23 April 2014
 

How to bind papers without staples or clips [1]

[Chapter: DIY + tutorials]

I learnt this trick from a Taiwanese program on smart tips and shortcuts for daily living. I think that was in 2005. It was such a fantastic tv show! Afterwhich I’ve spotted the same instructions posted at Instructables and Truveo. Well, for my personal use, I take 3 extra steps to complete the procedure which I’ll explain why further down.

Steps:


1. Align the papers. Here I’m using 5 sheets of letter-size.


2. Fold a triangle on the left-hand corner and crease. The fold (the longest part) is about 5.2cm long, however measuring is not necessary.

3. Make a 1cm-long slit, about 2cm from the edge, then cut another about 1cm away from the first one.


4. Fold and crease the flap as shown.

You could stop at Step 4, which is officially the end. The next 3 steps seek to hold the flap down.


5. Lift up the flap from Step 4 and create that little hollow space.


6. At the top of the flap, press it down to flatten.


7. Fold down the 2 halves.


Finished!


This is how it looks after you’ve completed all the steps, except for the triangle (Step 2), which has been folded over to the back of the stack instead of forward.

Tips:
The heavier the paper, the bigger the triangle fold and the deeper the slits.

The maximum I’ve gone is 15 sheets.

[UPDATE :: There's an even easier binding method revealed in part 4!]

Comments (108)   2008.03.03
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108 Comments »
  1. From Isobel

    That is quite a tip! Very interesting. :)
    Responding your question in my blog, yes, it might be what you think it is. :) I wish soon to feel more comfortable and actually talk about it more openly.
    Take care.
    x

    2008.03.03 @ 10:49 am

  2. From EngineerT

    This is a real cool tip! Thank you!

    At EngineerT’s blog: Appreciate What We Have

    2008.03.04 @ 6:16 am

  3. From Colleen

    I LOVE it! :D

    At Colleen’s blog: stairs and stars

    2008.03.06 @ 3:10 am

  4. From Jenny

    This is so cool! Thanks for the tutorial!

    2008.03.07 @ 1:08 pm

  5. From ramblnrev

    I have to chuckle at this because I learned this when I was in elementary school 45 years ago. That does not make it any less cool, just not bleeding edge. I stopped using it because I don’t like dog eared pages and I don’t like tears and rips. But “there is nothing new under the sun”. Thanks for the memories.

    2008.04.07 @ 9:48 am

  6. From James

    If you fold the pages towards the BACK of the stack, as in the last picture, the pages dont stay together nearly as well if you try to leaf through them. I thought this was really cool, but it doesn’t work all that well IMO.

    2008.04.07 @ 10:06 am

  7. From Kin

    Sweet. I did something like this a few times, but this method I’m guessing will be a little stronger.

    Btw, I don’t think “learnt” is right. The past tense of learn would be learned. “I learned this from a tv show, or the tv show taught me this”.

    2008.04.07 @ 10:32 am

  8. From Joe

    Kin,

    This blog originates from Singapore. She’s used “mum” as well, indicating a UK background. “Learnt” is perfectly okay.

    2008.04.07 @ 11:14 am

  9. Pingback From Bind Papers Together Without Staples or Clips [How To] » Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done

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    2008.04.07 @ 11:15 am

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    2008.04.07 @ 11:25 am

  11. From Kin

    Oh, hey, cool. Thanks for teaching me instead. (that learnt is british spelling)

    2008.04.07 @ 11:28 am

  12. From Aug

    thanks a lot, I’ve seen it many years ago but I had forgotten…thank you

    2008.04.07 @ 11:32 am

  13. From jd

    a paper clip or staple is way quicker than your method.

    2008.04.07 @ 11:37 am

  14. From Sachin Tendulkar

    Utter waste of time..!!

    i would rather use staples.

    2008.04.07 @ 11:41 am

  15. From Professor Nate

    This can be okay in some cases, in a pinch. But let me say this:

    Please do not use this technique for papers that you are giving to another person who has to keep organized many papers similar to yours.

    I teach at a university, and every term I have a few students who use this method for binding their assignments, and the submissions often come apart in the stack of assignments. It is a nuisance and it is trashy looking.

    Staplers are not hard to find.

    2008.04.07 @ 11:47 am

  16. From Yotam

    Neat!

    2008.04.07 @ 12:01 pm

  17. From bloop

    I think this is a nice environmentally friendly approach to binding docs. No need to waste metal on staples…

    2008.04.07 @ 12:09 pm

  18. From Nate

    I learned how to do this back in grade school too – at least 47 years ago. I’ll wager there are people out there who have been using this technique even longer.

    2008.04.07 @ 12:26 pm

  19. From Aidan

    This is going to be REALLY useful for me as a stapler-less student. Thanks!

