the deceptive steps. Here is a common basic presentation:

A large box sitting on a high table is seen on stage. The illusionist walks up a set of steps by the side of the prop and climbs inside the box. The box is locked up by stage hands and the illusionist’s hands can be seen extended through holes in the front of the box. His hands are handcuffed on the outside of the box to secure him to the box.

Over time, the illusionist is seen to escape from the handcuffs and his hands are brought into the box. Suddenly, the sides of the box fall open to reveal that the illusionist has completely disappeared! Moments later, he reappears behind the audience.


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