Introduction: How to Put a Stapler in Jello

About: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and learning fun facts.
As a big fan of The Office, I wanted to take the classic Stapler-In-Jello prank and re-create it for April Fools Day. Not only is this prank easy and cheap, but you're bound to get some bonus laughs from other people who follow this show.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Here at the Lab we have access to a full kitchen, so I was able to easily execute this prank on-site. If your office doesn't have a stove (or another way to heat up water) and a refrigerator, it might be best to make the jello at home and bring it in.

You will need:
  • Lots of Jello. I'm talking at least a dozen boxes; I ended up using 16. Trust me. After 4 attempts at this (for you, folks) I can say that you will need an absurd amount of Jello. We're up-ing the density here, so keep in mind that depending on the flavor you choose it might come out a bit opaque. Feel free to experiment by mixing in some "clear" Knox gelatin, or playing around with food coloring.
  • Bowl, tupperware, bunt cake pan, etc. to put the Jello in - Make sure it's deep enough for your object.
  • Stapler, or whatever other object you want to suspend
Note: as is true with all pranks, try and skirt that line between funny and mean. Don't put anything in the Jello that could be damaged, or that the recipient would be seriously upset about. This includes electronics, important papers, sentimental get the idea.

There are 2 approaches to suspending your object in the center of the Jello. First, you can fill your mold up halfway, allow that Jello to cool, place in your object, and then cover with another round of Jello to cool again. This method takes time, and an amount of patience that I don't have.

I opted for the 1-Jello-step process, and created a kind of hammock for my stapler, so I only needed to make the Jello once. For this method, you should also have:
  • Duct tape (lots)
  • Waxed floss

Step 2: Optional: Create Suspension for Stapler

If we want to make getting this stapler out as difficult and messy as possible - we need it to be entirely surrounded by Jello.

To create the suspension for the stapler, cut a few pieces of dental floss that are long enough to wrap around your mold. Tape these securely along the sides, allowing a bit of a sag so the stapler will not be touching any of the container's edges. Be sure only to tape the outside of your mold.  This step takes some time and patience (and perhaps the help of some other accomplices), so hang in there. 

Place stapler in upside down so that when your Jello is hardened and you flip it over, the stapler will be right side up.

Step 3: Make Jello

We're making some dense Jello here, so it's best to approach this from a different angle than the traditional directions on the box. 

First fill up your mold completely with water. Pour half of this in another container to keep cool, and place to the side. Pour the other half into a large pot and heat to a boil. Once it's boiling, remove from heat, and pour in all of your Jello packets. Stir until it's completely dissolved (at least 2 minutes), and then pour in that cold water you set to the side. 

Once it's all mixed, pour over your suspended-stapler-and-container, and place in the fridge.

Step 4: Wait

It should take at least 4 hours to harden. Maybe take this time to catch up on some episodes of The Office and laugh along with Jim as he pulls some other clever pranks on Dwight. Or just laugh at Dwight.

Step 5: Prank!

After some time has passed, and you're satisfied with your Jello's firmness, remove from the fridge.

If you created a hammock for your stapler, cut the floss pieces from the side of the Jello. You can then easily (but still gently) tug at the floss to remove it from the Jello with only a couple of bubbles remaining. Your prankee will never know.

Place the plate (or whatever other serving platter you had in mind) on top of your mold and flip. This is a delicate step, as it can be hard to maintain the structure of the Jello as it comes out of the mold - but if all goes well your final product should look great!

Now, go hide that Jello stapler in your unsuspecting co-worker's desk drawer, and get ready for some laughs.

April Fools Contest

Participated in the
April Fools Contest