    At Aidan’s blog: “David Usher Should Learn To Self-Promote,” or “How To Make Myspace Work For You”

    2008.04.07 @ 12:52 pm

  20. Pingback From Bind Papers Together Without Staples or Clips [How To] · TechBlogger

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    2008.04.07 @ 2:23 pm

  21. Pingback From How To Bind Paper Without Staples Or Clips | TheJobBored

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    2008.04.07 @ 3:33 pm

  22. From royal8

    Along this line has anyone seen a stapleless stapler? I need a link or two if you have them.

    2008.04.07 @ 4:46 pm

  23. From DC

    Cool…but if you have more than a few papers, you’ll need scissors, and if you have scissors, you’ll have staples and clips nearby.

    2008.04.07 @ 4:53 pm

  24. From Joni

    Is this for real? I used to do this in MIDDLE SCHOOL when there were no staplers. We didn’t even use scissors – just ripped the paper instead.

    2008.04.07 @ 5:35 pm

  25. From Joni

    Aug and Nate – guess we all went to the smart schools. ;)

    2008.04.07 @ 5:36 pm

  26. From Seen

    I’ve actually seen this before. But in a slightly different manner. The margin of the paper was folded over and then three of those cuts were made. The end product looked like a fairly strudy book (a small one at that cuz folding over the margin wont work for large amounts. There are ways to get around that using Combo cuts)

    2008.04.07 @ 6:19 pm

  27. Pingback From links for 2008-04-07 — Backyard Sketches

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    2008.04.07 @ 7:42 pm

  28. From Matt

    We used to just take the pages, fold the top corner of the pages inward and make a tiny rip in the corner with our hands. But, heck, that was the 70′s when we didn’t have staplers and scissors.

    At Matt’s blog: Errors will happen…

    2008.04.07 @ 9:14 pm

  29. From Gabriela Rosenkilde

    Hey! I really thought this idea very good! Loved it! But please do not use the translating page thingy on the sidebar, it’s absolutely incomprehensible! At least in danish, sweedish and french! I don’t read german or chineese – But I have my doubts! – Kind regards Gabriela

    At Gabriela Rosenkilde’s blog: NY BLOG;

    2008.04.07 @ 10:20 pm

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    2008.04.07 @ 11:30 pm

  31. From Oliver Clevont

    I must admit I haven’t used “learned” before. I was taught at school to use “learnt”, and similarly spelt words like: “spent, swept, meant, kept and burnt”. What a weird world we live in!

    2008.04.08 @ 12:38 am

  32. From Lynoure

    This seem very handy if you plan to shredder the documents in the end. Staples need to be removed before shreddering, and that also takes time.

    2008.04.08 @ 2:31 am

  33. Pingback From Papier binden zonder nietjes » lifehacking.nl

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    2008.04.08 @ 3:34 am

  34. From matéo

    That’s a great trick! very practice!
    Thanks

    2008.04.08 @ 3:54 am

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    2008.04.08 @ 4:53 am

  36. From 何亮

    太实用了,为我的学习工作提供了很多方便,谢谢o(∩_∩)o…

    2008.04.08 @ 6:28 am

  37. From Tal Shafik

    This is simply brilliant. Thanks.

    2008.04.08 @ 8:06 am

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    2008.04.08 @ 8:08 am

  39. From captain dogra

    I was surprised like anybody and when I saw the whole thing I remembered my father–way back in 1960′s doing this with his official documents in a Govt.Deptt.in India.Ofcourse there were no strapller pins and no paper clips and pricckly pins were there which usually got rusted with time.Ofcourse for a thick pile of papers they would tie the whole bunch with a thick thread which is done in most of the Indian Govt offices till today.World seems to be getting closer and more transparent with such blogs.Captain Dogra

    2008.04.08 @ 10:12 am

  40. From captain dogra

    Well when I go through all the comments i see it is an old technique and used in Examination rooms as well even today.Risky though since the papers can come off and does’nt looks as clean as in your photo.Yes–if you are away from pins and strapplers–please use this.Captain Dodra

    2008.04.08 @ 10:30 am

  41. Pingback From kevindouglas.net » Blog Archive » Bind Paper Without Staples

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    2008.04.08 @ 11:46 am

  42. From a math prof

    part of my first-day spiel as a college math prof is: “…and please don’t do that fold the corner over then tear it a bit and fold it again thing like you did in grade school. it drives me nuts!”
    okay, so i don’t really care that much — but it gets a good laugh :) (and it is mildly irritating when homework papers don’t stack nicely.)

    2008.04.08 @ 12:05 pm

  43. From [Clara]

    Thanks to everyone who have arrived here from LH!

    I’m (too) happy that some of us have now picked up a new trick while for others, a chance to reminisce the past and also for those who “gained” a lesson on UK spelling!! Thanks Joe!

