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Craft: Magic Loop

Magic Loop

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

Turn a strip of ordinary paper into a marvel with just some tape - and a twist.

Adding a twist to the loop creates a fascinating shape called a Moebius strip, or Moebius band. Its amazing properties come from the fact that it has only one side! A strip of paper has two sides, of course, and so would a loop made by simply taping the strip end to end. Add a twist, though, and the strip becomes one-sided.

Materials

  • Large sheet of paper or newspaper, about 2 feet long

Instructions

  1. Make the Loop: From a large sheet of paper or newspaper, cut a 2-inch-wide strip that's about 2 feet long. Bring together the ends of the strip to form a loop, but turn over one end before securely taping the ends together.
  2. Test It Out: Cut the strip in half down the center, as shown. You might expect to get two separate loops, but what did you get instead? Want to see an even cooler trick? Cut down the center again.
  3. See for Yourself: Make a new loop, just as you did before, then use a marker to draw a solid line along the center of it (where the dotted lines are shown, at left). Keep going until you return to your starting point. See? You didn't have to turn over the strip to mark "both sides."