    2008.04.08 @ 1:23 pm

  44. Pingback From How to bind papers without staples or clips « Justin Cameron

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    2008.04.08 @ 2:19 pm

  45. From wumble

    Aren’t we supposed to be observing the originality of this idea, or are we trying to be expert in the English Language? As long as its undrstd the gramur dussent cumb (silent “b”) intwo it!
    This from a 60+ Englishman

    2008.04.08 @ 3:28 pm

  46. From TrooperKal

    I was doing this 20 years ago in elementary school…. should’ve patented it!

    2008.04.08 @ 7:58 pm

  47. Pingback From links for 2008-04-09 — Orangescale.NET / Thomas Arie Setiawan

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    2008.04.08 @ 8:44 pm

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  50. Pingback From Torpify » Blog Archive » Staple-less stapling

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    2008.04.09 @ 9:18 am

  51. Pingback From RusiBlog.com - Русский iBlog » Blog Archive » Как скрепить листы без скрепки

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    2008.04.10 @ 3:04 am

  52. From felipe

    esa wea es mas vieja qe el hilo negro…

    2008.04.10 @ 1:01 pm

  53. From elferrydavid

    muy util, para todos esos apuntes interminables que el profesor te pide en el examen

    At elferrydavid’s blog: 40 minutos de ostias en Jerry Springer

    2008.04.10 @ 3:02 pm

  54. From talitha

    There exist a tool that can do a similar thing, though less pretty!!! and less pages!!

    http://www.wrapables.com

    2008.04.11 @ 3:22 am

  55. From Sander

    http://www.magicstapler.com

    2008.04.11 @ 3:44 am

  56. From nn

    This is very old.
    I have known this for 25 years.

    -europe-

    2008.04.11 @ 4:55 am

  57. From Marcel

    It looks quite nice, but I have my doubts if this is what you want. When you connect a few documents with a staple and put several of these documents on top of eachother they will maken the corner where the staple is mounted grow faster then the other corners. If you use this method it wil grow even faster which will make te stack fall even faster. But I have to say that when you ae using it for 1 document and you live in a third-world country it is a great solution.

    2008.04.11 @ 11:03 am

  58. From caatje

    learned this when i was 10……32 years ago…but still using it….it really works!

    2008.04.12 @ 2:00 am

  59. From Stan

    Nice method and really cool too!

    Too bad that you still need a pair of scissors. The greatest thing would be binding papers with your bare hands.

    Greetings from across the ocean, The Netherlands.

    Stan.

    2008.04.12 @ 6:40 am

  60. Pingback From Redhead’s Weblog » Papier binden zonder nietjes

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    2008.04.13 @ 7:01 pm

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    2008.04.14 @ 5:55 am

  62. Pingback From Visão Periférica » Como prender papel sem clips

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    2008.04.16 @ 7:00 pm

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    2008.04.17 @ 10:24 am

  64. From Morana

    This is called a “dog ear” where I live in KY. We used this is elementary school when turning in paperwork.

    2008.04.17 @ 9:26 pm

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    2008.05.05 @ 3:38 pm

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    2008.05.06 @ 3:51 pm

  67. From Miki

    wow, i haven’t seen that since i was a kid. My English teacher would do that, since she was allergic to metal in the paper clips.

    2008.05.08 @ 4:43 pm

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    2008.05.10 @ 7:50 am

  69. From Monica

    I learned this years ago too, and have resorted to it in a pinch, hand torn (as carefully as possible, of course) and it managed to do what it was required to do…which was hold the few pages together long enough to get it to where it needed to go, where I then asked for a stapler, unfolded the “tab” made by the tears and stapled across these to keep it all together and looking almost okay. Frankly, it earned (or is that earnt? lol jk) me a nod for resourcefulness. Thanks for the refresher course and what its supposed to look like, when you’re not in a heated rush in your car cursing at youself for not bringing a stapler with you. :)

    2008.05.24 @ 2:02 pm

  70. From louis

    Fantastic mate – I have an interview tomorrow and have run out of staples – this worked a treat!

    2008.07.24 @ 1:46 am

  71. From Renan

    Marcel, if you stack the papers clipped with this method toggling upside-down at each document, no corners will grow faster than the others.
    Why is this a great solution for third-world countries? I live in a third-world country and we have plenny of staples and clips as cheap as you have near your home (which might be in a first-world country, I guess) .

    2008.08.17 @ 9:26 pm

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    2008.08.22 @ 4:38 pm

  73. Pingback From Folding Trees » Binding papers without a clip or staples

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    2008.09.01 @ 6:00 pm

  74. From Breno

    I am a brazilian, and I like very this post.
    I want to write a translation of this. Please return this message by e-mail. Thanks.

    2009.02.15 @ 10:17 am

  75. From Бaбник

    Первые два комментатора глаголят истину :)

    2009.06.21 @ 5:01 pm

  76. From icetrix

    This is pretty genuis. Thanks for the great tip!

    2009.08.06 @ 1:36 am

  77. From Гавриил

    Да уж Пока это у нас не очень сильно развито, так что придётся немного подождать.

    2009.08.18 @ 9:43 am

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  79. Pingback From Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of | UpOff.com

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  80. Pingback From Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of [Lifehacker Top 10] · TechBlogger

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  82. Pingback From Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of [Lifehacker Top 10] « Coolbeans

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  83. Pingback From Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of [Lifehacker Top 10]

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  85. From Gautham

    This is real good. I kinda evolved this method from different tests I used to write and then end up without staplers. However, the staying down part is new. Cool

    2009.08.23 @ 4:48 pm

  86. Pingback From Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of [Lifehacker Top 10] - 4866th Edition | Technology Revealed

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    2009.08.28 @ 10:57 am

  89. From anna

    thanks! this wuz really interesting

    2009.11.01 @ 3:31 pm

  90. From Corey

    Thinkgeek.com has a stapleless stapler if you would like to buy from there.

    2009.11.28 @ 7:14 am

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    2009.12.15 @ 3:46 am

  92. From E

    I found it works great when you fold the rectangle backward, and further fold that into an inward triangle to lock it. THanksfor the stapleless tip, it’d work for my own purposes etc. I agree with the prof up there though, my teachers have gotten mad with my stapleless ventures to be greener. ;)I think this is useful though!

    2010.04.17 @ 11:51 am

  93. From E

    Hey, this shames stapleless staplers !! Do they work well? I’v eonly used one once and I don’t remember it being phenomenally good

    2010.04.17 @ 11:53 am

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    2010.06.15 @ 7:35 pm

  95. From Jarik

    Very cool. Thanks for the guide. A few people in the comments asked about staple less staplers, and I happen to know where you can get them. http://www.garrettwade.com has them, just do a search for stapler, and its the second result. I’ll be using this trick to close paper bags for making home made microwave popcorn!

    2010.08.22 @ 1:07 am

  96. From Dot

    Really useful, it helped me out. Thanks loads!

    2010.08.23 @ 8:47 pm

  97. From Duran

    I have a Crayola stapler that does something like this. It makes a slot and punches out a strip and somehow inserts that strip into the slot in the same motion as an ordinary stapler. I couldn’t find it and needed to make one fast – thanks for this!

    Professor Nate: depends on where you lose your stapler. Not everybody is made from the same stamp.

    2010.10.08 @ 2:28 am

  98. From d669624

    A variation:
    3. Make 3 cuts instead of 2 to form 2 flaps.
    4. Fold the first flap upwards. Fold the second flap down.

    2010.11.11 @ 10:13 pm

  99. From Raja

    hey tnx for the tip. Very nice! :D

    2010.11.12 @ 5:40 am

  100. From Paul

    Ignore Kin – you were correct in putting “learnt”, and not “learned”. In it’s past-tense, the Americans tend to use “learned” instead of “learnt”, “sleeped” instead of “slept”, etc, but what do they know about the Queen’s “English” anyway?

    2010.11.13 @ 10:08 am

  101. From Penny

    We used to do this in 60′s at school. Great if you don’t mind disfiguring the paper.

    The old ones are always the best!

    2010.12.09 @ 8:41 pm

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    2011.11.15 @ 11:16 pm

  104. From Yumeko

    This is great if you’re in a pinch. I have a tiny stapler that runs out or is forgotten often, so doing this method even without the scissors is helpful. I an in college and never heard of this method

    2011.12.02 @ 3:35 am

  105. Pingback From PDFing the Clearing Campaign Report « Really Augmented

    [...] Binding paper without staples or paper-clips http://www.bloomize.com/how-to-bind-papers-without-staples-or-clips/ [...]

    2012.03.28 @ 6:09 pm

  106. Pingback From Paper stapler | Puisernu

    [...] How to bind papers without staples or clipsTips: The heavier the paper, the bigger the triangle fold and the deeper the slits. … This is going to be REALLY useful for me as a stapler-less student. Thanks! … Along this line has anyone seen a stapleless stapler? I need a link or two if you have them. [...]

    2012.05.22 @ 4:18 am

  107. Pingback From Binding paper « SER

    [...] how to bind papers without stapling Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

    2012.07.31 @ 11:24 pm

  108. Pingback From Bind Papers Together Without Staples or Clips | Lifehacker Australia

    [...] office supplies—the two notches could be hand-ripped, after all, if you were crafty about it. How to bind papers without staples or clips [...]

    2013.01.18 @ 8:05 am

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